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"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will, in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
- from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington
  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin BoardMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2014February 21 2014   
  

 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

FEBRUARY 21 2014

 
Eric and Becky Sideman

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Eric and Becky Sideman of East Wind Farm in Strafford, N.H. Eric and Becky raise MOFGA certified organic strawberries and tomatoes, which they sell to specialty shops and at their farm. Eric is also MOFGA's organic crop specialist - You can send your questions about organic farming and gardening to him at esideman@mofga.org. And Becky is an Extension professor and specialist in sustainable horticulture at the University of New Hampshire. 

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

 
CSA Fairs 2014

These events are part celebration and part education, as local farmers, fishermen and other food producers tell community members how to enjoy local foods and support local businesses in a meaningful way.

Each location will have plenty of local flavor, whether live local music, tastings featuring local foods, sales of food and other products from local farms and businesses, film screenings and more.

Auburn: Feb. 28 - 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Auburn Public Library. Contact: Martin Gagnon, 207-333-6640, X2025

Augusta: Feb. 28 - 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Viles Arboretum Conference Room, 153 Hospital St. Contact: Mark DesMeules, 207-626-7989

Belfast: March 2 - 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave. Contact: Kate Harris, 207-338-9509

Hallowell: March 2 - 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 20 Union St. Contact: Jessica Gorton, 522-5536

Norway: March 1 - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
First Universalist Church of Norway, 477 Main St. Contact: Jessica McMahon, (207) 743-9044

Skowhegan:
The Pickup at 42 Court St. Contact: Sarah Smith, 399-4923

Check the CSA Fair page at MOFGA.org for updates
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TWO MOFGA Benefits at The Flatbread Company in Portland! See you there!
 
Come join us for a MOFGA Benefit Night at The Flatbread Company in Portland on Tuesday, March 4! A portion of sales on flatbreads sold between 5 and 9 p.m. will support MOFGA. We look forward to seeing you and enjoying delicious food, local beer and lively discussion. The Flatbread Company is located at 72 Commercial Street, on the waterfront in Portland.

Please join us for another benefit at The Flatbread Company - this one on Thursday, March 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., when Funky Bow Brewery of Lyman (Facebook) will announce its relationship with Tig Pro Metal Fabricators of Portland. Tig Pro will be manufacturing the new expansion brewery equipment for Funky Bow. This celebration will include music by the Gunther Brown Band and serving of some Gunther Brown Ale, made just for the band and this event. Funky Bow (owned by MOFGA board member Paul Lorrain), Flatbread and Tig Pro will donate 5 percent of the proceeds from this event to MOFGA.

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MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshops

Organic Orcharding Workshop Rescheduled 
C.J. Walke's Organic Orcharding Workshop, originally scheduled for Feb. 18 at the Belfast Free Library, has been rescheduled to February 27, 6-8 p.m., due to snow. This free presentation covers organic orcharding techniques to grow apples, pears, plums and peaches, focusing on soil requirements and methods of tracking and trapping fruit pests. It includes no-spray pest management and how various materials boost the health of fruit trees. There will be plenty of time for discussion. Co-sponsors: MOFGA, Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Co-op

Renovating Old Trees
March 1 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beech Hill Farm at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor. Instructor: C.J. Walke. $30. Details.

Pruning Fruit Trees
March 8 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Three locations: Blue Hill with Phillip Norris; Durham with Dave Colson and C.J. Walke; MOFGA Education Center, Unity, with John Bunker. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. Collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed. Workshop details.
Registration on the MOFGA Country Store.

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Concerned About Climate?
 
 
Growers, gardeners and other climate-concerned folks: The Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, cosponsored by MOFGA, will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on March 12. If you can mount a display, help out, share experience as a presenter (or as part of the policy Summit) or know others who can, please contact beedyparker@gwi.net or karenmd@myfairpoint.net. We want a strong showing on the food-producing piece of this challenge. Please share this message! Visit the Climate Solutions website.

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MOFGA's Organic Farming Short Course
Organic Farming: Principles and Practice
March 27 & April 3 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days
Viles Room, Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital Street, Augusta
 
Our two-day course, Organic Farming: Principles and Practice, is designed to provide farmers with a strong background in soils, weeds and pest management, enabling them to make good management decisions. Instructor: Eric Sideman, MOFGA's Vegetable Specialist. Guest lecturers, including local farmers, will also speak and join the discussion.

$75 individual; $30 additional person; $30 apprentice/student; FREE journeypersons; $45 per single-day registration. Course registration.
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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 commonground@mofga.org.
 


Speak Out Against Genetically Engineered 2,4-D Crops
The USDA recommended in January that Dow's herbicide-tolerant corn and soybeans engineered to survive applications of 2,4-D herbicides be commercialized. Allowing these crops on the market will increase use of 2,4-D, an antiquated and dangerous herbicide known to drift to non-target crops and to be linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption.

Herbicide-resistant genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops led to an increase of 527 million pounds of herbicides being applied between 1996 and 2011. This next generation of herbicide-tolerant crops will lead to a huge increase in the use of 2,4-D.

Before USDA makes its final decision, urge the agency to keep 2,4-D seed off the market and out of our rural communities and agricultural landscapes. The National Organic Coalition says, "Tell USDA that we don't need more seed bred for a companion herbicide. We need more seed bred for low-input systems that are adapted to diverse regions, ecologies, climates, and markets."

 

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Farm-to-School Funding Available

USDA Farm-to-School grants help improve the health and well being of students through school meals that incorporate locally produced foods, educate children about food, and create new and expanded markets for local food producers. Up to $5 million in competitive grants is available for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing farm-to-school programs. A new funding track available in fiscal year 2015 will make an additional amount of approximately $500,000 available to eligible entities to support conferences, trainings, and events focused on farm-to-school program development. Different proposals have different April deadlines. Details.

 

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 Organic Producers Can Insure Crops at Contract Price

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) fact sheet (PDF) explains the organic Contract Price Addendum - a crop insurance option that allows organic producers to insure any of 62 crops at the contract price specified in a guaranteed contract. The contract price option is one of several policy objectives to improve crop insurance options for organic producers that the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition encouraged USDA to pursue. Details.
 

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Understanding the Affordable Care Act
Tuesday, March 4, 10 a.m.
Sheepscot General, Whitefield

Do you have questions about current changes in health care? Do you need affordable health insurance? Free, in-person help is available! Come to Sheepscot General, 98 Townhouse Rd., Whitefield, on Tuesday, March 4. Starting at 10 a.m., Ben Hummel of the Maine Migrant Health Program will review the Affordable Health Care Act and what it means for Maine's farmers. Ben will talk about who needs to purchase health insurance in 2014, how the health insurance Marketplace works, and what health insurance options and financial assistance are available. During the afternoon, Ben or another Certified Application Counselor will offer one-on-one assistance to anyone interested in applying for coverage or anyone who wants to look at health insurance options more in depth. Individual appointments are available in the afternoon; RSVP to request one-on-one assistance. These services are free and available to members of Maine's agricultural community, whether you own your own farm, need coverage for yourself and your family, or are an employee looking for coverage. FMI: Ben Hummel, 207-557-5114, bhummel@mainemigrant.org
 
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Maine Grass Farmers Grazing Conference
March 15
Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield, Maine
 
Designed for producers who want to learn how to best use pasture and forage crops to feed livestock profitably. The featured speaker is Forrest Pritchard, owner of Smith Meadows farm author of Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm. Pritchard's keynote is entitled "The Economics of Grass Based Livestock." Additional presenters will include University of Vermont livestock specialist Joe Emenheiser and Crystal Springs manager Seth Kroek discussing finishing lambs on pasture, and the UVM Champlain Valley crops team discussing their successes and failures with summer annuals, cover crops and interseeding trials. Conference workshops and registration materials

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Job Opening at MOFGA
 
MOFGA Certification Services LLC is seeking an operations assistant to provide administrative and clerical support for the certification director and for the certification program overall. The individual should be very comfortable and proficient using a variety of computer and Internet applications. Primary responsibilities include data entry and data management; responding to phone calls and emails; filing and organizing documents; and assisting with overall organization of the certification office. The job is located in an office on the MOFGA grounds in Unity, Maine. Full job description.
 
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Please Nominate MOFGA for a Bangor Savings Bank Foundation Grant

Voting ends Feb. 28 
Bangor Savings Foundation will give a total of $100,000 to 68 local non-profit organizations, based on the number of votes each organization gets from Maine citizens. You can help MOFGA by writing in MOFGA in the Waldo County category on the ballot - and then invite your friends, neighbors and colleagues to do the same. Vote for MOFGA. Thank you!

 

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MOFGA Lumber For Sale

Planning on building this summer? FSC certified logs harvested from the MOFGA woodlot this winter are going to a Thorndike sawmill to make rough pine boards for your goat barn, chicken coop, sauna, storage shed, horse hovel or whatever project you may have in mind.  Contact Sam Brown (sam@ddatt.org or 277-4221) for more information. Photo: Eli Berry with the logs harvested from the MOFGA woodlot.

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A CSA Share for $5?!
 
Maybe! Several Maine CSA farms are participating in the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee's fundraising raffle. Tickets are available for $5 each or six for $25. The drawing will take place in March 2014. For a list of participating farms and information on buying tickets, please visit MOFGA's online Country Store. 
 
 
Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

February 22 - Waldo County Trails Coalition Hike in Unity. Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon. 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. Return shuttle available. Hikers may want to bring snowshoes, or cleats for hiking boots. FMI: buckoherin@fairpoint.net, Waldo Trails website,  Facebook page.
 
February 21-23 - Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water.
 
February 24 - "Living on a Shrinking Planet: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Future." 5-7 p.m.,  Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine. Free presentation and reception by Dr. Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and a prominent sustainability scientist. Presented by The Natural Resources Council of Maine. Information.

February 25 - eOrganic webinar on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems: Why the Concern about Nitrous Oxide Emissions?
2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. EST. Registration.

February 26-27 - Sustaining the Living Landscape,
Ecological Landscaping Assoc., Springfield, Mass. Keynote: Dr. John Todd, "Healing the Waters: A Tale of Ecology and Living Technologies." Brochure.

February 27 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting. 1:30 to 5 pm, Southern Aroostook Agriculture Museum, Littleton. Details. Registration.

February 27 - eOrganic webinar on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems: Management to Reduce N2O Emissions in Organic Vegetable Production Systems. 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. EST. Registration.

March 4 - MOFGA Benefit Night at The Flatbread Company. Tuesday, 5-9 p.m., 72 Commercial Street, on the waterfront in Portland. Delicious food, local beer and lively discussion. Website.

March 4-6 - International Garlic Symposium. Role of Garlic in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Metabolic Syndrome and Immunology. Dana Point, Calif. Details.

March 6 - MOFGA Benefit at the Flatbread Company. Thursday, 5-9 p.m., 72 Commercial Street, Portland. Hosted by Funky Bow Brewery of Lyman, Pig Pro Metal Fabricators of Portland, and The Flatbread Company of Portland.

March 7 - Northern New England Nursery Conference. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth, N.H. Cost $25 (includes lunch). Program includes a thoughtful look at the ecology of landscape plantings; information about pollinator gardens; a panel discussion about managing risk; how to safeguard your landscape or nursery crew and yourself from tick-borne diseases; and more. Registration. FMI: Dr. Lois Berg Stack, University of Maine, 207-581-2949 or lstack@umext.maine.edu
 
March 7-8 - New England Meat Conference, Concord, N.H. Details.

March 8 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop - Pruning Fruit Trees. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Blue Hill with Phillip Norris; Durham with Dave Colson and C.J. Walke; MOFGA, Unity, with John Bunker. Details. Registration.

March 8 - Washington County Food Summit. Snow date March 15. Information.

March 8 - Gawler Sisters concert.
7:30 p.m., Ã…arhus Gallery, Belfast. Fun-loving, locally grown, folk-singing [and organic farming] Gawler Sisters joined by philharmonic farmer & local singer songwriter Bennett Konesni. Rescheduled from Feb. 15 due to snow. Information.

March 10 - UM Extension Vegetable and Fruit School.
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Seasons Conference Center, Portland. Registration $35.00, includes lunch. Preregistration is required by Feb. 21, 2014. Agenda and registration.

March 11 - UM Extension Vegetable and Fruit School. 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center, 701 Hogan Rd., Bangor. Registration $35.00, includes lunch. Preregistration is required by Feb. 21, 2014. Agenda and registration.
 
March 12 - Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center.

March 13 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting. 1:30 to 5 pm, Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott (Washington County). Details.Registration.

March 14 - Best Greenhouse Practices Workshop: Biocontrol. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wiswell Farm, Orrington. Featured speaker: Dr. Betsy Lamb, Ornamentals IPM Coordinator with the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University. Introduction to biocontrol plus new research-based information that experienced biocontrol practitioners will find useful. Registration $15 (includes lunch). FMI: Lois Stack, lois.stack@maine.edu

March 15 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Annual Grazing Conference. Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield. Featured speaker: Forrest Pritchard owner of Smith Meadows and author of Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm. Conference workshops and registration materials.

March 22 - (snow date March 23) Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies in Maine. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Randall Student Center, UMaine Augusta. Information.

March 23 - Maine Maple Sunday. Schedule.

March 29 - Rural Living Day. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mt. View High School, 577 Mt. View Rd. (Rt. 220), Thorndike, Maine. Preregistration required by March 21. Details.
 
 
 
 

 

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