Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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Grow Your Own Corn Chowder

August 8, 2019

Ingredients for tasty and nutritious corn chowders are in season now in Maine gardens and farms. Sweet corn, especially if transplanted, may be ready for picking (or picking up at farmers’ markets). You won’t find a better chowder than that made with local, organic corn picked at its height of sweetness. Steam twice as many ears as you want to eat today, and freeze leftover kernels for winter chowders. Likewise, new potatoes and sweet onions are in season. If you don’t raise your own cow for the milk or cream, find those organic ingredients at local farms or co-ops.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Garden

August 1, 2019

We all want to garden in a level, deep, well-drained, loamy soil nourished with organic matter. But sometimes you just don’t find those qualities where you live. What to do? In her article “Rock and Roll: Terraces in Ancient Jerusalem” in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, Deborah Rubin Fields discusses how challenging ancient Jerusalem’s topography and climate were – yet people still farmed and gardened there, by establishing terraces. Read more and be inspired.

Farm, Garden and Homestead Tours Abound

July 25, 2019

Visiting farms and gardens is a great way to learn about new techniques for your own garden, get landscape design ideas and increase your appreciation for the products Maine farmers raise. This weekend is a biggie, with Open Farm Day on Sunday, July 28. In addition, MOFGA’s Daytripping article lists four places to tour this weekend: The Trotochaud/McDowell Gardens and Everyday Pottery in Belmont on July 27 and 28, and on July 28, Balfour Farm in Pittsfield, Khadighar in Industry and Rabbit Hill Farm in Deer Isle. Find other MOFGA-sponsored tours at http://www.mofga.org/MOFGA-Events.

Cakes and Fritters Make Great Summer Meals

July 11, 2019

Are your carrots and zukes coming in? Try using them in patty form. “I find that fritters and cakes in a pan are quick, easy additions to a summer meal,” writes Roberta Bailey in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. “When my kids were young, we made flat breads and pan cakes regularly. They would create new versions of a veggie burger or clam cake and help cook them. One sweet summer, when we traded vegetables for crabmeat, we tried over a dozen versions of crab cakes. We ended up agreeing that simpler was better, as it allowed the delicate crab flavor to come through the most.” See Bailey’s recipes for carrot latkes, crab or clam cakes, zucchini burgers and nutty summer cakes.

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Conserving Flint Corn Varieties

July 5, 2019

Flint corn offers nourishment as well as ties to Native cultures. “The valley in Norridgewock and the flood plains of the Kennebec were principal growing areas for massive quantities of corn and appear to have been part of the trade network,” says Albie Barden. “The Norridgewock people would travel to the coast every summer and come back in the fall, with some trips in between.” Now numerous people (“cornservators”) are growing varieties of flint corn to increase the seed supply and the supply of grain for commercial enterprises. Barden and Michele Carmel discuss the grain in “Seeking Flint Corn Propagators” in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

Native Trees and Shrubs for Agroforestry

June 27, 2019

Diversifying a farm with trees and shrubs produces a valuable harvest and shady foraging area – and provides the ideal growing environment for high-value woodland medicinal herbs. In her article “Permaculture with a Native Twist” in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, Heather McCargo discusses the benefits of using native plants in such permaculture settings and lists several native trees and shrubs for agroforestry. Aronia, blueberry, elderberry, hazelnut ... lots of choices here!

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