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"The soil is, as a matter of fact, full of live organisms. It is essential to conceive of it as something pulsating with life, not as a dead or inert mass."
- Albert Howard, The Soil and Health, 1947
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 Calendar: Events of Interest

The following is a list of events taking place around the country – and the world!

Included here are events that are organized or co-sponsored by MOFGA. Download or read our
2017 MOFGA Events Calendar (8.5"x11").

MAY 2017

  • 25 - MOFGA Poultry Processing Workshop. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity. $75. $60 for MOFGA members. Information and registration.
  • 31 - MOFGA Farm Training Project Communication Kick-Off! Potluck Social!Wednesday, 5 p.m., Villageside Farm, Freedom. Join Polly and Prentice at Villageside Farm for a social gathering to kick off the FTP season. You'll learn about communication skills that will improve your experience as an apprentice this season. We look forward to seeing you there! Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.

JUNE 2017

  • Weekly - Farm Training Projects. Locations around Maine. Workshops give apprentices and other beginning and aspiring farmers the chance to visit other farms, learn from farmers about their areas of expertise and to network.
  • 2 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • 4 - MOFGA Board of Directors Meeting. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA Common Ground Education Center.
  • 5 - Fiber Farming. Monday, 5 p.m., Springtide Farm, Bremen. MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop. Goats are a great livestock choice for much of the rocky, forested land in Maine. Farmers Wendy Pieh and Peter Goth will discuss raising North American Cashmere goats for premium fiber, processed into roving and yarn that is hand dyed. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 5-6 - Introduction to HACCP. Class offered by Dirigo Food Safety at Lucy’s Granola in East Blue Hill, Maine; taught by Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel. Principles of HACCP, how to write HACCP plans for your business, and how to tell your food safety story. Participants receive IHA HACCP certification upon successful completion. To learn more and register, visit http://www.dirigofoodsafety.com/lucys-haccp-class
  • 8 - Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org
  • 13-14 - Capture Free Energy with Management. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Misty Brook Farm, 156 Bog Rd., Albion, ME 04910. Presented by Ian Mitchell-Innes, world-renowned grazing expert. $275 per farm family. For information, contact Katia & Brendan Holmes, 207-437-4719 or mistybrookorganicfarm@yahoo.com, or view the Misty Brook Farm website.
  • 15 - Cover Crops. Thursday, 6 p.m., Dooryard Farm, Camden. Farmer Cooper Funk and Mark Hutchinson of Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension will discuss types of cover crops, pros and cons of each and programs to help with crop rotation on your farm. Potluck to follow. Co-sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District (rain date June 15). Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 17 - Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Come and learn all you need to know and more about living in rural Maine. All workshops are hands-on. Free! More information.
  • 21 - Organic Livestock Management. Wednesday, 5 p.m., Milkhouse Farm, Monmouth. Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith raise a MOFGA certified organic dairy herd, laying hens and pigs. At the Milkhouse we graze 24/7 in the growing season (as weather and re growth allows), utilizing rotational grazing methods to increase soil fertility, maximize yields from the land, and manage fly & other pest pressure on the herd. We'll also discuss our plans for summer silvapasture for cows and pigs. Come learn how we make our system work! Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 24 - MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshop: Summer Orchard Care. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Redpath Orchard, 9 Orchard Rd., Cumberland. Please bring a bag lunch. Learn tips and tricks to caring for your orchard through the summer and getting your orchard to a successful harvest. Instructor: C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchard educator. Registration fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members. Register here. More information.

JULY 2017

  • 6 - MOFGA Poultry Processing Workshop. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity. $75. $60 for MOFGA members. Information and registration.
  • 6 - Medicinal Herbs. Thursday, 5 p.m., Avena Botanicals, Rockport. Join herbalist and biodynamic herb gardener Deb Soule for an informative walk through Avena Botanicals medicinal herb gardens. Deb and a crew of three gardeners collect over 1800 pounds of medicinal herbs by hand each year from 2-1/2 acres. These herbs are then immediately processed on-site into a variety of tinctures, teas, oils and salves. Avena is the first Demeter-certified biodynamic farm in Maine and Deb will include an introduction to biodynamics as part of this tour. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 7 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • 13 - Meeting of the Executive Committee of MOFGA's Board of Directors. 3:00 - 5:30 p.m.
  • 13 - Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org
  • 20 - High Tunnel Construction. Thursday, 5 p.m., Farmer Kev's Organics, West Gardiner. It is likely that you will gain experience growing crops in high tunnels during your apprenticeship, but do you know how to construct one when it comes time to start your own farm? Learn about design selection, site preparation, and construction of high tunnels with farmer Kevin Leavitt. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 23 - Conservation Biological Control Short Course. Sunday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm EDT, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity, ME. Course is tailored to the needs of farmers, NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees, as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, and non-governmental conservation organization staff. Offered by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Registration is $45 per person. Course registration includes the Xerces Society's Conservation Biocontrol Toolkit and a copy of "Farming With Native Beneficial Insects." Please bring a sack lunch - lunch will not be provided. Canceled registrations can be refunded until July 14th, 2017. Information and registration.
  • 27 - Weed Management. Thursday, 5 p.m., Goranson Farm, Dresden. Weed control is a primary challenge in organic farming systems. This workshop will offer ecological and cultural approaches to weed management with University of Maine Cooperative Extension Professional Jason Lilley, University of Maine Professor Eric Gallandt, and farmer expertise from Carl Goranson. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.

AUGUST 2017

  • 1 - Ecological Pest Management. Tuesday, 5 p.m., Whatley Farm, Topsham. Effective ecological pest control starts with a farm system design based on the fundamental principles of diversity and complexity. Join Dave Colson, MOFGA's Agricultural Services Director, and farmer Ben Whatley for a comprehensive perspective on managing pests in organic vegetable systems. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 4 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • 5 - MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., North Branch Farm, Monroe. Please bring a bag lunch. "Budding" uses individual buds from this year’s new growth to graft onto rootstock already set in the nursery. Instructor: Seth Yentes. Registration fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members. Register here. More information.
  • 9 - Biodynamic Farming. Wednesday, 5 p.m., Hope's Edge Farm, Hope. Biodynamics is a mystical, holistic approach to agriculture that has something to offer every farmer and gardener. Join host Tom Griffin for an introduction to the Biodynamic approach, and see how he incorporates it into his operation. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 10 - MOFGA Board of Directors Meeting. 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at MOFGA Common Ground Education Center.
  • 10 - Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org
  • 11-13 - Northeast Organic Farming Association's Summer Conference, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Information.
  • 16 - Farming with Horses. Wednesday, 5 p.m., New Beat Farm, Knox. Using animals for draft power has a number of economic, environmental and social benefits; but it is not easy. Sandy Meadow Farm relies on draft power for all aspects of their operation – from tillage to haying to woods work. Come learn the basics of this genuinely solar-based system of farming. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 18-20 - Maine Apple Camp. Camp NEOFA, Liberty, Maine. Join a gathering of heirloom fruit experts, advocates, and farmers to share knowledge and build networks that can facilitate the rescue and conservation our horticultural heritage. $165 for MOFGA members; $215 for non-members. For family registrations, please contact the MOFGA office. Information and registration.
  • 19 - Maine Axe and Saw Day. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Come learn about the history, making, use, and care of axes, crosscut saws, peaveys and other vintage and modern non-motorized tools.
  • TBD - Seed Saving and Production on a Diversified Farm. 5 p.m., Seven Tree Farm, Vassalboro. Roberta Bailey of Fedco Seeds operates Seven Tree Farm, 18 acres with three field plots, an orchard and grape arbor and many fruit and berry plantings. The farm also includes a solar house, root cellar, and many post and beam buildings, including a new barn and woodworking shop. The focus of their operation is to grow much of our food and to raise commercial seed crops on a small farm scale. Seed crops can work well with the home garden or the field production gardens, further diversifying a farm operation's income and securing seed supply in some situations. The talk will focus on interplanting seed crops in your gardens or field plots, using the by-products of the crop for food production or value added products to sell, and on basic seed saving and plant genetics, crop nutrition, rotations, isolations, and how to harvest and dry seed. The talk will cover biennials such as beets and carrots as well. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
  • 30 - Farm Woodlot Management. Wednesday, 5 p.m., Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. Woodlots are a ubiquitous, and essential part of farms in Maine. Whether the forest provides a heat source for your home and greenhouse, vital habitat for pollinators, foraging potential for livestock, maple syrup, or lumber for your buildings it must be managed with skill and vision. Hidden Valley Nature Center manages 1,000+ acres of forest for diverse purposes and you're invited to tour a portion of their activity with HVNC Director Andy Bezon. This workshop will emphasize the need for creativity at the intersection of field and forest, as well as a look at innovative tools, equipment, and processes. HVNC works in collaboration with MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry Project and aims to promote the thoughtful and sustainable inclusion of forests into the future of farms in Maine. HVNC was named the 2014 Outstanding Tree Farm in Maine. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.

SEPTEMBER 2017

  • 1 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • TBD - Diverse Dairy. 5 p.m., Toddy Pond Farm, Monroe. In recent decades, many small dairy farms have had to 'get big or get out' as the rising cost of operating a small scale, pasture based dairy has grown beyond economic sustainability. In order to become profitable, many producers have gotten creative—by diversification, value-added production, and innovative marketing strategies. Toddy Pond Farm is a small, diversified, family-run dairy operation of grass-fed Jersey and Guernsey cows in Monroe. Come see how farmers Greg and Heidi Purinton-Brown have designed the business model of the farm to ensure long term economic sustainability. They produce yogurt, kefir, cheese, and ice cream, along with honey, sheep, guinea hogs, meat chickens and eggs. Learn about their marketing strategies for this diversified operation and how the different aspects of the farm compliment each other. Potluck to follow.
  • 13 - Next Steps: Apprentice to Journeyperson. Wednesday, 5 p.m., Old Wells Farm, Limington. MOFGA estimates that Maine needs about 150 new farmers each year just to maintain the infrastructure required to support our local food system – so every new farm operation in Maine is a reason to celebrate! But, it's becoming increasingly difficult to get started in farming. Join Dylan and Alaena, along with several of MOFGA's current Journeypersons, as they share their insights and enthusiasm about how they are managing their first few years farming independently. Several key service providers will also discuss how their programs can help. If you are considering farming for a living, please come and contribute to this important discussion. Potluck to follow.
  • 14 - Meeting of the Executive Committee of MOFGA's Board of Directors. 3:00 - 5:30 p.m.
  • 14 - Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org
  • 22-24 - COMMON GROUND COUNTRY FAIR. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. The Fair is MOFGA’s premier event celebrating rural living. Three full days of educational talks and demonstrations, entertainment, delicious Maine-grown organic food and products from local artisans. Want to volunteer? FMI volunteers@mofga.org

OCTOBER 2017

  • 6 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • 7-9 - MOFGA Nose to Tail Pork Processing. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. This is one of our most popular workshops, covering all aspects of raising, humanely slaughtering, and processing pigs. Registration opens June 15th.
  • 12 - Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org
  • 15 - Great Maine Apple Day. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Celebrate the history, tradition, and flavor of Maine apples with MOFGA.
  • 22 - MOFGA Board of Directors Meeting. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center.

NOVEMBER 2017

  • 3 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • 4-6 - MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference. Saturday to Monday, Northport, Maine. MOFGA’s annual conference for farmers provides a great opportunity to talk about what works and what doesn’t while learning new ideas from university faculty, fellow farmers and others.
  • 9 - Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org
  • 16 - Meeting of the Executive Committee of MOFGA's Board of Directors. 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  • 16-19 - Low Impact Forestry Workshops. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. For people, beginning and experienced, to learn and practice sustainable woodlot management, and logging with animals and low-impact machinery. For beginners and experienced.
  • 17-18 - MOFGA Chainsaw & Forestry Safety Courses. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Level I is a two-day course covering many aspects of chainsaw use, including the basics of saw mechanics, operation, maintenance and safety, and a chance to learn and practice safe felling techniques. Level II is for experienced saw operators who want to practice and improve their technique.
  • 27–29 - ACORN Conference (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network). Best Western Glengarry Hotel, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Largest Canadian organic conference east of Ontario. Check http://www.acornorganic.org for details.

DECEMBER 2017

  • 1 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org
  • 3 - MOFGA Board of Directors Meeting. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center.
  • 14 - Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Members welcome. Information: aprilb@mofga.org

 


    

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