Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Bulletin Board

FEBRUARY 28 2014

Gail Edwards (front) and her daughters, from Blessed Maine Herb Farm

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Gail Faith Edwards of Blessed Maine Herb Farm in Athens. Gail and her daughters Rosa, Grace and Belle raise, harvest and process dozens of herbs and other medicinal plants - and even mushrooms - for use in tinctures, teas, elixirs, vinegars and other products. They sell their products through their Community Supported Herbal Medicine program, at the Common Ground Country Fair, through the Maine Organic Herb Growers Cooperative and the Crown O' Maine Cooperative, at the Skowhegan Farmers' Market, to Uncle Dean's in Waterville, at herbal conferences and from the farm (at the apothecary and through 

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

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CSA Fairs 2014 - Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Part celebration and part education, as local farmers, fishermen and other food producers tell community members how to enjoy local foods and support local businesses in a meaningful way.
Each location will have plenty of local flavor, whether live local music, tastings featuring local foods, sales of food and other products from local farms and businesses, film screenings and more.
Auburn: Feb. 28 - 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Auburn Public Library. Contact: Martin Gagnon, 207-333-6640, X2025

Augusta: Feb. 28 - 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. 
Viles Arboretum Conference Room, 153 Hospital St. Contact: Mark DesMeules, 207-626-7989
Belfast: March 2 - 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. 
Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave. Contact: Kate Harris, 207-338-9509

Hallowell: March 2 - 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. 
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 20 Union St. Contact: Jessica Gorton, 522-5536
Norway: March 1 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
First Universalist Church of Norway, 477 Main St. Contact: Jessica McMahon, (207) 743-9044

The Pickup at 42 Court St. Contact: Sarah Smith, 399-4923

Find a CSA near you ANY time with MOFGA's Maine CSA Directory!
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Renovating Old Trees
Saturday, March 1 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beech Hill Farm at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor. Instructor: C.J. Walke. $30. Details.

Pruning Fruit Trees
Saturday, March 8 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Three locations: Blue Hill with Phillip Norris; Durham with Dave Colson and C.J. Walke; MOFGA Education Center, Unity, with John Bunker
Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. Collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed. Workshop details.
Registration on the MOFGA Country Store.

Other Pruning Workshops   
MOFGA's orchard pruning workshops are coming up on March 1, 8 and 23. Other pruning workshops are being held at the Witherle Memorial Library in Castine (March 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.); The Good Life Center in Brooksville (April 6,; and at several locations in New Hampshire, many close to Maine.. 
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TWO MOFGA Benefits at The Flatbread Company in Portland! See you there!
Come join us for a MOFGA Benefit Night at The Flatbread Company in Portland on Tuesday, March 4! A portion of sales on flatbreads sold between 5 and 9 p.m. will support MOFGA. We look forward to seeing you and enjoying delicious food, local beer and lively discussion. The Flatbread Company is located at 72 Commercial Street, on the waterfront in Portland.

Please join us for another benefit at The Flatbread Company - this one on Thursday, March 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., when Funky Bow Brewery of Lyman (Facebook) will announce its relationship with Tig Pro Metal Fabricators of Portland. Tig Pro will be manufacturing the new expansion brewery equipment for Funky Bow. This celebration will include music by the Gunther Brown Band and serving of some Gunther Brown Ale, made just for the band and this event. Funky Bow (owned by MOFGA board member Paul Lorrain), Flatbread and Tig Pro will donate 5 percent of the proceeds from this event to MOFGA.

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Understanding the Affordable Care Act
Tuesday, March 4, 10 a.m.
Sheepscot General, 98 Townhouse Rd., Whitefield

Do you have questions about current changes in health care? Do you need affordable health insurance? Free, in-person help is available! Ben Hummel of the Maine Migrant Health Program will review the Affordable Health Care Act and what it means for Maine's farmers. Ben will talk about who needs to purchase health insurance in 2014, how the health insurance Marketplace works, and what health insurance options and financial assistance are available. During the afternoon, Ben or another Certified Application Counselor will offer one-on-one assistance to anyone interested in applying for coverage or anyone who wants to look at health insurance options more in depth. Individual appointments are available in the afternoon; RSVP to request one-on-one assistance. These services are free and available to members of Maine's agricultural community, whether you own your own farm, need coverage for yourself and your family, or are an employee looking for coverage. FMI: Ben Hummel, 207-557-5114,
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Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit
March 12, Augusta Civic Center

Growers, gardeners and other climate-concerned folks: Please come to the Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, cosponsored by MOFGA. If you can mount a display, help out, share experience as a presenter (or as part of the policy Summit) or know others who can, please contact or We want a strong showing on the food-producing piece of this challenge. Please share this message! Visit the Climate Solutions website.

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MOFGA's 2014 Spring Growth Conference: Weed Control
Saturday, March 22, 2014 (snow date March 23)
All day - Common Ground Education Center, Unity 
MOFGA's 2014 Spring Growth Conference will focus on practical, whole-farm approaches to ecological weed management. The day will include presentations by MOFGA Agricultural Services Staff Eric Sideman and Dave Colson, who will leverage their 60+ years of combined experience farming and advising their fellow farmers to discuss weed ecology and physiology and highlight real world, proven strategies to manage weeds from a whole-farm, ecological perspective. The afternoon will feature a panel of farmers sharing their own approaches to weed management across different scales and using various technologies. We will conclude with ample time for discussion and idea-sharing, giving everyone in attendance a chance to share their strategies and get their questions answered. Registration includes lunch and resource materials.

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MOFGA's Organic Farming Short Course
Organic Farming: Principles and Practice
March 27 & April 3 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days
Viles Room, Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital Street, Augusta
Our two-day course, Organic Farming: Principles and Practice, is designed to provide farmers with a strong background in soils, weeds and pest management, enabling them to make good management decisions. Instructor: Eric Sideman, MOFGA's Vegetable Specialist. Guest lecturers, including local farmers, will also speak and join the discussion.

$75 individual; $30 additional person; $30 apprentice/student; FREE journeypersons; $45 per single-day registration. Course registration.
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Rural Living Day
March 29, Thorndike

Want to learn how to grow raspberries, blueberries or garlic; about MOFGA's exciting Maine Heritage Orchard; or how to make cheese? These and many other topics will be covered at Rural Living Day on March 29 at Mount View High School in Thorndike. Schedule and registration information.
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Maine Poultry Keepers School
April 5, Fairfield

Poultry can be a profitable enterprise for farm operations in Maine. You might already be producing eggs or meat birds or you might be thinking about it for 2014. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Maine Poultry Growers Association, Maine Farm Bureau and MOFGA to present a day-long poultry keepers school on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. The school is designed for those in farming and will focus on nutrition, health and efficient management. However, many of the topics are also suitable for small-scale and backyard keepers. Schedule and registration information.
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2014 Common Ground Country Fair Poster

This year's 2014 Common Ground Country Fair poster features medicinal herbs. The artist, Kate Seaver, is a MOFGA journeyperson and co-operator of Up-Beet Farm in Porter, a MOFGA certified organic market garden. Her art highlights a celebrated aspect of the Common Ground Country Fair, which features more than 1,400 exhibitors and speakers. This year's Fair will occur on September 19, 20 and 21.
Every year MOFGA holds a poster contest and welcomes all Maine residents and MOFGA members to enter submissions. Guidelines and application for the 2015 Fair.
For more information, please contact Fair director April Boucher at
Daytripping, Anyone?

If you'd like to host a tour of your farm or garden this summer, we can put you on our "Daytripping" list, to be published in the June-August issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Just send (to your farm name, owners' names, farm or garden features (briefly), date and time when visitors are welcome, directions and contact information. We publish the listing, and the rest is up to you and your visitors. You may get one or even no visitors; or you may get dozens. We suggest setting one or two particular times for your tour so that your entire day isn't tied up.


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Job Opening at MOFGA
MOFGA Certification Services LLC is seeking an operations assistant to provide administrative and clerical support for the certification director and for the certification program overall. The individual should be very comfortable and proficient using a variety of computer and Internet applications. Primary responsibilities include data entry and data management; responding to phone calls and emails; filing and organizing documents; and assisting with overall organization of the certification office. The job is located in an office on the MOFGA grounds in Unity, Maine. Full job description.
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Please Nominate MOFGA for a Bangor Savings Bank Foundation Grant

Voting ends Feb. 28 (today!) at 11:59 p.m.
Bangor Savings Foundation will give a total of $100,000 to 68 local non-profit organizations, based on the number of votes each organization gets from Maine citizens. You can help MOFGA by writing in MOFGA in the Waldo County category on the ballot - and then invite your friends, neighbors and colleagues to do the same. Vote for MOFGA. Thank you!


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MOFGA-El Salvador Committee Seeks Bowls for Empty Bowl Supper

The annual Empty Bowl Supper, a fundraiser for the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee, is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Miller St. in Belfast. For just $15 ($35 maximum for families; tickets at the door), attendees enjoy delicious soups, breads and desserts, get to see friends, and take home a beautiful bowl, handcrafted and donated by a Maine potter. This year Gray Parrot from Hancock will play folk/blues guitar music, and Ted Quaday, our executive director, will speak briefly.

The committee is seeking bowls made by Maine potters. Seconds are fine! To donate bowls, please contact Jean English, or leave bowls at the MOFGA office. Thanks!


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MOFGA Lumber For Sale

Planning on building this summer? FSC certified logs harvested from the MOFGA woodlot this winter are going to a Thorndike sawmill to make rough pine boards for your goat barn, chicken coop, sauna, storage shed, horse hovel or whatever project you may have in mind.  Contact Sam Brown ( or 277-4221) for more information. Photo: Eli Berry with the logs harvested from the MOFGA woodlot.

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Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

March 1 - MOFGA Orcharding Workshop: Renovating Old Trees. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Beech Hill Farm at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor. Instructor: C.J. Walke. Price: $30. Bring your own lunch. Details.

March 4 - MOFGA Benefit Night at The Flatbread Company. Tuesday, 5-9 p.m., 72 Commercial Street, on the waterfront in Portland. Delicious food, local beer and lively discussion. Website.

March 4-6 - International Garlic Symposium. Role of Garlic in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Metabolic Syndrome and Immunology. Dana Point, Calif. Details.

March 6 - MOFGA Benefit at the Flatbread Company. Thursday, 5-9 p.m., 72 Commercial Street, Portland. Hosted by Funky Bow Brewery of Lyman, Pig Pro Metal Fabricators of Portland, and The Flatbread Company of Portland.

March 7 - Northern New England Nursery Conference. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth, N.H. Cost $25 (includes lunch). Program includes a thoughtful look at the ecology of landscape plantings; information about pollinator gardens; a panel discussion about managing risk; how to safeguard your landscape or nursery crew and yourself from tick-borne diseases; and more. Registration. FMI: Dr. Lois Berg Stack, University of Maine, 207-581-2949 or

March 7 - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show, 10 to 11 a.m., WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and
March 7-8 - New England Meat Conference, Concord, N.H. Details.

March 8 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop - Pruning Fruit Trees. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Blue Hill with Phillip Norris; Durham with Dave Colson and C.J. Walke; MOFGA, Unity, with John Bunker. Details. Registration.

March 8 - Washington County Food Summit. Snow date March 15. Information.

March 8 - Gawler Sisters concert.
7:30 p.m., Åarhus Gallery, Belfast. Fun-loving, locally grown, folk-singing [and organic farming] Gawler Sisters joined by philharmonic farmer & local singer songwriter Bennett Konesni. Rescheduled from Feb. 15 due to snow. Information.

March 10 - UM Extension Vegetable and Fruit School.
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Seasons Conference Center, Portland. Registration $35.00, includes lunch. Preregistration is required by Feb. 21, 2014. Agenda and registration.

March 11 - UM Extension Vegetable and Fruit School. 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center, 701 Hogan Rd., Bangor. Registration $35.00, includes lunch. Preregistration is required by Feb. 21, 2014. Agenda and registration.
March 12 - Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center.

March 12 - Organic Livestock Management Discussion: Pigs. Wednesday, 5:30 to 8 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center. Potluck supper included. Free. Information.

March 13 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting.
1:30 to 5 pm, Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott (Washington County). Details. Registration.

March 14 - Best Greenhouse Practices Workshop: Biocontrol. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wiswell Farm, Orrington. Featured speaker: Dr. Betsy Lamb, Ornamentals IPM Coordinator with the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University. Introduction to biocontrol plus new research-based information that experienced biocontrol practitioners will find useful. Registration $15 (includes lunch). FMI: Lois Stack,

March 15 - Maine Grain Conference. Bangor. Details.

March 15 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Annual Grazing Conference.
Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield. Featured speaker: Forrest Pritchard owner of Smith Meadows and author of Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm. Conference workshops and registration materials.

March 19 - Slow Money Maine Gathering. 1-4 p.m., Viles Arboretum, Augusta. Presentations include one by Abby Sadauckas and Andrew Marshall on MOFGA's New Farmers Programs. Details.

March 19 - Free film screening of Food for Change. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Learn how to join The Portland Food Co-op. Light snacks from Local Sprouts and cash bar served from 6 to 7 with the film screening following at 7. The film focuses on food co-ops as a force for dynamic change in American culture. Information.

March 22 (snow date March 23) - MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference: Weed Control. All day, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Registration.

March 22
(snow date March 23) - Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies in Maine. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Randall Student Center, UMaine Augusta. Information.

March 23 - Maine Maple Sunday. Schedule.

March 26 - Pruning demonstration with C. J. Walke of MOFGA. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Witherle Memorial Library, Castine. Meet at the library at 10 a.m. for a demonstration of pruning followed by a presentation and talk at 12:30 (with time in between for a lunch break). Cosponsored by the library and the Castine Garden Club. Please call or visit the library to sign up for this program:, 326-4375.

March 29 - Rural Living Day. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mt. View High School, 577 Mt. View Rd. (Rt. 220), Thorndike, Maine. Preregistration required by March 21. Details.


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