Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association




Bulletin Board

JUNE 21, 2013

Join / Renew Donate Volunteer Find Certified Organic Foods Contact Us


Brendan McQuillen and Brady Hatch of Morning Dew Farm with Clodagh.
Know Your Farmers!

Meet Brendan McQuillen and Brady Hatch - and Clodagh. At Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle, Maine, the family raises more than 50 varieties of certified organic mixed vegetables, cut flowers, edible flowers, herbs, vegetable seedlings and ginger, which they sell through their CSA, at Damariscotta farmers' markets, and at stores and restaurants - all within 30 miles of the farm. They also sell pasture-raised pork. They see their diversified farm "as an opportunity to provide our customers with unique heritage vegetables and as a responsibility to protect and maintain the planet's genetic diversity." Find out more at

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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"A New England Food Vision" has been released in draft format for public comment through July 31. Russell Libby helped get this publication going after a conversation with Brian Donahue that sparked the idea of what and how much could be grown in New England. Russ was very involved with shaping the document for the first year and was excited about working on it right up until last fall. It was presented at the New England Food Summit recently, where it got a great response from the delegates representing the six New England states.

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June 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $35.
Summer Orchard Care Workshop at David Buchanan's Cider Orchard in Pownal, Maine

Want to plant fruit trees, but you're not sure how to grow them organically? Or do you have fruit trees in the ground and you would like to learn about organic cultivation methods? If so, come to David Buchanan's cider orchard on June 29. Buchanan, author of Taste, Memory - Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter (Chelsea Green 2012), grows about 150 apple varieties, most on rented land, and sells potted fruit trees at the Portland Farmers' Market. On his land in Pownal, he plans to conserve old apple varieties and turn a barn into a commercial kitchen to process fruits.

At this workshop, C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist, will present organic methods for growing tree fruit, including soil and nutrient requirements and insect and disease control. Ample time will be available for questions. Participants should bring a bag lunch and drink. This event is cosponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub. For more information, contact Emily Horton at

Registration details.

MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting
July 27, Thorndike. $30.
Learn this method to propagate fruit trees and many ornamentals. Taught by Delton Curtis of Curtis Pond Nursery, grafter for FEDCO trees. Course will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information.

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Registration for MOFGA's Fall Events is Now Open!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Nose to Tail Pork Processing Workshop
October 12 to 14, Saturday to Monday - Full, wait list only
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center
  Low Impact Forestry Workshop
November 14 to 17, Thursday to Sunday

Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Three options for participation
  MOFGA's Chainsaw Safety Workshop, Level I
November 15 & 16 - Friday & Saturday

Common Ground Education Center, Unity
  Kitchen Licensing Workshop
December 4, Wednesday
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen

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Jim Gerritsen

Video of Jim Gerritsen

Mathieu Asselin's excellent video of MOFGA certified organic farmer Jim Gerritsen discussing the OSGATA v. Monsanto lawsuit is posted at Wonderful shots of potato planting, too!

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Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, held last Saturday, was a great success!

Eli Berry showed Farm & Homestead Day participants how to make a Jack and rider fence.

About 300 people attended on the gorgeous late-spring day to learn from 60 hands-on workshops - whether building fences with materials on hand, storing carrots over winter in an in-ground barrel, adapting garden carts to increase their functionality, or more. "We mowed the whole amphitheater!" says one F&H organizer, Nancy Rosalie, who taught participants how to scythe the grass there. "It was just the kind of event that I worked to present: People learn by doing."

To the staff and volunteers who put so much work into the event - Thank you! Next year's Farm & Homestead Day is already in the works, and your suggestions for workshops and workshop leaders are welcome. Contact the Farm & Homestead Day Rabble Rousing Committee at, or Joe Dupere at MOFGA, or 207-568-4142.

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Maine's GMO Labeling Bill Has Won Overwhelming Support by the Legislature and Maine Residents

LD 718, An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food

The Maine House voted 141 to 4 in support of LD 718 and the Maine Senate followed with a unanimous vote in favor. The legislation now proceeds to the Governor's desk.

Thank you again for your support.

Read more.

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Kiwihill Farm in Sidney

Visit a farm or garden this summer!

MOFGA lists many farms and gardens that are open for visitors this summer in its annual "Daytripping" feature in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Some are open almost daily; others have tours at specific times. Find out how to save seeds, grow kiwis or raise endangered heritage breeds of livestock. Next up: June 23, Darthia Farm, Gouldsboro.

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June 30 - Deadline for applications to MOFGA Certification Services LLC for organic crop certification.

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UMaine graduate student Sonja Birthisel talked about weed control, including by animals that eat weed seeds, at Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick on June 20.

MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops

Farm Training Project workshops continue to attract dozens of MOFGA apprentices and others interested in learning how experienced farmers are growing, marketing, controlling pests, and other aspects of raising crops and livestock.

Coming up next week: Ecological Pest Control at Hatchet Cove Farm in Warren (June 26) and at Black Kettle Farm in Lyman (July 27).
Schedule of workshops.

For more information about or directions to any of the workshops, email Abby or call 568-4142. To join the email list click here.

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Beginning Farmer Resource Network
The Beginning Farmer Resource Network is a coalition - including MOFGA - of Maine agriculture agencies and organizations working together to connect aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers to resources for farm business success. Website.

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Landscape Coordinator Position Available
at MOFGA's Education Center in Unity

MOFGA is seeking a year-round part-time Landscape Coordinator to manage the grounds and gardens at the Common Ground Education Center in Unity. This includes managing the perennial gardens, annual gardens, shade trees, composting operation, shrubs, and fields, as well as a variety of tasks dealing with operations and maintenance. Must be familiar with farm equipment operation, have the strength to lift 70 pounds, have extensive knowledge of organic farming and gardening techniques, and have the ability to work well independently, as well as with staff, volunteers, and the public.

The candidate will also assist with setup, clean up and tasks during the Common Ground Country Fair, when additional work hours will be required. For a complete job description please email your request to or go to To apply, please send resume along with a cover letter and three references to Vernon LeCount, 294 Crosby Brook Rd. Unity, ME 04988 or email these documents to Deadline for applications is June 24 at 9:00 am.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

June 22 - Workshop on Building Poultry Travel Cages. Presented by UMaine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA). Participants will build wire poultry travel cages, and UMaine Extension veterinarian Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner will talk about poultry health. 9 a.m. to noon, UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth. Fee: $30 per person; $25 for MPGA members. Information: UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 207-781-6099 or 1-800-287-1471 (in Maine only). Registration.

June 23 - Pasture Walk,
3-6 p.m., Old Crow Ranch, Steve Sinisi, 427 Davis Rd., Durham, Maine. The pasture walk will feature a demonstration of the results of a pasture improvement program that the farm conducted using the Maine Grass Farmers Network No-till drill. For more information about MGFN or this pasture walk, contact Rick Kersbergen at or call 207-342-5971.

June 29 - Summer Orchard Care Workshop.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., David Buchanan's Cider Orchard in Pownal, Maine.  C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist, will present organic methods for growing tree fruit, including soil and nutrient requirements and insect and disease control. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub. For more information, contact Emily Horton at $35. Registration.

June 29 and 30 - Maple Meadow Farm Festival.
Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Maple Meadow Farms, 830 Mapleton Road, Mapleton, Maine 04757. Unique demonstrations, draft team farming techniques and field work with antique tractors. Mingle with friends, savor home-cooked food, browse the work of fine artisans and collections from discriminating antique dealers. Bluegrass music, childrens' area. Information and schedule on the web or call 207-764-6450.

July 13 - Pasture Walk,
Colyer Brook Farm 17 Megquier Rd., Gray. FMI: or or call 207-342-5971.

July 18 to 21 - Timber Framing Workshop for High School Students.
Thurs. to Sunday, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. 4-day workshop starts with standing trees, model and a drawing; finishes with a completed cabin. Competitive application process, required recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor. Applications due by June 16 (decisions made by June 28). $50, includes all materials. No previous experience necessary. Applications and Letter of Recommendation at, or contact Andy at or 200-8840. The workshop is co-sponsored by Oak Grove School Foundation, MOFGA, Hancock Lumber, and Wood-Mizer.

July 25 and 26 - 2013 Kneading Conference and 5th Artisan Bread Fair, Skowhegan, Maine.
30 workshops, talks, and panel discussions for everyone interested in local grains, craft breads, wood-fired ovens, and restoring regional grain networks. $300 includes (delicious!) meals. Information.

MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry Level II Workshop, Draft Animal Logging
July 26-28, Bethel, Me.

This 3-day workshop builds on the skills that students developed in the Level I Draft Power Logging Workshop. Students are expected to have completed LIF's Level I course, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience. Register at the online MOFGA Store.

MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting
July 27, Thorndike. $30.
Learn this method to propagate fruit trees and many ornamentals. Taught by Delton Curtis of Curtis Pond Nursery, grafter for FEDCO trees. Course will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information.

July 31 - Highmoor Farm Field Day and Summer Tour,
Wed., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monmouth. Registration: $20.00 (includes lunch). Preregistration is strongly encouraged. 1 Pesticide Applicator recertification credit for the morning program and 1 Pesticide Applicator recertification credit for the afternoon tour. Please contact Pam St. Peter at or 207-933-2100 to preregister. Website.

August 3 - 4th Annual Northeast USA Rice Conference, Akaogi Farm, Westminster West, Vermont.
Focus on rice farming in the Northeast, including seed saving, data collection, wildlife conservation and small-scale rice processing equipment. Registration (by July 26): $50/person, $60/couple, $40/student - includes lunch and copy of 2012 conference proceedings. Register early; space is limited. To register, provide your name, e-mail address, and a check made out to Mia Murphy, 351 Longley Road, Groton, MA 01450. Contact Mia at

August 21 - Four Season Forward - Producing Year-Round Crops Using High Tunnels, Low Tunnels and Quickhoops, with Clara Coleman of Four Season Farm Consulting.
Four-season production is a collection of innovative growing techniques that use season-extension products such as coldframes, Quickhoops, low tunnels and stationary and movable high tunnels. These techniques can be used to develop a new business on small acreage or to add an additional business to an existing farm that allows a farm to thrive all year. Four-season production is a management intensive process that relies on understanding appropriate crop selection, protected cultivation basics, careful succession planning and effective record keeping. Clara will provide in-depth information on four-season production practices, demonstrate best high tunnel uses and answer questions during this six-hour workshop. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Location and time TBD. Information.

August 24 - Pasture Walk,
1 p.m., Cold Spring Ranch, Gabe Clark, 1 Reed Rd., New Portland, Maine; Brassicas for fall grazing. FMI: or or call 207-342-5971.

Sept. 14 - Pasture Walk,
1 p.m., NorWest Angus, Pat Bates, Woodland to Pasture, 311 Fern Rd., Turner. FMI: or or call 207-342-5971.

Sept. 28-29 - Draft Animal-Power Field Days,
Orleans County Fairgrounds, Barton, Vermont. Horses, oxen and mules demonstrate draft animal-power in action. Experienced working animals and teamsters show how they get it done in fields, gardens and woodlots. Website.

Many more events are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.



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