The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is offering a two-part course that is designed to provide farmers with a strong background in soils, weeds and pest management and will enable them to make good management decisions. It is geared toward those who want to gain a greater understanding of the biology and ecology behind better soil, pest and disease management, weed management and hence better crops and healthier livestock.

Lectures are led by Eric Sideman, MOFGA’s organic crop specialist. Guest lecturers, including local farmers, will also speak and join the discussion.

Course Outline

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  1. Properties of Soil
  1. Testing Soil
  1. Farmer Presentation

Natalie Lounsbury grows mixed vegetables and some small fruits at River Rise Farm in Turner, Maine. She brings to the farm a master’s degree in soil science in which she focused on cover crops.


  1. Composting
  1. Livestock

Diane Schivera, MOFGA’s organic livestock specialist, will present the basics of feeding, breeding, living conditions and health care of livestock on an organic farm.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

VII.  Crop Rotation and Green Manures

VIII.  Insects and Diseases

  1. Organic Certification


  1. Farmer Presentation

David Colson, MOFGA’s agricultural services director, ran New Leaf Farm in Durham, Maine, with his family for about 30 years. They produced (and still do, under new management) a wide mix of MOFGA certified organic vegetables for sale to Portland area specialty stores and restaurants. Colson will talk about the nitty gritty of organic weed control, pest management and soil husbandry implemented at New Leaf Farm.

  1. Weed Management

XII.  Open Discussion and Wrap-up

Registration fees (includes lunch): $75 individual; $30 additional person; $50 apprentice/student;
free journeypersons; $45 per single-day registration.
FMI and to register: