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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin BoardMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2014January 16 2014   
  

 
 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

JANUARY 16, 2014

 
 
Kelsey Herrington and Dominic Pascarelli of MOFGA certified organic Two Farmers Farm in Scarborough    

Know Your Organic Producers! 

Meet Kelsey Herrington and Dominic Pascarelli of MOFGA certified organic Two Farmers Farm in Scarborough - a four-season vegetable farm located on a historic family farmstead. These MOFGA journeypersons say, "Our fields lie between the clamor of cars and trucks on Route 1 and the delicate ecology of Scarborough's saltwater marshes. We are passionate about feeding our friends and neighbors in Southern Maine while protecting the unique ecosystems that surround us." They were also feeding folks in Somerville, Mass., recently, where we caught up with them at a winter farmers' market held in an old armory. Swords to plowshares!

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

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Ted Quaday, MOFGA's executive director, at the celebration for passage of LD 718,
Maine's GMO labeling law.
 

Labeling Celebration

 
On January 14 at the Maine State House, MOFGA members, MOFGA staff and members of Maine's Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry celebrated passage of LD 718 - An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food. Cosponsors Rep. Lance Harvell and Sen. Chris Johnson spoke, as did MOFGA's Executive Director Ted Quaday, Deputy Director Heather Spalding and Board Member Sam May. Thanks to all our members and supporters who helped with this law! 
 
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MOFGA Volunteer Workday
 
Tuesday, January 28. If interested, please RSVP to Anna Libby at alibby@mofga.org

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Maine Poultry Growers Association
 
The Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA) is seeking new members. The MPGA provides strong and enlightened leadership to Maine poultry growers, poultry fanciers and game bird growers and strengthens sustainable poultry production. It also encourages environmental and animal care stewardship, development and consolidation of specialty markets, and production of unique and wholesome products. The MPGA is involved in teaching youth to acquire positive life skills by raising and caring for poultry, for fun and for profit. Member benefits include educational programs, an MPGA newsletter, access to poultry experts and more. MOFGA's organic livestock specialist, Diane Schivera, is on the MPGA board and does its newsletter. Membership details.

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Cover Crop Survey
 
The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center are seeking farmers' input on cover crops as a conservation option on U.S. farms. This anonymous national survey will take 10 minutes or less and is for both farmers who use cover crops and those who do not. Take the survey online by January 31, 2014, to be eligible for a gift card drawing.

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Pastured Poultry Video
 
Here's a wonderful, 8-minute educational video by UMaine Cooperative Extension educator Dick Brzozowski, filmed at MOFGA certified organic Little Falls Farm in Harrison. View the video.
 
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Booth Applications for the Common Ground Country Fair
 
Applications for a booth in the Crafts and Maine Marketplace areas of the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! These applications can be completed and submitted online on our website www.mofga.org. The Crafts applications are due by January 31st and Maine Marketplace applications are due by February 10th. Please note that this is a firm deadline for Crafts. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or commonground@mofga.org

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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.
 
 
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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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USDA Requests Public Input on "Agricultural Coexistence" 
GMO/GE Contamination USDA Website Working Now! 
New Deadline March 4
 
MOFGA notified its Bulletin readers last week that USDA is seeking comments by March 4 - an extended deadline - on its proposals for coexistence among farmers who use genetically engineered crops and those who don't (including organic growers and conventional growers who do not use GE/GMO seed). Unfortunately, the USDA comment site was not working after that notification appeared. It is working now - so please let USDA know what you think about coexistence between farms that do and do not use genetically engineered crops. More information.
 
Comment online via the Federal eRulemaking portal or mail comments to 
Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047 
Regulatory Analysis, and Development 
PPD, APHIS, Station, 3A-03.8 
4700 River Road Unit 118 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238
 
Farmers and handlers may send an anonymous comment outlining their experiences and costs through the National Organic Coalition.

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Growing Fruits and Vegetables: Lessons from NOFA/Mass Workshops
 
For decades, NOFA/Mass has been organizing and hosting winter and summer conferences, offering hundreds of workshops each year to thousands of farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, landscapers, and consumers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA via the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), this year we are capturing the teachings from many of the conference workshops - specifically those related to growing fruits and vegetables - and making them available in our newsletter and online. Directory of the articles.

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Conservation Stewardship Program Signup Extended to Feb. 7

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has extended the application deadline for farmers and ranchers who want to participate in its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP is an innovative working lands conservation program that rewards farmers and ranchers for the conservation and environmental benefits they produce. In the first five enrollment years for CSP (2009-2013), approximately 46,000 farmers and ranchers enrolled nearly 60 million acres of farm and ranch land. That land is now under five-year, renewable CSP conservation contracts valued at $804 million a year. More information on the NRCS website or download the news release (PDF).  
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Cole's Quince, a Maine heritage apple variety.


Contribute to MOFGA's Fruitful Future!
 
The farmers at Blackbird Rise in Palermo are pleased to announce a fundraiser to support our educational programs.
 
For every $25 you contribute to MOFGA, you will receive a 2-year-old, grafted, MOFGA certified organic apple tree as thanks for your support! Trees will be available for pick-up at MOFGA's April 12, 2014, orchard planting event. There you can learn how to plant and care for your tree. More details.
 
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Registration Now Open for MOFGA Events 
 
Registration is now open on the MOFGA Country Store for many MOFGA events. You may now register online for our Business Planning Workshop with Richard Wiswall, for our Organic Orcharding Workshops and our Kitchen Licensing Workshop. You may also sign up for Eric Sideman's two-day short course Organic Farming: Principles and Practice, for our Poultry Processing Workshop and our Nose to Tail Pork Processing Workshop.
 
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Organic Grower Meetings Coming Up 

MOFGA Certification Services LLC is hosting four information meetings for farmers who are interested in learning more about organic methods or who want to know more about MOFGA Organic Certification. The meetings are free and will be held in Springvale (York County), Farmington (Franklin County), Littleton (Aroostook County) and Trescott (Washington County). Each meeting will feature presentations about soil health, parasites, food safety and organic certification, and include a facilitated hour of discussions and questions. Register online. For more details visit our Organic Grower Meeting page on MOFGA.org.

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Janice Clark

MOFGA Honors Janice Clark
 
At its annual meeting, MOFGA celebrated Janice Clark's 25 years with the organization. Janice is our finance administrator and the advertising manager for The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Her love for MOFGA is apparent every day - even at 5 a.m., when she starts work! And MOFGA staff, advertisers and members who know her love her in return. Thank you so much, Janice!

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MOFGA Shuffle
 
Our front desk position at MOFGA - "the voice of MOFGA" - is being filled by Joe Dupere, previously our database manager. Kamala Grohman, who previously held the front desk position, will transition to administrative support and development.

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Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

January 18 - An Introduction to the Medicinal Herbs and the Chakras. Jillian Kelsey-Rose, 10-11:30 a.m., Avena Botanicals's Herbal Classroom, Rockport. Schedule.

January 18 - Producing and Packaging High Quality Milk and Dairy Products.
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Evening Star Grange 31, Old Union Rd. (across from Gibbs Library and the fire station), Washington, Me. Review recommended milking procedures; cleaning and sanitizing milking equipment; packaging high quality milk; health concerns of consumption of dairy products; quality testing. Discussion will be encouraged. $3.00 pre-registration required for handouts. Contact Melissa Libby at 1-800-287-7170 to pre-register/questions.

January 19 - Belfast Transition hosts Permaculture/Resilience meeting.
3:30-6 p.m., Belfast Free Library. Conversations about local resilience and permaculture activities. www.belfasttransition.org

January 21 - Severine von Tscharner Fleming will speak on the status of the young farmers' movement.
6:30 p.m., Belfast Free Library. Severine is a farmer, activist and organizer based in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is the director of The Greenhorns, a grassroots organization working to "recruit, promote and support" the growing tribe of new agrarians. Part of the Camden Conference community events series.

January 23 - John Bunker talks about MOFGA's Maine Heritage Orchard. 10-11 a.m., Skidompha Public Library, Damariscotta. Details.
 
January 23 - Webinar Set on USDA Cover Crop Termination Policy. 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST. The National Center for Appropriate Technology and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will address this question: When and how can cover crops be terminated without jeopardizing valuable crop insurance coverage of the cash crops grown with them? Register for the free webinar. 

 

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

 

January 28 - Mentor Host Farm Meeting with guest speaker and farmer Chip Planck, who writes for Growing for Market. This meeting, to be held at MOFGA, is for farms that currently or wish to host apprentices as part of MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program or who hire and train farm workers or aspire to do so. The full-day event will cover all aspects of recruiting, hiring and training. Details forthcoming. Please RSVP at
January 28 - Deb Soule: Planting and Preparing Medicines from Plants. 7:00 p.m., Camden Public Library. Details.

January 30 to February 1 - Seventh Organic Seed Growers Conference.
Corvallis, Oregon. This is a unique opportunity to trade knowledge, techniques and ideas that strengthen our rapidly growing organic seed community. The agenda includes 70 experts in organic plant breeding, seed research, enterprise development, seed economics, policy and more. Register.

February 4 - MOFGA certified organic growers Reba Richardson and Bill Pluecker of
Hatchet Cove Farm in Warren will speak at Merryspring Nature Center in Camden. Noon. Details.
 
February 5-7 - New England Grows commercial horticulture conference and expo. Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Reduced registration rates for students and educators. Details.
 
February 5 to 8 - Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, State College, Penn. Details.
 
February 8 (snow date Feb. 15) - Growing Good Seed: From the Ground Up. Noon to 6 p.m., U. of Maine at Farmington. Fourth annual seed saving conference organized by Farmington Seed Savers Group. Free. Keynoter Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm on "The People's Seed. Who's in Charge and How Do We Develop and Protect it?" Workshops on Growing Good Potatoes, Jim Gerritsen; Small Scale Seed Saving: Preserving Basic and Unique Food Crops, Amy LeBlanc; Backyard Garden Plant Isolation and Breeding, Roberta Bailey; Pest Management for the Home Gardener, Clay Kirby; Building Vibrant, Fertile, Resilient Soil, Bruce Hoskins; Saving Seeds of biennials - Why it Matters, Will Bonsall. $5 donation is suggested. Call 207-831-9384.

 

February 18 - Organic Orcharding Workshop. 6-8 p.m., Belfast Free Library. Presented by C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist. Free presentation about organic orcharding techniques to grow apples, pears, plums and peaches, focusing on soil requirements and methods of tracking and trapping fruit pests. No-spray pest management and how various materials boost the health of fruit trees. Plenty of time for discussion. Co-sponsors: MOFGA, Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Co-op. Free.

 

February 21-23 - Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water.
 
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.
 
March 12 - Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center.  
 
 
 

 

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