Category: Farming

Agricultural Plastic Part II Recycling

Many agricultural plastics, including some row covers, are difficult or impossible to recycle. English photo By David McDaniel In the summer 2019 MOF&G, I discussed how Maine farmers depend on many plastic products and the difficulties of recycling these materials. Here I review some of the limited ways to recycle agricultural plastic and types of plastic to

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Recycling Agricultural Plastic I

The author’s third high tunnel with a fourth shown under construction. Photo by David McDaniel By David McDaniel Maine commercial farmers are addicted to plastic. Whether we farm organically or conventionally, the economics of modern farming drive our dependence on petroleum-based plastic products. We use acres of black plastic mulch to warm our cold northern soil and

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How Safely Do You Operate Your Tractor

2017 tractor safety course students at Hall’s Implement Co. in Windham with instructors Jason Lilley (UMaine Cooperative Extension, Cumberland County) and George Hall. Photo courtesy of Jason Lilley By Ellen S. Gibson, Farm Education Specialist, Maine AgrAbility How did you learn to drive a tractor? As a woman who began farming in her 40s, I know that training

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Sharing the Harvest

Patty Manson with baskets of peas alongside her 1812 house in Washington, Maine One of the vegetable gardens, bordered by an old apple tree Cole crops and asparagus grow in another garden plot. Manson cans over 300 quarts of fruits and vegetables each year for her family. 100 meat birds are raised each year for

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Hydroponic Growing Can It Be Called Organic

Many organic growers and consumers believe that organic cultivation must take place in soil. Here the author, Eric Sideman, appreciates the soil on an organic farm. Becky Sideman photo The USDA National Organic Program has asked the National Organic Standards Board for advice about whether or not hydroponically grown crops raised with natural materials may

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Preserving the Organic Identity

A nutrient film technique hydroponic system. The nutrient solution bathing the roots has grown some good looking kale, but do you think it should be called organic? Eric Sideman photo By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Can you imagine losing your identity through no fault of your own? We all have an image of ourselves and identify

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Faithful Venture Farm

Jodie Martin (center) is busy taking care of young Asa (left) and Lena but still has time to do the books for Faithful Venture Farm, run a CSA, start an orchard and volunteer for Cooperative Extension. Glendon Mehuren (left) with his older children after winning Grand Champion Dairy Cow at the Union Fair 2017. Elida

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Maine State Prison Farm

A day’s harvest from the gardens in the summer of 2017. Tomatoes growing in pots in the heated greenhouse. Compost being windrowed at the Maine State Prison complex. One of the beehives at the Maine State Prison. By Polly Shyka Photos by the Maine State Prison staff Maine’s maximum security prison in Warren has quite the bustling

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Foothill Farm Alliance

Five farms form the Foothill Farm Alliance, which offers a winter CSA share. Logo art by Natalie Beittel A winter meeting with Kyle Peckham (left) and Tom Earle. Photo by Gina Hancock Tom Earle gives a tour of his companion planting for apprentices. Photo by Gina Hancock By Stowell Watters As I write this in

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Farming and Logging with Horses

Richard Lee and Kate Del Vecchio with their daughter, Samara. Photo courtesy of Tender Soles Farm By Richard Lee The day before writing this, I spent what I thought would be a leisurely Sunday on a forecart driving my team 4 miles down the road to pick up a free horse-drawn hay loader. I had

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