Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Update

The Charleston Correctional Crew started to lay the recycled hardwood floor today upstairs.  We are using the hardwood that was pulled up from the original floor and adding in the new hardwood that was milled and donated by Sam Brown.  I told them they could design the floor the way they wanted, just use your creativity.  As you can see they are using both.  When it gets sanded and finished it will look awesome and be a one of a kind.

The guys started on the office side (towards Main Street side) and are doing as much as they can during the last 2 days of working at the Fossa Store.

They are a hard working bunch of guys and kuddos to Supervisor Neal Pinkerton! 
I am so impressed with their work ethic and their respect they have shown me.
Boy am I going to missed them.

Thanks to all the farm friends who baked homemade sweets, oreos, coffee maker, etc. for the workers.  They appreciate it so much.  Kay Gray, Ray & Julie Belanger, Sandy Daigle, Tammy Lockhart all contributed to the "food/coffee" duty.  
I went and bought more coffee supplies today and added a little Christmas cheer with candy canes & hard candy.  Hope they like it!

Friday, December 16th is their last day, but they have done a lot in 7 days!!!

N. Pinkerton told me today that if the Charleston Crew has a day here or there this winter, they will call and work some more on the floor!
Love those guys....

On another note:  
I am meeting with the original General Contractor and the roofing sub contractor on Friday to figure out the leaking problem!
It rained today so they will see all the problems.  I did take pictures for them to see, but there isn't as much water as last weeks storm on the floor and on the walls.

Check out today's pictures...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Update

The Charleston crew is continuing to work on the 2nd floor (floor) and doing a great job. To date, they have about 2/3 of the main floor torn up and sub-floor laid.  I just ordered 13 more sheets of CDX and another box of nails from Tillsons (who deliver to the door!).
I also put a couple nail guns on reserve from the Rental Center at Tillsons for the middle of the week for them.  They are going to be at the Fossa Store all week!  YEAH!
Anyone want to bake some cookies or brownies for the guys this week?  Give me a call if anyone has time.  They really appreciate it!!!
Also looking for a couple of those coffee vacuum bottles so I can make them coffee; or does anyone have an extra coffee maker?  I just asked Neal if they could have coffee and he thought it was a great idea.  Because of budget cuts, they don't get coffee at Charleston Correctional.  
 It is very cold in that building with no heat.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday update

Charleston crew moving right along today!

Nice bunch of guys; 5 workers and Neal the supervisor. They gave me the 'shopping list' this morning and off to see Louie at Dexter Lumber to fill their order. Shovel, rock salt (for sidewalk), 6 x 6's, 200 board feet of pine, nails, etc.

On my way back, stopped and picked up a dozen donuts from the Bakery; gotta keep the guys happy :) They all thanked me a couple times each...

They will be back next week too and will starting to lay the hardwood flooring, piecemeal style, but it will be nice. (using what we recycled and some donated from Sam Brown).

Anyone else have any extra hardwood flooring they are not using? Give me a call! thanks

Went to the bank today to get some names changed on the account, but no, still don't have the right paperwork... geesh

Picked up a light book at Tillsons to find ideas for fixtures for the store.

Busy day...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday Update

 Hi Farmers and friends,
Great week so far despite winter weather creeping in.
As I had mention earlier this week, Charleston Correction crew was coming next Monday, BUT I received a call Wednesday from SAm and he asked if it was alright if they started sooner?  Guess what I said???
So here goes... 
Met with the Charleston Correctional crew this morning at the Fossa Store.  I got there at 8 am with Tim Breen and they finally arrived at 9 am.  Darn slippery weather slowed them up a bit, but once there, the guys attacked the 1st floor ceiling for the "open ceiling" look taking out the nails quickly, while I was upstairs with Supervisor Neal.  Tim & I explained what needed to be done and Neal saw no problem!

They bring their own tools but I order 15 more sheets of 1/2 CDX plywood and a box of nails which Tillsons delivered right to the door!  Yeah for shopping local....  (for those of you wondering, the 2nd floor is being paid for by DRDC money and volunteers.)  We will be moving the office furniture upstairs after it is done to make room for the downstairs work.

This afternoon the 5 man team tackled the 2nd floor "office/conference room" space and they are ripping up the old flooring down to the bare old boards and are laying the CDX subfloor over that.  Remember, there were multiple layers of floors up there of all different materials.
Neil called later this afternoon with some questions and then told me they could work for the next week or so! WOW... and I thought we only had one day  of work...  So, after consulting with Dave P. and Roger B we are going to have them keep working on the floor laying down the hardwood flooring re-cylcing what Tim salvaged and bring in what Sam Brown donated (If i can get hold of him... Sam, give me a call?)
Yippee Skippee! What a great program Charleston Correctional has to help non profits. They do a great job too and are very cheery :)  I am a happy camper.....

On another "sad" note, I did find bigger leak from the roof where the 2 buildings are attached AND on the other side where the delivery door & ice cream window is.  Wet spots on the floor.  NOT GOOD... the water is also in the basement which I assume is from the leak upstairs going down thru the wall.  (good thing we don't have insulation and wall board done...)

I called Steve Wood our previous contractor, this morning when I found the leaks.  If you remember I called a few months ago and they sent the subcontractor who did the roof last winter and thought they had it fixed.  WRONG...  I called again this afternoon and left another message, but hopefully they call back tomorrow.   I will keep you informed
Good thing we didn't get the walls put in yet or we would of been in a big heap of ............

I talked with Jason B. today and I promised to have the last 2 material information things he needs to send out the RFP's;  we made a deal that it is going to be out by the end of the year... only a few weeks away!

Well, that is it for now, but just wanted to keep you informed on the building status and the good news...  If you have any questions please call me.
Stay warm,
Judy Wilbur Craig
Dexter Community Farm Project Coordinator

Wednesday update:

yeah! Charleston Correctional, who were coming next monday to do our 2nd story floor at the Fossa Store is coming tomorrow!!! they had an unexpected opening...
Ripping up the old hardwood uneven, different level old floor and vacuuming it generations of dirt and laying down 1/2 inch sub-floor. 
I am psyched! Then we can move our office furniture upstairs and start working on the downstairs...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December update

Greetings farmers and friends,

We will not be having a meeting tonight after consulting with Chair and Vice Chair Brawn and Pearson.  Yes, things are moving along, but nothing pressing.  December is a busy month!

Next Monday, the Charleston Correctional Crew will be working on the 2nd floor and hopefully we will be able to get the furniture upstairs after the subfloor is down.
I only have 2 more things to get to Jason and he will be finalizing the RFP's to finish  the inside.  I will have done this week!!!

I am working with a group from Maine Rural Partners and will serve on the Winter Marketing Leadership Group representing the farmers and our store in this area. 
They wrote and received a grant that is going to:
The project goals are to:
1. Strengthen the connections and experience among growers, local and healthy food
advocates, institutions, crop advisers, business planners and lenders to grow year round
local food systems.
2. Couple smart energy season extension practices with market development, business
planning, financing and crop insurance strategies to manage risk.
3. Provide quality outreach and education using cutting‐edge season extension risk
management tools to Maine’s limited resource, underserved and socially disadvantaged
specialty crop producers.
4. Bring institutional food buyers and underserved growers together to understand one
another’s needs and create a plan for contracted purchasing.
5. Understand, document and share what works.

As a result we will:
1. Create a Guide to Winter Farmers’ Markets.
2. Develop the foundation for local sourcing of food at RSU#10 and St. Mary’s Hospital in
Lewiston, with a focus on building markets for Somali New American farmers.
3. Broadcast the program service opportunity across all outreach channels to reach all
4,000 specialty crop producers, and at least 255 will be served through workshops.
4. Meet with at least 15 underserved farmers to help these growers assess winter market
risks and decide whether or not to move forward with a business plan.
5. Create 10 viable season extension business plans that include energy management
provisions and a winter marketing strategy.
6. Position at least 6 underserved growers to enter the 2012–13 winter market who agree
to share results and lessons learned.

We will have a more detailed flyer to send out by the end of the week or so but in the meantime call me if you have questions or check out the online survey and fill out if you would like!!!
The survey  is on survey monkey

On a side note: My friend & long time DRDC Board member Darlene Bagley,  husband is in the hospital and will be having "both" feet removed probably this week due to complications from diabetes.  Greg had a kidney transplant a few years back and they are holding off on the life saving surgery until the kidney is free of infection.  I am going to Bangor with Darlene today to meet with doctors, so I will not be available today for calls.  Please keep Darlene and Greg in your thoughts and prayers and they brave thru this process.  Thanks so much...

I will be back in the office tomorrow.
Judy Wilbur Craig
Dexter Community Farm Project Coordinator

Friday, October 14, 2011

Work Day

Hi all,
we are going to have a workbee tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 15th at 10 am at the Fossa Store.
Tim Breen  with  some help from Dave, have been tearing up the 2nd story floor and now we need to clean it up.
Vacuuming between the rafters, bagging up debree and things like that... Not hard work, but just need a bunch of hands.
Can you volunteer a few hours???
We need to get at least the sub floor down so that we can move the desks upstairs before construction starts downstairs.
PLEASE can you help?
Thanks... call me if you can or email.... 924.3067 or just show up anytime after 10 am...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Extending the Gardening Season with Hoop Houses

Dexter’s Jerry Doxtader returns as a presenter for the free workshop “Extending the Gardening Season with Hoop Houses”.

This last workshop of the season will be held at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room, Dexter on Thursday, Oct. 20 6-8pm. Jerry will discuss the hoop houses he has made, their coverings, the vegetables he grows and how they are planted (container, in-ground, etc.). 

Pre-registration is preferred by contacting the Library at 924-7292.

   We plan to begin again in January.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing DDATT at  

Thank you for your support!  AML and DDATT  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

1st Tuesday of the Month

Reminder: it is the 1st Tuesday of the month and time for the monthly meeting of the Dexter Community Farm Project, 7 pm at the Fossa General Store.
We will be talking about the new USDA Grant we are applying for, the 2nd floor floor update, and building updates.
Remember there is no heat yet, so dress warm :)
Open to anyone interested whether they are farmers and or consumers!!!

Reminder to DRDC Board Members:  special yearly meeting at 6 pm

Judy Wilbur Craig
Dexter Community Farm Project Coordinator

Thursday, September 15, 2011

latest news & goings on...

Hi farmers and friends,
I thought I would update you on what we have been up to recently.
Last week we met at the Fossa Store for our 1st meeting at that location.  Roger and I hooked up some temporary lights over our conference table so it was very cozy!  We had both regular attendees as well as a new person and some that haven't attended in awhile.  Good to see everyone.

Donna noticed in the back corner we had another 'wet area' in a wall panel that I addressed with GC Steve Wood on Thursday on location.

We discussed the pros and cons of different flooring, insulation choices and other building materials that need to be chosen soon before we put the bids packages out.
We are also looking for volunteers to help get the floor done on the 2nd floor so we can get our office furniture upstairs and be ready to start construction on the 1st floor.  If you would like to help please email or call me.

Ernest Rollins invited us to have a table at Garland Days and Sandy Daigle volunteered to help me with that on Saturday, Sept 10th.  FUN!

On Thursday, I met with Steve Wood to address the wet wall issue and he is contacting the subcontractor again to fix it.  But he and some crew are coming soon to work on the siding with a special product (nails and sealer) provided by the siding manufacturer.  They will go up on the roof and see what is causing the leak, but he thinks it may be where our building is joined by the building next door.  They thought they had that fixed, but it may be seeping in and around the bricks on the building next door.  Better to find out now and fix than later after the walls are put up.

Steve Wintle put together a last minute meeting with a couple GeoThermal repsWednesday afternoon at the store.  Roger, Fred S., Darlene and I are met them.
We would love to be as green as possible but it also has to be affordable.  Steve is going to work up some figures and go from there, but it was very interesting to learn about another heat source.

I was invited by Carlee Davis of Mayo Hospital Diabetes Support Group to be the guest speaker at Dexter Health Care today to talk about the Dexter Community Farm Project.  .... spreading the word!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Going to Garland Days..

Hey Farmer friends,
Dexter Farm Project  peeps are going to have an informational table at the Garland Days as they celebrate their 200th Birthday!
Sandy Keyte Daigle volunteered to come and help me tomorrow and we hope you and others will come and see  us.  It is supposed to be a great fall day and lots to do at Annual Garland Days!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1st meeting night at the store

There is a meeting tonight of the Dexter Community Farm Project, 7 pm at the Fossa General Store on Main Street.

There will be 'mood lighting', but it should be cozy... Electrician Steve Herring put in a few electric boxes in last week (for free) so we could have power on the 1st and 2nd floors, so I am picking up another extension cord, some lights and we are good to go...

Bring an extra chair if you wish.  we have 16 chairs, but if you have a 'special' chair that is already in your vehicle, feel free to bring it on it.  We will not be doing coffee tonight, but will in the future.
We are going to form a few committees, get more people officially signed up to be DRDC members (so that you can officially vote) and talk about the status of the CDBG grant and the USDA grant that was just submitted.

I am excited that we are going to be at the store... Dont dress up (HAHAHA) it is a bit dusty from Tim working upstairs tearing the floor apart!  Kuddos Tim, but we need some work days to give him a hand and get a partial floor done upstairs.

Extra flashlights might not be a bad idea tonight either if you want to roam around down in the basement.
Hope you see you there....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Beekeeping 101 Workshop by DATT

Beekeeping 101, co-sponsored by Dexter's Abbott Memorial Library and DDATT, will be presented Thursday, August 25 6-8pm at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room.
Leigh Wiley, a member of the Penquis Beekeepers, will discuss the basics of beekeeping: obtaining bees, the functions of workers, drones and queen in the hive, components of the hive, activities of beekeeping throughout the year, and more.

Leigh has been keeping hives since 1974 and is now up to 30-35. If you have been thinking about keeping bees and/or are interested in learning more about the lives of bees here is your opportunity to begin at the beginning with this free workshop!

Please phone the library at 924-7292 to pre-register – seating is limited.

Also, while your garden is in full bloom or production we encourage you to take a few pictures and submit them to

During the winter we'll put all the pictures together for a tour of our summer/fall gardens! Time and location will be announced.

Please submit pictures as jpegs with proper reduction for email/storage, include your name and contact information, provide appropriate descriptions (or none) as you wish.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Need your support!

We are working on a USDA Value Added Producer Grant  that will help with working capitol to start up the store.
We "letters of support" from farmers, organizations, groups, businesses... PLEASE can you do one and ask others who believe our project is worthy of the grant.
Suggested verbiage to help you write the letter is below if you need it...

fill in where appropriate with your info or someone else s that will send the letter...
this is an example....


Dave Pearson
Town of Dexter
23 Main Street
Dexter, Me 04930


Please accept this letter of support for the Town of Dexter's application for USDA Value Added Producer Grant for the Dexter Community Farm Project.  As you know, I strongly support the application and the project as a whole.  With such economic distress in Dexter, it is important to redevelop the local economy based on the community's strengths; this project does just that.

While the economic impact will be significant, there are other benefits that will result from its successful implementation of the project.  Not only will the region consume more locally grown produce and goods, the food itself will be healthier. 

Furthermore, the other programs and services offered through the project will go a long way to address other long term and important parts of the growing regional food economy in the greater Dexter area.

(( tweak the stuff above a little add some stuff here that is pertinent to your org and its mission)).

your name
organization farm or affiliation

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Local Beef Raffle and Chicken Coop Raffle winners

The Dexter Community Farm Project is pleased to announce the winner of the 2 "fund raiser raffles" that took place Sunday. The Fund Raiser(s) were held to raise money for the Fossa General Store office space and other projects not covered by CDBG Grant money received.

Winners are:
Beef winners: Emily Kowal & Chris Gray
Chicken Coop winner: Sherri Langlais

Entertainment was by Wally Warren of Ripley

The Beef Raffle was (2) sides of locally grown, Certified Organic Grass Fed Beef donated by Sherburne Farms in Dexter and Chicken Coop Raffle was donated & built by Dan and Moira McGarry of Alder Brook Acres farm in Abbot.
Call Judy Wilbur Craig at 924.3067 for information for more information on the Dexter Community Farm Project, which is a project of the Dexter Regional Development Corporation and meets the 1st Tuesday of every month.

DDATT sponsoring monthly free movie

Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition (DDATT) is sponsoring another of its monthly free movies, this time on Friday August 5th at 7 PM at the Abbott Library in Dexter.
The film "Economics of Happiness" explores how the worldwide system of commerce and trade and consumerism has changed the relationship between humans and the rest of the planet over the past few centuries. The movie looks at logical consequences if we continue to use this current system (based on infinite growth for its health), and also provides ideas for how to change it in order to make it serve the purpose of human contentment rather than merely acquisition.

A moderated discussion will follow the screening, with local free refreshments. We'll try to end up by 9 PM.
Please come and join us and bring your ideas and comments Friday, August 5th.

DDATT is a group of local citizens concerned about our dependence on oil for almost everything we do, and planning together how to restructure our towns to use less of it. For more info call 277-4221, 924-3638 or

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

reschedule tonight's meeting & stuff

Hi Farmers and friends,
After talking with Roger, we decided it would be best to reschedule tonight's meeting to next Tuesday at 7 pm. We hope you had a great holiday weekend and many are still on vacation or farming.

We are still waiting word on the CDBG Grant status and when we can send out the bid packages to the media.

We are also working on who, what, when we can tear up the 2nd floor and lay down a sub-floor. We need some good carpenters to tear up the current layers of floor. Any volunteers? Call me please!!!

I have been working with Bonnie at Harmony Decor of Corinna measuring and getting ideas for the flooring. She did all the work for free :) And also Electrician Steve Herring has offered to put in a few outlets and electric lines on the 1st and 2nd floor for free (we buy the supplies) before the project gets underway.
FYI: These people know they have to "bid" on the jobs if they want them.

Dave, Jason and I went up to the old school and found some office equipment for our office, a big table and chairs for the conference area upstairs and some shelving for downstairs. We can get this stuff because we are a non profit organization. If you can help move this to our building, we need some pickups and a trailer, call me... Dave & Roger have volunteered but need a few more helpers.

Fred Sherburne & Jim from Heart of Maine went a got an almost brand new (3) door Freezer and a (3) door Refrigerator a couple weeks ago that has been used by the Maranacook Buying Club. Also some coolers and sidewalk signs.

Tim Breen put screening around the front of the deck (donated by Fred) and then it was filled in with large rocks and then smaller rocks so that there is no drop off anymore. Looks great!

Darlene and I put planters on the deck a few weeks ago, (with sunflowers in them of course). They were donated by Snap of the Dragon Nursery in Corinna.

I talked with Dusty Dowse, the Bread King, and he has offered his knowledge on putting in a wood fired oven (potentially), as well as helping with some classes and acting as an advisor. Dusty is associated with the Kneading Conference & Bread Fair in Skowhegan and is a great resource. He has also invited me over to his house as he fires up his own oven and bakes bread, pizza, etc. Can't wait to learn.

I called the previous contractor on some of the issues with the outside of the building. Randy came up and a lot of those issues fixed, (door locking properly, trim work fixed, etc), but they are contacting the siding manufacturer about the siding issue. It may be just the nature of the beast.

RAFFLE TICKETS: how are people coming on selling Raffle Tickets? Any volunteers to sell at the store or in front of Buds? we need to sell a lot more to help us with our project!!!

I need help, so if anyone can help, please let me know. The Raffle is on July 24th with live entertainment.

That's it for now. I am sure I have forgotten a bunch of stuff, but hope that helps keep you up to date. LOTS of to and so little time :)

Have a great day and stay cool...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DATT upcoming events

The Abbott Memorial Library and DDATT are co-sponsoring a workshop on “Weeds and Pests” Thursday, July 14 from 6-8:30pm at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room, Dexter.

Jason Kafka of Checkerberry Farm in Parkman will have some samples of weeds (participants may bring theirs also!), pictures, and resources for identification purposes. He’ll cover pest “basics”, offer organic solutions, and suggest deterrents. The workshop is free, but limited seating requires pre-registration by contacting the Library 924-7292 or DDATT

Reminder – “Highbush Blueberry” workshop Thursday, June 30 6-8:30pm at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room, Dexter. Please use the above contact information to register.

“Growing Connections – Planting Seeds for Healthy Eating”

Piscataquis County - Now that summer is upon us, you may have noticed an increase in garden activity in your community. Thanks to a project “Growing Connections – Planting Seeds for Healthy Eating” sponsored through the Piscataquis Public Health Council (PPHC), you are seeing efforts of area schools, farmers and community groups.

Two area schools are working with PPHC under a SNAP-Ed Grant which funds programs that support nutrition education. Participating schools are the Morison Memorial School 4th grade in Corinth and the Milo Elementary 4th grade and SAD#41 in Milo. School projects are working on promoting more fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy eating behaviors and physical activity. Students have been involved in fun hands on learning activities using raised bed gardens during after school and summer programs. Teachers tell us the kids are having a lot of fun and hope to see the programs grow to reach more grade levels beyond the present 4th grades. Thank you, to the Milo and Corinth communities for their generous support in donations of garden materials.

SAD#41 sponsored a Nutrition & Activity Expo on June 4th which was open to the public. This was a fun morning of colorful interactive learning displays, taste testing, fruit/yogurt smoothies, walking, hoola hoop and wall climbing activities. It was full of fun things for students and parents alike. Another one is already being planned for March 2012.

This coming October, watch for FoodPlay nutrition theatre coming to a school in your community. Additional information will be available in the fall.

The PPHC SNAP-Ed Grant is funded by the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact your local town office or go online to

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interior of Fossa General Store expected to begin next month

This story is in the Bangor Daily News and written by Diana Bowley, BDN Staff:  DEXTER, Maine — Work will soon begin on the interior of the Fossa General Store in Dexter, where local produce will be showcased and sold.
The Dexter Regional Development Corp., which received a $140,000 Community Development Block Grant for the interior work, will act as its own general contractor and will
solicit bids for the materials, as well as the electrical and plumbing jobs, by July.
The store will sell farm produce and products produced in the Dexter region in an effort to promote local purchases and help local farmers. The store also will have a commercial kitchen. The latter will be funded through a $40,000 USDA grant.
The exterior work on the building and the installation of a deck has been completed and was funded through another CDBG grant.
The latest grant will cover only the first floor of the building, so corporation members are sponsoring a raffle of two sides of locally grown, certified organic grass-fed beef donated by Sherburne Farms in Dexter and a chicken coop donated and built by Dan and Moira McGarry of Abbot,  to help fund the renovation to the second floor, which will serve as an office and conference room. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. July 24 on the new deck.
For more information, call Judy Craig, coordinator of the Dexter Community Farm Project, at 924-3067.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Growing Local Food Workshop: Highbush Blueberries

WHEN:  June 30 Thursday 6-8:30pm
WHERE:  Abbott Memorial Llibrary Meeting Room, Dexter
WHAT:  Presenter: Ray M. from the A.E.M. Berry Farm and Garden Center in Palmyra
Ray has over 30 years of experience growing berries and will share his successes, disappointments, and of course the basics: location, transplanting, recommended varieties, etc. (Actually, he grows many other berries, some I've never heard of, but we're concentrating on blueberries this workshop.)

Sponsored by the Abbott Memorial Library and DDATT

The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required (do to limited seating). Contact the Library 924-7292 or DDATT

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Local Beef Raffle and Chicken Coop Raffle

DEXTER – The Dexter Community Farm Project is pleased to announce 2 “fund raiser raffles” taking place now through July 24th. The Fund Raiser(s) are raising money for the Fossa General Store office space and other projects not covered by CDBG Grant money received.

The Beef Raffle is (2) sides of locally grown, Certified Organic Grass Fed Beef donated by Sherburne Farms in Dexter. Tickets are $3 each or 2 for $5, so if you don’t win with your 1st ticket, you could win with your 2nd ticket. OR you might win both sides!

The beef will be all packaged and ready for local pickup after the drawing on the 24th.

The second raffle, to be drawn off on the same day is a Chicken Coop Raffle donated & built by Dan Dan and Moira McGarry of Alder Brook Acres farm in Abbot. It comes complete with and 2 bags of shavings from Bob’s Hardware in Dover-Foxcroft, a feeder & waterer from Paris Farm in Newport and a bag of chicken mash from Dover Agway. Tickets are $3 each or 2 for $5 for this complete package with local pickup and possible delivery.

On Sunday, July 24th at 3 PM we will be holding the raffles on the new native white cedar deck and be conducting tours of the future Fossa General Store and possible entertainment.

To purchase tickets, stop by Abbott Memorial Library where Liz has tickets available during Library hours, Dave at the Town Office, Farm Project members, or call Judy Wilbur Craig at 924.3067 for more information.

The Dexter Community Farm Project is a project of the Dexter Regional Development Corporation and meets the 1st Tuesday of every month. Visit for more information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fossa General Store enters new phase

Written by Grace Lommel : DEXTER - The exterior work on the Fossa General Store on Main Street is complete now that the deck is done. That was Phase I. Now the inside work (Building Phase II) begins in earnest, thanks to a recently awarded $140,000 grant from the State's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The interior work needed on the store includes electrical, plumbing, heating, insulation, flooring and sheet rock. Dexter Community Farm Project members are hopeful for a fall opening.

“This new interior grant enables us to be our own general contractor, unlike the $230,000 exterior grant from CDBG which precluded work from local contractors because of high insurance and bonding requirements,” said Judy Wilbur Craig, a volunteer coordinator of the Project. “It's more in line with our goal of fostering the local economy.” The bidding process is expected to begin mid-June.

Dexter Regional Develpment Corportation (DRDC) also received a $40,000 USDA grant for kitchen appliances such as commercial refrigerators, stoves and sinks. A goal of DRDC is to have a licensed commercial kitchen available to be rented out for value-added (processed) products like jams and pickles.

When the interior work is completed and the store opens this fall, another phase of Farm Project's mission to support a new local agricultural economy begins. The Fossa General Store is envisioned as a hub for the sale of products produced within a 35-mile radius of Dexter. These products are as diverse as meat, dairy, vegetables, hay and wood.

“The Fossa General Store is not replacing farmers markets or grocery stores,” Craig said. “We hope to just make it easier for smaller, more diverse farmers who don't have the labor resources to stand at farmers' markets or have the volume required by grocery stores.” The store intends on buying the products and then selling them locally which will eliminate the middle person.

The final phase for the Fossa General Store will be to consolidate the produce of many small farmers for bigger sales to grocery stores, schools and organizations.

But until then, the focus is on Sunday, June 5 when the Fossa General Store will raffle off a chicken coop and two sides of beef, offer tours of the unfinished interior and host its first Sunday afternoon farmers market. Farmers must have liability insurance which Craig says is a usual requirement at farmers’ markets.

For more information, contact Craig at 924-3067 or visit"This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the and is used here with permission."

Public Hearing Notice

The Town of Dexter will hold a Public Hearing on June 9th, at, 7pm at the Town Council Chambers to discuss acceptance of a Non-Profit Development CDBG Grant. The purpose of the grant is to fund the interior renovations of the Fossa Building.
Public comments will be solicited at this Hearing and will be submitted as part of the Project Development Phase. All persons wishing to make comments or ask questions about the acceptance of these funds are invited to attend this Public Hearing.
Comments may be submitted in writing to: Dave Pearson 23 Main Street Dexter, Me 04930 at any time prior to the Public Hearing. TDD/TTY users may call 711.
If you are physically unable to access any of the Town’s programs or services, please call 924-7351, so that accommodations can be made.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Growing local food workshop!

DDATT and the Abbott Memorial Library will continue their Growing Local Food garden workshop series with "Soils/Composting/Fertilizers" on Thursday, May 19, 6-8pm at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room, Dexter.

Kate Garland, Horticulturist with the Penobscot County Cooperative Extension will discuss soil testing, composting, and organic soil amendments. She says "please bring your questions"!

The workshop is free. Pre-registration is required due to limited seating. Contact the Library at 924-7292 or DDATT at for more information or to register.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

City Critic: School Lunches - Video Library - The New York Times

This is a great story that my daughter who lives in New York sent me. She has been involved with Slow Food and other local food initiatives over the past 10 years or more and shares great links with me. This one talks about local food in the NY school system lunches.

Click for story...
It can be done!!! The price is going to surprise some of you.


Monday, February 28, 2011

2 side(s) of Dexter Beef Raffle

DRDC is sponsoring a Certified Organic Grass Feed Beef Raffle to benefit the Dexter Community Farm Project & Fossa General store. 
The locally grown  beef tickets are $3 each or 2 for $5 (both tickets eligible to win)

The beef is being raised specifically for Fossa General Store fundraising and the drawing will be on Saturday, June 4th on the Fossa General Store deck (if finished by that date).

Local pick-up – need not be present to win

All proceeds go the Dexter Community Farm Project & processing fee

Call 207.924.3067 or email for info

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis

It's the eve of a speaking engagment at the Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis.  Farmer Fred Sherburne is joing me in explaining what the Fossa General Store is going to be, where we stand on the building and construction and what it means to the Town of Dexter.
I have put together a movie of  construction pictures from when we started demolition to now.  I wish we had a projector so that I could do it on a screen rather than just a computer screen, but it is the best I can do for now.
Anyone have a projector?
I am going to invite anyone after to come to the store for a tour if anyone wants to.
Well, almost time for bed, have to be up at 5 am and 6 am at the meeting...
Happy snow day tomorrow afternoon & evening...

Friday, February 18, 2011

MPBN show

I watched a great show on MPBN last night and wanted to share with you.
On Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks it was about winter farming. The show will air again Friday at 8:30 pm and again on Sunday at 5 pm.

Here is a link:

it will be available soon online as well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DDATT movie nights

Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition is showing the following Free movies, which are mostly about food and water, at the Abbott Library basement at 7 PM.

Put them on your calendar! Come see interesting stuff! Eat locally made refreshments! Join in conversations with your neighbors about the film afterward! Bring your family and friends.

    * Friday Feb 4th: The Future of Food
    * Friday Mar 4th: The True Dirt On Farmer John
    * Friday April 1st: Blue Gold
    * Friday May 6: Meet Your Farmer The Future of Food The Future of Food documents what is currently going on with the food supply in the US. Monsanto, a multinational corporation who was formerly in the pesticide business (agent orange, ddt) is now one of the biggest seed suppliers in the world. And not just any seed, it's genetically engineered for a number of purposes.

The True Dirt on Farmer John The award-winning true story of third-generation American farmer John Peterson's hero's journey of success, tribulation, failure and rebirth. Peterson is a true American original. His story parallels that of the family farm in 20th Century America. What makes The Real Dirt on Farmer John so special is the fact that John Peterson is not only a farmer....he's an artist, too.

Blue Gold: world water wars. This award winning documentary directed by Sam Bozzo is based on the book BLUE GOLD: THE FIGHT TO STOP THE CORPORATE THEFT OF THE WORLD'S WATER by Maude Barlow and Tony Clark. The film examines the problems created by the privatization and commoditization of water

Meet Your Farmer Meet Your Farmer is a series of short films about farms in Maine. Produced for Maine Farmland Trust, an organization that works to preserve farm land in Maine for farming use, the films offer a glimpse at the many different types of farms in the state. From the potato harvest in Aroostook County, to the innovations of a seventh-generation farmer Downeast, to the struggles of a dairy farmer in Western Maine, the short films remind viewers that farming is more than just a historical feature of Maine; farming in Maine is alive and well.

DDATT is a group of local citizens concerned about how to reduce our dependence on oil for almost every aspect of our lives. 277-4221 or 924-3836 for more info.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

snow cancellation

Sorry, but to keep everyone safe, we are moving tonight Dexter Community Farm Project meeting to next Tuesday.
Stay warm, safe and happy over the next few snowy days!
Happy Farming..........

Saturday, January 29, 2011

February 1st Monthly Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, February 01, 2011 – 7 pm

1)      Building / Construction update  (Roger)
2)     Beef Raffle Fund Raiser:   Discuss the price of tickets, where, where and all that stuff.
Pam from Dexter Printing has generously offered to print our Raffle Tickets and of course BIG thanks to Fred Sherburne for the whole beef to raffle.  We will be raffling (2) sides!
3)     Chicken Coop Raffle donated by Daniel & Moria McGarry
4)     Are we going to do the dinner?   Do we have enough volunteers? Other fund raisers???
5)     Creating a buying club or something similar (Judy)

  1.  Grant from Commissioner Seth Bradstreet  of the Dept of Ag (Judy)
  2. Phase 1 of our building is done.  (There are a few things to finish by the builders, but waiting on supplies to come in)  We have the keys and the big work can begin on the inside when more money and donations are available.  Any carpenters ready to volunteer?  We will have an update at the meeting.  I am trying to make sure there is power so we can go thru the store before our meeting that night at 6:30 PM (I will let you know).  Roger is checking on the power situation.  The contractors had power on a special meter and that was changed this week.  He is checking on how to get it back on.
  3. Dave, Roger and I will be meeting with CDBG rep. Terry Ann Stevens on Wednesday to finalize the paperwork on that Grant.
  4. Fred has been researching labeling, packaging and more from Herring Brothers which he will share at the meeting.
  5. Signage & Graphics:  We need to start working on graphics, logos, etc.
    Dave is working on the big sign outside which he will report on.
  6. Fred suggested we start using our windows in the store to promote.... promote... promote...
  7. We need to heat in store very soon to help keep the foundation from damage.  Discussion

  8. 7:30 PM -- SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER:  Cheryl Hajek of CBC Bookkeeping
    How do you know if you are making a profit?
    Cheryl will be giving an overview of book keeping for the farmer (or business) and how QuickBooks can help you with knowing IF you are making a profit, where your expenses and income come from and more.  Cheryl is a Certified QuickBooks Instructor as well as a farmer.  If there is enough interest, we will discuss holding classes for those of you who want to learn how to use QuickBooks efficiently.   She will also talk about what Software version is best for you and costs. ( 
--- General Discussion AND  Q & A
Vision Statement: Building our local economy and community with local people, farms and markets.
Mission Statement: Locally Grown, Locally Processed, Locally Marketed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Public Hearing Notice

The Town of Dexter will hold a Public Hearing on February 1st, at 7PM at the Town Council Chambers to discuss an application being submitted to the State of Maine CDBG program for a  Non-Profit Development Grant application.  

 The purpose of the grant application is to fund Phase II of the Fossa General Store renovations.  Public comments will be solicited at this Hearing and will be submitted as part of the application.  All persons wishing to make comments or ask questions about the grant application are invited to attend this Public Hearing.   

Comments may be submitted in writing to: Dave Pearson Town of Dexter 23 Main Street Dexter, Maine 04930 at any time prior to the Public Hearing.  TDD/TTY users may call 711.  If you are physically unable to access any of the Town’s programs or services, please call Dave Pearson 924-7351  so that accommodations can be made.

Special meeting and updates

Hi Farmers and friends,

At our regular January 3rd meeting we had a great energetic meeting with many new people as well as regulars.

Those who were in attendance:  Brent Mullis, Billi Barker, Daniel & Moira McGarry, Judith Stephens, Fred Sherburne, Jason Abbott-Dallamora, Mia Abbott, Jesse Abbott-Dallamora, Roger Brown, Dave Pearson, Grace Lommel, Judy Wilbur Craig, Sue Watson

In old business Roger caught us up on the Construction of the Fossa Store.  The outside is looking fabulous!!!!

The contractors will be done within a few weeks and then OUR WORK can begin on the inside, but we need $$$.  We talked a lot about fund raising,  writing more grants and how we can raise money for the inside.  We will be able to volunteer and hire our own people once the contractors are done and the CDBG grant phase is over.

Fundraiser Ideas tossed around were:

--  a dinner/dance at the new school; maybe in March.  Billi Barker had LOTS of ideas on how to do that and Fred is checking with the new school to make sure we could hold it there.
-- Fred Sherburne is donating a whole beef to conduct a Beef Raffle ... Thanks Fred!  I contacted another organization that holds these type of raffles and they have made a few thousand dollars.  So we will be raffle (2) sides of (1) beef.
--  Daniel McGarry of Abbot offered to build and donate a Chicken Coop to raffle .... holy chickens, that is nice of him and his wife Moira!

We also talked about starting a buying club (of some sort) and why not start it sooner than later.  We don't really need to be open in the to start selling your products.  I have talked with Marada Cook and hope to have someone from Crown of Maine come and talk to us about what we need to do to make that happen.

Financial:  Dave explained where we stand with the CDBG Grant financially, because we coming to a close of that grant.

New Business:

Sue Watson from Heart of Maine (HOM) talked about grants, applications & about pertinent upcoming farm workshops and also  Heart of Maine’s plan to help the Dexter Farm Project.
She talked about HOM's 2011 Summary of Goals, Objectives & Project Strategies and how that includes Dexter Community Farm Project.  

Some of the things discussed where the need for workshops such as business planning, insurances.  We talked about the need of a workshop such as NexLevel to help build business plans for individual farms but also for how it will help with their relationship with the Fossa marketplace.  One of the barriers for many of the start up farmers is the cost of the course.  We are working on finding funding and scholarships for those who may need them to attend this type of workshop.

I will keep you updated, BUT what type of workshops would you benefit from?  I hope to put together an Insurance workshop soon for what kind of liability insurance you need to sell to the store and other places.

We scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, January 18th at 7 PM at the Council Chambers.  BUT, we are supposed to get bad weather tomorrow night. IF we do, we will have the meeting at our regular meeting on February 1st, same time, same place....
We were holding it to come up with new ideas on fund raising and continue on the dinner and the Raffles.

Recently we have had 2 news stories written about us.  One from Grace Lommel of SVWeekly and the other from Diana Bowley of Bangor Daily News.  Both are posted here on our blog below
.  I have also taken pictures of the building as recent as Friday.  You can find see those on the blog as well.

I know I have forgotten other stuff talked about but.......

As always, call me if you have any questions, ideas and thoughts.


Growing Local Food Workshops

DDATT has announced that their February Growing Local Food workshops will be scheduled for Saturday, February 5 and Saturday, February 19, 9:30 until noon at the Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter. 

The first workshop, February 5 (snow date February 12) is "Back to Basics" Topics to be covered : location, planning(how big, how much food, how much time), tilling & fertilizing, fencing, choosing varieties, ordering seeds, etc.
The second workshop on February 19 (snow date February 26) "Seeds" covers: starting seeds(planting depth, seed size, containers, potting soil), double transplanting, cold frames, hoophouses, greenhouses, etc. 

Both workshops are free and will be presented by local organic market gardeners Lois Labbe and Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Farm. 

Snakeroot Organic Farm started in 1995 when Tom and Lois moved onto a run out hayfield in an opening in the woods on the Snakeroot Road in Pittsfield, and immediately began to improve the soil with cover crops and compost. 

Today they grow a wide variety of mixed vegetables, fruit and culinary herbs on 5 acres of gardens. Over 30 greenhouse and field crops are sold at local farmers' markets. 

Pre-registration is suggested by contacting, 924-3836 (eves) or 924-7292 (days).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bangor Daily News Story

Grants eyed for Dexter renovations
Saturday, January 15, 2011
By Diana Bowley of the BDN Staff: DEXTER, Maine — The exterior renovation of the Fossa General Store and Dexter Community Farm Project is nearly complete and local officials are working to secure grants for the interior work, according to Dexter Town Manager Dave Pearson.

Photo taken Friday, January 14, 2011

“I think it looks pretty good. It looked ugly as sin for a couple of years, so I think maybe it was worth the wait,” Pearson told the Town Council on Thursday. 

The work is funded by one of several grants the town has received to spruce up the community. The town also has a Main Street grant to help businesses and a grant to improve housing.
Funds from the Main Street grant, which has income guidelines and requires a match, has been used by the Brewster Inn.

The Country Charm also was awarded a grant to help track its inventory. A third business was awarded a grant but the owner disqualified himself, according to Pearson. About $18,000 to $20,000 remains in the account and those funds will be redirected to another business owner, he said. Any local business wanting more information should contact the town office. 

More than seven projects are under way using funds from a $500,000 housing grant, Pearson said. The money is being used to improve the homes of qualified owners and some funds will be used to replace housing. 

Pearson, Judy Wilbur Craig, director of the Fossa building project and the farm project, along with Jason Bird, the town’s grant writer, are now searching for additional grants to finish the Fossa building. About $300,000 has been invested in the restoration of the building to date, according to Bird. 

Bird said the project received a $40,000 grant from USDA Rural Development to construct a kitchen in the building. The first floor will be retail space and the upstairs will be office space. The emphasis now is to get the renovation work completed and the downstairs finished so the store can be opened, he said. 

The general store will be a year-round farm store and will have a demonstration kitchen. Also planned as part of the farm project is the construction or renovation of a building for a creamery to process milk, yogurt and ice cream, and for use as a warehouse.

"This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the Saturday, January 15, 2011 edition of the Bangor Daily NEWS and is used here with permission."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Recent Newstory in SvWeekly

Dexter Fossa Store exterior almost complete; interior work to begin

Photo taken January 30th, 2010
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 
Written by Grace Lommel: DEXTER – 
At the monthly meeting of the Fossa General Store and Dexter Community Farm Project on Jan. 4 at the Dexter Town Council Chamber, farmers, grant writers and community organizers discussed building and construction updates, potential grant opportunities and ideas for fundraising for interior work.

“The exterior trim is 60 percent complete, the deck (77 feet long, 12 foot wide) footings are in and the siding has begun,” reported Dexter Regional Development Corporation (DRDC) President Roger Brawn.
DRDC is the sponsor of the Dexter Community Farm Project whose goal is to create a year round market in the rebuilt Fossa General Store. Both the Project and Fossa General Store were created by DRDC to work with local community farmers within roughly a 25- mile radius of Dexter. 

The exterior work is expected to be done by the end of January. “Once the siding is complete, then we can roll up our sleeves and get moving on the inside work,” said Dave Pearson, DRDC VP and Dexter Town Manager. “We haven't had access to interior,” explained Brawn, citing restrictions of engineers, the federal grant and state contractors. Necessary interior work includes insulation, electrical and plumbing work. 

“The building is not the only thing,” Pearson reminded the group. “The real project is to reinvigorate Central Maine's agricultural resources.” 

Some of the resources available are grants and Sue Watson of the USDA and coordinator of the Heart of Maine Resource Conservation and Development spoke about these possibilities. Watson presented grant ideas for completing the interior of the Fossa Store as well as business plans and training opportunities for small scale farmers. 

The Tilling the Soil 13-week business planning seminar introduced by Watson garnered the most interest for the farmers present. “It gets you to set down and think through the opportunities for growing and marketing your products,” Watson explained. Included in the grant are scholarships to offset the course and instructor fees. 

Judy Craig, Director of the Fossa building and Dexter’s Community Farm Project, offered the possibility of a buying club which would enable collective selling to schools, prisons and supermarkets. Dairy farmer Fred Sherburne of Dexter was very interested in the buying club. “It's essential to get in this [buying club] business this summer,” urged Sherburne. Watson agreed, saying “I think it's worth going for.” 

Plans were made to meet on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. to identify the most applicable and available grants and to also gauge local interest. 

When meat and vegetable farmer Dan McGarry of Abbott asked “What can we do now?” several fundraising ideas were discussed. Billi Barker of St. Albans suggested a dinner party on March 5 to celebrate Carnival, the last day of Mardi Gras. Farmer and fiber artist Mia Abbott of Blanchard offered adding value to the meal with a raffle or auction of local agricultural products as a preview of what the area has to offer. Barker agreed, declaring that "people want to know what's going on" with the building and the farm project. 

This area is wide open with opportunities,” said Watson  “We're creating a new old economy,” predicted Craig.
"This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the and is used here with permission."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

1st meeting of 2011

Hi Farmers, friends and DRDC members,
Happy New Year!!!

2011 is going to be a great year for Dexter's Community Farm Project.  We are starting off with a nice looking (so far) building on Main Street.  The foundation is done, they put in the windows, the outside trim is going up and next is the siding.  That is supposed to be done by the end of the month!!!  Then the building is ours to get going on the inside.  We have to come up with some fund-raising ideas, grants, volunteering, etc.  Bring your ideas to the table on Tuesday.  

I took some pictures last week and you can see them at

It is starting to look like a General Store with the windows and notice how they match the rest of Main Street Buildings.
We need YOUR input and ideas to get the excitement going again with our project.  The next meeting is this Tuesday, January 4th at 7 pm at the Dexter Town Council Chambers on Main Street.  

Mark your calendars, the Farm Project meetings are always the 1st Tuesday of the month (unless weather is bad).  We need to start meeting regularly now that the holidays are over and the building is progressing.
I will have some snacks and drinks available (will that entice you to come?)

Also let us know how your growing season went in 2010, what new things you are doing and what are your plans for 2011?

On another note, but pertinent, I am now working at Heart of Maine RC&D (HOM) in Bangor 3 or 4 days a week.  If you don’t know, HOM works  with farmers and rural programs in the Penobscot, Piscataquis & Somerset Counties. (  Sue Watson who attends our meetings, works for USDA and is the Coordinator overseeing  Heart of Maine, which is a 503C nonprofit.  It will be a great partnership for our group and HOM. 

I hope to see you on Tuesday and if anyone would like to bring some of your own snacks, feel free!!!
It is going to be a great year for the Fossa General Store and the Community Farm Project.

Agenda for January 4th:


1)     Building / Construction update  (Roger)
2)   Financial status
1)     Farmers updates on the 2010 season & what’s coming up

2)   Sue Watson from Heart of Maine will talk about grants, applications & about pertinent upcoming farm workshops  Heart of Maine’s plan to help the Dexter Farm Project in the.

3)   Volunteers need to help find $$ (Tim)

4)   What’s next?  Idea and suggestions!

7) General Discussion AND  Q & A

Next meeting:  Tuesday, February 08th  at 7 PM

Vision Statement: Building our local economy and community with local people, farms and markets.
Mission Statement: Locally Grown, Locally Processed, Locally Marketed.