Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association




Bulletin Board

NOVEMBER 22, 2013

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Food Safety Modernization Act
Public Comment Period Extended to Nov. 22

This time we're not kidding! Today - Nov. 22 - is the new deadline for commenting on the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act proposed rules. Find templates that make commenting fairly easy on

Brian Snyder of the Penn. Assoc. for Sustainable Agriculture has written a great article about the proposed rules - and about Russell Libby's prescience in this matter - on his blog called Write to Farm.

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Karla Bock
Karla Bock of Hoof 'n Paw Farm in New Sharon.

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmer Karla Bock, who, with Bob Basile, owns Hoof 'n Paw Farm in New Sharon. These farmers raise herbs, vegetables, dry beans, seedlings and garlic and do most of their field work with draft horses. They sell through their CSA, senior shares, at the Common Ground Country Fair Farmers' Market, Sandy River and New Sharon farmers' markets, from their on-farm greenhouse from late April through early June, to other farmers and to wholesalers. Bock and Basile were MOFGA's "Farmers in the Spotlight" at the 1996 Farmer to Farmer Conference. They also run a harness and tack repair shop. Hoof 'n Paw Farm has been certified organic for 25 years!

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on
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Garlic mulched in summer. Late fall can also be a good time to mulch garlic.

Farm and Garden Tip

Garlic can benefit from a mulch at various times in its growth - as in summer, shown in this photo. You may want to mulch garlic in the fall, too, once the soil has frozen, to minimize frost heaving and soil erosion. MOFGA's 2013 Spring Growth Conference included discussions about mulching garlic. Read more.

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A Good Time to Renew Your MOFGA Membership

In 2014, MOFGA membership rates will increase slightly. This will be the first membership rate increase since 2004.

MOFGA membership comes with great benefits, including free admission to all three days of the Common Ground Country Fair; our quarterly newspaper; a free classified ad in each issue of the paper; weekly email updates highlighting MOFGA events, legislation and other local, regional news; technical farming and gardening advice; assistance with organic farm certification; and optional affiliation with local chapters.

We appreciate the generosity of MOFGA's supporters and hope you will join or renew at the highest level that fits your budget. We continue to offer a $20 Seeding membership for students, seniors on fixed incomes and other people who may need the reduced rate. Thank you for any support that you can give. We are happy to have you as a member!

Renew now at the MOFGA Country Store!

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New Design Sought for MOFGA-Certified Organic Logo

MOFGA wants to focus on ways to boost the impact of MOFGA-certified organic for both farmers and consumers. We want more producers to seek certification through MOFGA and the best way to do that is to strengthen the MOFGA-certified organic logo in the marketplace. Our logo needs to be the label that everyone recognizes and seeks out when buying food and farm products. By redesigning our certification logo we hope to improve overall marketing of the MOFGA-certified organic brand. Toward that end, a Request for Proposal (RFP) has been published, and we encourage our producers to share it far and wide. The deadline for proposals is Monday, 30 December 2013.

Access the full RFP here. (PDF download, 381k)

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We have the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair oxen design on T-shirts, nightshirts, tote bags, aprons and more ON SALE now through December 24th.

Share the Fair with friends and family members this holiday season and support MOFGA.

Visit the MOFGA Country Store today!

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More Maine Meat Survey

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society have initiated a project to improve opportunities for everyone involved in Maine's meat industry. The More Maine Meat project has a wide array of activities, but its primary goal is to "significantly increase the amount of meat that is produced, processed, distributed, and sold in Maine, and simultaneously increase wealth among those involved in Maine's meat industry."

As part of this broad effort, UMaine Extension educator Donna Coffin is implementing a survey of producers in order to better understand the needs and opportunities within the industry and to help establish and implement an appropriate plan of action. To take part in the 20-minute survey, please visit By doing so, you will be supplying much needed information about Maine's meat industry and, if you so choose, will be entering a random drawing for one of four $50 prizes. Once you complete the survey (you do not have to answer all questions), you will be given instructions on how to enter the drawing. Your responses to the survey will not be linked to your entry in the drawing.

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Support MOFGA's Maine Heritage Orchard

MOFGA's Maine Heritage Orchard will be the home for Maine's apple and pear heritage collection and a site featuring innovative and sustainable orcharding practices. Sales of this beautiful 2014 Heritage Orchard Calendar will help support MOFGA and the orchard. The full-color photos of apples originating in Maine were taken by widely acclaimed Portland photographer Russell French and include Black Oxford, Gray Pearmain and others. $15. Available at MOFGA's Country Store.
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CSA Raffle to Benefit MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee

The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee, which partners with Salvadoran organizations similar to MOFGA, is raffling two CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, with winners to be drawn at a MOFGA CSA Fair in early March.

Details and tickets at the MOFGA Country Store.

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Peggy Smith
Dec. 7 & 8 - From Conflict to Connection: Fundamentals of Nonviolent Communication

Fundraiser for the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee
Learn to improve your relationship with yourself, your family, co-workers or community, with certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer Peggy Smith. In this workshop, you will gain skills for using daily conflicts to relate more authentically and compassionately - building trust in a multi-sensory learning experience that fosters safety, depth and fun. This event has a value of $140; as a fundraiser for MOFGA and two other environmental organizations, it is offered to the public by donation. Information and registration.

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NRCS Announces Application Cut Off for Conservation Program Funding

NRCS has announced that December 20, 2013 is the application cut off date for conservation program funding in the coming fiscal year.  NRCS provides cost share assistance to producers who wish to implement a variety of conservation practices on their farm. Examples include activity plans for transitioning to organic production, a variety of farming and forestry practices and the popular seasonal high tunnel program. Details.

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Waldo County Trails Coalition Hike at MOFGA
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. to noon

Join the Waldo County Trails Coalition for a hike on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to about noon. The hike will start at the kiosk at MOFGA's field on Crosby Brook Road, next to (and on the same side of the road as) the Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm, and will go to Quaker Hill Road. A shuttle will be available at Quaker Hill Road to transport people back to MOFGA at the end of the hike. FMI please contact Buck O'Herin,, or visit


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

December 2 - Deadline for Northeast SARE Farmer Grants.

December 3 - Volunteer Work Day at MOFGA.
9 a.m., Tuesday, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center. Volunteers will work with Cheryl Wixson to prepare food for MOFGA events and organize the Common Kitchen. Lunch will be served. RSVP to MOFGA Volunteer Coordinator Anna Libby

December 4 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop.
Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen. Details. Register at the MOFGA Country Store.

December 5 - High Bionutrient Crop Production Workshop. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., The Resilience Hub, Portland. Two-session workshop: second session Feb. 27, 2014. The cost for a two-sessions workshop is $150, or $125 for returning students. Scholarships available. Information.

December 6 - Maine Food Summit. University of Maine Wells Conference Center.
Engage with businesses, friends and colleagues to discuss the future of our dynamic food system. What do you want Maine's land and sea-scape to produce? Share your vision. Register by Nov. 27 (discounts when registering by Nov. 22).

December 8 - Sagadahoc MOFGA - Wreath-making, 2:30 p.m., at Willow and David's barn, Rte. 127, Woolwich. FMI: Sally Fesler,

December 7 & 8 - From Conflict to Connection: The Fundamentals of Nonviolent Communication. With certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer Peggy Smith. This event has a value of $140; as a fundraiser for MOFGA and two other environmental organizations, it is offered to the public by donation. Information and registration (PDF).

December 11 - Mentor Host Farm Meeting. For farms that currently or wish to host apprentices as part of MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program. This full-day event will cover all aspects of recruiting, hiring and training apprentices. Details forthcoming.

December 14 - Waldo County Trails Coalition Hike at MOFGA. FMI please contact Buck O'Herin,, or visit

December 17, 18, and 19 - New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference,
Manchester, N.H. Website.

January 5 - Beginning Women Farmer Holistic Management Classes start. Contact Gail Chase, Maine's WAgN coordinator,

January 7 - MOFGA annual membership meeting. 1:30 p.m., Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Hear reports from MOFGA board members, staff and committees; vote on a slate of board members. Q&A period. This is also MOFGA Day at the Trades Show – a full day of presentations and workshops on organic production in Maine. Free.

January 7 to 9 - Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Free admission.

January 11 - NOFA-Mass. Winter Conference. 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Includes ​​an ​​all-day ​​seminar ​​​and ​​keynote ​​by ​​Restoration ​​Agriculture ​​author, ​​Mark ​​ ​Shepard, ​as ​well ​as ​the ​annual ​Lawn ​& ​Turf ​Course. Information: call (508) 572-0816; email or register online.

January 22-25 - The Ecological Farming Association's 34th Annual EcoFarm Conference, Gather & Grow, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California. More than 65 workshops featuring educational and technical sessions for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, consumers, students and educators; exhibitor marketplace, live entertainment, discussion groups, mixers, delicious meals and libations. Visit for more info and to register.

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

January 30 to February 1 -  Seventh Organic Seed Growers Conference. Corvallis, Oregon. Register.

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

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