Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Jean Editorial – A Delicious Life

Publications \ The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener \ Spring 2009 \ English Editorial

by Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

Every day I make a little list of “things that made me happy.” Looking back, I see that most relate to food! Maine food, primarily. Roasted veggies topped with a cream-scallion-horseradish sauce; chili heating on the woodstove; a sweet potato vine growing in the south-facing window. Good bread. Maine brew.

Like most others, we have a nagging worry about “the economy,” but that worry is tempered by our home economy: several pounds of berries in the freezer; canned applesauce, pear sauce, pickled beets and other produce in the root cellar; enough potatoes to feed us into summer. Visits to farmers’ markets – even in winter, praise them! – fill out our menus.

So much of this bounty has resulted, directly or indirectly, from MOFGA’s work. The organization’s annual report is always a joy to read and reminds me of how much MOFGA members have contributed to food security in Maine. Here’s a snapshot:

Some 6,100 members (or 10,000, since many are family memberships) form a mycorrhizal-like network of producers, marketers and consumers that gets stronger every day.

In each of the last two years, MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair has attracted close to 60,000 people, and nearly 7,000 school children attended their special, free Friday at the Fair last year.

More than 4,000 Maine families get their summer food through a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm, and most of those farms are organic.

Almost 370 Maine farmers and processors are certified-organic.

More than 5% of Maine farms use organic practices, and about 5% of Maine cropland is organic.

Close to 100 young people participated in MOFGA’s Apprenticeship or Journeyperson Programs in 2008 – and that Apprenticeship Program was started 30 years ago by Chellie Pingree, now a member of the U.S. Congress!

Up to 20,000 people visit every week.

The list goes on. Like an organic soil that is well buffered against fluctuations in moisture, pH and nutrient availability, our home economy is buffered by the fruits of our home garden and the good food and fiber from several MOFGA farms. Yes, there’s a big crisis “out there,” but day to day, close to home, life is delicious.
MOF&G Cover Spring 2009
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