Round the Western Mountains


A monthly e-newsletter encouraging action in shaping western Maine’s future!
March 2009

Workshop, Events, and Opportunities
‘ROUND THE WESTERN MOUNTAINS highlights events, workshops, forums and projects that are assisting sustainable development efforts for western Maine.  Help us to keep people informed and inspired by sharing this newsletter with someone.

Apply to be a Farm Energy Partners demonstration site! or 873-2108.

Got a Greenhouse? Need Lower Energy Bills?

Virginia Valdes’ design to be published in “The Big Book of Green Design”

The Big Book of Green Design is the newest and most exciting project in the “Big Book” series from Crescent Hill Books & Harper Collins Publishers. Congratulations to Virginia Valdes of Valdes Design whose design “Make a Connection with your Local Farmer”, Valdes Design was created for a poster art contest for Western Mountains Alliance’s “Eat Smart Eat Local” campaign, is to be published  by Crescent Hill Books. The book will be available in July 2009 for purchase. You can email Virginia at

Bill McKibben – “The Most Important Number in the World – Building a People Powered Movement to Fight Global Warming”

March 13, 2009

7:30 p.m.

Nordica Auditorium, Merrill Hall, UMF

Bill McKibben is an American environmentalist and writer who frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, and the risks associated with human genetic engineering. Beginning in the summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations against global warming in American history.  McKibben is active in the Methodist Church, and his writing sometimes has a spiritual bent. Bill is a frequent contributor to various magazines and has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. This event is free and open to the Public. For more information visit Sustainable Campus Coalition.

Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District Annual Auction

March 13, 2009

5:00 p.m.

Mt. Blue Middle School, Farmington

Fuel oil, hay, mulch, gift certificate and novelty items will be available. Viewing begins at 5 pm.  For more information or for help with technical assistance on erosion control contact FCSWCD at 778-4279.

Second Annual Work Healthy! Program

March 13, 2009 – Registration deadline

The Healthy Community Coalition is holding its Second Annual Work Healthy! Program,

which recognizes businesses and organizations in Greater Franklin County that place a high priority on promoting good health for their employees.  By supporting a tobacco-free lifestyle, encouraging physical activity, and/or promoting healthy eating-businesses and organizations may realize the benefits of a healthier workforce – reduced absenteeism, disability costs and health care costs, improved productivity, and increased moral and loyalty.  Participating businesses can earn the Work Healthy! The Award, which recognizes them as community leaders by promoting good health for their employees.  Nate Morse, the program coordinator, says the Healthy Community Coalition staff can provide no-cost technical assistance ideas and guidance for implementing strategies to improve the health of one’s workforce.  For additional information contact the Healthy Community Coalition at 779-3136 or visit

Spring Growth Conference 2009: Growing Grains in Maine

March 14, 2009
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity

MOFGA presents a full day of presentations and discussions for commercial and home-scale growers. Topics will include grain varieties; fertility; harvesting & storage; and seed saving. The keynote speakers will be Klaas & Mary-Howell Martens of The Martens Farm and Lakeview Organic Grain. Registration required.  For more information: Spring Growth Conference.

The 15th Annual Greater Franklin Business Expo

March 14, 2009

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Nichols Expo Center, Wilton

New this year, the Chowdah Cook-Off from 1:00-3:00p.m.  Cake Baking Contest – free entry. Admission to the expo is $3, and children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.  Come showcase your business or organization and network with other area businesses.  Vendor space still available – registration forms and Cook-Off rules and registration forms available online at

Managing Your Business in a Challenging Economy Workshop

March 19 – 20, 2009

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center, 248 Wilton Road, Farmington

Hosted by The Greater Franklin Chamber Partnership, the workshop will feature Greg Gould and Rose Creps, certified Business Counselors with AVCOG, and will take a strategic look at accounting and finance.  Participants will learn the importance of various financial calculations and how they relate to wiser business decisions.  It is free to area Chamber members.  Non-members’ fee is $20 pre-paid for each session.  Registration deadline is March 10th.  Registration information is available at,, Rangeley Chamber, FABA or by contacting your Chamber Office.

Maine Farmers’ Market Convention

March 20-22, 2009

Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) in Winter Harbor, ME

Join us on beautiful Schoodic Point to inspire and invigorate your Farmers’ Market!

Our dynamic speakers include Steve Miller, Greg Franklin, Gabe McPhail, Monique Bouchard and other panelists from all over Maine with Deb Burwell as our lead facilitator! Workshops will cover topics such as Working with Municipalities, Selling Your Best, Customer Service, Electronic Banking, Marketing, Recruiting and Retention and much more.  For more information about the convention, visit: Down East Business Alliance or contact: Sarah Joy Salagala at  207-664-2424 ext. 4460; email:

MOFGA’s Organic Orcharding Workshop

March 21, 2009

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set, and quality fruit yield. A collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed. Please bring a bag lunch, course will run from Three Locations: Rambler’s Way Farm, Kennebunk, (Instructor: Russell Libby); Raven Hill Orchards, Waterboro (Instructor: Scott Miller); Clayfield Farm, East Blue Hill (Instructor: Phil Norris) For more information visit: Orcharding Workshop

Farm Bill Forestry Workshop

March 24, 2009

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

University of Maine, Farmington, North Dining Hall, Farmington

Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District will host an informational workshop for forest landowners/managers interested in the forestry aspects of the 2008 Farm Bill. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Maine Forest Service will be providing up-to-date information on the Farm Bill and how owners of forest land can receive assistance in caring for their woods, and what monies are available for which programs and practices. The session will include time for questions and answers. To register, call FCSWCD at 778-4279, stop by the office at 107 Park St., Farmington or e-mail

Starting Your Small Business

March 25, 2009

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Lawrence High School Annex – 7 School St, Fairfield

Join us for a fast-paced exploration of what it takes to start a small business. Examine entrepreneurial characteristics, outline your business plan (and discuss why you need one), including marketing, management and financial plans. This workshop will prepare you to take the next big step. Cost: $10.00 Please register through Lawrence Adult Ed – (207)453-4200.

Energy Efficiency Talk and Tour of Pineland Farms

March 26, 2009
8:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.

Conference Center at Pineland Farms, New Gloucester

Jim Casper and Melanie Voisine of Pineland will discuss multiple farm efficiency projects that have been implemented in Pineland Farm’s Equestrian Center, Pineland Farm’s Creamery, greenhouse and dairy. This event is the beginning of collaboration between

Pineland Farms and Farm Energy Partners to develop Pineland Farms as a potential demonstration site for energy issues. Cost for lunch will be $15. Space is limited, so please reserve a space by emailing or leaving a message at 873-2108.

Maine Indoor Air Quality Conference
March 28, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Augusta Civic Center, Augusta

Richard Shaughnessy, Ph.D., Director of Indoor Air Quality at the University of Tulsa, will be keynote speaker at Maine Indoor Air Quality Council’s annual conference, and workshops will cover recent findings in more than a dozen areas related to improving indoor air and the health of building occupants.  Continuing education credits for licensing and certification of professionals are available.  Details on the event, including registration forms and accreditation availability are available at, or contact Christine Crocker, executive director of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council, at (207) 626-8115 or by e-mail at

Seed Swap & Scion Exchange

March 28, 2009

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity

Sponsored by the Maine Tree Crop Alliance, the Maine Seed Saving Network, Fedco and MOFGA. For gardeners and orchardists, it’s like the most wonderful flea market in the world. Not only that but most of the best stuff is free! For more information visit:

Grow Your Own Organic Garden

April 1. 2009

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted

Each year MOFGA sponsors this statewide educational event at over 20 different locations in Maine. The workshops are open to the public and to people of all gardening skill and experience levels. They are designed to provide folks with essential skills and knowledge needed to make a transition from conventional to organic gardening. For more info on times and locations visit:

2009 Androscoggin Community Job Fair

April 2, 2009

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner St., Auburn, ME.

For more information please contact: Chip Morrison or Jenny Ziebart at 783-2249

Notice of Public Comment Period – Proposed Concept Plan for Plum Creek’s Lands in Moosehead Lake Region

April 3, 2009  4:00 p.m. – Public Comment Deadline

The Land Use Regulation Commission seeks public comment on draft implementing language of amendments to Zoning Petition ZP 707.  A full copy of the draft implementing language may be downloaded from:  Written comments may be sent to the Land Use Regulation Commission, 22 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0022 or via email: .  Persons having questions may contact LURC by email or by telephone at 207-287-2631.


April 7, 2009

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Granary Brew Pub and Restaurant, 147 Pleasant St., Farmington

The Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting a Basic On-Site Wastewater System Installation Course for contractors, code enforcement officers, licensed plumbing inspectors, and site evaluators.  Topics will include design, permitting, construction, and inspection processes contained in the Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal rules, CMR 241 as well as the use of erosion control devices and the Dig Safe process.  The cost for this workshop is $75 (includes training materials, lunch, and breaks).  For registration information please go to Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District web site at, call 778-4279, or contact the Joint Environmental Training Coordinating Committee (JETCC) at 253-8020.

Conservation & Alternative Energy Expo

April 22, 2009

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

University of Maine, Farmington

Pond Construction, Contractor Certification, Everything you want to know about Septics, Gardening & Food Production, Alternative Energy: corn, wind and more.  For more information and schedule go to

National Small Food Manufacturer Conference

April 23-24, 2009
Holiday Inn – Downtown Lincoln Nebraska

Invitation to all Small Food Manufacturers. This conference is the first national conference designed specifically for micro and small food manufacturers throughout the country.  It includes current topics and industry recognized national speakers which will educate and motivate participants.  Attendees will: Learn from national industry respected, knowledgeable speakers; Learn how to expand and grow their businesses; Participate in interactive sessions; Explore new opportunities; network with peers and industry experts. For conference brochures contact Jill Gifford at 402-472-2819 or or visit the conference website:

Practicing Forestry in Challenging Times:

Innovative Approaches and Critical Issues

April 24 – 25, 2009

Northwood, New Hampshire

Join the Forest Guild for their third Northeast Regional meeting. This two-day program will explore how foresters, allied professionals, and supporters can practice and promote excellent forestry which upholds the triple bottom line (ecological, social, and financial) in challenging times.  The meeting will include nationally recognized speakers, detailed discussion sessions, and field tours to demonstrate excellent forestry in practice.  For more information please visit:

Small Woodland Owners Association Annual Meeting

April 25, 2009

Save the date!  Location has yet to be determined.  Learn more about the association’s activities and accomplishments, hear what’s happening in forestry throughout the state, and help to choose new members of the Board of Directors.  Details about the meeting will be available soon at

MOFGA Will Assist Small Farms With Certification Fees

At its December 2008 meeting, MOFGA’s Board of Directors agreed to provide some financial support for small farmers seeking organic certification. The certification fee is based on gross annual income for all organic products. Annual fees range from $300 to $800, and higher for farms generating $100,000 or more. Certified producers receive a federal reimbursement of their certification fees through the Maine State Department of Agriculture. This program reimburses 75% of certification fees, up to $750 per operation. Additionally, MOFGA will assist small farmers (with gross incomes less than $10K from organic sales) with their fees by making up the post-rebate difference in fee expenses between 2008 and 2009. Both reimbursement programs are administered in the fall to certified producers after certification fees have been paid to MOFGA Certification Services, LLC. For more information, call 568-4142.

Western Mountains Alliance….helping people shape the future of western Maine!
Telephone: (207) 778-3885    Email:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s