Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener – Spring 2008
Organic MatterA Compendium of Food and Agricultural News

Maine Board of Pesticides Control:
Board Rules on Use of Genetically Engineered Corn

MOFGA NotesEvents, Program News, Updates for MOFGA Members and Volunteers

Volunteer Profile: Travis CollinsUnity Arborist Develops Tree-Care Plan for MOFGA

Common Ground Country Fair News
Exhibition Hall; 2008 Poster; Artwork Contest for the 2009 Fair; Keynote Speakers Confirmed For This Year's Fair;
Start Planning for the Fair; Apply for a Booth;
Agricultural  Demonstrations; Join the Planning Team!
Railroad Closing

MOFGA Organic Certification
Organic certification information and application forms

Buckwheat Blossom Farm
Buckwheat Blossom Farm.

Features from the November Farmer to Farmer Conference

CSA Farms Grow Beyond Summer Veggies

Pete Johnson of Craftsbury, Vermont, and Jeff and Amy Burchstead of Wiscasset, Maine, described their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms at MOFGA and Cooperative Extension’s Farmer-to-Farmer Conference in November.

California Organic Agriculture: Its Impact on Small Farmers Everywhere –
A 35-Year Personal Retrospective

In November 2007, MOFGA welcomed keynote speaker Amigo Bob Cantisano to the Farmer-to-Farmer Conference. As a farmer, crop advisor and organizer, Cantisano has had enormous impact for over 30 years on U.S. organic agriculture.


Cut Flowers: Good Potential in Maine Markets
Growing cut flowers can be management- and labor-intensive, but they are a high-margin crop if managed well—and they beautify your fields.

Farm-Raised Varieties: Breeding Better Varieties for Northeast Organic Growers
by Sue Smith-Heavenrich
Chris Awald didn’t set out to breed a new pumpkin variety; he just wanted a stronger handle for his jack-o-lanterns. Sixteen years ago, with the ink barely dry on his degree in land surveying, Awald returned to the family homestead near Buffalo, New York.

Getting Over AstroTurf:
Maine Department of Agriculture Educational Outreach Trailers Pitch the Right Message

by Marada Cook
Say you went to the fair. Not the Common Ground Country Fair, but, as a local homeschooler put it – a “real” fair – one with a midway, cotton candy, dust, bright lights and teenage excitement.

Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs
Demand for Organic and Cage-Free Eggs Creates Opportunity for Maine Farmers
by Diane Schivera & Jean English
Consumers’ demand for organic and cage-free eggs surpasses the supply that Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and Nellie’s Nest Cage Free Eggs can offer, so for the first time in about two decades, a company is coming to Maine in search of growers to raise laying hens and replacement pullets for the brown egg industry.

Ashwood Waldorf School – A Reverence for Food
by Jean English
Waldorf schools, which number over 900 worldwide and are the fastest growing independent, nondenominational educational movement in the world, seek “to see the whole in every part, to engage the head, the hands, and the heart,” according to the Web site of the Rockport, Maine, Ashwood Waldorf School (

Students Enjoy Local Food
Enjoying local food in Damariscotta, Maine.

Out of the Heart of the Community, Food for the Mouths of Schoolchildren
by Ellen S. Gibson
Amy Winston is not your average economic developer, and that’s a plus for communities in Lincoln County. For one thing, she doesn’t believe that agriculture and economic development are mutually exclusive. She also thinks that effective economic development must be linked to schools, and she’s set to prove it.

Maine Feeds Maine: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again?
by Merry Hall
Ron Beard moderated a discussion on WERU radio’s Talk of the Towns entitled “Maine Feeds Maine: Is this an idea whose time has come again”? Panelists Jane Livingston, Logan Perkins and Jim Cook were all central to the success of Maine Feeds Maine. Livingston, who organized Maine Feeds Maine (MFM), explained, “MFM was a series of four discussions, linking four high school sites state-wide using the Maine distance learning facilities."

Foraging, Growing and Using the Versatile Elderberry
by Joyce White
Robert Henderson comments in The Neighborhood Forager that the elderberry (genus Sambucus) “is a case study in the dramatic conversion of North Americans from largely self-sufficient peoples to consumers.” Because of its variety of uses, elder bushes became a part of many homestead plantings, often growing alongside lilacs, forsythia and apple trees.


New Hops Variety Good for Herb Teas
Drinking impure water was once a common way to pick up diseases, so for centuries beer was a popular alternative beverage in many nations. Harmful microorganisms were removed during its production, thanks to boiling and the addition of hops, which have natural antibiotic properties.

Linden for Bees, Teas and Shade
by Deb Soule
In southern Maine, linden trees begin blooming in late June. Their sweet fragrance invites thousands of honeybees to feed upon the abundant nectar that the yellowish-green blossoms produce.

MOFGA Woodlot
MOFGA woodlot. English photo.

Low-Impact Forestry: LIF Principles
by Mitch Lansky
These principles and goals are derived from Lansky’s book, Low-Impact Forestry; Forestry as if the Future Mattered.

MOFGA’s Low Impact Forestry Committee Update
by Eli Berry
The circle of MOFGA members who are active in the Low Impact Forestry (LIF) program continued to widen in 2007, and the LIF steering committee spent many hours organizing the 2007 LIF Workshop, planning the future of the program and addressing challenges facing woodland owners and forest managers.


New Edition of The Farmer-to-Farmer Directory
by Eric Sideman, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist
Surveyed farmers say that the most useful and trusted information comes from other farmers, but making those contacts is difficult. One solution is a Farmer-to-Farmer Directory.

Grow Your Relationships with Local Farmers This Year –
Maine Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms

by Melissa White Pillsbury, MOFGA's Organic Marketing Coordinator
Spring is a great time to sign up to become a member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm – a farm in which customers buy shares, usually before the growing season begins, and then get a set amount of produce (or meat, eggs, flowers … ) throughout the season. Detailed information about each CSA appears in the Maine CSA Directory, in print (contact the MOFGA office for a copy) or online at (available to view online and to download as a pdf). Anyone who has a CSA and wants to be added to the directory should contact Melissa at [email protected] or 568-4142.

For a list of farmers’ markets and farm stands in Maine, please visit

Community Supported Fisheries Join CSAs
The First Universalist Church in Rockland, Maine, started the first church-supported agriculture program in Maine in 2006, when it created a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project with Hatchet Cove Farm in Cushing. In 2007, it added the Port Clyde Draggermen's Co-op to the arrangement, adding a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) to the CSA recipe. The Port Clyde Draggermen's Co-op and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance hope to establish more CSF arrangements with local groups. The Port Clyde Co-op sold CSF members shares or half shares of its winter shrimp catch, with one share bringing 10 pounds a week from Dec. 16 to March 16, for $1.35 a pound. Members pick up the shrimp at the church. (“Port Clyde fishermen find creative ways to sell catch,” by Emily Sapienza, VillageSoup, Dec. 4, 2007;

Harvest Kitchen:
With Genetically Engineered Sugar Comes Renewed Interest in Natural Sweeteners

by Roberta Bailey
Over the years, some white sugar has crept into this column and into my kitchen, although I usually use organic evaporated cane juice in recipes that rely on a granular sweetener for success. I mellowed into an “everything in moderation” approach. The threat of genetically engineered (GE) products contaminating my food has changed that approach, once again making me very selective in order to avoid consuming foods made with GE corn or soy – or, now, sugar. Sidebar: Federal Approval of GE Beets Challenged

Grazing Pigs Vs. Plum Curculio
Bacterium from Hemlock Soil Toxic to Insects
Enjoy Maine Trees

All Editorials and their sidebars appear on a single web page.

A Well Buffered Life, by Jean English, Editor, The MOF&G
The stock market went wild this winter, shocking people worldwide. Yet, if you had a cozy, mostly-solar-warmed home, a modest pile of firewood, and a fair amount of food stored away, well, those stock market numbers weren’t nearly so scary.

Successes and Opportunities, by Amanda Beal, MOFGA President
MOFGA members and supporters, we have much to celebrate: 2007 was a successful and affirming year for MOFGA!
Sidebar: A Few Numbers

Chaos, or Community? by Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
Martin Luther King, Jr., continually broadened his vision, connecting the civil rights movement to economic justice and opposition to the war in Vietnam. If he were with us, 40 years after he was assassinated in Memphis, he would still be making the same kinds of connections.
Sidebar: In Memory Of
As the MOFGA circle grows, and the years roll by, old and new friends die. It’s important to acknowledge all of the energy and work that these friends put into their farms and into the growing organic movement.

Daytripping, Anyone?

The MOF&G Index …

Opposes Bt Corn Approval
Hannaford Fills a Void

Clicking on the link takes you to this issue's Reviews & Resources page, where the following publications are reviewed (all reviews and resources appear on the same web page):
The Garden Primer, by Barbara Damrosch
Roots Demystified, by Robert Kourik
Anyone Can Build A Whizbang Garden Cart, by Herrick C. Kimball
Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture, by Elizabeth Henderson with Robyn Van En

Clicking on the link takes you to this issue's Reviews & Resources page, where the following publications are described:MOFGA Logo
Organic Dairying: Can It Work for You? by Rick Kersbergen, Diane Schivera and Mary Yurlina
Web Site About Draft Animal Power
Selling Strategies for Local Food Producers,
by Bill McKelvey, Mary Hendrickson and Joe Parcell
New England Guide to Weed Control in Field Corn, by John Jemison
Farmers' Markets Today
Reducing the Risks of Golf Course Management, by Jennifer Grant
Urban Agriculture Web Site

MOFGA Resources Page
– Clicking here takes you to our huge list of resource links!
 MOF&G Cover Spring 2008
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.