Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


Bulletin Board

MAY 30, 2014

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Doug Donahue of Balfour Farm
Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Doug Donahue, who, with his wife Heather, owns Balfour Farm in Pittsfield, a MOFGA certified organic dairy and farmstead creamery. Website and Facebook page
Milk from its small herd of Normande, Jersey and Holstein cows provides quality fresh milk, yogurt and cheeses to Maine families. Normande is a dual-purpose breed of cattle and can be used for milking and beef. The cows are fed primarily a forage-based diet, including rotational grazing on the 100-acre farm. Balfour farm is also home to a large flock of laying hens and a herd of whey-fed pigs. Balfour Farm sells through its farm stand (461 Webb Rd., Pittsfield), its CSA, at the Portland, Waterville, Crystal Springs (Brunswick), Bath, Orono and downtown Bangor summer farmers' markets; at the Portland, Bath, Brunswick and Orono winter farmers' markets; and to half a dozen stores (see website).

Visitors are also welcome to tour the Balfour Farm during Open Farm Day, Sunday, July 27, and Open Creamery Day, Sunday, October 12.        

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

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MOFGA Farm Training Projects Coming Up
These informal tours and presentations, most followed by a potluck, are aimed at MOFGA apprentices but are open to the public.
Coming up:
Wednesday, June 4, 5 p.m. at Deri Farm, Yarmouth
Join staff from MOFGA and farmer Justin Deri for an introduction to basic farm equipment anatomy, safe operation, and maintenance. We'll cover tractor operation and safety; attaching, adjusting and operating farm implements; and basic preventive lubrication and maintenance. Participants will get a chance to practice driving tractors of different models and sizes and attaching and operating implements. More information.
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MOFGA Volunteer Work Days - We Need Your Help!
On Thursday, June 12, volunteers can join our Low Impact Forestry team from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to help with honeysuckle control and pruning white pines. No forestry experience necessary. We'll be working here at the MOFGA grounds. It's a great chance to lend a hand at MOFGA and spend some time with our great Low Impact Forestry volunteers.
On Friday, June 13, we will be setting up for Farm and Homestead Day. Join our Farm and Homestead crew as they set up tents, tables, chairs, and signage for Saturday's event. We'll begin at 9 a.m.
On Friday, June 13, we would love some extra hands for our Farm to Table dinner hosted by the Squire Tarbox Inn. This will be a great event in a beautiful setting to benefit MOFGA. We need help from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. with set up, clean up, serving food, and more. There will be delicious pizza for all our volunteers!
On Saturday, June 14, we will be having Farm and Homestead Day here at MOFGA and need volunteers from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We need help with parking, at the gates, assisting presenters, and more. Come enjoy the event and lend a hand as well!
On Sunday, June 15, join us on the MOFGA grounds for clean up from Saturday's event. The Open Space Festival will take place in neighboring Thorndike, so swing by for a couple hours on your way to the event. We'll start clean up around 9 a.m.
If anyone would like to help with any or all of the events, please contact MOFGA Volunteer Coordinator Anna Libby at 568-4142 or
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June 14
Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Free, hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills
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MOFGA Orcharding Workshop
June 28 - Summer Orchard Care Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
496 Davis Road, Durham, Maine - $30 
Instructors: C.J. Walke and Dave Colson

Have you thought about planting fruit trees, but not sure how to grow them organically? Or do you have fruit trees in the ground and would like to learn organic cultivation methods? If so, join C.J. Walke, MOFGA's Organic Orchardist, in Durham, where he will present organic methods for growing tree fruit. C.J. will discuss soil and nutrient requirements, explain organic pest and disease control and provide ample time to answer questions and concerns about cultivating fruit trees organically. Please remember to bring a lunch.
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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
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USDA Enhances Farm Storage Facility Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program, which provides low-interest financing to producers. The enhanced program includes 22 new categories of eligible equipment for fruit and vegetable producers.

Producers with small and mid-sized operations, and specialty crop fruit and vegetable growers, now have access to needed capital for a variety of supplies, including sorting bins, wash stations and other food safety-related equipment.

The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables. Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.

Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by only a promissory note/security agreement, and some loans between $50,000 and $100,000 will no longer require additional security.

Contact your local FSA office or visit for more about FSA programs and loans, including the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.
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2013 Common Ground Country Fair items are now on sale!

MOFGA Country Store SALE!
Celebrating 38 years of the Common Ground Country Fair with a 38% OFF SALE on all 2013 Fair Oxen T-shirts, aprons, tote bags, posters and more!
See the sale items at the MOFGA Country Store
Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

Events sponsored by NOFA-Massachusetts

Events sponsored by NOFA-New Hampshire

Events sponsored by NOFA-Vermont

June 2 - Deadline to apply for Grants for Gardens from Annies, to help schools and other educational programs build gardens. Details.

June 6 - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show, 10 to 11 a.m., WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and

June 6 - Need Clarity on the NOP Seed Requirement? The Organic Seed Alliance will host a webinar through eOrganic that educates certifiers and certified operations on the topic of organic seed availability and sourcing. Registration.

June 7-8 - Maine Fiber Frolic. Windsor.

June 10, noon - Weed Identification and Organic Control, Eric Sideman of MOFGA. Talk at Merryspring Nature Center, 30 Conway Rd., Camden. or 236-2239

June 14 - Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA. Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Free, hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills. Information.

June 17-18 - UVM Food Systems Summit - The Necessary [r] Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems, Burlington. Details.

June 20 - Maine's Growing Food Industry - Economic Development Council of Maine Annual Symposium. Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett Valley.

June 20-21 - Maine Fare, Belfast.

June 22 - Maine Sail Freight. 6 p.m., Tranquility Grange, Lincolnville, presented by The Greenhorns, Penobscot Marine Museum, MOFGA, Maine Farmland Trust, Windjammers Association, the Boothbay Farmers' Market and Tranquility Grange. Panelists discuss their experience delivering cargo from Vermont to Manhattan last fall. A silent film, The Sam Levitt, a Maine sail freight project of the 1970s, will be shown, followed by a discussion. Potluck. FMI or to volunteer with setup, contact

June 22-25 - Revisioning Sustainability - Campuses as Catalysts for Regenerative Food Systems. UMass Amherst. Details.

June 26 - Public Hearing on the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission's 2014 Assessment. Thursday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Room 220, Cross Office Building, Maine State House, Augusta. The Assessment presents information about the impact of international trade agreements on Maine laws, working conditions and business environment. A discussion will take place after the presentation.

June 28 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Summer Orchard Care. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 496 Davis Road, Durham, Maine. Instructors: CJ Walke and Dave Colson. Cost: $30 ($25 student/apprentice fee; free for JPs.) Registration.

July 4-6 - 2014 Northeast Permaculture Convergence. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center. Details.

July 7 - Deadline to apply for USDA grants and combination grants and guaranteed loans for eligible farms and other rural businesses under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year 2014. Details.

July 17-20 - Timber Frame Construction Workshop for High School Students, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Maine. Only $100 for four-day workshop, thanks to support from MOFGA, Hancock Lumber, Woodmizer and Stihl. Includes instruction, tools, lunch and reference material (no overnight accommodations). Application deadline: June 16. Registration.

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.


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