Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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How to Make Cannabis Salve

October 22, 2020

As cannabis has become legal and more readily available, people are embracing its uses – including as a topical salve. Roberta Bailey writes in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener that cannabis played an important role in personal care thousands of years ago. Now we have the option of coming back to relying on ourselves for simple medicine and personal empowerment. Check out Bailey’s simple cannabis salve recipe here.

Tending the Woodlot

October 1, 2020

Many MOFGA farmers and gardeners will head to their woodlots this fall and winter. To improve those stands, Noah Gleason-Hart, MOFGA’s low-impact forestry specialist, discusses one method of management in his column “Crop Tree Management: Managing for Value, Not Volume” in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Crop tree management, he writes, “identifies valuable individual trees and then focuses growth on these trees by cutting direct competitors while leaving the rest of the forest untouched. It’s an accessible method that you and I can use to start actively managing our woodlots.” Read more here.

Try Common Ground Recipes at Home

September 24, 2020

In her column “Kids in the Kitchen” in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, Roberta Bailey writes about past Common Ground Country Fair times with her kids. “When they were young, for a few years we did a Country Kitchen demo together called Kids in the Kitchen. We made bumps on a log and scrambled eggs and tiger candy – sweetened peanut butter balls with dried fruit and coconut, all rolled in carob powder. When they were a bit older, we had a booth in the farmers’ market called the Kids and Moms booth. We shared it with another mom and their two friends. The moms sold fiber art and the kids sold gourds, clothespin dolls, corn necklaces, cutting boards and a score of odd inspirations.” Bailey shares recipes from that time in her column. Enjoy!

Poisonous Pasture Plants

September 17, 2020

What can I do to manage undesirable plants in my pastures? That’s one of the questions Jacki Perkins, MOFGA’s organic dairy and livestock specialist, answers in her column in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Perkins responds, “Good grazing practices that avoid grazing too low or too often paired with timely clipping to avoid weeds reseeding themselves will help outcompete undesirable plants. Given enough of a budget, seeding a variety of perennial grasses and some annuals can help worn-out pastures.”

What Apple Is This? Identifying Apples in 2020

September 10, 2020

Wondering how to get an apple variety identified without having an in-person Common Ground Country Fair this year? John Bunker gives these directions: Email [email protected] or write to MEHO Apple IDs, P.O. Box 12, Palermo, ME 04354. Include your name, the location of the tree in question and two photos: one of the tree trunk at ground level from about 15 feet away and one of the tree as a whole from about 20 feet away. (You don't have to include photos of fruit.) The Maine Heritage Orchard folks will send you a questionnaire and your 2020 ID number. Return the questionnaire to them with four specimens from each variety. Read more in "What Apple Is This? Identifying Apples in 2020" in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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The Almost-Last Garden Hurrah of the Season

September 3, 2020

We're down to about 13 hours of daylight. Beans and greens, blueberries and raspberries pack the freezer. The garden bursts with late-summer abundance – for us human consumers and for lots of other beings. Hummingbirds lick the nectar from scarlet runner bean flowers before the birds' long flight south later this month, while bumblebees and honeybees gather pollen from sunflowers that support the runner beans. It's a jungle out there – one to appreciate as the equinox approaches; one to evaluate for next year's even better garden. Enjoy!

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Time for Zucchini Patties

August 6, 2020

Here's one way to enjoy some of summer's abundant zucchini. Mix 4 or so cups of grated zucchini and one chopped onion with three eggs. Add 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan, 2 cups seasoned panko bread crumbs and a couple of squirts of barbecue sauce. Let the mixture sit for half an hour. Form the mixture into patties and fry in butter or oil. Serve with fresh corn on the cob and a salad and/or potato salad. Freeze any leftover patties for winter, when you'll think fondly of summer zucchini.

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Be Like an Ancient Apple Tree

July 23, 2020

As we struggle to make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic, says John Bunker, we might consider looking at old apple trees that have survived famously cold winters, a summer without summer, hurricanes, drought, insect and disease infestations and more. There’s a chance that everything we need to know about survival, these trees have known for millennia: Don’t move; build community; waste not, want not; eat local; bend. Read more in “The Pandemic and the Ancient Apple Tree” in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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Enjoy the Veggie Bounty

July 16, 2020

Given the surge in seed sales last spring due to the pandemic, Roberta Bailey predicted that many gardeners' counters would be overflowing with freshly grown produce by now. She asked, "What can one do with 20 zucchinis or all the broccoli that is ready at the same time?" Her recipes for zucchini puree, dilly vegetables and broccoli cheddar soup, and her tips for freezing vegetables answer that question. Read more in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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Growing Cannabis at Home

July 9, 2020

Legislation passed in 2016 and amended in 2018 allows Maine adults to grow up to three flowering cannabis plants per adult in the household for personal use on their land. In his article “Why Grow Cannabis at Home,” John Jemison of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension writes about why he grows cannabis, how cannabinoids affect the body, and how to grow the plant in your own garden. “Cannabis is easy to grow (it is called weed), but like potatoes, it is hard to grow well,” he says. Read more in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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