Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Bulletin Board

MARCH 21 2014

MOFGA's Two-Day 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 St., 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.  
Ralph and Deedee Caldwell of Caldwell Farms

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Ralph and Deedee Caldwell of Caldwell Farm in Turner. The Caldwells produce MOFGA certified organic beef, barley, corn, clover/grass mix hay, pasture, sorghum and alfalfa hay. They sell through Rising Tide, Newcastle Publick House, Chewonki Foundation, Treats, Morning Glory, Bath Natural Market, The Cheese Inn, Axis Naturals, Spice of Life, Uncle Deans, Barrels Market, Harvest Time, El Caminos, Duo's Take Out, Capt. Daniel Stone Inn, Frontier, Royal River Naturals, Laughing Stock Farms, Rosemont Markets (Yarmouth and Portland), Town Landing Market, Portland Country Club, Pepper Club, Carolas, Dogfish Cafe, Lois' Natural, Good Life Market, Square Root Naturals, Fare Share Market, Belfast Coop, Lost Kitchen, Megunticook Market, French & Brawn, Shepherd's Pie, Francine Bistro, Fresh Off the Farm, Good Tern Coop, Badger Cafe, Lighthouse Wine & Seafood, Five Islands Farm, Blue Hill Coop, Goranson's Farm, Beth's Farm Market, State of Maine Cheese, Whole Foods, Thomaston Café and the Brooklin Inn.  

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

- - - -


Fun Fundraiser in Bangor for MOFGA  

The Student Environmental Action Committee from John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor is organizing a benefit show - and all profits go to MOFGA! World class mentalist (mind reading) and sword swallower Roderick Russell will perform his mind-reading show live in John Bapst's auditorium on Friday, March 28, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Children 10 and under admitted FREE with a paying adult.
Information on Facebook
For tickets

- - - -
Film Screenings: Toxic Hot Seat

Toxic Hot Seat follows a courageous group of firefighters, journalists, scientists, moms and law-makers - including Maine's own Hannah Pingree - in the fight to expose a shadowy campaign that left a toxic legacy in our homes and bodies. This new HBO documentary is making waves across the country, and it's coming to Maine this month. View trailer on YouTube.

Saturday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
SPACE GALLERY, 538 Congress Street, Portland
View this event on Facebook
Register to attend in Portland.

Sunday, March 30, 2:00 p.m.
The Strand Theater, 345 Main Street, Rockland
View this event on Facebook
Register to attend in Rockland.

Each screening will be followed by Q&A with filmmaker Kirby Walker, former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Hannah Pingree, Executive Director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center Mike Belliveau, President of the Marine Environmental Research Institute Dr. Susan Shaw, and flame retardant free furniture designer and owner of Endicott Home Furnishings Ross Endicott.

Admission is free, but seating is limited.
- - - -
New Report - Hormones Disrupted: Toxic Phthalates in Maine People

Every one of the 25 Maine men and women who voluntarily participated in this study had detectable levels of phthalates in their bodies. The report by the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine (to which MOFGA belongs) recommends that "the State of Maine should act now to close the information gap" and "the use of phthalates should be phased out in favor of safer alternatives." Details.
- - - -
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.
- - - -
Seeds, Scions and Starters!
Something new is brewing at the Seed Swap and Scion Exchange!
March 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at MOFGA in Unity

This year we are adding an exciting new section to the Swap! We're calling not only for seeds and scions but for any exciting starter you might have to share. Bring your sourdough starter, kombucha scoby, cheese or yogurt cultures, compost starter or anything else you are cultivating that could be shared regeneratively! Make sure to bring a few jars to pack home new varieties. Details.
Photo: Kombucha from Wikimedia
- - - -
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.

- - - -
Cheryl Wixson

Volunteer Work Day at MOFGA
MOFGA is holding a volunteer work day in its kitchen in Unity on Tuesday, April 8, starting at 9:30 a.m. Join Cheryl Wixson in prepping foods for MOFGA events. Please contact Anna Libby to register ( or 568-4142). Free lunch provided!


- - - -

MOFGA Earth Day Volunteer Work Day
Saturday, April 19 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity

Celebrate Earth Day with MOFGA by preparing our grounds for the upcoming growing season. Volunteers get lunch and a free T-shirt. FMI: or (207) 568-4142.

- - - -
Talk Canceled

The April 16 talk at Kennebec Valley Community College by Mary Yurlina and Kate Newkirk of MOFGA Certification Services has been canceled.

- - - -
Common Ground Country Fair Booth Applications

Applications for a booth in the Youth Enterprise Zone and Youth Enterprise Transition Zone of the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! The application is available as a printable PDF on under the Fair Youth Enterprise Zone webpage. The deadline is March 25th. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or
- - - -
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
Chainsaw Safety for Women: April 12-13.

Events at Hidden Valley Nature Center

Three events coming up at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson, Maine, are cosponsored by MOFGA:
Chainsaw Safety for Women - April 12 and 13
Timber Frame Construction - April 24 to 27
Chainsaw Safety (for anyone) - May 17 and 18
FMI and to register: or 200-8840
- - - -
Update on BPC Rulemaking

Maine's Board of Pesticides Control recently completed rule changes to allow for pesticide spraying on private property without owner consent in the case of a public health emergency. Spray programs would be used to control mosquito populations, which are the vectors of West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the primary illnesses of concern.

As a result of this action, keep these points in mind:
* In the event of a ground-based spray program, any citizen can opt out of being sprayed, but you must take the initiative to opt out;
* In the event of aerial applications, the entity in charge of the spray program (likely local government entities) may choose to allow certain parcels of land to be excluded from spraying. These include certified organic farms and other farms that can demonstrate that the potential for pesticide residues presents a significant economic risk. Other areas that will potentially be excluded are great ponds, rivers, marine waters, public water supplies derived from surface waters, documented fish hatcheries and aquaculture sites and endangered species habitat where the application will pose significant risks to the species of concern. If you believe your property falls into one of these categories, you must make the case to the government entity in charge of spraying that you should be excluded in the event of an emergency.  

If you are concerned about the potential impact of government-sponsored spray programs, you can
* contact your town and share your concerns
* reduce mosquito habitat on your property. Tips on how to do so will be included in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.
* stay abreast of arbovirus monitoring and vector control activities in Maine through the Maine Center for Disease Control.

- - - -

New Online Catalogs from Johnny's

Johnny's Selected Seeds has two new online catalogs - one for tools and supplies and one for cut flowers. The latter includes detailed growing information, harvesting and marketing tips, an annual comparison chart and a perennial comparison chart.
- - - -
Loans on Kava Zip at 0% Interest for Small Farmers 

Global nonprofit Kiva's new Kiva Zip program for U.S. entrepreneurs, with a focus on supporting small farmers, has loans at 0 percent interest rate with no fees. They can be paid back between six and 24 months and have optional grace periods of up to six months. Once you repay the first loan (up to $10,000), you can take out larger loans of $15,000 and then $20,000. These loans are crowd-funded, so hundreds of people lend as little as $5 each - and can be customers and supporters. Farmers, on average, raise funds on Kiva Zip in less than two weeks. Last year, a MOFGA certified organic farmer raised $5,000 to buy a truck and packing supplies. Kiva covers its operational expenses through donations, grants, foundations, corporate sponsorships, etc.
- - - -
National Organic Standards Board Spring Meeting; Public Comments Welcome

The National Organic Standards Board is seeking public comments before its April 29-May 2 meeting in Texas. The board will address petitions pertaining to substances for use in aquaculture, streptomycin for fire blight control in pears and apples, and glycerin. Written comments on the proposals can be submitted until April 8, 2014, at The meeting is open to the public. Those interested in sharing comments orally at the meeting should register by April 8.
- - - -
Sign Up for Health Insurance by March 31

Check out the website of Maine Community Health Options', Maine's new health insurance company, to learn more about this member-driven health insurance CO-OP. You have until March 31, 2014, to enroll. Details.
- - - -
The Maine Food Strategy
The Maine Food Strategy Steering Committee is identifying draft goals and indicators for a plan to strengthen Maine's farming, fishing and food economy. Anyone who is interested in this initiative can join a mailing list for the group's eNewsletter. Website.
Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

March 21 - Film: "Out Here." Queer Farmer Film Project. Friday, Machias. Details. Other showings in Rockland (March 22) and Portland (March 23).

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 23 - Renovating Old Apple Trees. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Palermo, Maine, with Phil Norris and John Bunker. Full: registration closed.

March 23 - Penobscot County MOFGA Chapter - Fruit tree, grape vine and elderberry pruning.
Argyle Acres in Argyle, Maine. Everyone can take home a free potted elderberry cutting. Contact Galen at 207-745-4797.

March 23
(snow date March 30) - The Belfast Co-op's Annual Meeting (1-6 p.m.) celebrates the United Nations declaration that 2014 is the International Year of The Family Farmer. Guest speaker Ted Quaday, MOFGA's executive director, will address the gathering from 4:30 to 5:30. Held at the Hutchinson Center, Belfast. Details.

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 28 - Film: Forks Over Knives. Friday, 7 p.m., F.A.R.M.S. Community Kitchen, above Rising Tide Community Market, 323 Main Street, Damariscotta. Details.

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.

April 2 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. $35 for MOFGA members and $40 for non-members. Details. Registration.

April 2 - Grow Your Own Organic Garden. Evening workshops at locations around Maine. Soil fertility, compost, crop rotation, green manures, pest control. Find a class near you!

April 4 - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show, 10 to 11 a.m., WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and

April 5 - Maine Poultry Keepers School. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Carter Hall Auditorium, Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield. Designed for those in farming and will focus on nutrition, health and efficient management. Many topics also suitable for small-scale and backyard keepers. Sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension with the Maine Poultry Growers Association, Maine Farm Bureau and MOFGA. $25. Details and registration.

April 5 - MOFGA Orcharding Workshop: Grafting. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Beech Hill Farm at College of the Atlantic. Instructor: TBD. $30. Bring your own lunch. Details.

April 6 - Apple Pruning Workshop. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Good Life Center, Brooksville. Douglas Johnson and Phil Norris demonstrate pruning equipment and pruning for aesthetics, restoration, safety and fruit production. For cost, registration and other info: or 207-326-8211.

April 8 - Common Kitchen Work Day. Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. Join MOFGA's Cheryl Wixson to organize our kitchen and cook up some delicious food to serve at upcoming MOFGA events. Lunch provided. RSVP to or call Anna at 568-4142.

April 12 - Maine Heritage Orchard Workday at MOFGA. Saturday, 9 a.m., Unity, rain or shine. Plant 102 heirloom apples and hundreds of companion plants. Volunteers will be on hand to teach planting. No charge - Everyone welcome! Bring your own lunch. If possible, please bring shovels, rakes and wheel barrows! If you are attending, please RSVP by emailing Anna Libby ( or by calling the MOFGA office (207) 568-4142.

April 12 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop - Grafting. Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Instructor: Jen Ries. Participants graft trees to take home and plant. Details. Registration.

April 12 - Organic Livestock Health Care. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center. Speaker: Susan Beal, DVM, will explain organic livestock care and its relation to physiology, nutrition, herbs and homeopathy. Contact the MOFGA office for details: (207) 568-4142. Registration.

April 12-13 - Nonviolent Communication Level 2 Training, with Peggy Smith. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA, Unity. Some of the proceeds benefit the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee. FMI and registration.

April 12-13 - Introduction to Chainsaw Safety for Women. Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. Cosponsored by MOFGA. This day-and-a-half-long hands-on training will give women of all experience levels the confidence and knowledge to safely operate a chainsaw. Students will learn about safety gear, practice basic techniques, learn about maintenance, and practice tree felling. Information:,

April 19 - MOFGA Earth Day Volunteer Work Day. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Celebrate Earth Day with MOFGA by preparing our grounds for the upcoming growing season. Volunteers get lunch and a free T-shirt. FMI: or (207) 568-4142.

April 19 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Orcharding 101. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center Unity. Instructor: Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower. Fee is $40 for members, $50 for non-members. Details. Registration.

April 20 - MOFGA Orcharding Workshop: Orcharding 101. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Beech Hill Farm at College of the Atlantic. Instructor: Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower. Fee is $40 for members, $50 for non-members. Details. Registration.

April 21 - MOFGA Certified Organic Growers - Some certification updates are due today. Please check the paperwork MOFGA sent you to see if this applies to you.

April 23 - Seasonal Cooking with Chef Frank Giglio: Spring. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., MOFGA Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity. $30, including lunch (and recipes to take home). Limit: 15 people. Come share an afternoon in the MOFGA kitchen with Thorndike resident and chef Frank Giglio. He will share simple recipes that will highlight MOFGA certified farms, local fisherman and foragers. Class details.


Join Our Online Community