Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener – Winter 2008/2009

2008 Common Ground Country Fair Teach-In:

Protecting Children from Toxic Food and Consumer Products
The 2008 Teach-In of MOFGA’s Public Policy Committee, held at the Common Ground Country Fair, covered ways to protect children’s health, from the womb through high school.

Keynote Addresses, Common Ground Country Fair, 2008

Friday, Sept. 19
The Apples of Maine
by John Bunker

Saturday, Sept. 20
Jeffrey Smith on the End of Genetically Engineered Foods

Sunday, Sept. 21
Gary Paul Nabhan on Terroir


Grow a Row? Grow a Garden for the Hungry!
by Lloyd Ferriss
We've all heard the old saw, "Grow a row for the hungry." Last spring my wife, Jane Frost, and I turned the saying upside down: We planted our entire 1,000-square-foot garden for our local food pantry, adding a couple of rows for ourselves.

A Sustainable Gardening Retirement:
Life on the far side of world is unusual in some ways, familiar in others
by Laura Sayre
Heather and Francis Young are two New Zealanders by birth who moved to Illinois for three years in 1969, when they were a young married couple with two small children, and ended up staying for 30 years.

In Search of the Perfect Tomato Trellis
Adam Tomash
In my 35 years of serious gardening, I have tried most of the common trellising techniques for tomatoes. One day at the local Agway, I saw a pile of welded wire panels that were 50 inches high, 16 feet long and made from galvanized, heavy duty, 8-gauge wire.

The Grower-Caterer Connection:
Tomato Case Study
by Kay Stephens
With names like ‘Striped Stuffer,’ ‘Black Zebra,’ ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Orange Banana Paste,’ strange, lopsided, heirloom tomatoes, cut and served on a white plate, are about to land on the bride and groom's table at a wedding catered by Swan’s Way of Lincolnville, Maine.

Cider Workshop at Maine Apple Day
by Russell Libby
At the Great Maine Apple Day in October, Marilyn Meyerhans, Bob Sewall and Mark Fulford shared their experiences in making cider and with the increasingly complex regulatory world that surrounds cider.

Organic Seed Alliance May Save Us From Ourselves
by Jean English
The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) brought a powerful message of hope for a return to agricultural sanity when its board met in Maine in July 2008, visited farms and seed companies (Johnny’s and Fedco), and gave talks and toured plots at the Common Ground Education Center of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity.

Organic Agriculture, World Hunger and Global Warming:
Report from the IFOAM Organic World Congress and General Assembly
by Elizabeth Henderson
In June 2008, I represented NOFA at “Cultivate the Future,” the 16th Organic World Congress and General Assembly of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), in Italy.
Wool Display
Photo courtesy of Green Mountain Spinnery.

Worker-Owned Green Mountain Spinnery Supports Local Community
by Tim King
At the Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont, shepherds can have their animals’ fleeces spun into certified organic yarn, GREENSPUN yarn, or yarn spun using conventional, petroleum-based spinning oil. Encapsulated within those three options is the story of the development of this 25-year-old wool processing and spinning plant.

Betty Weir: A Woman of Vision, a Pioneer
by Julia Davis
One August morning a few months before her death, Betty Weir spoke to me emphatically about the importance of young people learning to grow food and about what she had accomplished independently over her lifetime.

Firewood from the Sun
by Joyce White
John Howe’s solar-powered firewood operation is unique in using the sun directly for the energy required to convert trees into firewood. As far as he knows, it’s one-of-a-kind.
Great garlic! English photo.


Recipes from a Magical Winter Garden
by Roberta Bailey
To go out to a snow covered tunnel or cold frame, brush away the snow and
open the lid never fails to give me a sense of magical wonder and reverential awe.

Midwinter Menus with Maine Foods
by Cheryl Wixson
As the weather gradually changes, so do our eating habits.

Are You Growing Great Garlic?
by Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
Growing great garlic is easy.

National Organic Program Proposed Pasture Rule
by Diane Schivera, M.A.T.
The long awaited proposed pasture rule addition to the National Organic Program (NOP) was published on Oct. 24, 2008.

Directory of Large Animal Veterinarians in Maine

Mind Your Business: Plan Now for Success Next Year
by Melissa White Pillsbury
For many farmers, time spent figuring out where and how to sell farm products is not their favorite task; but profitable sales are a must for a successful, long-term business.


The Real Economy, Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
A few weeks ago the remaining debt from Lehman Brothers was sold at eight cents on the dollar, a sign that some of what they valued wasn’t worth too much. I was thinking about that in October, when my neighbor Chris and I were picking from a couple of Baldwin trees up the hill.

A Better Campaign, Jean English, Editor, The MOF&G
In the midst of fall’s big stories – economic turmoil; a drawn-out political campaign; the ever-present war – day-to-day life for most of us was surprisingly unchanged, especially when it involved harvesting our own food, for economy, nutrition, health, taste – and for the simple pleasure of doing something quiet and productive outdoors.

Shameful Maine Ag Committee (Mostly), Heather Spalding, MOFGA Associate Director
Organic blueberry farmer Deborah Aldridge of Jonesboro was nominated by Gov. Baldacci to fill the environmental seat on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control--a seat that has been vacant since the summer of 2007. On August 19, 2008, the Legislature's Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry voted 7-3 against recommending Aldridge for the post. Clearly, behind-the-scenes lobbying by some conventional agriculture groups and farmers influenced the Committee vote.

Reviews and Resources
Woman Who Speaks Tree, Confessions of a Tree Hugger, by Linda Tatelbaum
The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being, by Nena Baker

Useful Web Sites
On subjects ranging from Agrofrestry to Using Bats to Control Corn Earworm
MOF&G Cover Winter 2008-2009

Organic Matter – A Compendium of Food and Agricultural News

Maine Board of Pesticides Control News: BPC Addresses Aerial Spray, Genetically Engineered Sweet Corn, Violations

2008 Buildings and Grounds Report
Organic Farm Loan Fund

Volunteer Profile:
Mary Chamberlin
– Builder of Outhouses, Campsites and Consensus

Common Ground Country Fair News
Fair Awards & Show Results
5-K Foot Race Results
Common Kitchen Report

Tips & Tidbits
Managing Blight on Tomatoes
Controlling Fruit Flies in the Home
Seeking Rare Ladybugs
Goats and Cattle Graze Together
Mechanical Methods Reduce Weed Seedbank
Rolling and Crimping Cover Crops
Festulolium Rotation?
Make Your Own Custom Lettuce Seed Mix
The Recycled Garden

In Memory of:

Joel Cartwright
Barbara Eggert
Dorothy Martin