Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association




Bulletin Board

JUNE 7, 2013

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We support LD 718, An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food. Please take the time to reach out to your state representatives and senators. You can find their contact information here:

The Connecticut Legislature has passed the state's GMO labeling bill, and now so can Maine!

Thousands of Mainers have helped make LD 718, Maine's GMO labeling bill, the most talked about issue at the Maine State House. With the Maine House debate and floor vote coming up this Monday, June 10, or possibly Tuesday, we need to turn up the pressure even more. If you've already taken action, thank you! If not, please take this easy step and sign this petition.

Speaking up matters. Michele Simon, in her excellent article "Connecticut Makes History as First State to Pass GE Food Labeling Law," tells how engaged citizens in Connecticut were able to successfully oppose well funded and powerful biotech and industry groups.

Thank you again for all the support that you are giving.

Read more.

Our GMO-Right to Know Resources page on
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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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June 30 - Deadline for applications to MOFGA Certification Services LLC for organic crop certification.

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Farm Training Workshop at Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, on May 29.
MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops

These workshops are designed for and targeted to participants in MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program, but are free and open to anyone interested. They are intended to give apprentices and other young, beginning, and aspiring farmers the chance to visit other farms, learn from farmers about their areas of expertise, and socialize with peers.

The workshops follow an informal format. They generally begin in the late afternoon with a farm tour, followed by a presentation and demonstration on the topic of the day. Participants are then invited to stay for a potluck supper and discussion - bring a dish or something fresh from the farm to share. 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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Cultivating Community hosts a summer-long series of Twilight Dinners featuring foods grown by young and new American farmers.

Cultivating Community's
Twilight Dinner Series

Join Cultivating Community for a memorable evening - take part in the 2013 season of casual, three-course Thursday night Twilight Dinners in the orchard of Turkey Hill Farm on Cape Elizabeth. The food is prepared by a southern Maine star chef, using fresh produce grown at Turkey Hill Farm by youth growers and new American farmers in Cultivating Community’s programs. The cost is $40 per person (BYOB).

Schedule and more information or call 207-761-GROW.

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WERU Celebrates 25 Years

Supports local farms with Farm Fresh Live Radio Auction

WERU-FM (89.9 in Blue Hill/99.9 in Bangor) will celebrate 25 years of sustainability and cross-pollination with farms and food producers in the station's listening area with its Farm Fresh Live Radio Auction on Thursday, June 6 from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. WERU hosts MOFGA's Common Ground radio show on the first Friday of every month.

Read the article in the Penobscot Bay Pilot.

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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.

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Unity-to-MOFGA Trail

The June 1 opening of the Unity-to-MOFGA Trail, a project of the Waldo County Trails Coalition (, attracted 15 hikers, some of whom made the entire 6.8-mile trek. MOFGA is part of the coalition. A map and description of the trail appears on the coalition website.

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Prentice Grassi and Polly Shyka of Village Farm in Freedom
Know Your Farmers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmers Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi of Village Farm in Freedom. Village Farm grows more than 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers for 75-plus CSA member households and several wholesale accounts; vegetable, herb and flower seedlings to sell from the farm and from the Belfast Co-op; nursery stock for FEDCO Trees; pastured chickens and beef, sold by pre-order; and eggs from pastured, organically-fed chickens, available at CSA pick-ups and at the Belfast Coop. Polly and Prentice also sell cheese shares in collaboration with Appleton Creamery and heirloom apple shares in collaboration with Out on a Limb Orchard of Palermo. They also train three or four interns each year – and raise their three young sons.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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Colorado potato beetle eggs on the underside of leaves, from the May 29 MOFGA Pest Report.

MOFGA Pest Reports Online

Compiled by Eric Sideman, PhD, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist

These are very informative, timely reports of pests and diseases affecting crops and soils. Color photos provide additional details.

The May 29 report addresses cucumber problems (when planted early); Colorado potato beetle, gray mold; and Mexican bean beetles.

The June 6 report concerns potato leafhoppers, the three-lined potato bug, and the impact of wet weather on crops and soil nitrogen.

Read the reports.

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The summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener is out!

Learn about selling to wholesalers, managing sheep, sowing green manures in summer, growing and cooking with chufa, a permaculture garden in Bar Harbor, and much more.

The newspaper is sent to MOFGA members, is available at news stands in Maine, and is posted on


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

June 8 - NOFA-New Hampshire's Spring Herb & Garden Day. Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, McLane Audubon Center, Concord, N.H. 12 workshops including herbal product making, brewing herbal beer, organic heirloom gardening, permaculture for beginners, marketing, an All-Day Herbal Intensive, foraging walks and more! Information.

Farm & Homestead Day - June 15
Come! Learn! Volunteer!
Bring the Family!
It's Free - and Valuable!

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, a revival of Small Farm Field Day, is a free, volunteer-driven event offering a wide variety of hands-on and interactive sessions on useful skills for new and old homesteaders and farmers. It will be held on Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center on Crosby Brook Road in Unity. Bring your family and friends! Information and schedule of workshops.

June 15 - Low-Impact Forestry and Small Woodlot Management workshop at Merryspring Nature Center.
10 a.m. to noon, Camden. Led by MOFGA's low-impact forestry coordinator, Andy McEvoy.

une 15 - FAMACHA Workshops for Sheep and Goat Producers at MOFGA. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Unity. Presented by Dr. Thomas Settlemire and Dr. Richard Brzozowski. Participants will receive an information packet, record sheets and a FAMACHA card. $20.00 per farm. Register online or download the registration form (PDF) and mail it in with a check for $20.00 made payable to "University of Maine Cooperative Extension" at least one week in advance of the workshop to: FAMACHA Workshop/UMaine Cooperative Extension, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth, ME 04105. Website.

June 19 - 2013 Poultry Processing Workshop.
Wednesday, 9 am to 12 noon. MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Full - Waiting List Only. Diane Schivera, MOFGA Organic Livestock Specialist, and an elite crew of poultry processing professionals will lead a workshop about how to process poultry. Information: Email Diane Schivera or contact the MOFGA office - (207) 568-4142;

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 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 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.

Low Impact Forestry Level II, 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.

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



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