Archives: Stories

Morgan Cameron Wins 2022 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Contest

By Holli Cederholm  Morgan Cameron paints animal portraits in oil, and has a special love for horses. As a child, Cameron, now 30, spent her summers and afternoons on her grandparents’ 100-acre farm in Dover-Foxcroft getting to know an array of animals that became inspiration for her artwork, including dogs, cats, cows, rabbits and her

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A Tribute to Michael Phillips (1957-2022)

By John Bunker The orchard community suffered a terrible loss this past winter when orchardist, author and educator Michael Phillips died unexpectedly one night out in his northern New Hampshire orchard. Many of us in Maine knew Michael from his regular visits to teach workshops at MOFGA. Others who never had the good fortune to

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Community and Education Meld at Crystal Lake Farm & Nursery

By Danielle Walczak Each early spring for the past 15 years, Eli Berry has walked Crystal Lake Farm & Nursery looking for invasive plants. The non-native species stand out like sore green thumbs among the brown and gray field edges of the farm which he runs with his mother, Sharon Turner. Things look different now

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The Next Generation of Organic Dairy

Family Farming at Silver Valley Farm By Sonja Heyck-Merlin In August of 2021, Horizon Organic, owned by the French company Danone, terminated its contracts with 14 organic dairy farms in Maine. Silver Valley Farm in New Sharon was one. Horizon gave them 12 months to find a new buyer; later it extended that by six

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“Climate Change”

What follows is a collection of stories from MOFGA members, staff, volunteers and the community in response to the theme: “climate change.” These stories first appeared in MOFGA Stories segment in spring 2022 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. We do not expect the wind in October. We survive the biting wind that

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Making Decisions at Moodytown Gardens

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin A farm is the sum of decisions. Long-term strategic and on-the-fly decisions. Decisions that induce arguments and ones requiring risk. They can be based on emotion. And some decisions are rooted in childhood experiences — as is the case with the owners of Moodytown Gardens in Palmyra, Maine. Johanna Burdet, or Jo

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Making Essential Oil from Logging Slash

The Essencers capture the aromas of Maine with a mobile still By Danielle Walczak Snow fell in Stockton Springs while Brent Holiday fired up a chainsaw. It was January and the wind, characteristic of Midcoast Maine, shook the greenhouse next to the white pine he would cut down. With the pine gone, in a few

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Can Agriculture and Solar Farming Co-Exist?

By Tim King It’s hard to keep up with the rapid expansion of commercial solar installations being developed in the Maine countryside. In January of last year, the Portland Press Herald reported that BNRG/Dirigo Solar, a venture of companies based in Portland, Maine, and Ireland, has 36 active projects in Maine, with 10 under construction. 

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“Seed”

What follows is a collection of stories from MOFGA members, staff, volunteers and the community in response to the theme: “seed.” These stories first appeared in MOFGA Stories segment in spring 2022 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. I was born and raised in what was referred to as Spanish Harlem in New

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September — Preserving

By Dani Walczak Each year since I started farming I pack my bike panniers like Christmas stockings and head north to Unity for the Common Ground Country Fair with Ali. On Friday after work, we meet in the Park-and-Ride of I-95 at the Augusta Mall. We head Northeast on our bikes. Stumbling through parking lots,

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