MOFGA Stories​

Learn more about the MOFGA community and Common Ground Country Fair

Maine Microroasters Put Local Spin on Organic Coffee

Andrew Newell, owner of Farmhouse Coffee Roasters, with his father Michael Newell and employee Garrett Greystone. Photo courtesy of Andrew Newell Logo of Farm House Coffee Roasters Melissa Raftery and Megan Wood co-own 44 North Coffee in Deer Isle. Photo courtesy of 44 North Coffee As a microroaster, 44 North processes beans in small batches.

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MOFGA Stories

The Fair For our very first installment of MOFGA Stories, the theme is the Common Ground Country Fair. What follows is a collection of stories from MOFGA members, staff, volunteers and fairgoers. My favorite memory of the Fair is not so much a specific incident but rather a feeling. It’s a rhythmic sense of contentment

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An Unfettered Approach to Orcharding at Deer Isle Hostel

Anneli Carter-Sundqvist gets ready to plant the first apple tree in 2015. Photo by Dennis Carter Raised beds were built for each tree using logs and brush left from clearing the land. Photo by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist Boneset and goldenrod line the woodchip-mulched paths. Photo by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist The wild and unfettered orchard at Deer Isle

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Decades with MOFGAs Tim Nason

Tim Nason with Chaitanya York, MOFGA’s first executive director, at a celebration for MOFGA’s 40th anniversary in 2011. Jean English photo Tim with U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree at a MOFGA dinner at Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. Jean English photo Tim is shown here at the 1975 Trades Show surrounded by The MOF&G. Eliot Coleman is

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Thoughts on Forest Bathing

By Joyce White When I first heard the term “forest bathing,” images of naked people frolicking through the woods and splashing in a forest brook flashed through my mind. Maybe they then stretched out on sun-warmed pine needles, perhaps even taking a snooze – but certainly not in black fly season. Or winter. But no, “forest bathing”

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Tribute to Jean English

1988: Jean English with daughter Saima. From “Fertile Ground: Celebrating 40 Years of MOFGA.” Jean English in 2006 By Heather Spalding Another big MOFGA transition is upon us and we’ll all feel it in a big way. After 31 years editing MOFGA’s renowned newspaper, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener (The MOF&G), Jean English is

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People Plants and Pollinators Populate Mahoosuc Land Trust Garden

Barbara Murphy with her dog, Marley, in the pollinator garden. Photo courtesy of Barbara Murphy Visitors enjoy the garden during the 30th anniversary celebration of Mahoosuc Land Trust. Photo courtesy of Barbara Murphy Liatris (blazing star) attracts monarch butterflies. Photo by Mike Murphy By Joyce White We’ve all heard of the decline of honeybees, one

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Gleaning Healthy Eating for Everyone

Regina Grabrovac and four young missionary volunteers from the Church of the Latter Day Saints harvest blueberries. Photo courtesy of Regina Grabrovac Volunteers glean what’s left of the tomato crop at Blue-Zee Farm in Penobscot. From left to right: Elise Teixido, Anna Wind and Justine Appel. Photo by Rachel Emus Lydia Brown and he dad, Buster,

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Look Whos Been Talking

Toki Oshima drawing   By Teresa L. Johnson Just like those creepy talking trees in “The Wizard of Oz,” the plants in your garden are talking to each other. Scientists have now identified ways that plants communicate with each other and with other species. “Plants have sensory systems. They perceive a lot of things, they

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Growing a Good Life

Wendy Green outside the house she built and next to the mullein plant that just appeared. Photo courtesy of Wendy Green   Live simply that others may simply live. – Gandhi By Joyce White Wendy Green, 61, has spent the years since adolescence creating her own life from an underlying philosophy of taking responsibility for

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FoodCorps Creates Model Garden Program

Walker School fifth graders weed spinach – just one aspect of a model school garden program. Abby, one of the most eager garden helpers, with a bag of garden produce to take home. By Jean English Photos by Carolyn Wason “Fun! Friends! Games! And don’t forget planting!”   Those are a few benefits of the

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Gardeners Growing Healthy Communities

Raised beds built and filled by Gardeners Growing Healthy Communities in South Paris. Photo by Anne Stuer   By Joyce White On a sunny Thursday afternoon in mid-September, about 15 volunteers are engrossed in a variety of garden-related activities – harvesting kale and cabbage, dividing a big bowl of ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes into separate baggies,

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Why We Homestead

Dennis Carter and Anneli Carter-Sundqvist at their Deer Isle Hostel. Photo by Noah Kalina Spiritual, political and philosophical reasons to homestead in the 21st century By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist Living in self-reliance and simplicity is something many dream about and some fulfill by living as homesteaders. My husband, Dennis, and I do that on Deer Isle,

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Urban Homestead

The author with her husband, Charlie Allen. Photo by Myles Allen         By Lynn Hower Allen In 1975, the year we met, my then husband-to-be, Charlie, bought a derelict house and 10 acres of land in Union, Maine. The long, rectangular property stretched across a south facing slope at an elevation of

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Nature and the Green Man

A “Green Man” carving by Pat Austin in the display gardens at David Austin Roses, Albrighton, near Wolverhampton, England. Photo by Simon Garbutt from wikipedia.org   By Joyce White Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein I’ve always suspected there is some kind of magic in woods, fields

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English Editorial Organic Matters You Matter MOFGA Matters

Toki Oshima illustration   You know what really matters when mention of the ECB in the mainstream media makes you think, first and foremost, “European corn borer!” and not the far less important – to our community – European Central Bank. What matters to us is growing food, flowers, trees, herbs and fibers in quality,

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Earth Mother Goddess of Nature

Toki Oshima illustration By Joyce White In her 1987 book “The Chalice and the Blade,” Riane Eisler shows us a culture that existed for thousands of years, in which the inhabitants enjoyed peace, prosperity, cooperation, and equality between men and women. She calls that a partnership model of society, represented by the chalice; its opposite

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Slow Money Maine

Steve Levy (left), a Slow Money Maine technical assistance mentor and member of Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative’s board, along with Gray Harris of Slow Money Maine’s steering committee and Coastal Enterprises Inc., at SMM’s November 2015 daylong gathering. Photo courtesy of SMM By Jean English Like healthy soils that nourish abundant, nutrient-dense crops, Slow Money Maine

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Our Homestead Gardens

The gardens at the Deer Isle Hostel are designed in a simple, straight-row layout and consist of four areas: raised beds lined with logs, open areas, beds along the fence and paths. Photo by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist. Permanent paths between the raised beds are mulched with wood chips and in the open areas with leaves that

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The Earths Call

Michael Zuck photographed at the 2002 Farmer to Farmer Conference. By Michael Zuck Michael George Zuck, 63, died on March 7, 2015. With his wife, Gail, he had built and operated Everlasting Farm in Bangor. He also was the founding president of the Mid-Maine Greenhouse Growers Association, a MOFGA member and an excellent speaker about

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Sacred Grain

Toki Oshima drawing By Grace Oedel Bread occupies a unique and highly sanctified place in many religious traditions. In Judaism, the ritual laws surrounding bread stand apart from all other culinary rituals. A meal is defined by whether or not you consumed bread. If you did, you are mandated to carry out a full set

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English Editorial Fall 2015

A banner carried in the Children’s Garden Parade at the Common Ground Country Fair: “We All Belong in the Garden.” English photo By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener The well known “Powers of Ten” film (available on YouTube) shows the relative scale of the Universe, beginning with a young couple picnicking

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Saving Trees Saving Ourselves

Frank Robey is working to prevent the timber harvest planned for the Maine section of the White Mountain National Forest in Stoneham, Albany and Mason Townships. Photo by Dave Gagne By Joyce White President Franklin Delano Roosevelt commented, “Forests are the lungs of our land.” Seventy-five years ago FDR recognized the importance of forests in

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Popes Encyclical

By Grace Oedel Earlier this year the Pope published a piece of writing that has come to be known as the “climate change encyclical,” although it rings out more broadly as calling for a radical shift in culture. The treatise, entitled “Laudato Si,” translates to “Praise be to you,” a line from the Canticle of

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