Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Yelton House
The home of Charles and Julia Yelton in Whitefield, Maine. English photo.

Permaculture Experts Create an Ecosystem in Whitefield

By Jean English
In his book Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollison defines permaculture as "a sustainable agricultural system based on a multi-crop of perennial trees, shrubs, herbs (vegetables and weeds), fungi, and root systems." He also calls it "a philosophy and an approach to land use which weaves together microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, water management, and human needs into intricately connected, productive communities."

2005 Spring Growth Conference Overview
By Jean English
The Spring Growth Conference held by MOFGA in March asked what roles farmers, consumers and citizens may play in the global food economy. Speakers were: Lawrence Woodward, director of the Elm Farm Research Centre in Berkshire, United Kingdom; Jan Schrock and Amy Burchstead of Heifer International; and a panel including Jim Amaral of Borealis Breads, Florence Reed of Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), Kirsten Walter of Lots to Garden; and Jo Barrett of King Hill Farm.

Our Summer 2005 issue includes additional 2005 Spring Growth Conference articles.

Full Moon You Say? Frost You Say?
By Mitch Lansky
Some plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, melons or squash, are frost sensitive. Well, I'm sensitive to frost, too. I live in a frost pocket in Wytopitlock, Maine. We have a growing season that averages fewer than 100 days a year, and we can have frosts at any month of the year. Indeed, we have had frosts on such unlikely dates as June 26, July 4, July 16 and even July 31. Our last "spring" frost has come as late as June 16, and our first "fall" frost has come as early as the 23rd of August.

The Best-Laid Fall Plans Lead Pests Astray
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
Fall chores are my favorites. At no other time do I have more hope for a successful garden than the fall before. Autumn is even better than spring, especially last spring when we all realized very early in April that it was not going to be the best year. Many hopes were dashed last spring before the ground was dry enough to till. Fall chores, on the other hand, not only hold high hope for future harvests, but those enjoyable fall chores can add greatly to the likelihood of avoiding a few pests and diseases next year.

Keep Warm this Winter with Hot Pepper Sauces
By Roberta Bailey
It's going to be a long, hot winter – or it can be if you spice up your winter fare with flavorful and fiery hot sauces from around the world. I've been interested in growing hot peppers and making condiments with them for a long time, but I was drawn to growing hot peppers long before I could tolerate their heat. The beauty of the fruits and variety of the plants fascinated me.

Producing Tomato Seed by the Pound
by Tom Roberts
My partner Lois and I integrate tomato seed production at Snakeroot Organic Farm in Pittsfield, Maine, into our overall tomato production and marketing strategy. Most of our quarter acre of tomatoes are marketed fresh at the six farmers’ markets we attend each week. [Article and photos appear on the Snakeroot Organic Farm web site.]


What Do We Want? – by Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
In a recent essay, Rebecca Solnit observed that sometimes we get what we ask for-but by then what we want has changed, perhaps so much that our original goal seems almost unrecognizable. (See "The Great Gray Whale … or This Story Has No Moral," Common Dreams News Center,, July 25, 2005) Solnit's observation is particularly true when we need to involve larger parts of society, such as the Legislature or Congress or a government agency.

Everyone Loves Local Agriculture – by John Bunker, MOFGA President
Recently I've been asking around to find out what people think about local agriculture. I thought you might enjoy hearing the results of the official survey.

Solidarity and Possibility – by Jean English, Editor of The MOF&G
Much of what you need (maybe even most, or all) is at the Common Ground Country Fair: yarn from Maine-raised sheep, to knit into warm winter socks; fresh produce at the Farmers' Market for an evening meal, or storage crops for the months ahead; talks and demonstrations that will inspire you to grow a better garden and a better world.

Reviews & Resources
  Rural Renaissance: Renewing the Quest for the Good Life, by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko
  Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, by Marion Nestle
  Kids’ Container Gardening – Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out, by Cindy Krezel
  Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants, by Carol Steinfeld
Other Resources
  Growing Together Proceedings
  Sustainable Agriculture Network Publications
  Organic Ag Info Online
  Maine Farm Study
  Impact of Nanotechnology on Agriculture

MOF&G Cover Fall 2005
MOFGA members receive our quarterly newspaper The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener as a benefit of membership. Become a member today! It can also be purchased at news stands.

News & Events

Maine Governor Meets with MOFGA Representatives
MOFGA Receives Peacemaker Award

Volunteer Profile
Chef Sam Hayward

Board of Pesticides Control Report
Lawn Care Companies to Verify Location of Pesticide Applications