Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOFGA Events

MOFGA Events

Throughout the year, MOFGA hosts hundreds of meetings, workshops, conferences, dinners and festive gatherings. Many take place at our Common Ground Education Center in Unity, Maine. And many more happen at farms, businesses and other venues throughout the state. Please review our event registration policies. For events offered by other organizations, see our Calendar page. Interested in giving a workshop for MOFGA? Please complete this form. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship for a MOFGA event click here.

Farmer to Farmer Conference 2019

November 2-4, 2019
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center, Northport, Maine

 

Jericho Settlers Family
The crew at Jericho Settlers Farm
 

2019 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching, Jericho Settlers Farm
"From 1 Acre to $1,000,000: Scaling up and Staying Profitable"
Monday, November 4: 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Jericho Settlers Farm is a 150 acre farm, owned and operated by Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching, producing 25 acres of certified organic vegetables, flowers and herbs for their year-round CSA programs, farmstands and wholesale customers. Christa and Mark manage long rotations between vegetable production and livestock forage on over 100 acres, and maintain over an acre of crops in their hoophouses and greenhouses year round. They specialize in year round vegetable production, primarily salad greens, tomatoes and root vegetables. In their keynote they will talk about their process in scaling up their business, address their successes and failures along away, and discuss the things they've learned to prioritize to stay profitable.

 


PRE-CONFERENCE ACTIVITIES

Friday, November 1
Washing Machine Greens Spinner Workshop
2 p.m. to 6 p.m., MOFGA Exhibition Hall, Unity (click for details and registration)

Saturday, November 2

INTENSIVE SESSION (click for details)
Tarping for Reduced Tillage in Small-Scale Vegetable Systems
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

FARM TOURS (click for details)
Snakeroot Farm and Balfour Farm in Pittsfield (bus tour)
North Spore Mushroom Farm in Westbrook (no bus available)
• Note: The mushroom farm tour is fully registered. Please email events@mofga.org to get onto our waitlist.

FARMER FOCUS GROUP (click for details)
Healthy Farms and Healthy Farmers
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Education Center, Point Lookout

Lettuce in the long-term reduced tillage experiment at the Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y. Photo by Ryan Maher
 

Saturday Intensive
Tarping for Reduced Tillage in Small-Scale Vegetable Systems

Saturday, November 2: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tarping has emerged as a new practice for small farms – a tool being used to suppress weeds, manage soils, and reduce tillage. Join a full-day intensive, farmer-to-farmer workshop to talk about how we can use tarps to advance reduced and no-till vegetable production. We’ll discuss tillage, weeds and how to combine tarps with other soil building practices – like compost, mulches and cover crops. You will learn from farmers as they share their successes and failures with tarps used on their farm. We’ll also share research results from five years of tarping trials in Maine and New York, which test no-till practices side-by-side with conventional management.

Join us and share your own tarping experiences and walk away with a plan to use tarps with less tillage on your farm. This is participatory workshop designed for farmers to learn from other farmers. Come prepared to dig-in, share your practices and struggles, and bring your questions as you consider adopting, changing or expanding tarping practices on your farm.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Presented by:
Mark Hutton and Nick Rowley – University of Maine
Ryan Maher and Anu Rangarajan – Cornell Small Farms Program
Crystal Stewart – Cornell Cooperative Extension


Saturday Farm Tours

Lois Labbe (left) and Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Organic Farm Debbie and Lori of Snakeroot Organic Farm
Lois Labbe (left) and Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Organic Farm Debbie and Lori of Snakeroot Organic Farm
   

Snakeroot Organic Farm – 1 p.m.

Snakeroot Organic Farm started in 1995 when Tom Roberts and Lois Labbe moved from Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, where they had been farming together for five years. They moved onto a run-out hayfield in an opening in the woods, and immediately began to improve the soil with cover crops and compost. Today they grow a wide variety of mixed vegetables, fruit, and culinary herbs on 5 acres of gardens. Tom and Lois sell almost all of their garden produce at four farmers' markets – Pittsfield, Unity, Waterville, and Orono – each of which they helped start. Occasionally folks also come by the farm to shop.

They have a heated 2,600 sq.ft. greenhouse and another 4,820 sq.ft. in five unheated greenhouses where they grow seedlings for planting and for sale at the farmers’ markets. During the winter months the greenhouses are planted with spinach, beet greens, radishes, lettuce, spicy greens, turnips, and carrots for harvest starting in April before the field crops are ready. Then they transplant tomatoes and cucumbers into the greenhouse for early harvest of those crops.

In 2000 Tom and Lois began tapping maple trees in their sugarbush. They currently set a little over 400 taps to make their own maple syrup.


Heather and Doug Balfour with Joy the Normande Cow Balfour cows on pasture
Heather and Doug Balfour with Joy the Normande Cow Balfour cows on pasture
   

Balfour Farm – 3 p.m.

Balfour Farm is an off-the-grid, 100-acre diversified organic dairy farm. Doug and Heather Donahue purchased the vacant farm in 2010. Building on the foundation of organic management, the farm utilizes intensive rotational grazing. Winter feed is harvested by the farm on neighboring land. They have operated a closed herd since 2007, so all dairy animals are raised on the farm.

The Normande dairy herd produces rich milk that is well suited for cheesemaking. The creamery focuses on raw milk aged cheeses, fresh cheeses and yogurts. A flock of chickens provide fresh eggs for market, and a small herd of pigs happily eat the whey and discarded dairy products from the cheese room.

In 2015, farm operations transitioned to completely off the grid, with a small solar system and large diesel generator. In 2019, a 10 kW solar system was installed and now provides a significant amount of power for the farm, with the generator providing back up during intensive energy use. The farm is now constructing a cheese aging cave, which will significantly increase the farm's capacity.


Winecap mushrooms. Photo courtesy North Spore Mushrooms
Winecap mushrooms. Photo courtesy North Spore Mushrooms
 

Additional Saturday Farm Tour
NOTE: No bus will be available for this tour

North Spore Mushroom Farm with presentation: "Commercial Mushroom Farming in Maine" – 1 - 4 p.m.
90 Bridge St., Westbrook, Maine 04092 – Website
(Parking is at the end of the building on the left. The North Spore shop is at the far end of the building away from the parking.)

This class and tour has filled up. Please email events@mofga.org to get onto our waitlist.

Take a tour of a successful mushroom farm and spawn producer in the Portland area. We will see their fruiting room as well as the methods of producing spawn. The basics and opportunities of small scale mushroom farming will be explored. Willie Crosby, owner of Fungi Ally a mushroom spawn and education business based in Massachusetts, will lead the discussion. After seven years of commercial cultivation experience he is currently working to increase the small scale mushroom industry throughout the Northeast. Read more about this tour on our MOFGA Events page


Farmer Social Sustainability Focus Group
Healthy Farms and Healthy Farmers

Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Education Center, Point Lookout
Please join us for a 90-minute focus group to explore social sustainability on farms in the northeast. This session is part of a regional 3-year SARE project. The input from these sessions will be critical in honing the scope, content and approach of new programming being developed to improve overall farm success and sustainability through the cultivation of farmers’ personal well-being, equity and community connections. Contribution to this research is purely voluntary and focus group participants will be offered a modest stipend for their time.

As capacity is limited, please register in advance using this form and don't hesitate to contact Daniel at daniel.macphee@tufts.edu or (207) 370-4849 if you have any questions or require any particular accommodations to facilitate your participation.

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2019 Farmer to Farmer session schedule at a glance – click to open larger image
 

SESSIONS

New This Year!  This year we have short session options mixed into some of our long session blocks. These will run back-to-back and are indicated by a * green asterisk for the first sessions and a * red asterisk for the second sessions.

 

Sunday, November 3

Sunday Morning
9:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Note: The butterfly graphic indicates that one pesticide certification credit is available for the session.

Pest Management in Berries: Can’t Kill It? Exclude It! Beating the Dreaded SWD by Using Exclusion Netting
Dale-Ila Riggs and Don Miles, The Berry Patch, New York
David Handley, UMaine Extension
Dale-Ila M. Riggs and Don Miles of The Berry Patch in Stephentown, N.Y., have successfully used exclusion netting for 6 years on their half acre commercial blueberry planting and for 3 years on their high tunnel fall raspberries. Dale-Ila will talk about how she first started using the netting research results from the many years of collaborative research with Cornell share yield figures and costs and how they have improved the system over the years. Don will give his perspective as the person primarily responsible for putting the netting up and taking it down each season.

Seedling Production
Whatley Farm, Topsham
Whatley Farm will talk about producing seedlings for their own production, including Japanese paperpots, cell trays, and soil blocks. They will also dive into growing seedlings for home gardeners, and some of their systems for efficient material handling in the greenhouse and discussing their heating systems, including hydronic benches and convection heating.

Best Practices in Farm Digital Marketing: Social Media, Email Lists, and more!
Abby Sadauckas, Apple Creek Farm, Bowdoinham
Finegan Ferreboeuf, Steelbow Farm, Norridgewock
Kristin F. Simmons Digital Marketing & Visual Storyteller
Learn how local, organic farmers are making online marketing (social media, email lists, etc.) actually work for them and their business. Kristin F. Simmons, Digital Marketer and Visual Storyteller, will go through a presentation on best practices and tips and tricks and also be on hand to answer targeted questions about digital marketing in practice. Our farmer panelists will go deeper into what they do and why, the impact they see from their use of online marketing tools, and how they manage the work/time doing it.

Pasturing Pigs
Crescent Run Farm, Gardiner
Michael Dennett
Colt Knight, UMaine Extension
Ben Notterman, Snug Valley Farm, Vermont
Join Michael Dennett of Crescent Run Farm in Gardiner, Ben Notterman of Snug Valley Farm in East Hardwick, Vermont, and State Livestock Specialist Colt Knight to learn how pigs can be used a regenerative pasturing tool. The farmers will share their methods of production on farms that finish 50 and 500 hogs each year.

Growing Garlic in the Northeast: Research and Production Lessons Learned
Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Regional Vegetable Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jean-Paul Courtens, Roxbury Farm Agriculture Institute
The garlic industry in the northeast has experienced steady expansion over the last 10 years, but has also experienced increasing problems with insects, diseases, and weather. Crystal will share her research results related to fertility, weed and disease control, and drying garlic, and Jean-Paul will share production techniques that help keep this crop healthy and profitable.

Nuts & Bolts of Irrigation Infrastructure –Irrigation Tools and Strategies
Jason Lilly, UMaine Extension’
Jeremy Delisle, UNH
John Snell, Snell Family Farm, Buxton
John Snell will share his experiences with a wide array of irrigation systems at Snell Family Farm, while Jeremy Delisle and Jason Lilley from UNH and UMaine Extension, respectively, are on-hand to speak about soil water generally, strategies for optimizing irrigation, and how soil moisture monitoring may help save you time and money, and improve crop health and yield.

Managing Labor on the Farm
Harvest Tide Organics, Bowdoinham
The Milkhouse, Monmouth
The farmers from Harvest Tide Organics, a diversified vegetable farm, and The Milkhouse, a creamery, will discuss strategies for managing labor on the farm. This discussion will include logistics such as compensation and hiring practices as well as communication and employee retention.

Winter Crops: Handling, Washing, and Storage
Chris Callahan & Andy Chamberlin, UVM
Join us for a discussion about best practices for successful winter storage crops. We’ll review harvest considerations, curing, precooling, handling and washing practices, storage conditions, storage systems, and pack out approaches. Bring your own experiences, challenges, tricks and lessons learned to share (including pictures).

FSMA, Food Safety, & Organics: When Worlds Don’t Have to Collide
Leah Cook & Lauren Mapes, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry
Join Leah and Lauren for an overview of basic FSMA food safety requirements and how they intersect with the NOP standard. We’ll have an open conversation about the foundational concepts of food safety, organic agriculture, and FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule. We’ll talk about the inherent tension points between these systems, and how they can align and support each other. Leah and Lauren both have hands-on backgrounds in organic agriculture and now work on Maine’s FSMA Produce Safety Rule team.


 

Sunday Afternoon
2:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Note: The butterfly graphic indicates that one pesticide certification credit is available for the session.
Asterisks indicate short sessions:  * 1st session in timeblock  * 2nd session in timeblock

Equipment & Mechanization to Optimize Labor
Jericho Settlers Farm, Vermont
South Paw Farm, Freedom
Buckle Farm, Unity
With the dwindling farm labor pool farmers are starting to adapt their systems towards equipment and mechanization to optimize the labor they have. South Paw Farm in Freedom, Buckle Farm in Unity, and Jericho Settlers Farm out of Vermont learned to specialize. As they’ve scaled up production, they have invested in cultivating and harvesting equipment and packing and storage facilities to minimize product handling while maintaining food safety and product quality.

Creative Strategies for Direct to Consumer Marketing: Farm Stand Management and Marketing
The Milkhouse, Monmouth
Beth’s Farm Market, Warren
This session will address designing and running a farm stand for sales and whole farm success. Presenters will discuss the logistics of their farm stand (staffing, location, products carried, % of gross sales, etc.), how they designed their farm stand, what strategies have impacted sales and their marketing for their stand.

Expanding Small Scale Mushroom Cultivation in the Northeast
Willie Crosby, Fungi Ally, Massachusetts
Louis Giller, North Spore, Westbrook
In this workshop we will explore 3 methods of commercial mushroom cultivation that are promising for diversified farms or stand alone mushroom farms. A SARE grant offering workshops, webinars, and one on one consulting in the 2020 growing season will also be briefly explained. North Spore mushroom farm in Portland Maine will give us a tour of their operation and how they cultivate mushrooms.

* Mixed Orchard Crops –Fruits, Nuts and Berries
Jesse Stevens, Sy’s Trees, Sweden
Molly DellaRoman & Tim Skillin, 5 Star Orchard, Brooklin
This session will focus on the cultivation of mixed orchard crops, including fruits, nuts, berries and perennial stock, where diversity is key to balancing the orchard ecosystem. Jesse Stevens of Sy’s Trees in Sweden, Maine, will share his experience growing crops such as kiwis, figs and honeyberries, among others. Molly DellaRoman and Tim Skillin of 5 Star Orchard in Brooklin, Maine, will share their experience growing pome fruit, stone fruit and perennial stock along the coast of Maine.

* Beautiful Berries Create a Bountiful Bottom Line
Dale-Ila Riggs, The Berry Patch, New York
Dale-Ila M. Riggs of The Berry Patch in Stephentown, N.Y., will talk about how she used berries as the core of her start up farm and how those crops have helped the farm become a thriving, successful farm business.

* The Business End of Pig Production
John Arbuckle, Singing Prairie Farm, Newcastle
Turning your passion into a paycheck. Why knowing how to farm is only the beginning. A small business owner’s approach to food production.

* Commercial Pig Production
Ben Notterman, Snug Valley Farm, Vermont
John Arbuckle, Singing Prairie Farm, Newcastle
Learn how John Arbuckle of Singing Prairie Farm in Newcastle and Ben Notterman of Snug Valley Farm in East Hardwick, Vermont, were able to grow their hog enterprises to a commercial scale of production. They will discuss infrastructure, markets, growth trajectories and their strategies for success.

* Starting Your Own Farm
Finegan Ferreboeuf and Jason Gold, Steelbow Farm, Norridgewock
Abby Sadauckas, Land for Good
This session is designed for apprentices and farm workers interested in starting their own farm business in the coming years. Come learn the steps for launching your farm and hear from current beginning farmers in the MOFGA Journeyperson program. Representatives from various agriculture service providers will be present to answer questions about various resources including land access assistance and farm financing.

* Can You Hack It? Farm Innovations
Chris Callahan & Andy Chamberlin, UVM Cooperative Extension
Chris Callahan and Andy Chamberlin from UVM Extension will facilitate a discussion about farm-born innovations and hacks. Come learn about novel inventions, tools, and farm hacks in a lightning round format that will highlight inventions, conversions, and adaptations of tools for farm improvement. Have a tool you’ve developed? Get in touch with Chris to get on the agenda (chris.callahan@uvm.edu). Nothing is too simple, don’t be bashful. The lightning round will be followed by discussion of bottlenecks and points of pain that need better tools, and a group brainstorm session about possible solutions.

Good Pasture Management
Kimberly Hagan, UVM
Sumner Roberts, Meadowsweet Farm
Let’s talk about bringing our pasture management to the 2.0 level.  Kimberly Hagen from UVM along with Sumner Roberts and Eliot Van Peski the past and present farmers at Meadowsweet farm will share their skills and tactics.

Cover Cropping and Crop Rotation on Low Acreage
Natalie Lounsbury, UNH
Daniel Mays, Frith Farm, Scarborough
Join Natalie Lounsbury and Daniel Mays, as we discuss methods to fit cover cropping into your rotation on small acreages. Natalie has been performing research at the University of New Hampshire on incorporating cover crops in no till vegetable systems using solarization or occultation (tarping). Daniel Mays farms at Frith Farm, where he has been experimenting with different species, and cocktail mixes, of cover crops, as well as different seeding methods.

* Growing a Farm That Supports Your Life
Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Regional Vegetable Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Jean-Paul Courtens, Roxbury Farm Agriculture Institute, New York
So many of us enter farming to fulfill a passion to care for the earth and grow healthy food, which is wonderful! But how do we make sure that the farm is also meeting our financial, physical and emotional needs? This session is just an opening to discuss the long view of the farm. How can we plan for the end of the farm, when we need it to care of us, right from the beginning? And how can we be fulfilled socially, economically, and environmentally in this great profession?

* Discussion –What Went Wrong, How Did You Address It – Cold, Wet Spring
Facilitator: Mark Hutchinson, UMaine Extension
Come ready for a round-table only session where we will discuss and workshop what went wrong on your farm this year and how you dealt with the blows. We will begin with the topic of the cold and wet late spring and will delve further into the season as time allows.


 

Monday, November 4

Keynote Address
8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Scaling up and Staying Profitable
Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching, Jericho Settlers Farm

 

Monday Morning
10 - 11:30 a.m.

Note: The butterfly graphic indicates that one pesticide certification credit is available for the session.

Backpack Sprayer Calibration
Caleb Goossen, MOFGA
Jason Lilley, UMaine Extension
Caragh Fitzgerald, UMaine Extension
Are you applying enough material for it to be effective? Are you wasting expensive materials? Join us for a discussion of proper spray considerations, and learn hands-on how to calibrate your sprayer for efficient and effective applications. If you are bringing your sprayer be sure to triple rinse all hoses and nozzles, and rinse the exterior of the sprayer, too.  If you have a manual for your sprayer, bring that, too.

Dish It: Is Compostable Packaging Worth It?
Clayton Carter, Fail Better Farm, Etna
Brady Hatch, Morning Dew Farm, Newcastle
The goal of this session is to try to get to the bottom of compostable packaging options. Are there any that are actually better for the environment? How do they work? What have other farmers tried and how did they make the decision? Clayton Carter from Fail Better Farm and Brady Hatch from Morning Dew Farm will share their research, experiences, and philosophy regarding compostable packaging for farm products.

Extending the Grazing Season: Harvesting Tree Fodder and Other Methods
Shana Hanson, 3 Streams Farm, Belfast
Jack Kertesz, MOFGA
Come and hear about extending the grazing season through alternative methods of collecting and drying tree fodder for winter and more. Learn what value different fodders offer and come ready with questions about the methods.

Farm in the Spotlight
Balfour Farm, Pittsfield
Balfour Farm is an off-the-grid, 100-acre diversified organic dairy farm. Doug and Heather Donahue purchased the vacant farm in 2010. Building on the foundation of organic management, the farm utilizes intensive rotational grazing. Winter feed is harvested by the farm on neighboring land. They have operated a closed herd since 2007, so all dairy animals are raised on the farm.

The Normande dairy herd produces rich milk that is well suited for cheesemaking. The creamery focuses on raw milk aged cheeses, fresh cheeses and yogurts. A flock of chickens provide fresh eggs for market, and a small herd of pigs happily eat the whey and discarded dairy products from the cheese room.

In 2015, farm operations transitioned to completely off the grid, with a small solar system and large diesel generator. In 2019, a 10 kW solar system was installed and now provides a significant amount of power for the farm, with the generator providing back up during intensive energy use. The farm is now constructing a cheese aging cave, which will significantly increase the farm's capacity.

Farming as a Partnership
Leslie Forstadt, UMaine Extension
Tori Jackson, UMaine Extension
Keena Tracey, Little Ridge Farm, Lisbon Falls
Tori Jackson and Leslie Forstadt from UMaine Cooperative Extension will guide a highly interactive session about strengthening partnerships in farming. The state of partnership requires participation. How partners show up to participate varies dramatically and no farm’s partnerships are the same. Partnerships in this case include business partners, family members, life partners or spouses, anyone with whom you have a close relationship in establishing and maintaining a farm. Anyone with whom you are participating in the establishment and running of a farm. We’ll examine personal needs, and ways to communicate about those needs. Each participant will have an opportunity to do self-reflection and journaling. For couples who attend, you can choose to do activities together or independently and share at a later time.

Managing Soil Fertility with Organic & Natural Fertilizers
Bruce Hoskins, UMaine Extension
Soil fertility management in organic production is often based on tradition and a wealth of anecdotal information. As more natural fertilizers have been evaluated in controlled research, much of that conventional wisdom has been proven correct and some not. Organic and natural fertilizers are derived from plant and animal meals, natural minerals, animal manures, and compost made from a variety of feedstocks. Cover crops (green manures) can also be considered natural fertilizers. To maintain organic certification, any and all of these nutrient sources must be allowed for organic production by OMRI or some other certifying agency. This discussion will cover nutrient content, nutrient availability, and nutrient release rates of several commonly used and approved sources, including several blended natural fertilizers. We will also discuss timing of application and other fertility management strategies.

Making Changes in Augusta and Washington: See How the Organic Sausage is Made!
Heather Spalding, MOFGA
Panel of farmer activists
This session will feature information on the policy work MOFGA is involved in as well as how the process works and how farmers can get involved. The presenters include Heather Spalding, MOFGA’s Deputy Director and a panel of farmer activists.

Saffron: A Golden Opportunity for Diversified Farmers
Margaret Skinner, UVM
Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani, UVM
Margaret will give background information about saffron and its potential as a crop for Northeastern growers. Arash will describe step-by-step how saffron is grown and harvested and present results from UVM’s research. The session will include demonstrations of what saffron looks like, how it grows, howto harvest it and what it tastes like. Attendees will gain knowledge about how to grow and process saffron, which will enable them to decide if this new crop is worth a try.

Straight Talk on FSMA Inspections: How They Work & What to Expect
Leah Cook & Lauren Mapes, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry
A full season into the first FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspections, Leah Cook will share with us how the inspection program works in Maine, what to expect from a Produce Safety Rule inspection, and what happens after the inspectors leave your farm. She’ll share updates on how the FDA is handling different scenarios and which areas of the regulations are being developed and which are firmly settled. Lauren will share what the Department can offer to help farms prepare or learn more about produce safety on the farm. Questions are welcome!

Growing Hemp Organically in Maine
Joe Saltalamachia, Top Flower Farm
Join Joe Saltalamachia of MOFGA Certified Clean Cannabis (MC3)Top Flower Farm as he discusses his farm's first year in production of CBD hemp. Hear the trials and successes on his farm as well as a ton of helpful tips! Also joining in the discussion is Chris Grigsby, MOFGA Certification Services director and point person for MOFGA's MC3 program, who will discuss the program standards, requirements, and the status of the USDA hemp program.


 

Monday Afternoon
1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Note: The butterfly graphic indicates that one pesticide certification credit is available for the session.
Asterisks indicate short sessions:  * 1st session in timeblock  * 2nd session in timeblock

Optimizing Compost Applications for Soil Health and Crop Productivity
Mark Hutchinson, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Will Brinton, Woods End Laboratories
Join two of Maine’s preeminent composting experts, Mark Hutchinson from UMaine Cooperative Extension, and Will Brinton, creater of the Solvita microbial activity tests, from Woods End Laboratories. Discussion will include the finer nuances of using compost as a soil amendment, and why there may be such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to high application rates of compost.

Creative Strategies for Direct to Consumer Marketing: Agritourism
Heide and Greg Purinton-Brown, Toddy Pond Farm, Monroe
Sarah Pike, Tops’l Farm, Waldoboro
Taryn Marcus, Sheepscot General Farm and Store, Whitefield
This session is all about agritourism. Collectively our panelists can speak to farm camp, airbnb-style farm stay, weddings and retreats, U-pick, farm stores, on-farm dinners and cafe’s, and more! Our panelists will give us an overview of their agritourism enterprises and then dive into logistics like: charging fees and how to set them, liability and insurance, marketing and trends, and balancing work life, personal life, and public life.

Growing Through the Cold of It: Winter Greens Production
Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching, Jericho Settlers Farm, Vermont
Dickey Hill Farm, Monroe
Jericho Settlers Farm, coming from Vermont, and Dickey Hill Farm from Monroe, will discuss winter greens production on various scales. Both farms utilize high tunnels and market through various streams such as a winter CSA and weekly farmers markets.

IPM for High Tunnel Vegetables: Practical Pathways for Organic Crop Protection
Margaret Skinner, UVM
Ron Valentin, Bioworks
We will focus on plant-mediated IPM systems and have lots of examples to show people. We will also discuss dipping of cuttings in Botanigard and nematodes.

Nutrient Management in Pasture
Richard Kersbergen, UMaine Extension
Balfour Farm, Pittsfield
Pasture production is influenced by many factors but maintaining and improving the nutrients in the soil is a major one. Rick Kersbergen from UMCE will speak about methods to improve the nutrient content and availability.  Heather and Doug Donahue, owners of Balfour farm will share their experiences.

* Climate Change – Capturing Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for Small and Medium Farmers
Ruth Sexton, UMaine Extension
Sonja Birthisel, UMaine Extension
Eric Gallandt, UMaine Extension
Adam Daigneault, UMaine Extension
This session will be a mix of presenting findings from the first year of our study –which involved close to 50 interviews with ag experts and farmers in Maine and Vermont –and interaction with participants about how we can use these findings to better inform them about potential coping strategies.

* Climate Change & Carbon Sequestration
Frith Farm, Scarborough
Pete Hagerty, Forest Carbon Project
How do common agricultural and land stewardship practices such as plowing, cultivating, plasticulture and timber harvesting affect the carbon footprint of your farm? How might you go about measuring your farm's carbon footprint, and what are steps you can take to offset this imbalance? Hear from farmers using innovative no-till or low-till practices and woodland owners managing with climate change in mind to learn how you can incorporate simple changes on your farm that will make a big difference for our climate.

Techniques & Set-Up for Washing and Post-Harvest Handling
Chris Callahan & Andy Chamberlin, UVM
This session will provide an overview of some of the key design, layout, and operational characteristics of successful postharvest systems. We’ll talk about LEAN principles and flow, equipment, tools, and tricks. Bring your own experiences, challenges, tricks and lessons learned to share (including pictures).

Organic Pepper Production
South Paw Farm, Freedom
Whatley Farm, Topsham
Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm grows mixed organic vegetables, ducks for eggs and meat, and pigs with his parents Nick and Laura in Topsham. He will be talking about growing peppers from seed from sale, including field, caterpillar and greenhouse production. He will also touch on value-added production, including marketing of frozen roasted peppers. South Paw Farm is owned and operated by Meg and Ryan Mitchell. Together, with help from their dedicated crew, they cultivate 10 acres of mixed vegetables, 3 acres of young organic tree fruit and another 15 or so in cover crops. Thy will be covering peppers from variety selection, propagation, field prep, transplant, trellising, harvest, sales and clean up.

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Conference Details

Conference Fees

$150 full conference registration
$50 per session block

(the Monday a.m. session includes the keynote)

Saturday Pre-Conference Activities
Intensive: $35 – Tarping for Reduced Tillage in Small-Scale Vegetable Systems
Farmer Social Sustainability Focus Group: Free – Healthy Farms and Healthy Farmers
Farm Tours: $10 for bus tour; free to attend farm tours; no bus available for mushroom farm tour
Meals: $75 for all meals; $12 per breakfast; $18 per lunch; $25 for the dinner.

$50 for childcare all sessions; $15 per session.
Child full meal plan $25, $5 per breakfast and lunch; $10 for the dinner.

Meal plans, childcare and child meal options available. All meals include gluten free and vegan options.

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If you would like to support this conference as a sponsor, please contact Anna Mueller. We appreciate your generosity in helping us offer this educational event!

If you would like to be an exhibitor at our Trades Show, contact Anna Mueller.

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Venue & Accommodations
 
Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center
Northport, Maine
www.visitpointlookout.com
207-789-2000 or 800-515-3611

Check In begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Welcome Center on opening day

Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center is excited to once again host the conference at its venue located in the heart of Mid-Coast Maine.

Point Lookout features tremendous views, hiking trails, bowling alley and pleasant guest accommodations.

Each of Point Lookout's spacious, all-pine cabins (one, two, or three bedroom) feature:

* kitchen with refrigerator and coffeemaker
* queen and king-size beds
* wireless internet access
* central heat and propane fireplaces
* stand-up shower in each of the one or two bathrooms

Cabin reservations will be handled directly through the conference center. We've arranged special room rates ($80 per person in shared 2- or 3-bedroom cabins to $110 for a one bedroom cabin) for conference participants.

Please call Point Lookout at 800-515-3611 to book your room.

• Be sure to call by October 16 and mention the MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference.

• If you would like to share a cabin and if you know the party you want to share with, please indicate this.

• If you want to share a cabin but have not found a cabinmate yet, check our Googledoc Find a Roommate page to see who else is looking.

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Special Meeting of MOFGA Membership
Sunday, November 3, at 7 p.m.
Hedges Hall, Point Lookout, 67 Atlantic Hwy., Northport, Maine

MOFGA's board of directors has been working for the last several years to update the organization's bylaws to reflect how MOFGA works today. Proposed changes are coming to the membership for a formal vote at a special meeting at MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer conference at Point Lookout in Northport on Sunday, November 3, at 7 p.m. Information about the changes is posted here.

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Cabbage (MOTH) Hour

Join us after the Special Meeting of the MOFGA Membership on Sunday for our Open Mic and Cabbage (MOTH) Hour with nachos and cash bar! Bring good humor, stories or music to share, and sit back and enjoy an evening of fun.

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Scholarships

Priority will be given to recent participants in the MOFGA Apprenticeship Program, but other new and limited resource farmers are encouraged to apply.

Please note that scholarships do not cover the Saturday bus tour or accommodations.

Scholarship application deadline is October 10.

To apply:

Fill out the scholarship application and indicate level of support requested. Your request will be processed and you will receive an email notifying you of your award and the discount code to use to register. Please do not register online until you've received notification of your award.

We will contact you to notify you of the award amount and registration fees owed.

Current Journeypersons receive free registration, meals and accommodation.

Questions or concerns? please contact: Anna Mueller


SPONSORS

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Major Funders

 

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number ONE19-334.

 

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