Volunteer Profile Spring 2004

Spring 2004
Adam Tomash
 Adam Tomash. English photo.

MOFGA’s Mac Man

By Marada Cook

What transforms a jack-of-all trades homesteader into a self-employed Macintosh programmer? “I had an epiphany of sorts,” says Adam Tomash of Blue Moon Macintosh. “I realized as I was getting older that I needed a job that I could earn more at and work fewer hours.” The 60-year-old entrepreneur had tried his hand at ‘everything but logging’ before starting his networking career. “When I first came to Maine we had a homestead near Bingham. We grew vegetables and had a small farmstand. In the mid-70s we joined MOFGA and became one of the first certified farms in the state.”

Tomash’s interest and support of MOFGA lasted through the years while he worked at everything from driving a school bus to weighing seeds while FEDCO was still in its seedling stage. “I was a chemistry teacher in Rhode Island right out of college,” says Tomash, “so I helped FEDCO learn to use the gram scale.”

Helping worthy organizations learn to use unfamiliar technology seems to be Tomash’s specialty. After being hired by MOFGA to set up a network for its Augusta office, Tomash started volunteering his time to do what he calls ‘odds and ends.’

“Adam has done a tremendous amount of work bringing MOFGA into the future,” says Heather Spalding, MOFGA’s operations director. “If we had had to depend on a commercial enterprise to do what Adam does as a volunteer, we’d be in trouble.”

“I really believe in what MOFGA does,” Tomash asserts. “I help other nonprofits for reduced rates, but MOFGA is the only one I help for free.” His emphatic support echoes MOFGA’s successful history. “MOFGA is a leader among organizations of its kind. The work MOFGA does in Maine sets an example for the rest of the country. Now I see the staff with wireless Internet access and laptops. I’m proud of the progress that’s been made.”

The office is not the only place you might spot Tomash volunteering. Look him up at the Common Ground Fair, and you’ll find him in the Ag Demo Area – composting with worms! After ordering a kit online that proved to be much too small for his needs, Tomash designed his own vermiculture system. (See The MOF&G, June-August 2003). Tomash and his wife, June Zellers (also a MOFGA volunteer), keep numerous small gardens and a small orchard. Needless to say, their worms are kept busy. “I make about 1200 pounds of worm castings per year,” says Tomash, “which I then use to mix up potting soil for spring plant propagation.” After attending his talk, you too might find yourself with a new hobby that gets folks wriggling!

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