Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Bulletin Board

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

CSA Fairs 2014

These events are 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 - 4:30-6:30 p.m. - Auburn Public Library. Contact: Martin Gagnon, 207-333-6640, X2025

Augusta: Feb. 28, 2-5 p.m. - Viles Arboretum Conference Room, 153 Hospital St. Contact: Mark DesMeules, 207-626-7989

Belfast: March 2, 1-3 p.m. - Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave. Contact: Kate Harris, 207-338-9509

Hallowell: March 2, 1-4 p.m. - St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 20 Union St. Contact: Jessica Gorton, 522-5536, website, Facebook page 

Norway: March 1, 9:00-2:00 - First Universalist Church of Norway, 477 Main St. Contact: Jessica McMahon, (207) 743-9044, Facebook page

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

TBD: Bangor, Newcastle, Portland, Rockland, Waterville.
Check the CSA Fair page at for updates.

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MOFGA Business Planning Workshop with Richard Wiswall
February 17 & 18  
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center 
$60 per person including lunch
Are you starting a farm business but don't know where to begin with the business end of farming? Come to this workshop to learn efficient planning, office management and financial tips for success.

This two-day workshop will be part lecture, part group work sessions and part individual work sessions. The target audience is farmers in the process of establishing a farm business who feel the need to sharpen their pencil and focus a little more on the business side of farming. Please bring pen, paper and a calculator along with your 2013 production records or other data pertinent to your farm.

Instructor Richard Wiswall is the owner/operator of Cate Farm in Vermont and author of The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook.

Workshop registration.

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MOFGA's Organic Farming Short Course
Organic Farming: Principles and Practice
March 27 & April 3
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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Cheryl Wixson and  Phillip "Flip" McFarland of Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen and Rabbit Hill.
Know Your Organic Producers! 

Meet Cheryl Wixson, who has two MOFGA certified organic businesses: Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen and Rabbit Hill. Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen sells certified organic processed products (applesauce, tomato sauces, organic cranberry ketchup and more) through a CSA, at the Common Ground Country Fair, through stores (Belfast Co-op, Blue Hill Co-op, Royal River Natural Foods, Rosemont Markets, Rising Tide Community Market, Tradewinds, Good Tern, Crosstrax, Jon Edwards, Rebecca's, Central St. Farmhouse) and through Crown O' Maine Organic Co-op.

Rabbit Hill sells organic apples, vegetables, edible flowers and rabbit through the Common Ground Country Fair, to other farmers, and to Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen.

Cheryl is also MOFGA's organic marketing consultant.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

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 Waldo County Trails Coalition to Lead Hike in Unity
Saturday, February 22, 10 a.m. to noon
Join the Waldo County Trails Coalition for a hike on Saturday, February 22, from 10 a.m. to about noon. The hike will start at the kiosk at MOFGA's field on Crosby Brook Road, next to (and on the same side of the road as) the Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm, and will go to Quaker Hill Road. A shuttle will be available at Quaker Hill Road to transport people back to MOFGA at the end of the hike. Depending on snow or ice cover, hikers may want to bring snowshoes, or cleats for hiking boots. FMI:, Waldo Trails website, Facebook page
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A CSA Share for $5?!
Maybe! Several Maine CSA farms are participating in the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee's fundraising raffle. Tickets are available for $5 each or six for $25. The drawing will take place in March 2014. For a list of participating farms and information on buying tickets, please visit MOFGA's online Country Store. 

Photo: Cashew fruit on a Salvadoran farm. MOFGA's El Salvador Sistering Committee works with groups like MOFGA that are promoting ecological agriculture there.

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Online Course Helps Beginning Farmers with Business Planning

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, has launched Getting Started in Farming: An Introduction to Farm Business Planning. This free, eight-lesson online course guides students through the process of imagining and planning a successful farming enterprise. The course was developed for North Carolina but is accessible and useful for people in any part of the country. Website.

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Concerned About Climate?
Growers, gardeners and other climate-concerned folks: The Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, cosponsored by MOFGA, will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on March 12. 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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Upcoming eOrganic Farming Webinars - Free!
Feb. 10 - Food Safety in Organic Leafy Greens
Feb. 11 - Biologically Based Organic Management Strategies for Spotted Wing Drosophila
Feb. 18 - Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation to Control Soil Borne Pathogens: Current Research Findings and On-farm Implementation
Feb. 25 and 27 - Two-Part Webinar Series on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems
March 4 - Using Contans (Coniothyrium minitans) for White Mold Management on Organic Farms
March 13 - Organic Blackberry Production
Registration link.
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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
Buy the poster at the MOFGA Country Store ($10)

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Booth Applications
Applications for a booth in the Maine Marketplace area of the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! These applications can be completed and submitted online on our website Maine Marketplace applications are due by February 10th. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or

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Canadian Strawberry, another beautiful Maine heritage apple variety.

Contribute to MOFGA's Fruitful Future!
Support our educational programs and get a Maine heritage variety apple tree from Blackbird Rise in Palermo.
For every $25 you contribute to MOFGA, you will receive a 2-year-old, grafted, MOFGA certified organic apple tree as thanks for your support! Trees will be available for pick-up at MOFGA's April 12, 2014, orchard planting event. There you can learn how to plant and care for your tree. More details.

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Organic Grower Information Meetings  

MOFGA Certification Services LLC is hosting four information meetings for farmers who are interested in learning more about organic methods or who want to know more about MOFGA Organic Certification. The meetings are free and are being held in Springvale (York County), Farmington (Franklin County), Littleton (Aroostook County) and Trescott (Washington County). Each meeting features presentations about soil health, parasites, food safety and organic certification, and includes a facilitated hour of discussions and questions. Register online. For more details visit our Organic Grower Meeting page on

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USDA-AFRI Site Reports and Farmer Survey
Researchers from the University of Vermont and Ohio State are surveying small and medium-sized U.S. farm operators in order to provide informed recommendations to policymakers regarding policies and programs that will better support them. In Maine the researchers are focusing on the Lewiston area, so are looking for Androscoggin County farmers to complete their survey. Information.
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Agricultural Professional Development Workshop
A workshop on management practices to reduce agricultural emissions, focusing on adaptation and mitigation, will be held Feb. 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston. Speakers include Ivan Fernandez, Ph.D., Eric Gallandt, Ph.D., and John Jemison, Ph.D., all of the University of Maine; Timothy Griffin, Ph.D., Tufts University; and Allison Morrill Chatrchyan, Ph.D., Cornell University. Their presentations will apply to organic and non-organic farming. There will be ample time for discussion, questions, a panel discussion and group activity. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Feb. 17.  FMI: or Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District at 753-9400 X400. The cost is $35 per person, with refreshments included.

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2014-2015 New England Vegetable Management Guide and the 2014 Northeast Vegetable & Strawberry Pest Identification Guide
... now available from Highmoor Farm, sold as one unit for $25 plus $3.65 postage. To order, please send a check payable to "UMaine Cooperative Extension" to Pam St. Peter, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Highmoor Farm, P.O. Box 179, Monmouth, ME  04259. Members of the Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association or the New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association receive a free copy of the two guides from MVSFGA.

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Variety Trials
The 2013 report, Sugar-Enhanced and Synergistic Corn Variety Trial is now posted on the Highmoor website. The site also has UMaine's variety trial results for strawberries, muskmelons and pumpkins.

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Please Nominate MOFGA for a Bangor Savings Bank Foundation Grant

Voting ends Feb. 28 
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. 


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

February 8 - Holistic farming and perennial agriculture roundtable discussion. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Knox-Lincoln County Extension office, downstairs meeting room. Information on Facebook. Call 593-9208 FMI or email to reserve a spot by Feb 7.

February 8
(snow date Feb. 15) - Growing Good Seed: From the Ground Up. Noon to 6 p.m., U. of Maine at Farmington. Fourth annual seed saving conference organized by Farmington Seed Savers Group. Free. Keynoter Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm on "The People's Seed. Who's in Charge and How Do We Develop and Protect it?" Workshops on Growing Good Potatoes, Jim Gerritsen; Small Scale Seed Saving: Preserving Basic and Unique Food Crops, Amy LeBlanc; Backyard Garden Plant Isolation and Breeding, Roberta Bailey; Pest Management for the Home Gardener, Clay Kirby; Building Vibrant, Fertile, Resilient Soil, Bruce Hoskins; Saving Seeds of biennials - Why it Matters, Will Bonsall. $5 donation is suggested. Call 207-831-9384.

February 13 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting. 1:30 to 5 pm, Farmington Grange Hall #12, 124 Bridge St. Route 43 West, West Farmington. Details. Registration.

February 15 - Fruit Tree Class. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Highmoor Farm, Monmouth. Focus on growing apples for commercial sale. Topics include pruning, fertilizers, fruit thinning, insect pests, diseases and spraying. Pruning demonstration (weather permitting). Bring a lunch for the one-hour break at noon. Free, but please preregister by contacting Renae Moran at 207.933.2100 or Information.  

February 15-17 - NOFA-Vt. Winter Conference: Growing Outside the Box.
University of Vermont, Burlington. The NOFA Vermont Winter Conference is a highlight of the winter for Vermont's farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and enthusiastic eaters. Includes "Action Planning for Farm Resilience in a Changing Climate" and three more Monday Intensives. Registration. More information on the NOFA-VT website.   

February 17 & 18 - MOFGA Business Planning Workshop.
Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Join us for a day-long workshop with Richard Wiswall, owner/operator of Cate Farm in Vermont, and author of The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook. Registration.

February 18 - Organic Orcharding Workshop.
6-8 p.m., Belfast Free Library. Presented by C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist. Free presentation about organic orcharding techniques to grow apples, pears, plums and peaches, focusing on soil requirements and methods of tracking and trapping fruit pests. No-spray pest management and how various materials boost the health of fruit trees. Plenty of time for discussion. Co-sponsors: MOFGA, Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Co-op. Free.


February 21-23 - Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water.
February 26-27 - Sustaining the Living Landscape, Ecological Landscaping Assoc., Springfield, Mass. Keynote: Dr. John Todd, "Healing the Waters: A Tale of Ecology and Living Technologies." Brochure.

February 27 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting. 1:30 to 5 pm, Southern Aroostook Agriculture Museum, Littleton. Details. Registration.

February 27 - Spring Into Action: Maintaining a Healthy (and Growing) Flock.
Thursday, 2 p.m. EST, 1 p.m. CST, 12 noon MST, 11 a.m. PST, USDA APHIS Free Webinar and Twitter Chat. Featuring Dr. Jo Anna Quinn, USDA poultry health specialist, Andy Schneider, "The Chicken Whisperer,"  Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, CDC public health specialist. Information (pdf). Registration. 
March 7-8 - New England Meat Conference, Concord, N.H. Details.

March 8 - Washington County Food Summit. Snow date March 15. 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 13 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting.
1:30 to 5 pm, Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott (Washington County). Details.Registration.


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