Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Bambi Jones and Tracy Moskovitz
Rebecca Goldfine photo.

Hidden Valley Nature Center – Community Supported Forestry
By Rebecca Goldfine
The miles of woods that encircle Bambi Jones and Tracy Moskovitz's farm, located in a small valley in Whitefield, Maine, reinforce their home's tranquility and remote feel. But the forest is far from an impassable buffer shielding them from the outside world. Instead, it's more like an extension of their farm.

Pietree Apple Orchard
By Joyce White
Maine Apple Day at Pietree Orchard in Sweden was a lively celebration of apples. Shelves were lined with crisp, just-picked apples, and trees were loaded with ripe pick-your-own fruit. Visitors enjoyed freshly pressed apple cider, apple cider donuts and apple pizza – with caramelized apples and ricotta cheese for the more adventurous, or traditional pepperoni for others.

Veggies for All: Relieving Hunger in Local Communities
By Holli Cederholm
On the third Saturday of every month, a well-traveled road in Unity, Maine, becomes obstructed with heavier than usual traffic as clients of the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry line up to receive their monthly box of food assistance. While this food pantry is unique among hunger relief agencies in its growing focus on nutritional quality, its well rounded offering also includes seasonal food – organically grown, fresh-from-the-soil produce.

Farmers Cultivate Customers on Facebook

By Polly Shyka
In July of 2010, Facebook, the world's most popular social networking platform, announced that it had 500 million users worldwide. Although Facebook began as a campus photo directory where college and prep school students could list personal information and attributes, it has grown into a mega-directory where people can connect with friends from the past and present.

Making Local Eating a Way of Life
By Marina Schauffler
Recent media attention on local foods has raised public awareness about the health benefits and community returns from thriving local agriculture. Often, though, stories portray local "foodies" as purists fixated on 100-mile diets that banish even imported condiments. Eating from local sources comes off looking like an extremist food fad, rather than a practical means of supporting one's home ecosystem and economy.
"Guarding the Cornfields"
John Eastman's "Guarding the Cornfields"

American Plains Indians As Farmers: The Dream That Might Have Been
By John Koster
American Mythology 101 holds that the Plains Indians had to be subdued and constrained to reservations because they were too proud or too lazy to take up farming. The myth permeates Hollywood Westerns and high school textbooks.

Maine's Hoophouse Movement Expanding: A Tribute to Farmers' Innovative Instincts
By Jo Anne Bander
As crocuses and wild spring greens emerged in Maine, so did crops in an increasing number of ballooning structures: hoophouses. These structures that extend the growing season and even allow four-season farming are an increasingly important component of farm infrastructure.

Soil Management in High Tunnels
The 2010 Farmer to Farmer Conference at Point Lookout in Northport, Maine, featured a session on managing soils in high tunnels. Speakers were Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont vegetable and berry specialist; Bruce Hoskins of the University of Maine Diagnostic Lab; and Paul Volckhausen, who, with his wife Karen, grows organic tomatoes and other crops in high tunnels at Happy Town Farm in Orland, Maine.
English photo.

Rutabagas – They’re Not Really Turnips!
By Will Bonsall
When I was a kid, I really loved turnips, even though I had never tasted one. Oh, I thought I had; didn’t we use turnips in that traditional New England Boiled Dinner we had on special occasions, along with corned beef, carrots, beets, potatoes and so on? Sure, turnips were an old Maine favorite, but I didn’t learn until years later that they weren’t really turnips – they were rutabagas!

Using a Bulkhead as a Root Cellar
By Adam Tomash
When I built my first house in northern Maine, I placed a small, stone-faced root cellar under the house with access through a trap door in the floor. A stepladder provided access and worked well. We kept root crops and canned goods there to keep them from freezing in our absence.

Lambsquarters: Prince of Wild Greens
By Jean Ann Pollard
Lambsquarters! Pigweed! Fat-hen, goosefoot, bacon weed, dirty Dick, Muck Hill weed. Despite numerous, often odoriferous monikers (and this little list is only partial), Chenopodium album is a delicious, nutritious delight for foragers, and a summer treat no one should miss.

Summer Vacation, Garden-Style
By Roberta Bailey
We all pack a lot into our fleeting Maine summers. Lettuce, spinach and peas intertwine with weddings and graduations, green beans and raspberries bump up against summer camp, melons and blueberries go to the beach, sweet corn attends a barbeque, tomatoes are the life of the party, then the kale finds itself wondering where the woolly sweaters got stowed, and the carrots and potatoes actually need some warmer gloves for this task.
English photo.

Farm Days
By Cheryl Wixson
Starting in June, my friend Heather and I celebrate the seasonal bounty with weekly trips we call Farm Days. Every Thursday we leave Deer Isle, car packed with cooler, shopping tote and six-pack carrier, and enjoy a local foods treasure hunt. When we return home, we'll provision our kitchens with the best of the summer harvest and delicious, farm-fresh treats.

In the Orchard – Summer Tasks
By C. J. Walke
As spring rolls into summer, I hope you’ve had a beautifully blooming, successfully pollinated orchard and avoided those late spring frosts that can kill blossoms and ruin your hopes for a satisfying harvest come fall.

Poisonous Plants in Pastures
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T.
If a pasture has enough palatable plants to eat, livestock will generally avoid the poisonous plants. But livestock are individuals, and there are always exceptions. So any pasture management method that results in over grazing will encourage animals to eat plants they would normally avoid.
Phosphorus deficient corn
Sideman photo.

Managing Soil Phosphorus
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
After nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) is the next nutrient most likely to limit crop growth on farms and in gardens. It has a much simpler cycle in farm systems, and, unlike N – the availability of which depends heavily on biological activity – the availability of P usually depends simply on whether your soil has enough.

Valuing Good Forestry
By Andy McEvoy
Setting long-term goals can be difficult. Setting goals for the next 100 years or more might seem impossible, or at least impractical. Yet good forestry requires such foresight and intention.

Daytripping 2011 – Farms and Gardens to Visit This Summer

First Family of Farming, by Rick Traub
With Friends Like These …, by Robert Skoglund


Building Blocks
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
A few months ago, I realized that MOFGA is now 40 years old. That is as good a marker as any for looking back, and forward.

Happy Fortieth Birthday, MOFGA!
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
When I first became involved with MOFGA some 27 years ago – by going to the Common Ground Country Fair, of course – I was in awe of the folks who had founded the organization and created such a wealth of information, cooperation and community. I still am.
Queen of the Sun

Reviews & Resources

Film: Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?
This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone, by Melissa Coleman
The Real Dirt: Toward Food Sufficiency and Farm Sustainability, by John E. Carroll

Videos from MOFGA events
Jeremy Bloom, “The Internet Farmer”
Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Volunteers Program urges growing produce for food pantries
Food Safety Modernization Act
Maine AgrAbility
Natural Substances for Protecting Ourselves from Radiation
MP3 Audio of A Revolution of the Middle … and The Pursuit of Happiness
ATTRA webinar on organic apple production and marketing
Organic bread wheat variety trial reports
Video: How to Create a Rain Garden
Blog: Agrarian Nation
Organic Seed Alliance: “State of Organic Seed Report”
2011 NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care
Minnesota High Tunnel Production Manual

Organic Matter
The Good News
Climate Change
Soil Erosion
Factory Farms
Organic Issues
Farm Safety
Seeking Control of Local Food
Food Safety
Genetic Engineering

Maine BPC
BPC Releases 2010 Complaints and Inquiries List

MOFGA Welcomes Joe Dupere
Maine School Garden Network News
MOFGA People:
Congratulations and Condolences
Empty Bowl Supper a Success

Volunteer Profile
Peggy Smith

Fair News
Dacia Klinkerch's Vibrant Veggies
2012 Fair Poster: Call for Entries
Volunteer for the Fair
Join the Planning Team
Invitation to Seed Savers
Dessert and Children's Pie Contests