"One hears a lot about the rules of good husbandry; there is only one — leave the land far better than you found it."
- George Henderson, The Farming Ladder
MOF&G Cover Fall 2009
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Meredith Batley
Meredith Batley. Photo by Heather Spalding.

Thanks to Fair Assistant Meredith Batley
Great Maine Apple Day
Farmer to Farmer Conference
MOFGA Member News

Thanks to Fair Assistant Meredith Batley

MOFGA welcomed Meredith Batley into the Common Ground Country Fair office this past summer. Batley graduated from Acadia University in Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in environmental science. After university she worked for the Maine State Planning Office on the Maine Recycles Campaign and as the office Web master. Batley became a field organizer in 2008 for the Maine Democratic Party, running campaign operations in Lincoln County. She grew up in midcoast Maine and has been visiting the Common Ground Country Fair since she was a child in a backpack. As a gardener and environmentalist, Batley is thrilled to join the MOFGA staff and celebrate the connections among people, their environment and their food. She has been helping us with Fair office logistics in the busy months leading up to the Fair, and will be with us until the dust settles after the big event. Thank you Meredith for all your help!

Great Maine Apple Day – October 24th!

Fall is the time to celebrate all things apple, and the Great Maine Apple Day, cosponsored by Fedco Trees, MOFGA and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is the place to celebrate.

This event, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, will feature activities and a full slate of educational talks. Topics will include growing, processing and cooking apples, fruit tree pruning and grafting, cooking with old time apple recipes, wine and cider-making, organic tree care and more!

A display will highlight rare and heirloom apple varieties, and many apples will be available for tasting.

Maine's premier fruit explorer John Bunker will bring a collection of hundreds of varieties and will help you identify your apples. Participants are encouraged to bring three to five of their own clean apples for the tasting table; you need not know the variety. Bunker will also be signing his book, Not Far From the Tree.

Many vendors of local and organic apples, apple products, cheeses and other local handmade products will be on hand. Enjoy cider pressing demonstrations and tastings throughout the event.

Farmer to Farmer Conference Registration Deadline Soon

MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conference is known for its intimacy, its in-depth treatment of topics, and its highly informative discussions. It is based on the idea that farmers learn best from their peers and other practitioners. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and MOFGA plan the conference so that farmers can talk about what works for them – and what doesn't – while learning about new ideas from university faculty, extension educators and other agricultural professionals.

People with hands-on experience and first-hand knowledge lead presentations and workshops but also spend a lot of time interacting with their audiences. The conference features 3-hour workshops in which the first half is dedicated to talks by both agricultural service professionals and farmers, and the second to roundtable discussions intended to solicit and capitalize on the accumulated knowledge of all farmers attending.

As always, participants will be treated to delicious meals featuring local, organic food.

The conference is also a rare and wonderful opportunity to get off the farm and catch up with fellow New England farmers. It is a place where old friendships are strengthened and new ones are formed.

This year's conference will be held at Point Lookout Resort in Northport. Its beautiful coastal location will surely be a favorite.

The registration deadline is October 12. For details please visit www.mofga.org. We hope you will join us!

MOFGA Member News

Congratulations to Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi of Village Farm in Freedom on the June 8 birth of their 10-pound, 1-ounce son, Abel Shyka Grassi.

And congratulations to John Bunker and Cammy Watts on their June 11 wedding.
Barn Raising
Barn raising at Treble Ridge Farm in Whitefield. Photo by Theta Torbert.

Two successful barn raisings occurred this spring and summer: one for Rufus Percy and Alice Torbert Percy of Whitefield and another for Andrew and Victoria Marshall of Montville.

Lisa Colburn, a MOFGA member from Orono, is researching gardening practices and buying habits of Maine gardeners for a book called The Maine Garden Journal. She was inspired to write about gardening in Maine when she moved to Orono (Zone 5) from the St. John Valley (Zone 3) and found it a challenge to get information about gardening and to meet fellow gardeners in her new location. Her book will cover sources for plants, supplies and garden art; where to get advice; remarkable gardens to visit; garden clubs, plant societies and organizations; tours, events and conferences; books, Web sites and other media; and photos of gardens and gardeners. Contribute to the Maine Garden Journal by answering a survey about your gardening practices, available from Lisa Colburn, 26 Mainewood Ave., Orono, ME 04473; 207-866-3861; info@mainegardenjournal.com

Our condolences to the friends and family of James (Jim) Luthy, who died peacefully at his beloved East Wilton farm on June 20. Born in Washington state, Jim earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1966 and moved to Maine in 1971 to farm organically in Poland while teaching chemistry, math and physics at various colleges. He became MOFGA's president in 1973 and helped established MOFGA's organic farm certification program.
Jim Cook Bench
English photo.

A bench in memory of Jim Cook has been engraved and installed at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center.


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