Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Farm Training Project Workshops

MOFGA Events \ Farm Training Project Workshops

MOFGA’s FARM TRAINING PROJECT
Weekly events, May through September 2019

The 2019 schedule of workshops

Designed to augment the on-farm learning of the farm apprenticeship program, MOFGA’s Farm Training Project (FTP) workshops follow an informal format, usually beginning with a farm tour followed by a presentation on the topic of the day.

Participants are invited to stay for a potluck supper – bring a dish or something fresh from the farm to share (please bring your own place setting as well). All events are held rain or shine and are free and open to the public.

For more information or directions to any of the workshops, call 568-4142, email education@mofga.org or check this webpage.


2019 Farm Training Project Workshop Schedule



ORGANIC FARMING: PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES
BASIC LIVESTOCK HANDLING

Wednesday, May 1, 10  a.m. to 3 p.m. at Misty Brook Farm, Albion
Knowing proper handling and first aid techniques can save lots of money and grief when adding livestock to the farm. Jacki Perkins, a long-time homesteader and MOFGA's Dairy Specialist, will be at Misty Brook Farm in Albion, Maine teaching livestock handling. Misty Brook Farm farm boasts a variety of amiable livestock, which are accustomed to intensive handling, and uniquely suited as a training tool. Everyone will leave the session with the confidence they need to safely handle animals and completing this training will benefit current or future employment. Please register for this event.



ORGANIC FARMING: PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES
CROP PRODUCTION

Friday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Join crop specialist Caleb Goosen from MOFGA’s Agricultural Services Department and Alex Either, MOFGA’s farmer in residence of Killdeer Croft Farm, for a one-day introductory course in organic crop farming. Caleb will cover theory and best practices for organic management of soils and crops. After lunch Alex and Caleb will tour the MOFGA’s grounds to discuss farm plantings. Please register for this event.


 


2019 COMMUNICATION KICK-OFF
POTLUCK SOCIAL

Wednesday, May 22, 5 p.m. at Villageside Farm, 122 Belfast Rd., Freedom
Join Polly and Prentice at Villageside Farm for a farm tour and social gathering to kick off the FTP season. You’ll learn communication skills to improve your experience as an apprentice this season. You will receive an overview of MOFGA’s Apprenticeship Program, opportunities and support resources available to apprentices and new farmers, and what to expect for the season ahead. Most importantly, it’s a great chance to start meeting apprentices from other farms across the state. We look forward to seeing you there! Potluck to follow.


 


SOIL HEALTH AND INTENSIFIED VEGETABLE GROWING
Wednesday, June 12, 5 p.m. at Frith Farm, 61 Ash Swamp Rd., Scarborough
Daniel Mays, farmer at Frith Farm, produces diversified vegetables on 14 acres in a no-till system. Come discuss soil health management strategies including cover cropping, tarping, and permanent bed systems. How to produce a bounty of organic produce in compact spaces will also be explored. Potluck to follow.


 


INTRODUCTION TO TRACTORS:
FARM PRODUCTION SYSTEMS AND TRACTOR SAFETY

Wednesday, June 26, 5 p.m. at Morning Dew Farm, Damariscotta
Join farmers Brendan and Brady of Morning Dew Farm to learn how they have set up vegetable production systems for both riding tractors and walk behind BCS style tractors. Basic tractor safety will be covered. Potluck to follow.



FARMING AND MARKETING COOPERATIVELY
Wednesday, July 3, 5 p.m. at New Roots Cooperative Farm, 954 College Rd., Lewiston
Come see  New Roots Cooperative Farm, a New American-owned cooperative in practice and learn about worker co-op farms, farmland co-ops, marketing co-ops, labor co-ops and equipment sharing co-ops. You'll learn about cooperative economic structure, democratic decision-making, and distribution of the surplus farmers collectively generate. Potluck to follow.


 


FLOWER FARMING
Wednesday, July 10, 5 p.m. at East of Eden Flower Farm, Bowdoinham
Come spend an evening with East of Eden Flower Farm in Bowdoinham. Learn a few of the basics of diverse flower production. We’ll provide a brief overview of growing, harvesting and arranging cut flowers. Potluck to follow.


 


MEDICINAL HERBS AND BIODYNAMIC FARMING
Wednesday, July 31, 5 p.m. at Avena Botanicals, Rockport
Join herbalist and biodynamic herb gardener Deb Soule for an informative walk through of Avena Botanicals medicinal herb gardens. Deb and a crew of 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.



ON FARM PROCESSING LIVESTOCK
Wednesday, August 7, 5 p.m. at Tessier's Farm, Skowhegan
Come learn about Tessier’s Farm on-farm processing facility for poultry and rabbit, including how to prepare for an on-farm small animal slaughter. In addition, we will tour Tessier’s diverse array of farm products.



HAND TOOL DEMONSTRATION WITH JOHNNY'S SELECTED SEEDS
Wednesday, August 14, 5 p.m. at Cultivating Community, Packard Littlefield Farm, Lisbon
Join the Tools Team from Johnny’s Selected Seeds to see human powered tools in action. This tools demonstration will be located at Cultivating Community’s incubation farm for new American farmers in Lisbon. Potluck to follow.



VALUE ADDED DIVERSE DAIRY
Wednesday, August 21, 5 p.m. at 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. See how farmers Greg and Heide 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, fermented vegetables, sausages, sheep, Gloucestershire Old Spots, meat chickens and eggs. They recently added a new cheese cave to make cave aged cheese and salami. Learn about their marketing strategies for this diversified operation and how the different aspects of the farm complement each other. Potluck to follow.



LAND TENURE
Wednesday, August 28, 5 p.m. at Dickey Hill Farm, Monroe
Finding a place to farm can be a huge challenge. Whether you’re working as a farm hand, manager or apprentice it is never too soon to consider your options. Join Noami and James of Dickey Hill Farm and Abby Sadauckas, Field Agent for Land For Good to get a better idea of how to start thinking about your future farm, the land base you’ll need and the variety of ways to achieve your farm dream.



NEXT STEPS: APPRENTICE TO JOURNEYPERSON
Wednesday, September 4, 5 p.m. at Apple Creek Farm, Bowdoinham
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 getting started in farming is becoming increasingly difficult in many ways. Join Abby and Jake of Apple Creek Farm as they share their insights and enthusiasm about how they market their livestock products year-round and utilize a mix of owned and leased acreage to support their growing farm business. Abby is the Maine Field Agent for Land for Good and will introduce several key agricultural service providers to explain how their programs can help. If you’re considering farming for a living, please come and contribute to this important conversation. Potluck to follow.


2019 Common Ground Country Fair poster
 


COMMON GROUND COUNTRY FAIR
Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22 at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity
If you’ve ever been to the Fair, you know – and if you haven’t been, anyone who has will tell you – it’s an event like no other, that brings together so many people from so many walks of life, all in the spirit of celebrating the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine. Volunteer shifts of four hours or more gain free one-day admission, a meal, one night of camping and a Fair t-shirt.

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