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Bulletin Board

APRIL 5, 2013

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New Poll Shows 91 Percent of Maine People Support Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods

A new scientific poll of Maine voters found 91.1 percent of respondents supported a labeling requirement for foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The poll, released Tuesday and conducted by PanAtlanticSMS Group of Portland, Maine, showed overwhelming support for efforts currently under way to enact GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) labeling legislation in Maine.
Read more.

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Rep. Lance Harvell (R-Farmington) has more than 100 co-sponsors for LD 718, a bill about labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients.
April 23 Hearing Scheduled for Maine's Right to Know-GMO Labeling Bill

91.1 percent of Mainers want to know…

A public hearing on LD 718, "An Act to Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right to Know," is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 1 p.m., in the Joint Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) Committee in Room 214, Cross State Office Building, Augusta.

Please join MOFGA from noon to 1 p.m. for a rally and press conference at the Capitol Welcome Center and Breezeway between the Capitol (State House) and the Cross State Office Building. Please bring positive signs and banners.

Let the public and the legislature know that you are among the majority of Maine citizens who want GM foods labeled! A scientific poll of Maine voters by PanAtlanticSMS Group of Portland, just released on April 2, found 91.1 percent of respondents support a labeling requirement for foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients. This result is consistent with national polls conducted in recent years and shows massive popular support for GMO labeling in Maine.

At the 1 p.m. hearing, tell the ACF Committee why you want GM foods labeled. Bring 25 copies of your written testimony to give to ACF Committee members. This will make sure we establish a strong foundation for labeling, should Monsanto sue Maine for ensuring its citizens’ right to know.  

More information and reasons to testify.

To request to speak at the press conference or rally, or to RSVP that you will be at the public hearing, please email righttoknowgmo@mofga.org, or call 207-949-7371.

Come out on April 23rd to demand the Right to Know!

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Join MOFGA for a day of action on April 11th!

The Maine Legislature is considering several bills this session that would remove toxic chemicals from everyday products, improve existing chemical laws, and protect Maine children and families from harmful chemicals. LD 902 would remove toxic Bisphenol-A (BPA) from baby food and infant formula and LD 1181 would improve and strengthen Maine's Kid-Safe Products Act.

We're going to the State House to tell our Senators and Representatives to vote 'yes' on Senator Seth Goodall's "Safer Products Bill" (LD 1181), which will jumpstart action on the worst chemicals, help parents and businesses get accurate information, and close the loophole that leaves children and pregnant women exposed to BPA in their food.

Join us to protect Maine kids! We'll start at 9 a.m. in the Cross Cafe to go over campaign updates and do a training on how to lobby your legislator. Then, you'll get a chance to talk to your Representative or Senator and we'll wrap up the day with a media event.

Read more from Environment Maine.

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Legislative Update - April 5, 2013

The Maine Legislature is also considering many other bills of interest to organic farmers, gardeners and consumers. MOFGA members may want to comment on bills to promote sustainable food policies; to increase food sovereignty in local communities; to use mobile poultry processing units; and more. A list of bills of interest and ways to take action on them appears on our Maine Legislation page at mofga.org.

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Buy your share of the Maine harvest!

Now is the time to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share for the coming season.  Find farms near you offering CSA shares with MOFGA's Maine CSA Directory.

Income eligible seniors are entitled to a free $50 Senior Farm Share. More details available from the Get Real Maine website.

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Common Ground Country Fair
Now accepting applications for the Young Maine area
Applications for a booth in the Young Maine area of the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! These applications may downloaded from our website www.mofga.org. Young Maine area applications are due Wednesday, May 15th. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or commonground@mofga.org

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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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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 jenglish@tidewater.net) 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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Gardeners: Time To Slip Up

You can grow sweet potatoes in Maine! The easiest way is to buy "slips" - rooted cuttings of sweet potato vines - from a reputable seed company, such as Johnny's. But if you have a warm spot and an organic sweet potato, you can grow your own slips. Just place the sweet potato in a damp medium and keep it at 75 to 80 degrees (next to the wood stove, for instance, or on top of a water heater). Sprouts that emerge from the sweet potato are removed when they’re about 6 inches long, rooted in water, and these are your slips. More information.


Mark Your Calendar

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.

April 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.

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

April 5 - Designing Resilience into our Homes & Farms with Ben Falk. Friday, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. $10. Special guest Ben Falk of Whole Systems Research Farm in Vermont on the eve of the publication of his new book, The Resilient Farm and Homestead. Cosponsored by The Resilience Hub, MOFGA, The Maine Food Strategy and the New England Environmental Finance Center at USM's Muskie School of Public Service. Information.

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 10 - Savor the life and beauty of no-mow yards with Evelyn Hadden. 4:30-5:45 p.m., Jewett Hall Auditorium, SMCC Campus, South Portland. The author of Beautiful No-Mow Yards will showcase an inviting array of no-mow designs, including lively grass gardens, shady havens, elegant edibles, low-care living carpets, and more. Information.

April 12 - Maine Board of Pesticides Control meeting, Augusta. www.maine.gov/agriculture/pesticides/about/index.shtml#meeting

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, lisa@resiliencehub.org

April 16 - Film: The Greenhorns.
6 pm to 8 pm, Belfast Free Library. Panel of Maine growers and producers after the 50-minute-long video. Cosponsored by the Belfast Co-op Store, the Belfast Free Library and MOFGA.

April 18 - 11th Annual Biology Lecture: Slow Food and Its Health Benefits - From Field to a Healthy Body.
Noon to 1 p.m., Randall Student Center, Room 138, University of Maine at Augusta. Live broadcast to Bangor campus room 104 Eastport Hall. Speaker: Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, PhD, professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Maine and cooperating professor or Nutrition and Dietetics at Harokopio University, Athens, Greece, and the University of Milan, Italy. Free and open to the public. For information, contact Sheila Bennett, University of Maine at Augusta (sheilab@maine.edu; 207-621-3279).

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 (amarshall@mofga.org). $500 ($450 for HVNC, SWOAM & MOFGA members) includes breakfast, lunch and all materials. Information: 586-6752, gary@hvnc.org or www.hvnc.org.

MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshops
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.

Earth Day Volunteer Work Day
April 21 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Help MOFGA's landscaping committee prepare gardens, grounds and orchards for the growing season. Projects include garden cleanup, tree care and small carpentry projects. Meet other MOFGA supporters and learn about organic landscape maintenance. Volunteers get lunch and a free T-shirt. FMI: Joe Dupere, jdupere@mofga.org or (207) 568-4142.

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 (amarshall@mofga.org). $140 ($130 for HVNC, SWOAM and MOFGA members). 586-6752, gary@hvnc.org or www.hvnc.org.

April 27 - 19th Annual HOPE Festival. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Student Recreation & Fitness Center, University of Maine, Orono. Visit the MOFGA booth! Poster (PDF, 2.7 MB). Information.

Empty Bowl Supper
April 27 - 6 p.m., Belfast. Please join the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee for its annual fundraiser - the Empty Bowl Supper - at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Miller Street in Belfast. Tickets are $15 at the door ($35 maximum for families). Get a beautiful, Maine-crafted bowl, fill it with delicious soup, and enjoy the company of about 100 MOFGA friends and supporters while listening to Tom Luther and Mike Whitehead of Algorithm play jazz, ambient and improvised music. We’ll have a brief update on Salvadorans’ work to stop gold mining.

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.

July 25 and 26 - Registration is now open for the 2013 Kneading Conference, Skowhegan, Maine. 30 workshops, talks, and panel discussions for everyone interested in local grains, craft breads, wood-fired ovens, and restoring regional grain networks. $300 includes (delicious!) meals. Information.

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



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