Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Looking for the Common Ground Country Fair website? Go here.

Beedy Parker
Beedy Parker started the Children's Vegetable Garden Parade. English photo.

We All Belong in the Garden
Twenty Years of the Children’s Garden Parade at Common Ground
By Jean English
In 1990, MOFGA member Beedy Parker wanted to spread the message that the Common Ground Country Fair “means common ground. There’s a lot of space for all kinds of people at the Fair.” So she created a parade of vegetables and garden creatures, “something that would say we all belong in the garden,” inspired by the parades of Vermont’s Bread & Puppet Theater.

Tofu and Tempeh, Made in Maine
By Polly Shyka
Two Maine families have crafted thriving businesses using locally sourced, non-GE soybeans as their key ingredient. Heiwa Tofu, owned by Maho Hisakawa and Jeff Wolovitz of Lincolnville, is Maine's only commercial tofu producer. Jaime and Andy Berhanu, Maine's only commercial tempeh producers, own Lalibela Farm of Dresden.

Curra Family Farm: Celebrating Five Decades of Farming
By Holli Cederholm
Peter and Susan Curra are not from Maine, although they have been farming here long enough that no one thinks otherwise. The farm and family history is rooted in Massachusetts soil, where they met, married, had their first of three children and started building a dairy herd.
Ravenwood Library
Ravenwood's library. English photo.

Ravenwood: Sustainability Education on a Small Farm in Searsmont
By Jean English
Inch by inch, row by row, sustainability project by sustainability project, teachers and students at Ravenwood, an education-focused small farm in Searsmont, Maine, have created an ecological Mecca where nutrients and energy cycle close to home.

Optimism in El Salvador
Report of MOFGA’s 2010 delegation to its sistering organizations
The rugged mountains of El Salvador are great for growing organic crops – especially perennial crops – but should not be subjected to mining for gold, silver and copper; and the new government of Mauricio Funes has taken steps related to both issues. Those were among the lessons that MOFGA’s El Salvador Sistering Committee delegation learned during its February 9 to 19, 2010, visit to its sistering organizations in El Salvador.

Potatoes and POWs
How Spuds Saved American GIs in Nazi Prison Camps During World War II
By John Koster
Numbers don’t lie: 28 percent of American and other prisoners of the Japanese died in captivity during World War II, and 90 percent of the survivors needed to be hospitalized after they were repatriated. Only 4 percent of American, British or Canadian prisoners of the Germans died in captivity, and only about 10 percent of the survivors had to be hospitalized before they could return to their families or their bases. The single key factor in POW survival was neither the guards nor the climate: The German POW diet was based on potatoes, while the Japanese was based on rice.
Roberta Bailey
Roberta Bailey. Rob Lemire photo.

Saving Seed: An Introduction
By Roberta Bailey
Have you noticed that you can't buy ‘Lutz’ beet seed anymore? ‘Lutz’ was the victim of a few seed company mergers and a lack of attention in the seed industry to low-profit, open-pollinated varieties. A few companies listed it, but the variety was not truly ‘Lutz.’ One company is said to have a true strain.

Packing Summer in a Jar: Condiments Make the Meal
By Cheryl A. Wixson
By the time this harvest season is over, our cellar shelves will be lined with jars of spicy peach chutney, crisp bread and butter pickles, rainbow-colored marinated bean salad – even rows of canned applesauce varieties: ‘Sweet Sixteen,’ ‘Liberty,’ ‘Spencer’ and ‘Tolman Sweet.’

In The Orchard: Get Ready for Winter
By C.J. Walke
Autumn is an exciting time in the orchard, because you get to taste the fruits of your labors and share the harvest with your family and community. Autumn is also the time to clean up the orchard, prepare trees for winter and start thinking about next year’s bloom!

Fowl Talk at Small Farm Field Day
By Jean English
The Small Farm Field Day held at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity in late May offered a wealth of information and inspiration for those who want to raise fowl.
Maine Organic Milling
Maine Organic Milling facility in Auburn, Maine. Schivera photo.

Organic Grain and Milk from Maine
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T.
In June the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society met in Auburn to tour a grain mill and learn about two Maine companies, Maine Organic Milling (MOM) and Maine’s Own Organic (MOO) Milk.

Organic Hydroponic Crops? Not in My Opinion
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
In the late 1960s I watched a play by Megan Terry called Home: Or Future Soap on public television. The set was a single room that had no view of sky, ocean, sun, snow, hills or rivers. People lived their whole lives in this single room; never left their rooms; and those rooms were set on top of and beside more rooms. Rooms and rooms and rooms. Air, water and food were piped into each room, and waste was piped out. People did not think this was a bad way to live: Everyone lived like this, and it was all anyone knew.

MOFGA Makes It Easier To Eat Local Foods All Year
In May 2010, MOFGA began publishing bi-monthly Maine Seasonal Food Guide brochures to educate the public about the seasonal availability of Maine foods.

Harvest Kitchen: Fall is Garlic Time
By Roberta Bailey
For me, the Common Ground Fair is a continuing conversation that winds through each day and back over 30 years or more. As a celebration of rural living, it draws together many creative minds, and I try to keep my days open enough that I have ample time to wander among them, the threads of conversations weaving into an intricate organic tapestry. There are friends to catch up with and new people to meet, questions to be answered, skills to be learned, vegetables to be marveled over, and food to be tasted – all scented with an overlay of ‘Sweet Annie’ and festooned with garlic.

MOFGA logo
Believes in Cows, by Robert Karl Skoglund

Deer Forsake All for Sunflowers, by Amanda Russell
Can You Change Soil Microbial Communities? by Jon Dyer
Will Brinton Responds
Disappointed in Meat Article, by Alice Percy
No GMO Potatoes for Plastics, by Jody Spear


Why Local? Why Organic?
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
For almost 40 years now, MOFGA has worked toward a more local, more organic food system. Not that we don’t think about what happens in other places or parts of the world – after all, we’re all connected. And not that good farmers are not producing quality food using other systems. We’ve worked toward a more local, more organic food system because that’s who we are. We’re based in Maine, and we started as, and continue to be, focused on organic production systems.

Common Ground: A Recipe for Health
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
Looking for good national health care? Begin with good local, preventive health care – as you’ll find at the Common Ground Country Fair. Immerse yourself, for example, in the healthful and delicious organic produce at the farmers’ market near the north (rose) gate.

Reviews & Resources
Smart by Nature, Schooling for Sustainability, by Michael K. Stone
Radical Homemakers, by Shannon Hayes
The Locavore’s Handbook, by Leda Meredith
Online Resources
MOF&G Cover Fall 2010

News & Events
The Good News
Scary Food Additives
More Reasons to Eat Organic
Pesticides in the News
Genetic Engineering (GE) News

Maine BPC
Refining the Pesticide Application Notification Registry

New Faces at MOFGA
MOFGA People

Farmers-in-Residence: Living at the Common Ground Fair
By Holli Cederholm

Volunteer Profile
Tristan Plumb

Common Ground Country Fair
Welcome to the 34th Common Ground Country Fair!