Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

MOFGA’s Red Barn
MOFGA’s electricity-producing red barn. English photo.

MOFGA’s Red Barn Goes Solar
Congratulations to …
Condolences to …


MOFGA’s Red Barn Goes Solar

ReVision Energy’s John Luft and MOFGA’s Vernon LeCount talk about the 11.7kw solar photovoltaic array installed on MOFGA’s 200-year-old red barn, in a 7-minute video at This grid-tied system has no moving parts and no batteries; just 54 Solon Blue 225 watt panels tied to two inverters that convert sunshine into electricity. Supported by a grant from Efficiency Maine, the system is estimated to produce enough energy to power three or four homes and to offset 19,500 pounds of CO2 – the equivalent of planting 50 trees per year.


Congratulations to …

Jim Gerritsen
Jim Gerritsen.

… Maine organic potato farmer Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm ( for being named by the editors of Utne Reader to the magazine's 2011 list of 25 People Who Are Changing the World ( With decades of community involvement and activism, Gerritsen has most recently been leading efforts by independent family farmers to protect themselves from the threat of litigation related to Monsanto's patents on genetically engineered seeds. Gerritsen sees this work as critical to preserving organic farming and to preserving organic foods as a choice for consumers and their families. He is president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (, the national membership trade organization of the organic seed community, and lead plaintiff in the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit, which is currently in pre-trial procedural motions.

Chef Sam Hayward of Fore Street Restaurant in Portland for winning a national award from the Chefs Collaborative recognizing his commitment to promoting local, sustainable foods in the culinary world. The nonprofit honored Hayward with its "Sustainer" award for being a mentor to others and a model to the culinary community. Hayward is also a MOFGA board member.

Josh Mather, who owns Joshua's Restaurant in Wells and who won The Top of the Crop competition showcasing local foods at the Harvest on the Harbor in Portland. Josh prepared cider-braised, country-style pork ribs served on a bed of mashed potatoes and accompanied by balsamic braised beets, cranberry chutney and candied pumpkin seeds.

Teresa and Henry Hardy and their family, organic dairy farmers in Farmington, who won the 2011 Horizon Organic Producer Education Award for their promotion of organic farming. The award was presented to the Hardy Farm family during the Farm Aid concert in Kansas City.

Sagadahoc Chapter of MOFGA
At the 35th anniversary party for the Sagadahoc Chapter of MOFGA, chapter president Russell Schneider presented Sue and George Sergeant with a Lifetime Service Award for their work for the chapter. English photo.
Sagadahoc Chapter of MOFGA
Russell Libby congratulates the Sergeants. English photo.
Sagadahoc Chapter of MOFGA
Ann Schneider made the cake for the 35th anniversary celebration. English photo.

Marada Cook and Ryan Redmond on the birth of their son, Arthur, this summer.

Sarah and Garin Smith of Grassland Farm on the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Rose Smith, in October.

… the Sagadahoc chapter of MOFGA on celebrating its 35th anniversary in October – and to George and Sue Sergeant, “the heartbeat of Sagadahoc MOFGA,” according to chapter president Russell Schneider, for receiving a Lifetime Service Award from the chapter. More about this constant and effective chapter in the next MOF&G, and about its many projects for MOFGA and for its local community; for now, thanks for all your work and for your $2,500 donation presented to MOFGA at the 35th celebration.

Condolences to …

… Melissa White Pillsbury, MOFGA’s organic marketing coordinator, and her family on the September death of Melissa’s father, Eugene “Gene” H. White of Unity. White had received the Purple Heart for wounds received while serving in Vietnam. He later earned a forestry degree from Unity College.

… the family and friends of Deanne "Dede" K. Herman, a musician and long-time advocate for Maine-grown food. Dede died in July from ovarian cancer. A graduate of Colby College, she was active in the New England food co-op movement, was a founding worker at the Fedco Warehouse, and worked for the state of Maine for 23 years, creating the Maine FarmShares for Seniors program and being instrumental in the adoption of the "Get Real, Get Maine" motto for marketing Maine products.

… the family and friends of Muriel Berry "Gracie" Bonin, 82, of Litchfield, who died in September. In addition to graduating from UMaine Augusta, raising a family and working for various Maine organizations, Bonin was executive secretary of the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs for 32 years and attended every Maine fair every year. She was also active in the Litchfield Farmers Club, the Litchfield Grange, and other community organizations.

… the friends and family of Noel Dechar, Excalibur The Electrician, who died in October from heart and lung ailments. Dechar was “one of our savior electricians for the Fair,” says MOFGA’s associate director Heather Spalding. “He always came about two weeks ahead of the Fair and volunteered huge hours for us,” and then volunteered throughout the year as well. “We’ll miss him a lot.”


MOF&G Cover Winter 2011-2012