|A new craft building at Searsport Shores campground. English photo.
Searsport Shores: An Organic Camping Experience
By Jean English
Searsport Shores Ocean Campground in Searsport, Maine, doesn’t have paved roads, TV, streetlights or video games. Nor swimming pools, water parks or miniature golf. The owners haven’t clear-cut the 40-acre site, with its quarter acre of ocean frontage, but instead have left well-spaced, huge pines and 200-plus-year-old oaks that create dappled shade and a lightly enveloping canopy.
Finn Burnett, Government Farmer, Versus Raiders, Rattlers and Bureaucrats
By John Koster
The final round of treaties that the United States signed with the Indian tribes of the West in 1868 provided the tribes with government farmers to help them learn the white man’s agricultural techniques. The treaties also provided frontiersman and former Missouri farm boy Finn Burnett with a job that could feed his family while he helped teach the Indians to feed themselves.
Seed Saving on the Farm
By Roberta Bailey
When people first visit my farm, many are surprised by how little space it takes to grow seed crops. On the home scale it can be quite small. Erase the vision of acres of dry beans or fields of wheat. Picture a 10-foot row of garden peas or a trellis of morning glories, 10 tomatoes or peppers. On the farm scale, rows of seed crops can be intercropped with market crops.
|Ben Marcus and Taryn Hammer, co-founders of Sheepscot General. Shawn Hickey photo.
Sheepscot General: A Country-Style Store with More to Offer
By Holli Cederholm
Taryn Hammer and Ben Marcus opened the doors of their Sheepscot General at Uncas Farms in Whitefield, Maine, in 2011 after a winter spent remodeling an already storied space. “The farm is way older than we are,” says Marcus, who grew up in Whitefield and has watched the evolution of the building housing their storefront as well as the encircling farmland.
The Uproot Pie Company
By Polly Shyka
Imagine a harborside park where you could stroll through tents overflowing with produce grown by your favorite local farmers. Add to that the smell of pizza and wood smoke. Imagine these pizzas are made with market-procured toppings, fresh dough and served hot from a stunning trailer-mounted wood-fired oven. Sound amazing? It is – and it is a reality at three Maine farmers’ markets. The Uproot Pie Company began selling its "wood-fired pizzas, bagels and rustic treats on the move" last summer and is now in its second successful season.
Solar Salt from the Maine Sea Salt Company
By Betsy Garrold
Founded in 1998, when Steve Cook closed his restaurant in Florida and moved back home, Maine Sea Salt Company began in the aisle of a health food store. This is where Cook first noticed high-end “gourmet” salts, and things suddenly fell into place.
Report on IFOAM Meetings in South Korea
By Elizabeth Henderson
On behalf of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), I attended the Organic World Congress and the General Assembly of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in October 2011 in Namyangju, near Seoul, South Korea. The new Organic Museum on the banks of the Han River made a luxurious venue for the assembly.
|A home garden in Taiwan. Elizabeth Henderson photo.
Community Supported Agriculture in Taiwan and China
By Elizabeth Henderson
Today’s citizens of China, Korea and Japan, whose agriculture of a century ago F.H. King described so vividly in Farmers of Forty Centuries, have almost forgotten the traditions that inspired so many of us in organic farming in the West. But old timers remember and young people are rediscovering their ancient roots. On two trips to Taiwan and one to mainland China, I glimpsed the exciting ferment underway in the countryside.
Humanure: It's Not a Four-Letter Word
By Will Bonsall
For much of modern history, we humans have not assumed much personal responsibility for our own body wastes. Instead, we’ve had collective solutions that have always created more problems than they’ve solved. We've had lower class people emptying our latrines and chamber pots and carting “night soil” out of town to nearby agricultural areas, a generally sustainable system. In the past century or two, this system has been largely replaced by the flush toilet and the sewer main, a more aesthetic system that allows us to ignore our excretions from the moment we flush.
The Circle of Sustainability: Promoting Local, Organic Food Systems
Local, sustainable food production is the way to feed our communities and the world, and we need fundamental change in U.S. farm policy to achieve that. So said two speakers at MOFGA’s 2011 Farmer to Farmer Conference. Brian Snyder, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), was a keynote speaker at the conference, and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree followed his speech with comments about the Farm Bill.
|‘Hannah’s Choice’ melons. Adam Tomash photo.
Growing Melons in Maine
By Adam Tomash
This article describes techniques used to grow good tasting cantaloupes (also called muskmelons; Cucumis melo) and watermelons (Citrullus lanatus). These general techniques also work well for all free-running (non-trellised) cucurbits. Areas requiring special attention are heat, fertility, water, insect control and weed suppression.
Disease, Insect, Weather, Fertility
The Season is Beginning. Don't Misdiagnose Your Problems.
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
This is a good time of year to study up on the biology and symptoms of problems that may later arise in your crops. Problems will arise, and misreading symptoms may interfere with easy solutions, may cause unnecessary pesticides applications, and may lead to years of unhappiness. So I am reviewing a few of the most common mistaken identifications that I get as questions.
Local Organic Foods in Natural Foods Stores and Co-ops
By Melissa White Pillsbury
Maine’s natural food stores and co-ops, among the pioneers in the local organic foods movement, have been buying food from Maine farms for decades. In April MOFGA met with buyers and managers from these establishments to explore ways to expand their marketing and sourcing of local organic foods.
Providing Light and Reducing Blue Comb in Poultry
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T.
On the first Friday of every month, MOFGA hosts its “Common Ground” radio show on WERU. I was on that show in April discussing backyard chickens. The information here follows up on a couple of interesting questions that callers asked.
Artichokes: Getting to the Heart
By Cheryl A. Wixson
The impressive and mighty artichoke is actually the flower bud of a large thistle-family plant. This delectable but formidable-looking vegetable dates backs for centuries and was prized by Romans as food of the nobility. Widely grown France, Italy and Spain, and California, Maine gardeners can also cultivate and enjoy artichokes.
Harvest Kitchen: Salsa Summer
By Roberta Bailey
Now that summer is here and the plants are in the ground, I am taking my cues from the ripening vegetables. Those first tender harvests of broccoli and zucchini are divine reminders of why we do this work. And the height of it all is fresh salsa season.
In The Orchard: Weather Patterns, Brown Rot
By C.J. Walke
Regardless of where you fall on the climate change/global warming discussion, weather patterns are becoming erratic, such as the two days above 80 F in March. This is cause for some concern with our fruit trees. A recent report from Highmoor Farm said that this season is on the same track as the 2010 season, when apple bloom was close to two weeks earlier than average, and a few nights of frost around Mother’s Day killed a high percentage of blossoms and significantly reduced the Maine apple harvest.
Low Impact Forestry Workshops Provide Professional Training, Confidence
By Andy McEvoy
In this Internet age, all information is only a click away. Or so they say. Plenty of information, however, cannot be digitized, photographed, filmed or otherwise captured outside of personal experience. Recognizing the relative lack of information available, despite the Internet, for those interested in harvesting firewood, cutting lumber for a building, removing invasive plants, or working with draft animals in the woods, MOFGA’s Low Impact Forestry (LIF) project is increasing its educational workshops.
|Daytripping: Tom Vigue with his kiwi plants at Kiwihill Farm in Sidney. Jean English photo.
Farms and Gardens to Visit This Summer
Welcome to the 2012 Daytripping list, an annual MOF&G feature. This year’s farms and gardens feature medicinal herbs, seed saving, horse-drawn wagon rides, hens, chickens, pigs, bees and much more.
Cows Trained to Eat Thistle
“Sandblasting” as Weed Control
Sweet Alyssum Attracts Predators to Orchards
Late Blight Resistant Tomato
Tips from Nan Cobbey
Design a Garden for Scent
Can ‘Naked Oats’ Cut Organic Chicken Production Costs?
Local Food Ordinances
Bt Study Critiqued
The Farm Bill Is Not a Food Policy – Yet!
By Russell Libby
This is the year when the Farm Bill is supposed to move through Congress. As I write, the Senate Agriculture Committee has passed its version of the bill, and the House Agriculture Committee is drafting another to reflect its priorities. Sometime during the year the two versions will be brought together, and we’ll have a Farm Bill.
Insnared in Maine’s Farms and Gardens
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
Mitch Lansky sent us an excerpt from Andrew Marvell’s poem “The Garden.” A long-time MOFGA member and low-impact forestry proponent, Lansky is also the author of Beyond the Beauty Strip – Saving What’s Left of Our Forests. “This time of year,” says Lansky, Marvell’s poem “captures how I feel when I enter our gardens.”
Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail
Grow Fruit Naturally
Legally Poisoned: How the Law Puts Us at Risk from Toxicants