Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Bulletin Board

JULY 18, 2014

Sean Hagan of Left Field Farm
in Bowdoinham

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Sean Hagan of Left Field Farm in Bowdoinham. This MOFGA certified organic farm sells vegetables, herbs, flowers and strawberries through its CSA, at the South Portland Farmers' Market, and to local restaurants and stores, including, in Brunswick, at Local, Morning Glory, Tao-Yuan and Wild Oats; and in South Portland, at Scratch Baking Co. and Enio's. "We farm with the philosophy that good quality produce starts with healthy soil, striving to farm in a manner that maintains and even improves soil health for the future," says Sean. Website.          

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

- - - - 

Maine Grass Farmers Network Pasture Walks

July 19 - 1 to 3 p.m., Triple "D" Acres (John and Marcia Donald), 219 Weeks Mills Rd., New Sharon.

July 22 - 6 to 8 p.m., Straw's Farm (Lee and Beth Schiller), 30 Brick Hill Rd., Newcastle.

Aug. 9 - 1 to 3 p.m., Widdershins Farm (Chris and Wendy Russell), 843 Bear Hill Rd., Dover-Foxcroft.

Aug. 23 - 2 to 4 p.m., Chellis Brook Farm (Denise Carpenter), 167 Spring Rd., Newfield.

Information online or by emailing MOFGA's Diane Schivera.
- - - - 

Put Your Hoe Down - A Raucous Square Dance Party in Celebration of Maine Farmers

Saturday, July 26, 8 p.m., at Topsham Grange, 47 Pleasant St., Topsham
Vermont dance caller Will Mentor and old time fiddle tunes by Sassafras Stomp

This is a celebration for all the alumni of MOFGA's farm apprenticeship program, for apprentice host farms and for current and future apprentices! All are welcome to join the fun! Sliding scale admission $5-$20, to benefit MOFGA's new farmer programs.

For information, email
- - - -
MOFGA Farm Training Project Coming Up
These informal tours and presentations, most followed by a potluck, are aimed at MOFGA apprentices but are open to the public. Please bring a place setting and a dish or something fresh from the farm to share.
Livestock and Vegetable Integration
Monday, July 21, 5 p.m., at Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick
Wednesday, July 23, 5 p.m.,  at King Hill Farm, Penobscot
 Ecological agriculture is based on close mimicry of natural cycles, and we as farmers seek to limit the use of off-farm inputs for soil fertility and livestock feed. One great way to operationalize these principles is to integrate livestock and crop production on our farms. Crystal Spring Farm and King Hill Farm have developed great systems for doing so. More information.
- - - -
Volunteer Workday at MOFGA: Putting Food By
Monday, August 4
Join us in MOFGA's kitchen on Monday, August 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. MOFGA's own Cheryl Wixson will teach us the art of canning as we work to preserve the harvest. All our volunteers will receive lunch and a T-shirt. Please contact Anna Libby at or 568-4142 with any questions or to RSVP.
- - - -
C. Stuart Gager Fundamentals of Botany. Courtesy Roy Winkelman.

Bud Grafting Workshop
August 9, North Branch Farm, Monroe

Join Seth Yentes for our Bud Grafting Workshop taught at North Branch Farm in Monroe, Maine, on August 9. In this workshop you will have an overview of grafting techniques, participate in a discussion of rootstock and fruit trees, and apply techniques learned about bud grafting, which can be applied to various fruit trees. Seth Yentes has been grafting for 14 years and grows thousands of fruit trees every year, including apples, pears, peaches, plums and many more. Registration.
- - - - 

Microscope Workshop

Common internal parasites of sheep, goats and camelids can be detected using fecal flotation methods. Equip yourself with microscopy skills that improve your ability to make sound management decisions.

Saturday, August 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
J. Franklin Witter Center, 160 University Farm Rd., Old Town, Maine
$30 per person
Instructors: Jim Weber, DVM, Ph.D., and Anne Lichtenwalner, DVM, Ph.D.
Information and registration.
- - - - 

The Art of Giving Gala to Benefit MOFGA

In honor of its 60th anniversary, Down East magazine is partnering with six Maine artists to raise money for Maine organizations. Artist William Wegman is joining Down East's Art of Giving Gala to help raise money for his organization of choice: MOFGA! More about William Wegman and his work.

For more about The Art of Giving Gala, to be held at the Portland Company Complex on Thursday, August 14, from 5:30-9:00 p.m., see At the Gala, you can meet the artists, win art, and enjoy Maine foods and music.
- - - -
Register Online Now To Volunteer for the Fair!

Online registration for volunteering for the 2014 Fair is open. You can now log in and select your shifts. Please make sure to update your profile information as well. We want to make sure you get the right T-shirt size!

If you want to sign up an entire group for a volunteer shift, please contact Anna, our volunteer coordinator, directly.

MOFGA continues to develop its year-round volunteer program to help run the organization's many ongoing projects and programs. If you are interested in volunteering for any of MOFGA's other programs, or if you have any questions about volunteering for the Fair, please e-mail Anna at or call 207-568-4142.
- - - -
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
- - - - 

Maine Board of Pesticides Control Proposes Amendments to Regulations

Changes relate to identifying sites where pesticides are to be applied; notification; and more. If you have suggestions or comments on any of the proposed amendments, you are urged to attend the public hearing or to submit written comments.
  • PUBLIC HEARING: Friday, August 8, at 8:30 a.m. at 90 Blossom Lane, Deering Building, Room 319, Augusta.
  • WRITTEN COMMENTS: Accepted until 5:00 p.m. August 22. They should be sent to Henry Jennings, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330 or emailed to
Download regulations with proposed changes.
- - - - 
Potato leafhopper nymph

New MOFGA Pest Report

Eric Sideman's latest pest report, issued today, features notes about spotted wing drosophila, black leg on potatoes, potato leafhopper on potatoes and beans, and powdery mildew on cucurbit crops.

Read the July 18 Pest Report (with photos to help with identification of these pests).
- - - - 

Reminder - New Pesticide Licensing Requirement

By April 1, 2015 any grower who uses EPA registered pesticides, including those approved for use in organic production, and sells more than $1,000 worth of plant or plant products intended for human consumption will have to receive an Agricultural Basic pesticide applicators license.  

To obtain an Agricultural Basic license, you must pass the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) "core exam." Core exams are offered through county offices of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE). Applicants should call the BPC, telephone 207-287-2731, or e-mail to confirm licensing needs and testing location. The BPC strongly urges use of self-help study materials available for purchase through UMEXT's Pest Management Office. Visit the BPC's website to learn about training and testing opportunities coming up. MOFGA plans to offer training at our annual Farmer to Farmer Conference, which takes place November 1-3, 2014.  Stay tuned, or contact, for more details.
- - - - 

Seeking Farm Selfies

The season of agricultural fairs is upon us. Peggy Grodinsky of the Portland Press Herald is looking for "felfies" - selfies with your farm animals! Snap a farm selfie and email it to It may be printed in the Herald's Sunday Source section!
- - - -
MOFGA staffers
meet in the library 
A small part of the collection in the MOFGA library 
The MOFGA Library

MOFGA's library houses more than 2,000 books on farming and gardening - most on organic culture - likely the largest collection of material on organic methods in the state and perhaps in the country. Many are first editions or early editions. It includes the personal collection and writings of MOFGA's long-serving executive director and national agriculture expert Russell Libby, who died in 2012. The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation has generously supported work on the library. The library is available by appointment for researchers to use materials there. For a link to our online catalog, visit our Library page on Please contact MOFGA librarian C.J. Walke at or 568-4142 for more information.
- - - -
Heather Omand 
MOFGA Welcomes New Organic Marketing and Business Coordinator

Heather Omand, MOFGA's new organic marketing and business coordinator, will provide business and marketing support to organic farmers, support direct-to-consumer markets, work on developing and supporting farm-to-institution and other wholesale markets, and provide other types of technical assistance and market research. She will also be working on MOFGA's organic price reports, the Farm Beginnings training program and other projects as they arise. She graduated from UMaine Orono in 2014 with a master in business administration degree and a concentration in business and sustainability. Previously, she received a bachelor's degree in anthropology and worked as an archaeologist. Heather and her husband currently operate a small business and permaculture homestead in Greenbush, Maine, with greenhouses, ducks, chickens, guinea fowl and 30 raised beds. They are conducting market research and evaluating potential business plans with the hope of having a viable, farm-based business in the Unity area in 10 years. You can contact Heather at or 568-4142.
- - - -
First-year MOFGA Journeyperson participant Mike Perisho
of Gardiner, Maine
Introducing Our New Journeyperson Program Participants

MOFGA's Journeyperson Program provides hands-on support, training, and mentorship for people who are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine. The program is designed to fill the continuing education gap between apprentice and independent farmer, and to provide the resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop the skills they need to farm independently and successfully. More information.

Read the inspiring stories of current participants.
Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

Events sponsored by NOFA-Massachusetts

Events sponsored by NOFA-New Hampshire

Events sponsored by NOFA-Vermont

July 19 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Pasture Walk. 1 to 3 p.m., Triple "D" Acres (John and Marcia Donald), 219 Weeks Mills Rd., New Sharon. Information online or by emailing MOFGA's Diane Schivera.

July 20 - Bowdoinham Open Farm Day.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., tour nine farms, including five certified organic farms and six Forever Farms. Several will have displays, farm-raised products for sale, fun activities and tasty samples. Barbecue and music at 3 p.m. Details.

July 22 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Pasture Walk. 6 to 8 p.m., Straw's Farm (Lee and Beth Schiller), 30 Brick Hill Rd., Newcastle. Information online or by emailing MOFGA's Diane Schivera.

July 23 - Slow Money Maine Gathering. 1 to 4 p.m., Viles Arboretum, Augusta. Details.

July 24-25 - Maine Grain Alliance Kneading Conference. Thursday 8 a.m. to Friday 5 p.m. Two-day conference fee is $300. (Includes delicious meals). Many participants arrive on Wednesday, July 23 and stay to attend the free Artisan Bread Fair on Saturday, July 26. Registration.

July 26 - Maine Artisan Bread Fair. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Skowhegan State Fairgrounds. Free! Over 60 vendors. Parking $2. Details.

July 27 - Open Farm Day. Sunday. Many farms throughout Maine open to the public on this day. Details.

July 31 - Deadline to apply for USDA Rural Energy for American Program guaranteed loans for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement. Details.

Aug. 6 - "Do you know where your seed comes from, and why does it matter?" 6:30 p.m., Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast. The Belfast Co-op is hosting Fedco Seeds founder CR Lawn's free presentation. He will discuss why we should not rely on multinational corporations as sources for much of our seed. Details.

Aug. 8-10 - NOFA Summer Conference, Amherst, Mass. Details.

August 9 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting with Seth Yentes. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., North Branch Farm, Monroe. Details.

August 9 - 6th Annual Backyard Locavore Day. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Self-guided tour of multiple Cumberland county backyards, provided by University of Maine Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver volunteers. $15 in advance, $20 on the day of event; children under 12 free. Details.

August 13 - Conservation Farm Tour. 4 p.m., Good Dirt Garlic, 518 Fletcher Rd., Monticello, Maine. Learn about the diverse benefits of cover cropping sequences during this informal farm tour and discussion. The tour is free, but please RSVP to Katy Green at MOFGA if you plan to attend: or 568-4142.

Aug. 16 - Community Appreciation Day. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Belfast Co-op, 123 High St., Belfast. All are welcome at this annual celebration, which includes live music, bbq, Maine vendors, farmers' market, fundraising raffles and book sale for local nonprofits, children's activities and more! Details.

August 22 - Free screening of Symphony of the Soil. 7 p.m., Camden Opera House. Sponsored by the Camden Conference and Maine Farmland Trust. Debra Koons Garcia, the film's director, writer and producer, will be joined for a live discussion after the film by sustainable agriculture visionary Fred Kirschenmann and John Piotti, president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust. Details.

Aug. 23 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Pasture Walk. 2 to 4 p.m., Chellis Brook Farm (Denise Carpenter), 167 Spring Rd., Newfield. Information online or by emailing MOFGA's Diane Schivera.

September 6 - Seed Saving Workshop with Will Bonsall. 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Deer Isle Hostel, 65 Tennis Rd., Deer Isle ME. $40 (lunch included). Details.

September 6 - Seed Saving 101 & The Scattered Seed Project. 4 p.m., Blue Hill Library (Howard Room), Blue Hill. Free. Presented by Deer Isle Hostel; co-sponsored by the Blue Hill Public Library and MOFGA. Information.

September 9-11 - The National Heirloom Exposition, Santa Rosa, California. Details.

September 19, 20 and 21 - MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair


Join Our Online Community