small farm field day - ME
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center
9 am - 4 pm
Small Farm Field Day provides an opportunity for hands-on learning. Small farmers, gardeners, and homesteaders from across Maine have a chance to learn practical skills, get answers to their questions, and meet other like-minded folks.
(map & schedule of activities)
Brae Maple Farm
Half Moon Gardens
Roots Coops & More
Perennial Plant sale!
Lunch available from CrossTrax Neighborhood Deli
Demonstrations & Workshops
(see map & schedule of events for times and locations)
Build a Whiz Bang Plucker
Want to pluck three chickens or a turkey in 5 minutes or less? John McIntire will be building one in MOFGA's workshop. If time allows we'll give it an inaugural spin and finish processing some birds.
Come and check it out and learn how to build one for your farm!
Jim Ostergard is a logger who works with both horses and on a skidder crew, he is a certified Master Logger and is also certified as Certified Profesional Logger (CLP) for 9 years. He is on the board of
directors for CLP, the steering committee of MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry committee and cuts wood full time. The basics of chain saw safety will be discussed. If there is time and with the availability of an appropriate cutting situation felling will be demonstrated.
Solar Water Systems
Vernon LeCount and Vaughan Woodruff of Yankee Solutions will lead a tour of MOFGA two solar heating systems. The first system is a flat-plate air circulating system which uses the sun to heat a MOFGA building housing large water tanks to provide water to our sprinkler system. Before this hot-air solar panel was installed MOFGA was using propane to keep the water from freezing. Hot-air collectors can also be used to direct heated air into basements in homes or heat to agricultural structures. The second system is an array of hot-water collectors which heat water for the space heating at the main building. This active water system uses AET copper plate collectors and home-made collector plates to heat water which is transported through a heat exchanger to a large storage tank in the building.
Building and Using a Low-cost Walk-in Cooler
Cold storage adds a level of sophistication and flexibility to your garden or farm, but until recently has been prohibitively expensive to install and operate. A few new technological breakthroughs have lowered costs to a level that makes sense for smaller-scale growers. Come see MOFGA's home-made cooler system and learn how we built it, how it works, and how much it costs.
What is Permaculture?
Join permaculture designer & gardener Lauren Buyofsky of Newforest Institute & Conscious Elements Permaculture to learn how this system of sustainable design weaves together the care of the earth, care of the people, and the fair share of natural resources between all of us. Lauren will define and explain what permaculture is, and share how you can put permaculture principles into practice in terms of gardening, resource conservation, sustainable building, green energy, and community.
Vernon LeCount, MOFGA’s Facilities Coordinator, will lead a tour of the 10,000 watt Bergey wind generator on the MOFGA grounds. Vernon will cover site selection, tower-base construction, tower-raising, generator models, and other wind related topics for people considering the purchase of a small-scale wind generator.
Wild & Edible Plant Walk
Wild edible and medicinal plants grow all around us. They are very nutritious, need no cultivation and are free. In this workshop you will learn to identify and process a dozen or more common plants that grow in forests and meadows, along creeks and in our yards and gardens. Further, by spending time in the wilds and integrating wild edibles into our permaculture designs, we learn from the source. We will discuss ethical harvesting and the nutritional benefits of wild plants. Please bring a notebook and tape where you can press samples and take notes.
Jim Merkel is the author of Radical Simplicity and founder of the Global Living Project and has worked as the Sustainability Coordinator at Dartmouth College. Originally a military engineer trained in foreign military sales, the Exxon Valdez disaster and the invasion of Iraq prompted him to devote his life to sustainability and world peace.
Raising Guinea Hens for Natural Tick Control
Dana Manchester of Shady Hollow Game Farm in Morrill will fill you in on the needs of Guinea Hens. They are great bug eaters with an even bigger voice.
Permaculture Herb Garden
Join Bill Whitman as he works on our culinary herb garden.
Making vegetable ferments, like sauerkraut and kimchi, is one of the oldest forms of food preservation-- likely because it is one of the simplest means to keep food fresh. Join Holli Cederholm of Proud Peasant Farm for an overview of tools, techniques, and recipes appropriate for home-scale production and enjoyment.
Slaughtering Rabbits: Demonstrating a quick and humane method for slaughtering, eviscerating, and skinning a rabbit.
Alicia Slocum has been raising animals for over 10 years. From chickens to goats to rabbits, she enjoys homesteading on her acre and a half with her two children. Alicia has a passion for farming, hunting, and fishing, and antique autos, and works as a full time real estate broker.
Alan will go over a variety of useful metalworking tools, tips and techniques that may be helpful for maintenance and repair--and for getting along with the metal in your life in general. There will be an emphasis on best practices for standard, familiar tools and how a typical small farm operation might economically make use of various metalworking processes. Inquiries about specific needs or problems will also be welcome. Feel free to bring or discuss your metal project, problem or needs. Alan has a lengthy background as a machinist and is a longtime MOFGA member.
FAMACHA Training cancelled
All day hands-on opportunities to try your hand at spinning on a wheel, drop spindle, crochet, knit and more. Members of a local fiber group as well as Wednesday Spinners will be on hand.
Tour of Organic Orchards
Join C.J. Walke, MOFGA’s Organic Orchardist, for a tour of our Maine Heritage Apple orchard where he will explain what he does in the orchard to build the soil and promote tree health. C.J. will also discuss organic methods of managing orchard pests and disease, such as plum curculio, codling moth and fungal issues.
AM Tour will meet in the North Orchard
PM Tour will meet in the South Orchard where attendees can see a variety of fruit trees.
Sheep & Goats on the Homestead
Adding livestock in the form of sheep and goats will add to the sustainability of your farm, you will be creating your own milk, meat, fiber and manure. We will talk about what it takes to add animals to your homestead or farm, including breeds, housing fencing and other requirements, with an emphasis on organic management.
What to Raise Besides Chickens
Join Dana Manchester of Shady Hollow Gamebirds for a special 2-hour session and learn about poultry alternatives. There are lots of other breeds and fun available.
Food Safety in the Kitchen
Join microbiologist Marianne Potter and resident chef Cheryl Wixson as they discuss the "good, bad, and the ugly" microorganisms of the food world. Learn how to prevent food-borne illness by avoiding the bad ones, and how to handle and process food safely in the kitchen. Marianne's work in microbiology over the last 35 years has taken her to many places in the US and in Europe. For the past seven years she and her partner Greg have been growing thousands of organic vegetable and herb seedlings each year for home gardeners and teaching children ages 6 to 86 how to grow their own organic seedlings.
Organic Management of Insects and Diseases
Planting season is upon us and the insects and diseases are soon to follow. Come see pictures of who is coming and learn how to set them back, or maybe even avoid the problem entirely. MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist, Eric Sideman will lead this session.
Maine Local 20
Twenty foods you can produce to eat and sell year round. MOFGA’s Organic Marketing staff Cheryl Wixson and Melissa White Pillsbury will share opportunities for producing, consuming and marketing more Maine grown food all year. Learn about emerging markets for local foods and current gaps in supply.
Farm Tour of Proud Peasant Farm
Join MOFGA's Farmers-in-Residence to check out what's happening on the farm.