MOFGA Stories​

Learn more about the MOFGA community and Common Ground Country Fair

Marsh River Food Coop

The Marsh River Food Coop, near the intersection of Routes 7 and 139 in Brooks, offers local products whenever possible. English photos Local produce on display in late October New Member and Producer Coop is a Model for Other Coops By Jon Walsh Set amid a series of low, forested hills, Brooks, Maine, has long

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Farmers Markets Get a Leg Up

The MFFM board. Front L-R: Mike Gold (Maine Farmland Trust), Tom Roberts (Snakeroot Organic Farm), Mark Guzzi (Peacemeal Farm); Back L-R: Heather Donahue (Balfour Farm), Sherie Blumenthal (St. Mary’s Nutrition Center), Clayton Carter (Fail Better Farm), Jack McAdam (McDougal Orchards), Hanne Tierney (Cornerstone Farm) and Rob Lawless (Took a Leap Farm). Photo courtesy of MFFM

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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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GrandyOats

Aaron Anker (left) and Nat Pierce have brought GrandyOats to award-winning fame. By Joyce White Photos courtesy of GrandyOats GrandyOats has managed something noteworthy in Maine – creating a successful organic food business worthy of the 2013 Producer of the Year Award by the Maine Grocers Association and Food Producers Alliance while maintaining its organic

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Fire Fly Farm

Billi Baker serves hot, ready-to-eat crepes at the Belfast and Orono Farmers’ Markets. The fillings change each week, inspired by the season. Holli Cederholm photo. By Holli Cederholm Personal chef, artisan baker and farm-to-fork caterer Billi Barker celebrates her love of farming through her food. The Enchanted Kitchen, the business name for Barker’s many culinary

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Homesteading Economics

Anneli Carter-Sundqvist and Dennis Carter created the Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead to offer budget lodging to guests; to teach sustainable practices; and to enjoy a homesteading life as independent of the fossil fuel economy as possible. Layla Motta photo. By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist Summer is an exciting time at the Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead.

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The Legendary American Chestnut

Kendra Gurney, The American Chestnut Foundation New England regional breeding coordinator, with chestnut seedlings after one year of growth, in a seed orchard in Winthrop. Photo by Eric Evans. By Jeanne Siviski Renowned Maine poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow implies resilience with his words, “Under a spreading chestnut tree.” Folklore tells of a squirrel byway from

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Living in Right Relationship

By Grace Oedel I moved to Maine a year ago but had heard stories for years before about an epic fair way up north. The words “wholesome” and “glorious” came up a lot in these descriptions. A friend I grew up with (all the way down in Georgia) lined the walls of his house with

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Grange Revival

Halcyon Grange in Blue Hill has a state-licensed kitchen and bulk storage bins for grain. By Betsy Garrold Photos by the author What has sprung dance floors, a stage and nurtures local agricultural traditions? The Grange, of course. In Maine the Grange is seeing a resurgence of interest and relevance. As Maine continues to grow

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Peter Kellman

Peter Kellman’s portrait by Robert Shetterly. From AmericansWhoTellTheTruth.org. In August, Maine artist Robert Shetterly unveiled his portrait of longtime labor leader, historian and working class hero Peter Kellman at the Good Life Center in Harborside, Maine. The portrait is part of Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth series. (MOFGA’s Russell Libby was also included in

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Holding Winters Peace All Year

Toki Oshima drawing By Grace Oedel Lately I have been wrestling with the dynamic tension between patience and action. How are we to balance the urgency that motivates us to do our work with the need for rest and rejuvenation? For farmers, the warm season flies by furiously with chores from before sunrise to after

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Editorial Jean English

Toki Oshima drawing By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener Ben Falk, in his keynote speech at the Common Ground Country Fair, called for a billion new gardeners, because “we have everything we need right here, right now” to re-establish the perennial-based, diverse and integrated food-producing ecosystems that were here for thousands

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Apple Tasting

John Bunker is a common site – almost always with an apple – at the Common Ground Country Fair. Join him in an apple taste test at the Fair to determine the favorite variety for 2013. English photo. By John Bunker and Cammy Watts ‘Canadian Strawberry’. ‘Chestnut’.  ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’.  ‘Liveland Raspberry’. What do all

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Danyas Legacy

Mondrian “Moe” Shumate (left) and Andrea Boothby continue Danya Klie’s care for the environment and people at Toads End Farm. Photos by Marta Madden, martamadden.com. By Betsy Garrold This is a story about women, community and music. When Danya Klie was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2011, she knew that her time was short

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English Editorial

John Bunker of Super Chilly Farm talked about all the miracles in life, at a MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop. English photos. Visitors at Super Chilly Farm going to see a hugelkultur mound. A long hugelkultur mound at Super Chilly Farm. By Jean English Everything around us is a miracle. That was John Bunker’s message

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Bluebird Hill Farm Powered by the Sun Fueled by Education

Rosey Guest, harvesting tomatoes in mid-October in her unheated hoop house. All photos by Holli Cederholm. After the tomatoes are done, Rosey runs a fence down the middle of the house and keeps her layers in there for a month. They scratch for bugs and add fertility for the following season. Greens and tomatoes are

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California Detour Wheat Vs Gold

John Augustus Sutter’s once-thriving farming community in California fell victim to the Gold Rush. Portrait of John Sutter by Frank Buchser, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/. The current high price of gold is wreaking environmental destruction in many places around the world, sometimes interfering with local people’s ability to farm and garden. This isn’t a new situation, as John

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COMOC

Leah and Marada Cook of Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative. Lily Piel photo, courtesy of COMOC. By Betsy Garrold Hard work and quality are recurring themes when you talk to the crew at Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative (COMOC, https://crownofmainecoop.com/). Since the early days, when Jim and Kate Cook delivered local, quality potatoes in their

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Forest Restoration

Toki Oshima illustration. By Céline Caron “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir (Printed on Merve Wilkinson’s in

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Shmita

Toki Oshima illustration. By Grace Oedel Last month I had the privilege of attending the Hazon Food Conference in Falls Village, Connecticut, an annual gathering of people involved in the “New Jewish Food Movement” interested in growing a resilient food system rooted in religious ethics. Although many farmers might not share my voracious appetite for

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Monarchs or Corn Syrup

Milkweed seeds. English photo.   By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener Every fall when our children were young, my husband would collect milkweed pods from a thousand-square-foot patch of Asclepias syriaca that grows on our land and store the seedpods in a paper bag over winter. In spring, when the swallows

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Transition

Toki Oshima drawing. By Hildie J. Lipson The challenges we face, such as peak oil, climate change and economic crises, can be overwhelming to us as individuals. Here in Wayne, a few of us have been meeting to talk about joining the Transition Towns Movement, an initiative that seeks to build community resilience to mitigate

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