Archives: Resources

MOFGAs Contributions to the Maine Livestock Industry

Diane Schivera has been involved for more than 20 years with the livestock industry in Maine. Photo by Gary Dunn By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. MOFGA Organic Livestock Specialist When I began working for MOFGA in 1998, we certified one goat and 27 cow dairies; and five beef, six lamb, two wool, five egg, three broiler and two turkey

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Agricultural Plastic Part II Recycling

Many agricultural plastics, including some row covers, are difficult or impossible to recycle. English photo By David McDaniel In the summer 2019 MOF&G, I discussed how Maine farmers depend on many plastic products and the difficulties of recycling these materials. Here I review some of the limited ways to recycle agricultural plastic and types of plastic to

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MOFGAs Clean Cannabis Program

By Chris Grigsby The goal of MOFGA’s Certified Clean Cannabis program (MC3) is to offer an independent, third-party-verified marketing claim similar to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) but for cannabis products, which cannot be certified organic at this time. The standards were developed by MOFGA with a group of dedicated Maine caregivers. The program is entering

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Too Many Wood Chips

A pile of year-old chips partially transformed by white mold. These heavily-bearing blackberry plants have never been treated with anything but chip mulch. By Will Bonsall I’ve spoken and written extensively about using forest residues, especially shredded brushwood, or “ramial chips,” to build and maintain soil tilth. I’ve advocated incorporating them into gardens as short-term

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Who’s Stealing My Fruit

By C.J. Walke This season was the first in my 10 years of working with fruit tree growers that I heard numerous reports of apples and peaches vanishing from trees in just a few days or even overnight. In early August, emails starting popping up in my inbox with subject lines reading “Vanishing apples” and

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Agriculture in El Salvador

Juan Luis Avilés Moreno at the Common Ground Country Fair with (left to right) interpreters Jan Morrill and Christa Little-Siebold and (right) MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee member Karen Volckhausen. English photo Avilés Moreno (center) talks with Will Bonsall about grain processing at the Fair. Jim Torbert, interpreter and MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee member, is on

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Low tech Grain Production

Banatka wheat with a dense understory of Dutch white clover, and no weeds. Hand harvesting Banatka wheat. Temporary storage in a drying cart. Threshing uses a modified MacKissic chipper-shredder. By Ben Hoffman After struggling for 10 years trying to grow and process cereal grains, I joined forces with an equally frustrated Bob Mowdy. We worked

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Harvest Kitchen Summer Heat

Toki Oshima illustration By Roberta Bailey When I was a child, my family went out to eat at a restaurant once a year, on Mother’s Day. We went to Howard Johnson’s. I always got fried clams. I know it was due to socioeconomics, but I also think people went out to eat less in the

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Not Out of the Woods Just Yet

The author in an old growth forest in Montville with a big (carbon-rich!) tree. Photo by Nelson Sánchez Oyarzo Resources About Carbon Offsets “The Nature Conservancy Makes a Bet on Carbon,” by Forests for Maine’s Future, Aug. 23, 2018 “A Landowner’s Guide to Carbon Offsets,” by EcoTrust “Vermont Forest Carbon: A Market Opportunity for Forestland

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Tip Aspirator Seed Cleaner Demonstrated at Seed Swap and Scion Exchange

Among the piles of screens, sieves, fans and motorized contraptions that we’ve cobbled together over the years to clean seed on our farm, the aspirator seed cleaner we built based on Real Seeds open source plans (https://www.realseeds.co.uk/seedcleaner.html) is one of the more efficient and versatile processing tools at our disposal for dry seeds. A vacuum

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