Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Bulletin Board

JANUARY 24, 2014

Mark Guzzi and Jerome Rigot during an organic farm inspection.     
Know Your Organic Producers! 

Meet Mark Guzzi (left) who, with Marcia Ferry, owns Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont. Mark is shown here with Jerome Rigot, an organic inspector from Newburgh, checking maps during an organic farm inspection.  

Mark and Marcia have been MOFGA certified organic since 2000. They grow a wide variety of organic vegetables (including sweet potatoes), dry beans (including 'Marfax'), herbs and seedlings. You can find their produce at farmers' markets in Camden, Orono, Bangor, Waterville and Belfast as well as at the Common Ground Country Fair. They also sell through Senior Farm Shares, at the Belfast Co-op, from their own farm stand, to restaurants, and through Crown O' Maine Organic Cooperative. "Like" them on Facebook.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

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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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MOFGA Volunteer Workday  
Tuesday, January 28. If interested, please RSVP to Anna Libby at

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How Can MOFGA Improve the Value of MOFGA Certified Organic?
Mary Yurlina, MOFGA's organic certification director, would like you to take a quick marketing survey about organic foods. See
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Live Webinar from the Organic Seed Growers Conference

January 31 and February 1, noon to 8 p.m. Eastern Time - Join eOrganic and the Organic Seed Alliance for selected live webinar broadcasts from the 7th Organic Seed Growers' Conference at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The online broadcast is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. Read more about the conference.
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Greenhouse Energy Workshop
Wednesday, February 19 - 9:00 am to 3:30 pm 
Cozy Acres Greenhouses, North Yarmouth, Maine
1 - An operating solar panel/geothermal heat system in a Maine greenhouse
2 - Funding sources that can help you install a greenhouse energy project
3 - A program that will subsidize an energy audit at your business
4 - Energy projects that other Maine greenhouse growers have installed
$15 (includes lunch). Sponsored by Cozy Acres, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Maine State Florists' and Growers' Association, Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Maine's Ornamental Horticulture Council. Space is limited, and preregistration is required. FMI:, 207-581-2949
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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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2014 Maine Grain Conference 
March 15 - Bangor

The main speakers will be Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens of Lakeview Organic Grains, Penn Yan, N.Y. The Martens are regional experts in all aspects of organic grain production and handling. They will discuss crop rotations, fertility and weed management, seed production, and post-harvest grain cleaning, drying and storage; as well as topics and questions you bring. Learn from a panel of Maine grain growers about their successes and lessons learned; and hear about results from UMaine grain research. Save March 15 on your calendar and look for upcoming registration information!
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New Resource Helps Farmers and Farmers' Markets Accept SNAP Benefits
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has a new MarketLink website,, that provides farmers' markets and direct-marketing farmers with a new, streamlined process for becoming authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) vendors and information about obtaining the equipment needed to accept SNAP benefits. Up to $4 million in grants for equipment will be available through September 30, 2014, for those who qualify.
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Fund a Farmer Grant Deadline May 1
The Fund-a-Farmer Project, a project of Food Animal Concerns Trust, awards grants of up to $2,500 for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve marketing of their humane products, or more generally enrich conditions in which farm animals are raised. Details.
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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 Crafts and Maine Marketplace areas of the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! These applications can be completed and submitted online on our website The Crafts applications are due by January 31st and Maine Marketplace applications are due by February 10th. Please note that this is a firm deadline for Crafts. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or

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Black Oxford, a Maine
heritage apple variety.

Contribute to MOFGA's Fruitful Future!
The farmers at Blackbird Rise in Palermo are pleased to announce a fundraiser to support our educational programs.
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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Registration Now Open for MOFGA Events 
Registration is now open on the MOFGA Country Store for many MOFGA events. You may now register online for our Business Planning Workshop with Richard Wiswall, for our Organic Orcharding Workshops and our Kitchen Licensing Workshop. You may also sign up for Eric Sideman's two-day short course Organic Farming: Principles and Practice, for our Poultry Processing Workshop and our Nose to Tail Pork Processing Workshop.
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Organic Grower Meetings Coming Up 

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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Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

January 26 - Maine Farmers' Market Convention, Maple Hill Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Details.


January 28 - Mentor Host Farm Meeting with guest speaker and farmer Chip Planck, who writes for Growing for Market. This meeting, to be held at MOFGA, is for farms that currently or wish to host apprentices as part of MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program or who hire and train farm workers or aspire to do so. The full-day event will cover all aspects of recruiting, hiring and training. Details forthcoming. Please RSVP at
January 28 - Deb Soule: Planting and Preparing Medicines from Plants. 7:00 p.m., Camden Public Library. Details.

January 30 - Join Cheryl Denz of the Terra Optima Farm
and Terra Optima Market in Rockland for a lively conversation about her experiences as a woman actively farming in Maine. 6:30 to 8 p.m., Rockland Public Library. Part of the Camden Conference,

January 30 to February 1 - Seventh Organic Seed Growers Conference.
Corvallis, Oregon. This is a unique opportunity to trade knowledge, techniques and ideas that strengthen our rapidly growing organic seed community. The agenda includes 70 experts in organic plant breeding, seed research, enterprise development, seed economics, policy and more. Register.

February 4 - MOFGA certified organic growers Reba Richardson and Bill Pluecker of 
Hatchet Cove Farm in Warren will speak at Merryspring Nature Center in Camden. Noon. Details.

February 4 - The History and Future of Desalination, Dr. James Birkett. 7 to 8:30 p.m., Camden Public Library. Part of the Camden Conference,

February 5 - What's the Truth about Genetically Modified Foods? 6:30 to 8 p.m., Belfast Public Library. Read two short articles and watch a brief video to participate in this conversation. Part of the Camden Conference,
February 5-7 - New England Grows commercial horticulture conference and expo. Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Reduced registration rates for students and educators. Details.
February 5 to 8 - Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, State College, Penn. Details.

February 6 - Earth 101: Understanding and Preparing for Abrupt Climate Change. Speaker: Alder Stone Fuller. 6:30 p.m., Rockland Public Library. Part of the Camden Conference,
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 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 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.

March 7-8 - New England Meat Conference, Concord, N.H. Details.
March 12 - Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center.  


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