"A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus."
- E.B. White
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Bulletin Board

AUGUST 2, 2013

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Ted Quaday. Nicole Formenti photo.
Ted Quaday. Nicole Formenti photo.

We Have a New Director!

MOFGA is pleased to announce that Ted Quaday will become our next executive director. An organic food advocate, Quaday has dedicated the past 15 years to working for family farms and sustainable agriculture. He is a former program director at Farm Aid, where he worked with family farm and good food advocacy organizations throughout the country. A former communications director at the Organic Farming Research Foundation, Quaday currently provides strategic communications services to advocacy groups working to build the food movement. He tweets at TQorganic.

Before dedicating full-time efforts to advancing the food movement, Quaday's professional experience took him from work as a broadcast journalist to advocacy on economic and environmental justice issues and work for political campaigns in North Dakota and Massachusetts.

Quaday helped found the Farmer-to-Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture and served on the steering committee for the Genetic Engineering Action Network. He also co-chaired and served on the steering committee for the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders group.

"I see MOFGA joining with other national leaders in the organic movement to continue working for the kind of systemic change that will enable everyone to obtain locally or regionally produced organic food in a timely and economically viable way," said Quaday.

"MOFGA has established itself as a leader in advancing organic policy that is beneficial to farmers and to those who enjoy organic food. I look forward to joining the MOFGA team to continue advancing the vision of locally produced organic food for all," said Quaday.

Quaday will attend the Common Ground Country Fair and will officially begin work with MOFGA on October 1.

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Reminder: Common Ground Fair Poster Contest Entries Due August 8

Don't forget to submit your artwork for the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair poster contest! It's not too late to send us your vision of what organic farming and gardening in Maine is all about, but the deadline is fast approaching - noon on Thursday, August 8. Help us keep up our longstanding tradition of great poster art by submitting your original artwork today.

All artists who reside in Maine or are MOFGA members are invited to enter designs in the contest. The selected design will be centerpiece of the 2014 Fair poster, Fair T-shirt and merchandise, and promotional media, including the Fair pages on MOFGA's website. The artist and the art will be featured in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener newspaper and in a press release. The winning artist will receive a $1,000 prize.

Artists may submit two entries, which must arrive in the MOFGA office by noon on Thursday, August 8, 2013. For complete guidelines, including technical specifications, eligibility requirements and timeline, please visit the Fair Art link on the Fair page at www.mofga.org or contact the Fair office at commonground@mofga.org or 207-568-4142.

Advance Tickets for the Fair Are on Sale Now

Advance tickets for the Common Ground Country Fair are on sale now! List of outlets. Advance tickets cost the same as tickets at the gate but enable fairgoers to enter the Fair without waiting in line. The Fair is MOFGA's premier event of each year - and you don't need to buy a ticket if you're a MOFGA member. Members get free admission to all three days of the Fair - September 20, 21 and 22 this year. 

In addition, MOFGA members receive a quarterly newspaper on organic farming and gardening, discounts on training sessions and the satisfaction of being part of a community that is passionate about healthy, locally grown food and sustainable landscapes.

 Please join MOFGA today. We look forward to seeing you at the Fair!

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Aktan Askin
Aktan Askin, MOFGA's new Landscape Coodinator.

MOFGA Hires Landscape Coordinator

Aktan Askin, a former MOFGA journeyperson, is our new landscape coordinator.
Askin grew up by the sea in the port city of Mersin, Turkey. He has been involved with MOFGA as a volunteer, journeyperson and member since he moved to Maine in 2004. After working on a number of Waldo County vegetable farms, Aktan and his wife, Erin, now have Lor Farm, a small-scale sheep and goat dairy and cheese house. They make cheeses, yogurt and sausage based on recipes of Anatolian and Mediterranean origin. Welcome, Aktan!

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Farm Training Project workshops continue to attract dozens of MOFGA apprentices and others interested in learning how experienced farmers are growing, marketing, controlling pests, and generally raising crops and livestock. Next week's workshops are on Preserving the Harvest: Pickling & Canning - on Tuesday, August 6, at 4 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center in Unity, and on Wednesday, August 7, at 4 p.m. at UMaine Cooperative Extension, Lisbon Falls. There is no potluck at the Lisbon Falls event.

"Putting food by" is a fundamental skill to master if you want to be able to enjoy your garden's bounty all winter long. Join UMCE and MOFGA staff for a session on the basics of food preservation and all its various strategies - from pickling, to canning, to freezing, to root cellaring. Be prepared for a hands-on workshop. Space for these workshops is limited, and apprentices are given priority. Non-apprentices pay a $5 donation fee. Register for this workshop online or by calling Abby at 568-4142. Please bring a pint canning jar if possible. More information.

Here are some other upcoming farm tours.

Aug. 4: Khadighar, Industry - Scatterseed Project Tour; Kiwihill Farm, Sidney

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The Maine Board of Pesticides Control held its regular meeting for July at MOFGA - a first! The board heard concerns about aerial spraying and other matters. After the meeting, the BPC visited Village Farm in Freedom, a MOFGA certified organic operation, to learn about our diversified farms. Shown here are (L to R) Mark Randlett (Attorney General's office), John Jemison (board member), Carol Eckert (board member), Mary Tomlinson (BPC staffer), Raymond Connors (BPC staff), Henry Jennings (BPC staff) and Richard Stevenson (Board member), and Prentice Grassi of Village Farm. Photo by Katy Green.

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Pest Report - August 2, 2013
Compiled by Eric Sideman, PhD, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist

In this issue of the Pest Report there is information about a few problems out there or coming to a farm near you soon: Buckeye Rot of tomato, hornworms, Tarnished Plant Bug, Phytophthora Blight in cucurbits and peppers, Powdery Mildew in cucurbits. Read the Pest Report.

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Barbara Walch
Barbara Walch.
Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmer Barbara Walch of Fire Flower Garden and Pottery in Thorndike. Barbara and her husband, Charlie Krause, sell potted herb and flower plants, cut flower bouquets (including bouquets of edible flowers), dried and processed herbs, baskets made from willows they grow, and - another specialty - engraved pumpkins. They sell at the Belfast Farmers' Market and from home. Barbara also sells her nature-inspired pottery. Look for a feature story about their beautiful gardens in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, and look for their attractive booth at the Common Ground Country Fair Farmers' Market. Website.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGA.net

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Jim Gerritsen
Jim Gerritsen.

Potluck at Jim and Megan Gerritsen's Wood Prairie Farm

Aroostook County MOFGA members, Slow Food members and others who helped with MOFGA's GMO labeling bill are invited to a potluck supper at Wood Prairie Farm on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. Wood Prairie is located at 49 Kinney Road, Bridgewater; phone 429-0943; website.

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Soils Conference with Arden Andersen in Bangor
"Grow the Food the World Wants" -
How Farmers Farm Determines How the Rest of the World Lives

Dr Arden Andersen
Dr. Arden Andersen

Dr. Arden Andersen will present the latest on nutrient-dense biological agriculture and how healthy soils make economic and environmental sense, at Heart of Maine's Annual Soils Conference, November 14-16 in Bangor. MOFGA is cosponsoring this event.

Says MOFGA certified organic farmer Jim Gerritsen, "Arden Anderson provides an unequaled foundation for understanding soils that will last a farmer a lifetime. His breadth of knowledge - of soils and systems from a good-nutrition-is-good health-perspective - is second to none." Anderson’s course is "the best way for farmers and serious gardeners to gain a clear foundation of soils and biology in a compact three-day window," Gerritsen adds. "He is also blessed to be an exceptional, highly skilled teacher. I took Arden's Bangor class in 2005, and had we done that 30 years earlier, we would really be making a good living now."

Information: www.heartofmaine.org, info@heartofmaine.org, 207-200-3603. Early-bird registration closes on Sept. 30.

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Sign up for MOFGA's Fall Events!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Low Impact Forestry, Level II Draft Animal Logging
Date change: October 18, 19, 20, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Prerequisite: LIF Level I
  Low Impact Forestry Workshop
November 14 to 17, Thursday to Sunday

Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Three options for participation
  Chainsaw Safety Course - Level I
November 16 & 17, Saturday & Sunday
  Kitchen Licensing Workshop
December 4, Wednesday
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen

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Congratulations to Kacey Weber, MOFGA's former database manager, and Robert Weber on the July birth of their daughter, Ella Rose!


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

Farmer Field Days at Neighboring Farms in Washington County. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Every Monday morning 7 a.m. - Scything and Permaculture, Jim Kovaleski, 187 US Route 1, Robbinston. FMI: james.kovaleski@gmail.com

NOFA-New Hampshire Summer Series -
A wide range of topics at workshops held throughout New Hampshire during the summer and fall.

NOFA Vermont Summer Workshops - Whether you're a beginning or experienced farmer, a gardener or homesteader, or just want to deepen your connection to local farms, NOFA Vermont's summer workshop series has something for you. Workshops are held every few days at locations throughout Vermont.

August 6 - Preserving the Harvest: Pickling & Canning (Farm Training Project). Tuesday, 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Details.

August 7 - Preserving the Harvest: Pickling & Canning (Farm Training Project). Wednesday, 4 p.m., UMaine Cooperative Extension, Lisbon Falls. Details.

August 9 to 11 - Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference, Amherst, Mass. Keynote speakers, more than 200 workshops, family activities. Workshops in eight tracks: beginning farmer, CSA, grazing, nutrient density, organic land care, permaculture, co-ops and season extension. Information.

August 14 - Introduction to Permaculture (Farm Training Project). Wednesday, 5 p.m., Schoodic Hollow Farm, Franklin. Details.

August 15 - Introduction to Permaculture (Farm Training Project).
Thursday, 5 p.m., Rippling Waters Farm, Standish. Details.

August 15 to 17 - Boston GreenFest. Boston City Hall Plaza. Free. Information.

Cheryl Wixson
Cheryl Wixson

Volunteer Workday: Putting Food By
Join MOFGA's Cheryl Wixson in preserving the harvest from MOFGA's gardens. Volunteers will work with Cheryl in the kitchen to preserve food for use at the Common Ground Country Fair and throughout the year.  Workdays are on September 4th and 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Kitchen in Unity, ME. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, Anna Libby, at alibby@mofga.org.

September 11 - (Note date change) Four Season Forward - Producing Year-Round Crops Using High Tunnels, Low Tunnels and Quickhoops, with Clara Coleman of Four Season Farm Consulting. Littleton, Maine. Potluck. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Information.

Sept. 17, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Explore the Depth and Breadth of Sustainable Forestry at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson.
Real-life forestry practitioners will introduce you to the theory, practice, economics, ecology and legal aspects of sustainable forestry. Co-sponsored by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. $80 members of CMBG and HVNC; $95 non-members. FMI: hvnc.org, codey@hvnc.org or 200-8840.

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




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