Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Visit to access food safety and preservation publications and to find out about canning workshops in your county. A national survey conducted by the USDA-CSREES National Center for Home Food Preservation in 2000 found that many people use canning practices that put them at high risk for foodborne illness. Over the years, changes in scientific expertise as well as canning equipment have occurred, producing new information on the right type of methods, canners, jars and seals. For instance, a pressure canner must be used for low-acid foods to prevent botulism, while a water-bath canner is used for high-acid foods. The gasket on the pressure canner must be in good condition, and the dial gauge should be tested annually (which can be done at most UMaine Extension offices).

The UMaine Extension Web site distributes research-based information on saving money through energy conservation and alternative energy sources. Learn about publications and resources for homeowners, drivers, farmers and business owners; and about programs and workshops. The site links to information on tax incentives and energy audits.

Ohio State University Extension has a
Soil Quality Workshop CD ($35) with lecture slides, video and references that outline the fundamentals of soil quality and organic matter through various management practices. Learn about cover crops, tillage and compaction, the benefits of maintaining healthy soils, and using the OSU Extension Soil Quality Test Kit.

ATTRA’s updated publication Garlic: Organic Production can be downloaded at

“State-of-the-Science on the Health Risks of GM Foods,” a 28-page report from the Institute for Responsible Technology, is available free at The report describes regulators’ conflicts of interest; health problems in animals in feeding studies; farmers’ reports of problems with genetically engineered crops; and more.

Longtime MOFGA member and occasional MOF&G writer Marina Schauffler has a Natural Choices "green travel" Web site for Maine at The site helps Maine’s 43 million annual visitors and its residents experience the natural wonders of Maine in ways that enrich themselves AND the place by listing outdoor trips, events and activities that are fun, restorative and “green” – and often are free or low in cost. The site has a strong educational component and emphasizes local foods/eating green, and agritourism, with restaurant reviews, links to farmers’ markets and many special agricultural events. Users can check listings in any or all of eight Maine geographic areas; and can select activities relating to arts, birding, energy efficiency, festivals, farms and forests and many more. The “Going Green” section tells how to have a trip that impacts the environment minimally and keeps visitors safe. Other sections include “Green Bargains” and “Seasonal Highlights” – plants and animals to watch for at given times, foods that are in season, a link to ozone alerts, tide charts, astronomical features and more. A Code of Ethics applies to all programs and activities listed on the site.

World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF-USA, P.O. Box 1098, Philmont, NY 12565;; is part of a worldwide effort to link volunteers over age 18 with organic farmers, promote educational exchanges, and build a global community that is conscious of ecological farming practices. More than 120 farms in the Northeast participate. The organization’s online and printed directories list over 715 U.S. organic farmers who are willing to host volunteers; and describe their land, crops, personality of the farm family and/or community, and farm projects. Volunteers help farmer-hosts for half days with no money paid, while farmers provide meals and accommodation. (WWOOF encourages details of arrangements to be explicit before meeting.)

"New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods," by Charles Benbrook, Xin Zhao, Jaime Yanez, Neal Davies and Preston Andrews (March 2008), reviews over 100 studies published in the scientific literature on the nutritional benefits of organic food. The 53-page PDF report, executive summary, and supplemental information are available free at

Proceedings of the 2008 Organic Seed Growers Conference are available at

Guidelines for Using Manure on Vegetable Gardens, Publication #2510, is a two-page publication from UMaine Extension with concise guidelines to ensure safe vegetables, from garden to kitchen. This 2008 update to the 2000 version incorporates USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). It is available as a free download or as a printed copy for $.50 from; 581-3792; or

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a High Tunnel Raspberries and Blackberries guide, by researchers at Cornell and Penn State, at Relatively inexpensive, usually unheated hoop structures called high tunnels can produce earlier fruits, longer harvests, and yields two to three times greater than field-grown plants.

The Northeast Food and Farm Network (NEFOOD,
) is a project of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group through which people and groups from the Northeast can connect and work together to build a vibrant regional food system.
MOF&G Cover Fall 2008