Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOFGA timberframers
MOFGA timber framers (left to right) Robert Engdahl, Mike Smiley, Richard Krause and John Connolly.

Volunteer Projects in Full Swing at MOFGA’s New Home In Unity
By Heather Spalding
For the past year, MOFGA has publicized the great need for volunteer help at its permanent home in Unity. It is gratifying to know that so many of you were listening and reserving weekends for this extraordinary effort. Thanks to all of you who have helped so far. We encourage everyone to visit the site, and lend a hand if you have time.

Alternative Fibers for Paper – Tree Free in 2003?
By Jean English
“I hope to see hemp used soon for more than one purpose on this campus,” joked Dean Jim Carignan of Bates College in his opening remarks at the April 4 Alternative Paper Conference. He added that the next millennium “will be owned not by the government, not by business, but by NGOs (nongovernmental organizations)” and said that if these organizations rally around particular issues, they can “really have an impact.” Events such as the Alternative Paper Conference do just that. “The real power is not just in the people,” he concluded, “but in coalitions, networks.”

From the Farmer to Farmer Conference – November, 1997
Diligently Talking Patiently – A Farm Tool
Six years ago, Emily Carlson married a Vermont dairy farmer. She now lives with him in the northeast corner of Vermont, near the Connecticut River and just one mile south of Canada, and has combined her business background with her love of the farm to found the Vermont Grass Farmers Association.

Rotations with Cereal Grains in Maine
Rotations with winter and spring cereal grains have good possibilities in Maine, said Dr. Matt Liebman at a MOFGA-sponsored talk at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in January. The keys to successful cereal production, he continued, are adequate weed control – especially paying attention to mechanical weed control – and adequate soil fertility.

Shaun Keenan and Benji Knisley
Shaun Keenan and Benji Knisley of Sand Hill Farm. Lamb photo.

Sand Hill Farm – Happiness and Profit from Organic Strawberries
By Jane Lamb
“If you don’t have to buy fertilizer and pesticides, why are organic strawberries more expensive?” ask many first-time customers coming to pick their own at Sand Hill Farm in Somerville. “Just go into the field and taste them,” Benji Knisley or Shaun Keenan will tell them. ”So they go into the field and come back with quarts and quarts. It’s our best selling point,” Benji says.

Carla Emery – Cooking Up a Stewpot of Truth
By Jane Lamb
As MOFGA members know, dedication to the environment and a sustainable lifestyle can sometimes take one in bizarre directions, but seldom on a journey as winding and varied as Carla Emery’s. Emery, who spoke at a November meeting of the Knox County MOFGA Chapter, has – in the course of 30 adventurous years – homesteaded, appeared on all the major 1970s TV talk shows, raised seven children, and written a 900-page compendium of practical information, The Encyclopedia of Country Living, now in its ninth and most polished edition.

Sean, Toki, Jamie
Toki Oshima with sons Sean and Jamie. Pranio photo.

Who is Toki?
By Lynn Allen
For regular readers of The MOF&G, the scratchboard art of Toki Oshima has come to embody the very look of MOFGA. Her whimsical animals and people, her perky bugs and vegetables are used throughout each issue as subject headers and for spot art, and since March 1992, her cover illustrations have depicted the seasonal activities of country life for each MOF&G issue.

Leafhoppers Again?
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
MOFGA's Director of Technical Services
Last year towards the end of June and early July, I started to notice brown areas at the tips of the leaflets of my potato plants. The browning spread backwards and inwards from the margin and eventually the whole leaflet was destroyed. This was not the first time I had seen this type of injury: In years past I would see this and by early August I would have no potato plants left. This was, however, the most widespread injury I had ever seen so early in the season.

Grow Your Own Seeds
By Roberta Bailey
When we plant a seed, we create a direct link between our ancestral past and our potential future. The seed we plant has traveled around the world, from farmer to farmer, from native populations to traders and conquerors to royalty and eventually back to farmers. The carrot seed that we plant originated in Afghanistan, tomatoes and peppers in South America, potatoes in the Peruvian Andes, eggplant in central Asia, watermelon in tropical Africa. Most of our Brassicas originated in the Mediterranean basin.

Harvest Kitchen: Shell Bean Special
By Roberta Bailey
For the first time in almost, 20 years of preserving food, I had a surplus of canned green beans and tomato sauce. I had planned on putting up a little less food as my son, Isak, was leaving for college. I hadn’t planned on my daughter having swim team practice from 5:30 until 8:30 every night for close to four months.

1998 Daytripping in Maine: Farms & Gardens to Visit This Summer

Marigolds in Strawberry Rotations
Shaded Lettuce Grew Best
‘Fall Seedings’ Are An August Activity
Ads as Market Research


Food With a Face – and More
By Russell Libby
The emerging CSA movement is one encouraging aspect of a local agriculture. Community Supported Agriculture farms make direct connections between consumers and farmers. In the most developed model, the community works with the farmer to meet a budget that gives the farmer a decent wage for growing the food the community wants. The CSA idea goes back to the biodynamic movement in Europe, and to work done in Japan building connections among organized groups of housewives and farmers in rural areas. The Japanese term is seikatsu, and means, literally, “food with a face.”

Matt Liebman & Laura Merrick Leave University of Maine

Pesticide Notification Registry
By Sharon Tisher
The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) should be commended for its initiative and commitment over more than a year of meetings and public hearings to develop a workable pesticide notification registry for this state. (See “Pesticide Notification Registry Takes a Tailspin” in this MOF&G.) Unfortunately, somewhere along the way irrational fears expressed in some hearing testimony led the Board astray.

The Fiber-Grain-Legume-Dairy Connection
By Jean English
Congratulations to Heather Burt and Bates College for putting on a successful conference about using alternative fibers for paper. The conference, covered in this issue of The MOF&G, provided an important first step in coordinating groups and individuals in Maine who want to raise crops, preserve forests, and use papers that are produced with fibers grown in ways that minimally harm the environment – and can even enhance it.

The Farm She Was
Homesteading Adventures
The Green Food Shopper
The Shaker Garden
The Winter Harvest Manual
The Green Methods Manual
  English Cottage and Country Gardens
  Gardening with Summer Perennials

MOF&G Cover Summer 1998

News & Events

Maine BPC
Pesticide Notification Registry Takes a Tailspin

MOFGA Homestead Design Competition
Caroline Robinson­, “Have More Plan” Co-author

Volunteer Profile
Paula Roberts

Fair News
Bee Poster Hums with Harmony