Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association



Bulletin Board

MARCH 22, 2013

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Seed Swap and Scion Exchange
Sunday, March 24
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Doors open at 8:30.) MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. A special all-day event this year! Bring seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share. Participate in educational workshops. Free. Details.

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Right to Know GMO - Maine Labeling Bill (LD 718)

Earlier this month, the Maine Legislature sent LD 718, "An Act to Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right to Know About Genetically Engineered Food and Seed Stock," to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The bill would require labeling of food products made from genetically engineered organisms. Such foods would be accompanied by a conspicuous disclosure that states "Produced with Genetic Engineering." 

Please let your legislators know that you support LD 718
because you have the right to know whether your food has been genetically engineered, and include any other personal reasons you may have for wanting these foods labeled. Legislators are listed at

If your legislator was one of the 123 co-sponsors of LD 718 (listed at, please thank him or her.

The Agriculture Committee will schedule a public hearing on the bill in the coming weeks. For more information and to get involved, see or email, and please email us at that address if you thanked your legislator for co-sponsoring.

Download a 2-page black-and-white PDF of our GMO-labeling web page (280K)

LD 718 in the News

Eye on Augusta: GMO Labeling Bill Returns to the Legislature
Free Press (3/14/2013)
By Andy O'Brien - It's very seldom that a bill gets as many as 123 cosponsors in the Maine Legislature unless it's a fairly drab measure, such as a joint resolution recognizing World Amateur Radio Day. It's even more uncommon to find broad tri-partisan support for such a controversial proposal as requiring food producers to label products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Genetically Modified Food: Maine Lawmakers Consider Labeling Requirement
Maine Public Broadcasting (3/12/2013)
By Keith Shortall - Genetically modified foods sold in Maine would have to be labeled as such under a bill that's before lawmakers in Augusta. Supporters, including the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, say consumers have a right to know what they're buying.

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Now accepting applications for the Social & Political Action area at the Common Ground Country Fair

Applications for a booth in the Social & Political Action area of the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! These applications may downloaded from our website Applications are due Friday, April 19th. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or

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Three Job Openings at MOFGA!
- Executive Director
- Administrative Assistant
- Volunteer Coordinator
Please see our Employment Opportunities page for full details.

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MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshops
March 23, March 30, April 20, April 27

A series of workshops, covering theory and hands-on practice in organic fruit tree and orchard management. Designed for beginner to intermediate orchardists managing backyard plantings to larger orchards. Pre-registration is required for all workshops. Information.

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Spring Growth
Saturday, March 30, 2013

10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Common Ground Education Center, Unity

MOFGA's annual day-long engagement with a single agricultural topic will focus on garlic in 2013. The day will feature a keynote by David Stern of Rose Valley Farm and the Garlic Seed Foundation, as well as a panel of Maine garlic growers and opportunities for farmer-to-farmer networking and information exchange. Moderated by MOFGA's own Eric Sideman. Details.

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Organic Food Gardening
Short Course
Tuesdays, April 2 and 9
10 am to 3 pm

University of New England's Ludcke Auditorium, Portland Campus

Over the course of 2 full days of lecture and discussion, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist Eric Sideman will describe the organic approach and provide practical and effective organic strategies for fertility management and pest and weed control that work on a small scale. Register online at the MOFGA Country Store.
More information.

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Grow Your Own Garden Classes
Wednesday, April 3, 6 to 9 pm
Locations throughout Maine in partnership with Maine's Adult & Community Education program and community sponsors.
Each year MOFGA sponsors this statewide educational event at over 30 different locations in Maine. Workshops are open to people of all gardening experience levels, and are designed to provide participants with the essential skills and knowledge needed to transition from conventional to organic gardening. Locations and further details.

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A bowl made by Christopher Signorino of Belfast for the Empty Bowl Supper.

MOFGA-El Salvador Committee Seeks Bowls for Empty Bowl Supper

The annual Empty Bowl Supper, a fundraiser for the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee, is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Miller St. in Belfast. For just $15 ($35 maximum for families; tickets at the door), attendees enjoy delicious soups, breads and desserts, live music, get to see friends and take home a beautiful bowl, handcrafted and donated by a Maine potter.

The committee is seeking bowls made by Maine potters. Seconds are fine! To donate bowls, please contact Jean English, or leave bowls at the MOFGA office. Thanks!

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Daytripping, Anyone?
If you'd like to host a tour of your farm or garden this summer, we can put you on our "Daytripping" list, to be published in the June-August issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Just send (to your farm name, owners' names, farm or garden features (briefly), date and time when visitors are welcome, directions and contact information. We publish the listing, and the rest is up to you and your visitors. You may get one or even no visitors; or you may get dozens. We suggest setting one or two particular times for your tour so that your entire day isn't tied up.

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Maine organic growers: Do you apply spinosad to your sweet corn? PyGanic on your carrots? You may need a pesticide applicator's license!
By April 1, 2015, any Maine grower who sells annually more than $1,000 worth of plants or plant products intended for human consumption and uses any general-use pesticide - one with an EPA registration number on the label - on those crops must be licensed by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC).
This law applies to those who grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and grains for human consumption; to growers of the above crops who make bread, jam, french fries, wine, cider, juice, etc., or sell produce to be processed into such products; and greenhouse growers selling fruit, vegetable and herb seedlings. The Agricultural Basic pesticide license is for growers who use only general-use pesticides on property they own or lease.
To obtain an Agricultural Basic pesticide applicator license, growers must pass the BPC core exam, which is based on the Pesticide Education (Core) Manual (available from UMaine Cooperative Extension at or by calling 207-581-3880). The exam can be taken at the BPC office in Augusta (207-287-2731) or at county Cooperative Extension Offices. Contact the BPC office to have the exam mailed to the Extension office and then arrange with Extension to take the exam. Licenses expire on October 31 of the third year after issuance and cost $15. To maintain a license, growers must obtain three hours of continuing education credit during the three-year license period. For more information, see Chapter 33 of the BPC rules at


Mark Your Calendar

Mining in Maine and El Salvador

March 29 - Presentation on Mining in El Salvador and Maine.
7 to 8:30 p.m., Bangor Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St., Bangor. Speaker: Salvadoran mining activist Sandra Carolina Ausencio, National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine. Free admission. RSVP; space limited. Information.

April 1 - Presentation on Mining in El Salvador and Maine.
6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Shep Lee Lecture Hall, Wishcamper Center, University of Southern Maine, 34 Bedford Street, Portland. Speaker: Salvadoran mining activist Sandra Carolina Ausencio, National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine. Free admission. RSVP; space limited. Information.

April 1 - Legislative Briefing at Natural Resource Council of Maine office.
11 a.m. to noon, 3 Wade St., Augusta (across the street from the State House). PICA, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) and the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee welcome Salvadoran mining activist Sandra Carolina Auscencio to Maine. Following Sandra's presentation about mining in El Salvador, NRCM staff scientist Nick Bennett will speak about the current debate in Maine to relax the state's mineral mining laws, including the threats mining poses to Maine's water and wildlife. Admission is free but please try to RSVP at

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March 28 and April 4, 11, 18 and 25 - So You Want to Farm in Maine Webinar, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. A free farm business course for those who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby to a profitable business. Offered in eight evening webinars. Classes will be held on the Internet live; an archived version will be available shortly after the live session. Topics will include selecting and evaluating a farm enterprise, writing a business plan, recordkeeping, market research and more. Course texts can be purchased from the UMaine Extension Publications Store. More information. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 564-3301 or in Maine 1-800-287-1491. Pre-register online.

March 22-23 - 2013 New England Meat Conference.
Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Graponne Conference Center, 70 Constitution Avenue, Concord, NH. Information at, or contact Lori Walter - (603) 573-3306 or

March 23 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Grazing Conference. 8:00 am to 3:15 pm, Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield. Registration: contact the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in Waldo County, 207-342-5971, or visit the Maine Grass Farmers Network website.

March 23 - Meeting of Sagadahoc MOFGA. We will construct outdoor benches for the Fair at the home of Larry and Betty Wilson at 551 Arrowsic Rd. in the town of Arrowsic starting at 2:30 PM. A potluck will follow. No business meeting. If you can, bring your battery operated screw gun or paint brush. Wear clothes suitable for painting. Directions: from Route One Woolwich go south on Route 127. Drive 3 miles to the Wilson's driveway on the right at the green and white mailbox with the number 551. If you get lost, call Larry at 443-6970.

March 24 - Maine Maple Sunday. Maine sugar makers open their sugarhouses to the public to join in this rite of spring. Map of open sugarhouses at

March 26 - Organic Food Production; Second of a Two-part Series. 6 to 8 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast. Led by C.J. Walke, MOFGA's Organic Orchardist. "Grow Your Own Organic Garden," part of MOFGA's state-wide program. For more information, call the Library at (207) 338-3884 ext. 10.

April 5 (and the first Friday of every month) - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show. 10 to 11 a.m., WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and

April 5 - Maine Organic Milk Producers (MOMP) Annual Meeting.
Governor's Restaurant, Waterville. Speaker (invited) Paris Reidhead (Country Folks Writer). Contact Billiejo Pendleton -, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Piscataquis County Office, 165 East Main St., Dover Foxcroft, 04426.

April 7 - Workshop: Fruit Tree Grafting + 10 Tree "Take Home." Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm., Portland area. Sponsored by MOFGA and Resilience Hub + Portland Maine Permaculture. $65. Information.

April 12 - Maine Board of Pesticides Control meeting, Augusta.

April 13 - Herbs and Meditation for Calming the Mind and Easing Despair and Grief,
with herbalists Deb Soule and Kahadish Waadabi. Saturday, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Avena Botanicals, Rockport, Maine. Part of the "Our Living Earth, Living Soul Series," four talks about herbs to honor and raise funds in memory of Russell Libby. The speakers are donating their time, and all proceeds go directly to the Russell Libby Memorial Fund. Classes are by donation only, with suggested donations of $5 to $500. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. For information and registration call Avena Botanicals at 207-594-0694.

April 13 - Permaculture Design Certificate Course,
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Meet one weekend per month, April through September. FMI: Lisa Fernandes,

April 18 to 21 - Four-day timber frame class.
Thursday to Sunday, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. Basics of post and beam construction, starting with standing trees and ending with a finished small building. Co-sponsored by MOFGA, which offers some scholarships ( $500 ($450 for HVNC, SWOAM & MOFGA members) includes breakfast, lunch and all materials. Information: 586-6752, or

April 21 & 28 - Basic chainsaw safety class. Sundays, 9 am to 4 pm, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. Two-day class for those new to chainsaws, especially designed for women who want to use chainsaws. Includes light maintenance and troubleshooting. Co-sponsored by MOFGA, which offers some scholarships ( $140 ($130 for HVNC, SWOAM and MOFGA members). 586-6752, or

April 27 and 28 - Beekeeping Class at MOFGA. 8:30 am to 4:00 pm both days, MOFGA Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity. Tuition $150 before April 1st, $175 thereafter. Organic/Natural/Local breakfast and lunch are included. Meet and greet and eat breakfast at 8:30 am each day. Class will run from 9am to noon. Lunch will go from noon to 1. Class resumes from 1 to 4. Information and registration.

Many other events are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.




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