MOFGA announces this summer’s Gather & Grow tour

UNITY — The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association has announced the schedule for its third season of Gather & Grow tour, exploring gardens, homesteads and more. The program is free, all are welcome to attend, and donations will be accepted to support free MOFGA programming.
This season’s programs are:
“Learn About a Homestead as it Grows,” Thursday, June 27, 6 p.m., Steve Rodrigue’s Homestead, 20 Hunt Road, Windsor — As part of this tour series, program participants explored Rodrigue’s homestead each summer, allowing us to see what grows and changes on a small homestead each year. Whether you’ve visited before or are interested in visiting for the first time, this is an opportunity to view Rodrigue’s progress after four seasons of work on an unimproved woodlot parcel. He will discuss his overall vision and process as well as give a guided tour of the off-grid small house he designed and built. This is a great tour for those interested in starting their own homestead from scratch or for those interested in tiny homes.
“Tour a Homestead Focused on Food Preservation,” Thursday, July 11, 6 p.m., Washington Homestead, Washington — Patty Manson owns and operates her own family CSA and preserves over 300 quarts of vegetables and fruits harvested from her own land. Visit with a variety of farm animals, explore her garden beds and enjoy the views of her 50 acres of blueberry fields. Ask about wool spinning, soap and juice making. See how you, too, can raise your own food.
“Enjoy Mort Mather’s Farm-to-Table Garden,” Thursday, July 25, 6 p.m., Easter Orchard Farm, Wells — At Easter Orchard Farm, farmer and longtime MOFGA members Mort and Barbara Mather raise MOFGA-certified organic vegetables for Joshua’s Restaurant in Wells. An acre managed largely with grass clipping mulch provided over 12,000 pounds of vegetables last year for their son’s truly farm-to-table restaurant. Mort served as MOFGA board president twice and wrote the classic gardening book “Gardening for Independence.”
“Tour an Early-Stage Homestead,” Thursday, Aug. 15, 6 p.m., Living Light Homestead, Surry — Matt and Alice have been developing their property for just a few years. They’ve been clearing land by hand, building and living in a 10-foot by 10-foot round-pole timber-frame cabin, and planting an edible landscape, all while carrying water and with no on-site electricity. They will demonstrate making lumber with an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. This is an ideal visit for those interested in or just starting their own land-based lifestyle on a budget.
“Explore Will Bonsall’s Homestead and Gardens,” Thursday, Aug. 22, 6 p.m., Khadighar Farm, Industry — Known by many throughout Maine, Khadighar Farm is a unique example of veganic gardening. Molly Thorkildsen and Will Bonsall focus on self-sufficiency and grow a wide range of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. Special features include extensive terraces, solar-powered irrigation, intensive beds and the use of ramial chips (chipped branches of deciduous trees).
“Meet Geese, Goats and More at Hostile Valley Living,” Tuesday, Aug. 27, 6 p.m., Hostile Valley Farm, Liberty — Hostile Valley Farm is a 93-acre homestead in Liberty. When Kirsten Lie-Nielsen and Patrick Jackson moved there in the spring of 2016, the farm had been abandoned for over 20 years. Over the course of three years the couple has made the barn a comfortable home for their dairy goats, two dozen geese, flocks of chickens and guinea fowl and a pair of pigs. They’ve returned the fields to open land for haying and future orchards, vineyards and crops, and are clearing a few additional acres and adding ponds for their waterfowl. Using their own manpower and working smartly with their livestock, they also maintain a large personal vegetable garden.
Kirsten is the author of “The Modern Homesteader’s Guide to Keeping Geese” and “So You Want to Be a Modern Homesteader? All the Dirt on Living the Good Life.” She travels Maine talking to want-to-be-homesteaders.
For more information, call 207-568-4142.