Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday updates:

upstairs is cleaned!
If you were wondering, dinner today for the Charleston crew and us, was Pizza Hut Pizza that Rich went and got in Newport.
Today is the last day that the crew is working for awhile and 3 guys came today in addition to Ron the Supervisor... 
They got a lot of odds and ends done that needed to be done. 

-- Scraped all the studs that had foam insulation on them upstairs. 
-- Moved and organized all the wood upstairs we had left from various projects and will use for other things, but now we know what we have.
-- Swept all the floors; clean all the garage and bagged it ready for the dump
-- Carried a bunch of heavy blackboards from 1st floor to 2nd floor
-- helped Jonathan Wilbur downstairs
-- cleaned the sidewalk of ice, the best it could be..... All in 4 hours!!! They do a GREAT job!!!

Thanks Sam at Fairpoint for the great!

Yippe Doodle!

Before purchasing new, I thought I would check with our FB friends, looking for kitchen equipment for the Fossa General Store. We are NOT going to be a restaurant, but we will be cooking/baking to sell in the store as well as hold classes for all ages. We will also be renting the Certified Commercial Kitchen out to farmers who don't want or can't invest in a $30+ kitchen.

Some of the needs:
Kitchen Aide mixer (doesn't have to be new, but working)
commercial pots and pans & racks... 
2 bay, 3 bay sinks, hand sink, utility sink and even a toilet...
-- or if you have something you think we might need, let me know.

I have priced out new for all of the these, but maybe someone has a deal and we can buy local or even donations are accepted :)

All the money saved on these types of items, means more buying power for the big items.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday update and thanks to volunteers

Thursday update:  1st Corn beef & Cabbage 'full on dinner' was awesome!  Wow Richard Frank, you out did yourself on this one!!! The Charleston crew, Darlene, Rich and I all sat down for a huge dinner and no one really wanted to go back to work.

Today: 2 trips to Dexter Lumber for insulation today, a couple trips to Tillson True Value.  The crew put insulation up on the 1st floor and Contractor J. Wilbur was going right behind them hanging drywall!!! Kitchen area is going fast.  With only 2 crew members & supervisor Rob and Jonathan they have gotten so much done today!

The crew also cleaned off the deck of ice and tried to de-ice the sidewalk.  I enjoy working with the Charleston crew very much, as do other DRDC board members.

For those of you who don't know, Charleston Correctional Facility is a minimum security prison and they provide free labor to many non-profit organizations and municipalities in Central Maine.  The crew members come with a supervisor and range from 1 or 2 to a crew, to up to 5 (as we have had) or big jobs even 2 crews.  

Since we started our project just over 2 1/2 years ago, the Charleston crews have volunteered hundreds of hours helping us to create our store.  They started when the old building needed heavy duty gutting on all 3 floors and 2 crews came and I was there long enough to get them started and then left.

Last winter a crew of an average of 4 plus supervisor came to tear out layers of the floor on the 2nd story and then laid subfloor and then a beautiful hardwood floor using both new wood donated by a farmer Brown and recycled flooring from the building.  From then on, I have worked along with them personally and have enjoyed earning trust & respect for one another and become a sorta mother figure for some of the younger guys.  They tell me their stories, in their own time, and say how stupid it was and in some cases I have even said “yup, that was stupid”! … and we laugh in a knowing way.

This week, (a new crew) came and have been insulating, helping with dry wall and tomorrow a lot of different tasks and already they want to bring their families back when the store is open.  We, DRDC & I are very grateful for all they help that they give, but also for the respect we give one another and getting to know their stories and how they feel good about 'giving back' by working in the community and helping nonprofits.  I enjoy each day working with these men and knowing that we all are helping one another, and HOPEFULLY it will be a turning point in their lives.  But we must remember when judging and not knowing the whole story, "there but for the grace of God, go I".

Sorry I went on, but I felt it was worth mentioning….

Friday, December 7, 2012

Update: Thursday, December 6th

Thursday update:  Finally got a date for our internet hookup at the Store. (they lost my order from Nov 20th) but found it again. ... and 3 phone calls later "Janet" gave me a date of December 13th for outside hookup.
Casey Macomber, Jonathan Wilbur, Greg Macomber

Cross your fingers, hold your breath and pray to the internet/phone gods that it comes to pass................. It is hard to work in an office without internet access ;)

BUT Fairpoint does have a great deal right now for businesses, $30.49 month for both phone & internet access for 2 years, IF you can get 'em to get it done...
Installation date is now December 13th!!!

 Hardwood flooring, 5" ash is ordered from Yoders and the 1 x 8 ship lapped wall board is ordered, also from Yoders. 

Tile from Harmony Decor is ready to be ordered and is all is on budget.

Door is installed in the office upstairs (by DRDC board director Tim Breen).
Was pleased to find (real) lights working upstairs when I got there today!  We won't be running all those extension cords for lights in the very near future or fumbling around in the dark to get in and out of the upstairs~
Thanks Seamans Electric!!!  AND CMP is coming to make our new electric panel LIVE!  

More sheet rock is hung by our contractor, Jonathan Wilbur and he cleaned up the work site again which is a constant battle; they are doing a great job!

Heating system is being delivered tomorrow and more electrical tomorrow.

Kitchen ceiling sub contractor stopped by to access the situation is coming back tomorrow for measurements. Won't be installed for a few weeks.

Oh and got the printer/scanner that Fred Donovan donated hooked up and running.  That is a BIG thing, I wont have to run home and do it and run back again :)

Good day and very productive!!!

Update: Tuesday December 4th

Tuesday update: Earlier I was sitting in the Fossa Office (using someones wireless connection for a minute) and thinking what a difference a day makes.
I was waiting for DRDC's monthly meeting to begin at 6:30 and thought I would do an update.

SprayFoam insulation is done! What a difference already!

Sheet rock is up in the stairway to the 2nd floor and on walls in the mercantile area & downstairs bathroom.

I was wandering around the 1st floor a little while ago and actually visualizing where coolers are going and shelving will be built. In the kitchen, seeing where counters and
refrigerators will be for an efficient space. WHAT fun!

The CnC Spray Foam guys did a great job, they are from Clinton, Seamans Electric, Gregory Macomber & Casey his son and of course Jonathan Wilbur of J. Wilbur Construction and his man.

They are all working together well and the communication is something we hadn't experienced in the past.

I gotta say, we are so happy to be working with local companies! We are trying to buy local and hire local!!!! 'Cause that is the kinda people we are :)l

Recent updates: December 1st

Friday, December 1st update:

-- Furnace and all the stuff that goes with it being delivered Monday and should be done in a couple weeks.
-- Spray Foam (if delivered to sprayer) going in Monday - all 3 floors where intended
-- Insulation in Kitchen installing Monday Dec 10th (so electricians can finish 1st)
-- spraying of open ceilings in the next week or so
-- LOTS more for me to do but I won't bore you with that
.. for pictures taken today: (kinda boring but not to me :)

Darlene and I found the "perfect" tile for the kitchen tonight at Harmony Decor from Bonnie in Corinna!!! It was what was in my head, but have not found it yet. She pulled a sample out of a box while on the phone with the distributor and I kept saying that is the one, that is it!!!! AND it is on sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perfect! It is a rough surface 16" tile that is slate color, with hues of rust, creams, even subtle greens, but looks like a slice of a rock! Perfect!

Last week, up on the recommendation of DRDC Board of Director Ernest Rollins, I took my camera and photographed all the electric wire, boxes, etc that has been run & installed BEFORE the spray foam insulation was done and walls put up!  Brilliant!!!  So I did all 3 floors and will have the record for the future if ever needed to know how to locate something....

$16 million purchase would boost industry and help federal food programs

 BANGOR, ME – Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it intends to buy up to $16 million worth of wild blueberries for federal food programs, a move that was requested by the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission. Congressman Mike Michaud weighed in with USDA and urged them to make a timely decision on the request.
“Our wild blueberry growers and producers not only provide a nutritious and quality product, but they are critical to the health of our state’s economy,” said Michaud. “This USDA purchase is a win-win that will help address the needs of the industry as well as our nation’s food programs.”
According to the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission, the USDA purchase request was made to help the industry address an oversupply situation as a result of a large crop of Maine wild blueberries also impacted by a growing supply of frozen cultivated blueberries.
According to the USDA, this purchase of wild blueberries will support federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases also help to stabilize prices in agricultural commodity markets by balancing supply and demand.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wreath and Tree Shippers Should Be Aware of Out-of-State Plant Regulations

Monday, November 19, 2012
AUGUSTA, Maine - As part of its commitment to supporting the state's farm- and forest-based businesses, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) has established a website outlining other states' restrictions on importing cut trees and wreaths. Maine decorative-plant shippers who are sending Christmas trees and wreaths around the country for the holiday season can save money and lost products by noting important regulations enforced by other states.

States such as California are impounding and destroying shipments to prevent infestation by invasive insects and the spread of plant diseases, said Ann Gibbs, Maine state horticulturist.
"Import requirements for cut trees and wreaths with ornamental nuts and fruit arrangements exist to protect regional agriculture or other commodities from the risk of plant pests," Gibbs explained. "Unfortunately, some Maine shippers have learned about these regulations the hard way and have had shipments impounded and destroyed. We want to prevent any losses by getting the word out now.

Our best advice is to check out-of-state orders in advance, especially those headed to California, and to make sure they are free of scale on the needles."

Distributors also should identify their products clearly through labeling, beginning with the statement, "Grown in Maine," followed by the county of origin and the name and address of the shipper. Labels should indicate the contents of packages, including the different types of greenery, nuts, fruits and cones used to decorate wreaths.
"This information benefits the shipper by speeding along deliveries," Gibbs said. "That is very important in this time-sensitive industry."
An informational sheet, "Know State Regulations When Shipping Wreaths and Trees," is available on the ACF website at or by contacting Sarah Scally at (207)287-3891 or
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fossa General Store completion is underway

Dexter Regional Development Corporation is pleased to announce the contract with the General Contractor was signed on Wednesday, October 31st and construction is beginning immediately. The low bid General Contractor is J. Wilbur Construction of Dexter and he has enlisted several local subcontractors to help complete the Fossa General Store in about 3 months. DRDC & J. Wilbur Construction is working closely with Plymouth Engineering, Inc. of Plymouth, Maine.

Last week week Contracts were signed and there is ‘hammering of the nail’ now taking place, but you will be seeing more and more activity at 4 Main Street in Dexter.

Dexter Regional Development Corporation (DRDC) has been working on the Dexter Community Farm Project idea since June 2009. Along the way, they have received 2 CDBG Federal Grants to help in the rehab of the old Fossa Store, which was generously donated to DRDC from the Fossa Family in 2007 after running the Fossa Store for 3 generations.

DRDC has spent over $50,000 from their own coffers, as well as 100’s of hours of volunteer work from Dexter’s Aspire Volunteers & Workfare Program, the Charleston Correctional Facility, DRDC & community members.

DRDC is developing the Fossa General Store that will support local farmers by creating a year round mercantile space, a commercial kitchen (for use by the store, to rent to farmers and for educational purposes) and to act as a wholesale agent for Farm to School, Farm to Institutions and Farm to Table.

DRDC is creating a market for their products year round, creating jobs both in the store and on the farm; providing education to farmer, the consumer and to the education community.
This week piles of paperwork has been scanned and emailed to appropriate people, dozen of phone calls coordinated, Maine Revenue & Maine Labor paperwork done, Contractor is framing inside the store, furnace is waiting to be installed, subcontractors notified, building materials delivered by Dexter Lumber, volunteers to be organized, grant to be finished... okay, it is a great week! FINALLY moving forward....

If you would like more information on the Dexter Community Farm Project, email

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Exciting news

Thursday, October 11, 2012
We FINALLY have the go ahead to start Phase II (completing the interior of the store front). Dexter Regional Development Corp. (DRDC) has had so many obstacles placed in front of us over the past 2 1/2 years, that were out of our control, and today this last one was lifted!

It almost doesn't seem possible because we have had to many set backs, but the terrific DRDC Board of Directors and I are extremely happy.

We have a lot of paperwork to complete in the next week and then the contractor will be able to sign on the dotted line hopefully in a week or so and construction will begin!!!!

The Fossa General Store is finally going to be a reality hopefully around February / March (approx.) after construction is completed....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Preconditioned Fall Feeder Calf Sale

The Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) is sponsoring a preconditioned feeder calf sale at Dick Brown’s facility on November 3rd, 2012. 

Cow Calf producers have taken the time to precondition their calves for this sale. Preconditioning reduces the incidence of respiratory disease and enteritis by increasing the immunity of the calf in preparation of the stress of weaning and shipping.  Dehornings and castrations are healed.

Some cow calf producers consigning animals to the sale have also signed affidavits attesting that their animals have been raised under the MBPA Natural Meats program protocol of never having received hormones, antibiotics, or feeds or feed supplements containing animal-by-products. And/or their animals are 100% grass (forage) fed, no grains, grain-by-products, grain crops, grain crop silages, or other prohibited feeds under the USDA grass fed guidelines have been fed.

The MBPA are expecting 75 to 100 calves weighing about 600 to 700 pounds to be sold at the November 3rd sale at 11 am. 

If you are interested in buying a few or a lot of animals or have questions contact Sale Manager, Pete Dusoe at 207-416-5441 (cell) or 207-948-3233, or or Bob Dusoe at 207-322-5609. Pre-conditioning protocol is available at or

For more information contact Donna R. Coffin, Extension Professor
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
165 East Main St.
Dover-Foxcroft, ME   04426
(207)564-3301 or in Maine 1-800-287-1491

Monday, October 1, 2012

October meeting

Reminder: Monthly meeting Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30 pm at the Fossa General Store upstairs. Board members and interested people are invited. 

Cheryl Hajek, certified Quickbooks Adviser will be on hand to talk about our financial structure, P&L projections, POS systems, etc.
We will go over the P&L Projection spread sheet and ask for your thoughts and the Biz Plan that was done recently.  Fred D. and I worked about 6 hours on it last Wednesday and it is getting better and better.  We will explain.
Fred wants to ask about Capitol Gains (I think) and how we will handle them but Cheryl will be able to help that too.

We also will be talking about when construction can begin and about our private lender. At this point we are still waiting on the Town of Dexter audit year 2011 to be done and filed with the state.

I will go over the findings Richard Frank & I have found at the Kitchen Warehouse places and where we stand on both Grants.  I want this finished THIS week.

Darlene Bagley and I have been searching online for recycled bags for the store. IDEAS?   Lots of details that need to be decided on.
AND a big item is our LOGO!!!

I am making some calls to find an artist, I know Dave P. is very busy.  BUT we have to have it soon!!!  it will be on our invoice, labels, our Sign, shopping bags, t-shirts, etc and we have to get it now and not later.

I will try to have coffee available for the meeting and dress warm :)

Call if you have any questions or thoughts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Annual Tour honoring our Cooperator of the Year

On Saturday, August 25th, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) along with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS) honored Sid and Rainie Stutzman of Stutzman’s Family Farm in Sangerville as the 2012 Outstanding Cooperator of the Year. The day began with introductions of the Stutzmans by Gordon Moore, Chair of the PCSWCD and a Maine District Forester.  

Sid talked about the various conservation practices they have implemented on the farm with help from some of the NRCS programs available to farmers. Sunny Stutzman spoke about the new Gothic arch cedar high tunnel that he designed under a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) awarded to PCSWCD by NRCS. This high tunnel has been designed using a locally harvested product and locally available hardware, and is designed for use by farmers as well as backyard gardeners.
The high tunnel has wheels to make it portable. In this way the grower can move the high tunnel to a new location in order to rest and restore the soils after several seasons of use. Dave Power, District Conservationist for NRCS in Piscataquis County, spoke about available NRCS financial assistance programs.
The participants were given a tour of the CIG high tunnel as well as another high tunnel the Stutzmans bought with financial assistance through NRCS. There was a short tour of their fields and a question and answer segment regarding equipment that is used to produce the food which is sold at their farm stand and through Community Supported Agriculture.  A delicious lunch made with their farm grown produce was served while Caragh Fitzgerald, Extension Educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, discussed the findings of a cost benefits analysis on high tunnels and the importance of maintaining soil quality when growing crops in high tunnels.  
If you are interested in finding out more about the programs available from PCSWCD or NRCS, contact the USDA Service Center located in the Pine Crest Business Park at 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover-Foxcroft, Monday through Friday, 8am-4:30pm, call 564-2321 extension 3, or email PCSWCD and NRCS are equal opportunity providers and employers.

Michaud Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Maine’s Family Farms & Forest Owners

Will help ensure land owners aren’t forced to sell due to estate tax bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Recently, Congressman Mike Michaud will join Diane Black (R-Tennessee) to introduce the Keep the Forest and Farm in the Family Act of 2012, which helps protect American farms, forests and ranches from the negative impacts of the estate tax. About 90% of Maine is covered in forestland, and 233,000 families own 5.7 million acres of the state’s forest. If families are forced to sell their forestland or harvest timber prematurely to pay the estate tax, Maine risks losing family-owned forests and the benefits they provide.

“This bill helps protect Maine livelihoods and ensures that families who want to maintain their working forests and farms will not be penalized for their efforts,” said Michaud. “I support a permanent solution to the estate tax. But we also need to amend current law so that family forest owners aren’t forced to sell their land when it changes hands from generation to generation.”

The bill introduced today would change two provisions in current law. First, the bill will amend a provision in current estate tax law called the “special use valuation.” Special use valuation allows an estate’s value to be reduced by as much as $1 million if certain criteria are met. This bill would ensure that harvesting timber in accordance with a forest management plan is considered consistent with maintaining a forest’s current use and permitted under special use valuation.

The second provision in the bill would increase the special use valuation exemption from the current level of $1 million to $5 million. As previously mentioned, this exemption reduces the value of the estate on which a forest owner, farmer or rancher would have to pay taxes. In some cases, this additional reduction in estate value would protect them from having to pay the estate tax (by reducing the value below the $5 million threshold in current law).

The forest products industry contributes over $4 billion to Maine’s economy, supporting more than 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Because 82% of family forest owners have annual household incomes of less than $100,000, families are often forced to sell or harvest timber prematurely when estate taxes come due. A fact sheet on Maine forest land can be found here.

Here is an example of a challenge that the Keep the Forest and Farm in the Family Act of 2012 could help resolve:

Example: Jo landowner inherits forest from his parents worth $6 million at fair market value. Jo can only exempt $5 million of this estate under current law (that allows all a $5 million exemption), so he must pay estate taxes on $1 million—which would be a $350,000 tax bill. Jo can’t afford this bill but he doesn’t want to sell the land and the timber isn’t ready for harvest. So Jo elects the special use valuation, agreeing to keep his forest as forest for 10 years. With this election, Jo reduced the value of the estate to $5 million, so he won’t have to pay estate taxes on it. Unfortunately, under current law, if Jo needs to harvest timber in the 10 year timeframe (say his neighbor has a pine beetle outbreak, and Jo wants to take preventive measures) he must pay all or a portion of the estate tax benefits he received under special use valuation plus the typical income or capital gains taxes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition DDATT Activities

What's coming up:
  • Sept 11, Tuesday:  Steering Group meeting, Dexter.  6 PM to 8 PM.  Abbott Mem Library. Come help organize how DDATT helps the community.
  • Sept 15, Saturday:  Wild Foods and Foraging workshop, Dexter.  9 AM to noon.  Meet at 9 AM at Abbott Mem Library basement.  Ram Das Singh is excited to share his knowledge of the area's wild foods and hopes this meeting can be the start of a regular group effort to help each other learn about the food around us.  Bring your experiences and enthusiasm, and dress according to the weather, because we hope to get outside if possible.  277-4221 Sam Brown or 270-3504 Ram Das
  • Sept 21-23, Fri Sat Sun:  Common Ground Country Fair, Unity.  9 AM to 5 PM
  • Sept 25, Tuesday: Steering Group meeting, Dexter.  6 PM to 8 PM.  Abbott Mem Library. Come help organize how DDATT helps the community.
  • Oct 5, Friday:  free movie night "You've Been Trumped", 7 -9 PM.  Abbott Mem Library Basement.  "This poignant documentary follows a determined group of Scottish locals who take on American business mogul Donald Trump when he tries to buy up an environmentally fragile stretch of coastland in Scotland to build a luxury golf resort."  Might be interesting to see any parallels to our current East/West Highway kerfuffel. 277-4221 Sam Brown
  • Oct 9, Tuesday: Freecycle Barn Build?, Dexter.  8 AM, Mid Maine Solid Waste station.  POSSIBLE beginning construction day of small barn at the Transfer Station to serve as home for freecycling (a place to take stuff that you don't want anymore but which is too good to throw in the dump).  Small group of construction-savvy individuals needed to get foundation and floor done (later stages can possible use more volunteers).  This Freecycle Barn project is inspired by the Town of Pittsfield's version, and we'll need volunteers to tend the Barn on Saturdays.  277-4221 Sam Brown and Bev Crockett, or 564-2256 Will Vandermast for more details.
  • Oct 9, Tuesday: Steering Group meeting, Dexter.  6 PM to 8 PM. Abbott Mem Library. Come help organize how DDATT helps the community.
  • Oct 13, Saturday:  Starting a Community Garden discussion in Dexter, 9 AM to noon.  Deb Burdin has been quietly working on getting some gardening space available for use by Dexter area people who don't have any, and she wants to share her ideas and hear yours.  Come prepared to make this long-discussed idea actually take shape! Linda Tisdale will facilitate the discussion for the group.  924-5172, Linda Tisdale.

Maine DEP, Board of Pesticides Control Sponsors Free Pesticides Disposal For Maine Homeowners, Family Farms

AUGUSTA- Maine's Board of Pesticide Control and Department of Environmental Protection are partnering to provide homeowners a free opportunity this fall to dispose of old pesticides that may be stockpiled on their properties. Required registration - the deadline for which is September 28 - is now open for the disposal day, which gives owners of homes and family farms and greenhouses the opportunity to safely and legally get rid of pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable, including those that are banned in the state. 

It's not uncommon for new owners of older homes or farms in Maine to discover they have inherited hazardous waste in the form of pesticides with old chemicals like DDT, lead arsenate, 2,4,5-T and chlordane left behind in barns, basements or garages.

While disposing of these chemicals can seem daunting, it's important for the protection of public, wildlife and environmental health they are dealt with properly and not tossed in the trash or down the drain where they can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water.

"We urge people holding these chemicals to contact us immediately to register," says BPC Public Education Specialist Paul Schlein. "There will be four sites throughout the state where preregistered participants will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides and dispose of them conveniently and at no cost."

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed. Due to safety and regulatory requirements, disposal "drop-ins" are not allowed and so registration by the September 28 deadline is necessary. The BPC will contact registrants several weeks prior to that drive to inform them of their local collection date and location.

To register, get additional details or learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to or call the BPC at 287-2731.

Through their jointly-sponsored disposal events - which are funded entirely through pesticide product registration fees - BPC and DEP have kept about 90 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since 1982. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Changes to Form 1099-G and 1099-MISC for FSA Producers and Vendors

Skowhegan, ME, August 31, 2012 –Somerset County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Elaine Moceus, announced that calendar year 2012 brings several changes to the way FSA reports a producer’s farm program payments to the producer and to IRS.

In past years, IRS Forms 1099-G would be issued to show all program payments received from the Farm Service Agency, regardless of the amount.

"Starting with calendar year 2012, producers whose total reportable payments from FSA are less than $600 will not receive IRS Form 1099-G (Report of Payments to Producers)," said Moceus. Additionally, producers who receive payments from more than one county will only receive one Form 1099-G if the total of all payments from all counties is $600 or more, Moceus said.

"Producers who receive less than $600 in combined payments should consult a tax advisor to determine if these payments must be reported on their tax return," she said.

If the payments were subject to voluntary withholdings or subject to backup (involuntary) withholdings a Form 1099-G will be issued regardless of the total amount of the payments, Moceus said.

The same changes will apply to producers and vendors who normally receive IRS Form 1099-MISC from FSA.

For more information regarding IRS reporting changes, please contact the Somerset County FSA office at (207) 474-8323

Thursday, August 30, 2012

USDA Disaster Assistance Available to Maine Farmers

MAINE - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that farmers in a number of Maine counties are now eligible for disaster assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) due to losses caused by multiple disasters during the 2012 crop year.
“Our state’s farmers have experienced several natural disasters during this crop year, so the approval of this assistance is definitely welcome news,” said Michaud. “I encourage Mainers to contact their local Farm Service Agency office to learn more about how these programs can help.”
According to the USDA, farmers have 8 months to apply for emergency loan assistance. For more information on FSA programs and eligibility requirements, Mainers should contact the Maine FSA office at 207-990-9140 or visit the FSA website.
Details supplied by USDA on the disaster declarations and the Maine counties eligible for assistance can be found below.
Designation #1: The combined effects of frost, freezes, and hailstorms that occurred during the period of April 26 through June 23, 2012.
  • Primary counties: Androscoggin, Cumberland, Oxford and York
  • Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Franklin, Kennebec and Sagadahoc
Designation #2: Excessive rain that occurred from June 15 through June 30, 2012.
  • Primary county: Penobscot
  • Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Aroostook, Hancock, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo and Washington

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July Newsletter

Here is the latest newsletter for the Dexter Community Farm Project

Contractors: Invitation to Bid


Project: Fossa Building Revitalization
Owner: Dexter Regional Development Corporation
122 Number 10 Road
Dexter, ME 04930

Architect/Engineer: Plymouth Engineering, Inc.
P.O. Box 46, 30 Lower Detroit Road
Plymouth, Maine 04969

Date: July 17, 2012

Bidders are invited to submit a Bid to the Owner for Fossa Building Renovation at 4 Main Street, Dexter, Maine. The Owner will receive Bids until 2:00 PM local prevailing time on August 7th, 2012, for the following project:

Work site is an existing, ongoing project. The project is funded with CDBG. The project is a mercantile space with commercial kitchen. It includes installation of two bathrooms, a mechanical system for heat, interior walls to finish rooms and insulating and supply wall finish on existing exterior walls and installation of electrical system. All work will need to be coordinated with Owner and volunteers.

The Owner requires the Project to be completed by October 18, 2012.

Bidding Documents for a Stipulated Price contract may be obtained directly from Plymouth Engineering Inc. for a fee of $60.00. General Contractors may opt to secure additional plans electronically from Plymouth Engineering’s website.

The website password will only be issued to general contractors by Plymouth Engineering to ensure a complete list of bidders.

Documents can only be obtained by general contract and subcontract Bidders.

Only full sets will be issued. Others may view the Bid Documents at the office of the Architect/Engineer.

A pre-bid meeting will be held at the site on July 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

Refer to other bidding requirements described in Document 00200 - Instructions to Bidders and Document 00300 – Additional Information

Submit your Bid on the Bid Form provided. Bidders may supplement this form as appropriate.

Your Bid will be required to be submitted under a condition of irrevocability for a period of 60 days after submission.

The Owner reserves the right to accept or reject any or all Bids.


Friday, July 13, 2012

the day has come

With the incredible help of Keith of Plymouth Engineering and his staff, we have the blue prints & manual done and the Phase 2 (finishing part) part of the project is going out to bid next week!!!!
The budget is over (of course) but today the DRDC board members whittled down things we are going to have to do with volunteers (like insulating in some areas & shelving, among other things). We are not going to be able to finish off parts of the building in the basement right off maybe, but we will finally get it open in the fall.
it has been a long road working with grants and doing everything by both code to fit the grants and normal Fire Marshall code, etc.

There were a lot of starts, stops and do overs with things out of "OUR" control, but we are rolling with the punches.
Because of Keith, he is leading us in the right direction, fixing past architects mistakes, and getting it right! Sometimes to my dismay because of commercial cost vs. Maine common sense, but he doesn't get fluster with my frustrations and tears. He just leads us to move on!!!

Next week, can you believe it??? I sure do hope that local contractors bid on this project and keep it local and keep the costs reasonable so we can finally open the Fossa Store and provide jobs in the store, education for the public and farmers, create jobs on the farms because we will be selling their local farm products and keeping it local!

Sorry I made this so long, but I could go on forever.... We are happy that this day has finally come.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

latest updates

Hi all,
1st coat of poly...
shows 1/2 done but you can see the finished & unfinished floor.
Well it sure was a busy week.
On Monday & Tuesday my daughter came sanded the office area hardwood floors on Monday night.  She sanded, I vaccumed!!!  ...and we both visited with people that stopped by with encouragement!
Then on Tuesday morning, she went over it again with the fine grit sandpaper, vaccumed and cleaned the floor and by mid afternoon had the 1st coat of poly on it.  AND I must say it looks fabulous!

Because of all the rainy weather, I have not been able to put a second coat on yet, but hope to in the next few days.  It was still tacky on Friday.

wet...wet...wet... Rain STOP NOW PLEASE!
J Wilbur Construction has almost all the work completed on the 1st floor, but once again, the rain has made that project go slower too.  He has the wall moved in 18" and we are now separated from the adjoining building, but the roofer has not been able to come and finish the roof because of the rain.  AND the insulation can't go in the new area until it drys out.
Sooooo... we did get a lot of water in the building during the hard rains we got this week.  I have fans going and when we are there, we keep doors and windows open.
Our engineer told us yesterday that we are going to have to spray that whole area that is wet with bleach once things dry out to prevent mold.

J Wilbur Construction also got the metal supports put in on a big ole carrying beam that had NO support.  The engineers designed the method and it was installed.
Yesterday the some of the DRDC Board of Directors met with Keith Ewing of Plymouth Engineering (our guy) to go over all aspects of the building.  What the Fire Marshall expects, what codes we have to follow, and what changes are going to have to be made from the original drawings.

Unfortunately, not all was good news, but some was mixed blessings.  For one we have to take out a window at the bottom of the stairs and put in a fire door.  BUT on the good side of that we will put that window upstairs on the wall where there is none!

Also, we found out we have to have a 2nd bathroom in the place...  We are going to put upstairs as to save floor space downstairs.
Number 3, we have to have the stairway upstairs completely enclosed with doors on both bottom and top for fire protection, but what has to be done, has to be done.  Code is code and there is nothing we can do about it.  This development may have some decision making on the chair lift as well.

But the good news???  We have decisions made on where everything is going in the 1st floor space; including all the sinks (and there are many... code ya know), stove, wood fired oven, ice cream area, built in coolers, shelving, utility closet, freezer & veggie coolers, etc.
Finally having fun!!!  Now to find all that stuff by the end of the month :)

So, with all that, we will be meeting with Keith in less than 2 weeks to go over all the firm has designed and bids will then go out to finish the inside of the store!

If anyone knows of anyone 'giving' away sinks or equipment and want to donate we need a utility sink, hand washing sink, 3 bay sink, 2 bay sink, bathroom(s) sink...
Any kitchen equipment???
Give me a call with ideas or thoughts~


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sanding Office Floor Party...

We are having a floor sanding party Monday night and Tuesday!

We are going to start sanding the upstairs floor office area tomorrow night. 

My daughter Tiffany Craig, who has some experience sanding is coming up from Portland and try to get it sanded and at least 1 coat of poly by Tuesday night.

If anyone wants to come and join the fun, stop by Monday night and or Tuesday during the day.

We are also going to do some window washing so we can put up the new posters the Tri-County Tec Center Design class did for us.

It's gonna be a party :) Call or message if you have any questions~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

DRDC / Farm Project updates

Good morning DRDC members and other important people~

1.  DRDC President Roger Brawn & Engineer Keith Ewing of Plymouth Engineering announced last Friday the "low bidder" of the Fossa Building Renovation of "leaking wall" is J. Wilbur Construction; coming in almost 2/3 less than the next bid and came in at the approximate price that the Engineer firm 'figured'.
The signing of the contract took place on Wednesday, May 16th.
CDBG Terry Ann Stevens was contacted and it is a go!!!  Thanks to Terry Ann for all her quick responses and help while I am learning proper procedure!

2.  J. Wilbur Construction & Roger Brawn and Keith Ewing (and me) gathered at 8 am yesterday, Wednesday May 16th to sign the contract.  Within a few hours, Jonathan and crew began work and plans on having the inside wall finished this week and the outside next week.  The roofing company that did our original roof work, is sub'ing on finishing up the changes done to the roof.  So this part of the project should be done in 2 weeks and we can start the final phase.

3.  Keith, Roger and I met last Friday (Jason was unable to attend) and we went through the plans for working on the Bid package to finish the project.  We also met with Dexter's Code Enforcement Officer Jana Wood about what she needs from us and to all be on the same page.  We found out that by Dexter's code, we do not need an occupancy permit but we do need Fire Marshal and all electrical & plumbing has to be done by Masters of each field.

Keith Ewing contacted QA13, our original architect and they denied the use of the blue prints for this phase of the project so Keith is doingnew plans  to fit our current needs.  I am so thankful to have Keith (Plymouth Engineering) on board!!!  He is taking care of us every step of the way.  Roger & I have tremendous faith in his work.

4.  Mr. Mike Rollins called from USDA about our $40K grant for the kitchen equipment.  There is now a big RUSH on getting kitchen equipment bought because current deadline isJune 30th with (maybe) a written extension if need be.  But Mike would rather we use it up now.  I guess I will be busy the next few weeks.  Mike talked with both Roger and myself so we both are on the same page ;)
On a good note, Mike said that the wood or oil fire oven can be covered under this grant IF it passes the Fire Chief's standards.

  5. I met with the knowledgeable  Linda Titus last Friday morning at the store.  Linda is with Ag Matters and she teaches about food safety, GAP, kitchen stuff, and lots more.  When the time comes, she will come and teach some classes that I feel are needed for our farmers:  which is especially important when selling wholesale to restaurants, hospitals, schools etc. 
She gave me names of other nonprofits that have commercial kitchens (one of which I was at in Farmington last month), to get more info on details of what we need, licensing, etc.
Lauchlin and Linda Titus's company website is at:  -  They are very well know in the Ag world and are a wealth of information.

I also have been talking with Trish from Western Mountain Alliance as I told you at our last meeting.  The grant for the DBT is not a fit for us, but she gave me better news and a name to call who may pay for the whole system.  That call is coming up soon.  I will let you know how that goes.

5.  I am scheduled to speak at Dexter Kiwanis tomorrow, Friday, May 18th at 6:15 am  (yup, me at 6:15 AM is not pretty), but anyway, they have been after me to do it, so off I go :)
    Keep your fingers crossed that I have presence of mind to "talk in an understandable manner".  This will be the 3rd such talk in the past couple years they have invited me to talk about the Farm Project.  I am inviting them to a tour following the meeting, about 8 am, if anyone would like to stop by.  I have conveyed this to the J. Wilbur Construction company and he will make sure things are "picked up" as he said while they are doing the 'look/see'.

6.  I am so sad to tell you that our benefactor Ernestine Fossa (who she & family donated the store to us) has passed away this week.  I am saddened that she never got to see it open as she was so excited about our project.  I am sure she will be looking over us and helping us to make it happen anyway.  RIP Mrs. Fossa... Her obituary is at  She was a wonderful lady!!!  Roger and I made an executive decision yesterday to make  donation in her name.

That is it for now.... I am probably forgetting a lot, but call me with your thoughts and or questions.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Preconditioned Feeder Calf Sale May 19th

Grass has started to grow and backyard beef producers looking for beef calves to turn out on pasture this spring have an opportunity to buy healthy calves. The Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) is sponsoring a preconditioned feeder calf sale at the Northeast Livestock Expo on Saturday, May 19th at 11 am at the Windsor Fair Grounds, just off Route 32 in Windsor .

Cow Calf producers have taken the time to precondition their calves for this sale. Preconditioning reduces the incidence of respiratory disease, enteritis and pinkeye by increasing the immunity of the calf in preparation of the stress of weaning and shipping. Dehornings and castrations are healed. “This is a great opportunity to purchase high quality calves for your summer pasture,” says Dick Brown MBPA Director and auctioneer for the sale.

Some cow calf producers consigning animals to the sale have also signed affidavits attesting that their animals have been raised under the MBPA Natural Meats program protocol of never having received hormones, antibiotics, or feeds or feed supplements containing animal-by-products. And/or their animals are 100% grass (forage) fed, no grains, grain-by-products, grain crops, grain crop silages, or other prohibited feeds under the USDA grass fed guidelines have been fed.

The MBPA are expecting about 100 calves weighing from 400 to 900 pounds to be sold at the May 19th sale at 11 am. If you are interested in buying a few or a lot of animals or have questions contact Sale Manager, Pete Dusoe at 207-948-3233, 207-416-5441 or or Bob Dusoe at 207-322-5609.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monthly meeting

The monthly meeting of DRDC/Dexter Community Farm Project is tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 1st.

We will begin at 6:30 PM at the Fossa Store with a little clean up of trash that was left over from working upstairs. Roger is bring his pickup to load the trash in.

The shortened meeting will follow with an overview of the new Engineer Drawings that Plymouth Engineering produced and of the walk thru by the contractors last Wednesday of the "wall". 
I will also go thru the rest of the renovation schedule.
Anyone interested is invited to come and to participate.
Cya then!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Contractors: Invitation to Bid


Project: Fossa Building Renovation

Owner: Dexter Regional Development Corporation
122 Number 10 Road
Dexter, ME 04930

Architect/Engineer: Plymouth Engineering, Inc.
P.O. Box 46, 30 Lower Detroit Road
Plymouth, Maine 04969
Date: April 20, 2012

Bidders are invited to submit a Bid to the Owner for Fossa Building Renovation at 4 Main Street, Dexter, Maine. The Owner will receive Bids until 2:00 PM local prevailing time on May 4, 2012, for the following project: Description: Work site is an existing, ongoing project. This project is funded with CDBG. The task for the project is to move the existing unfinished wall off the neighboring building. Install exterior metal wall panel over moved wall and existing wall. Cut roof back and install new edge condition on roof and spray foam the designated area with 4” of foam.

The Owner requires the Project to be completed by June 15, 2012. Bidding Documents for a Stipulated Price contract may be obtained directly from Plymouth Engineering Inc. for a fee of $30.00.

General Contractors may opt to secure additional plans electronically from Plymouth Engineering’s website. The website password will only be issued to general contractors by Plymouth Engineering to ensure a complete list of bidders. Documents can only be obtained by general contract and subcontract Bidders. Only full sets will be issued. Others may view the Bid Documents at the office of the Architect/Engineer.

 A pre-bid meeting will be held at the site on April 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM. Refer to other bidding requirements described in Document 00200 - Instructions to Bidders and Document 00300 – Additional Information Submit your Bid on the Bid Form provided.

Bidders may supplement this form as appropriate. Your Bid will be required to be submitted under a condition of irrevocability for a period of 60 days after submission. The Owner reserves the right to accept or reject any or all Bids.


Seedling workshop

Start Your Own Plants from Seed is the latest program in the You Can series. It will be held Thursday, April 26th from 10:00 am- 12:00 pm at Charlotte White Center, 572 Bangor Road, Dover-Foxcroft. 

Cost is $5 and you can register through PVAEC by calling 564-6525 or online at

What’s the best way to start seeds? High seedling mortalities and leggy, unhealthy plants that never perform well when moved to the garden are some of the common problems that will be discussed. 

Learn the best gardening practices for starting plants in the home. You’ll bring home a newly planted seed that you started in class. Patricia Jones and Amanda Costello are graduates in the Master Gardeners program through UMaine Extension.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Monthly Meeting

DRDC/Dexter Community Farm Project monthly meeting is going to be held an hour early this month. It is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3rd, 6 PM at the Fossa General Store.

We want to share the work completed upstairs and also go over what our engineer has planned for the leaky wall, etc.

We will keep the meeting short, but dress accordingly! Remember there is no heat currently :)

Questions? Feel free to contact us at or call.
See you tomorrow night!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Maine Senior FarmShare Program

Through the Maine Senior FarmShare Program, Maine farmers provide fresh, unprocessed, locally grown produce to low-income seniors. Food is distributed directly from farms to seniors. Each participating senior receives a share worth $50 of produce during the growing season.

Farms are prepaid in the spring for the produce they agree to provide later in the season. Only fresh, unprocessed vegetables, fruits and herbs from the farmer are acceptable FarmShare products.

To qualify, seniors must meet both age and income requirements. They must be age 60 or over (age 55 or over for Native Americans), and have a total income (including all pensions, social security and other payments) of no more than 185% of the poverty level. Participating seniors must sign an agreement with a specific farmer to provide their share.

The Maine Senior FarmShare Program is administered by the Maine Department of Agriculture (DOA) in partnership with other agencies and organizations, including the Office of Elder Services, the Maine Nutrition Network, Maine Cooperative Extension, and Maine's five Area Agencies on Aging. The Program is funded through the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).

For more information on program guidelines and participating farmers call Area Agencies on Aging at 1-877-353-3771 or visit

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quickbooks Class

I am a big Quickbooks fan and have used it for years in my own business but working on the books for a Non-Profit and creating a "complete picture" profile is another story.

Fred Donovan and I had a 3 hour Quickbooks lesson today from Cheryl Hajek who is an accountant and Quickbooks Certified teacher. 

I had all the entries in Quickbooks for past 3 years for 2 different bank accounts, but I didn't know what accounts to assign the proper accounts.
What I mean by that is tracking the 1st floor from the 2nd floor entries, tracking volunteer hours that can be used for grants matches, listing donated products & from whom, tracking the various CDBG & USDA Grants, etc.

But then there is the whole thing of the difference between a fixed asset and just an expense.
 Cheryl helped create and put everything in the proper account!
Wow... it was fun and I learned a lot!  Now we can see the whole picture of our physical and monetary value.

Everything is up to date and in good order! YEAH! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday update

Well our last day with the Charleston crew for awhile. They are off to other nonprofits to help in other communities. 
They are a great bunch of guys and supervisor who I have gotten to know and like. It has been a great experience working with them. They have made it very clear that they are really appreciate being out of the facility during the day, but more that, they are giving back to the community! Some of our guys will have completed their time soon and they are anxious to come back (with their kids) when are open and show off their handiwork!
I applaud Charleston Correctional Facility for providing this service to our community and the inmates for wanting a change in their lives.
The floor is completely done on the 2nd floor and they were trying to finish up the wall around the office today. When I left about 1:30 today, they were about 2/3 done.
Once again I want to thank Rich Frank for bringing donuts & a homecooked meals everyday this week for the guys, Kay Gray for her whoppie pies, Sam Brown for all the flooring, Ernest Rollins for the hemlock boards for the wall, Darlene Bagley for all the coffee beans (they love their coffee in an unheated building). 
I also want to thank Roger Brawn who is President of DRDC. He opens the building every morning and closes at night, and lately he has made a bunch of trips to Sam's for more wood!!! He also listens to me bitch & complain, but lately just be excited that things are finally moving forward quickly! We work as a team...
"It takes a village..." Thanks everyone
Next week we will be having another cleaning bee... Wanna help?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday update:

This has been a busy productive week!
Charleston Crew has been working all week on the floor upstairs and as of this afternoon it is almost done.  They ran out of flooring, so if we get some more it will be all done by Friday.  The new flooring has ALL been donated by Sam Brown and has been mixed in with the salvaged hardwood flooring that was original to the building.

I ordered wall studs from Dexter Lumber today and they delivered this morning.  I got a great price at Yoders too, but the delivery was worth it this time.  We are trying to buy all local and spread it around.  The local guys have been wonderful and supportive!!!

This wood is for putting up a wall around the office area and since we have the experienced free labor we must take advantage of it!
Ernest Rollins gave us 300 board feet of milled boards and delivered it for the walls today.  Thanks Ernest!!! Ernest runs Rollins Apple Farm in Garland.

I met with Keith & Andrew from Plymouth Engineering yesterday and they went all over our building, but focused on the "new wet" wall and how it is going to be fixed.  The good news is they don't think we will have to replace the whole wall, only 1/2.  The first part, where we are getting the splash back from the building next door, may be fixed by attaching metal to the outside of the wall.
The 2nd part of the wall, where the water is coming off the adjoining building's roof, into their wall and then into our wall, where it is joined, that is going to be moved in probably about a foot.  This will separate the 2 buildings for good.  Too bad that hadn't been done in the first place.  Live and learn....
A side note:  Keith Ewing went to school in Dexter as a kid!  Kinda kewl to have that local connection (a coincidence, but neat).

I want to also thank Rich Frank.  The past 2 days, Mr. Frank has met the crew in the morning with a box of donuts and then provided them with a hot lunch too!  Yesterday it was fried chicken and potato wedges and today he cooked a Beef Brisket and made sandwiches.  I think I need to be there at lunch time!!!!
Supervisor Neal Pinkerton said the guys are VERY happy!!!  Tomorrow Kay Gray is making them her famous Whoppie Pies... 

Thanks everyone who has been assisting and supporting our project!  
Next week I have a meeting with Quickbooks expert & teacher Cheryl Hajek.  She is going to go over my current Quickbooks entries and tweak it for me.  I (sorta) learned the difference between a Fixed Asset and an Expense the other day from her, now we need to apply it to Quickbooks.  She will be giving some classes, with the focus on agriculture, when we have our Conference Room done.  stay tuned...

That's it for now...  hear it is going to warm up next week and be in the 60's and maybe even hit 70!  Spring is coming!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Update

Monday update: Charleston crew is unexpectedly back for the whole week!!!
Roger Brawn went to Sam Brown's and got more flooring to finish up the floor upstairs, and I am heading down to meet with Supervisor Neal Pinkerton to measure for studding up the wall between the Conference Room area and the Office area. YIPEEE

I just ground another pound of coffee for the crew, they like their coffee!!! 
If anyone wants to bake something for the guys this week, feel free! They really love their treats and I love to keep 'em happy and working :)

Anyone have any extra 2x4's and/or boarding for walls? We were thinking even barn boards would look good. But rough cut would be great too!

The upstairs work IE... floor and interior walls is being paid for by DRDC and funds are running low.

Dover-Foxcroft-High Tunnel Workshop

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District will be holding a High Tunnel Workshop Saturday, April 14th from 10am until noon, at the Thompson Free Library, 186 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft.

Jerry Doxtader, a farmer from Dexter who practices organic farming methods, will make a presentation on seasonal high tunnels and how they can extend your growing season and help manage garden pests. There will be a small high tunnel on the premises to view. 

To preregister and find out more information, please call Shelia or Lynn at 564-2321, ext. 3 or come in to our office in the Pine Crest Business Park, at 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover-Foxcroft from 8am -4:30pm or contact us at