Cold-hardy greens sown in August, such as these planted by Johnny’s Selected Seeds at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, can be protected and feed us for an extended season. English photo. By Roberta Bailey In A Midwife’s Tale, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich tells of walking across the frozen Kennebec River in Hallowell at Thanksgiving time. The
That perfect stew, that rich vegetable broth, the hearty soups. You can find all the winter favorites here.
By Roberta Bailey Winter is upon us again.The days are short and the nights, long. Time to catch up on reading, knitting, sitting by the fire and reflecting. A time to rest, to peruse the seed catalogs, and dream about what we will do next year. But the seeds are dormant in their hulls, silent
Summer’s bounty, such as these black walnuts shown in the Waldo Organic Growers’ booth at the Common Ground Fair, and raspberries picked and processed into jam, add local flavor to winter comfort foods. English photos. By Roberta Bailey The winter winds are blowing. The colors on the horizon are deep evergreen and the pale gray
Sam Birch grows more than 100 varieties of beans and displays them at the Common Ground Country Fair Exhibition Hall each fall. English photo. Dry beans at Common Ground’s Exhibition Hall. English photo. By Roberta Bailey “Beans, beans, the magical fruit … ” I have been thinking that Jack (of beanstalk repute) wasn’t so crazy
By Cheryl A. Wixson When the skies turn a dark, mottled gray and the clouds start to scurry as the winds pick up from the northeast, my heart flutters. As the elegant spruce trees bend into swirling white snowflakes and our lights flicker, my taste buds quiver. There’s a winter gale coming: time for a
Siberian kale is one of many greens that can be harvested in Maine in very cold weather. English photo. by Roberta Bailey To go out to a snow covered tunnel or cold frame, brush away the snow and open the lid never fails to give me a sense of magical wonder and reverential awe. Outside
Whether you eat a strictly plant-based diet or you want to eat more vegetables, we have 30 years worth of plant-based recipes for you to browse!
By Roberta Bailey Maine is a rich state. We are rich in beauty, rich in art, rich in innovative people. We are colorful and full of local color. We color outside the lines. We think outside the box. We get cabin fever and turn the box into a high tunnel and learn how to laugh
Swiss chard is among the greens that are great for braising. These bunches were being sold at the Belfast Farmers’ Market by New Beat Farm. English photo. By Cheryl Wixson Spring is the start of my favorite season of eating. I love the shift from eating root vegetables to just-picked, seasonal and local food. After
‘Red Russian’ kale. English photo. By Roberta Bailey Kale is all the rage! It is rocking the health studies with its cancer fighting properties and the nutritional scene with its high levels of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein and calcium. The red kales have invited the popular buzzword “anthocyanin” to their
By Roberta Bailey Over the last few years, I have been discovering shell beans. Their diverse flavors and uses are well worth the time that I once considered to be the reason that I didn’t grow them. This year I have discovered fava or broad beans. I tried growing them once, about 15 years ago,
Georgian Fire garlic. Nason photo. By Roberta Bailey The late psychologist James Hillman once said that our duty is not to rise above life but grow down to it. He believed that each of us has a purpose or calling in life that reveals itself at an early age and reappears until we heed it.
Whether you’re looking to try something new or change your diet to promote a healthier lifestyle, we have a recipe for that.
By Roberta Bailey I recently heard the results of a study comparing the success rates of three popular diets. They were about equally successful, and researchers advised going with the one that seemed easiest to stick with. The report was followed by a doctor’s personal commentary saying that losing weight comes down to the simple
Preservation, including fermenting and canning food, is the best way to make the most out of your harvest. With these recipes, you’ll be able to enjoy your harvests from the growing season during the winter months.
Growing grapes provides not just fruits for wines and jellies, but leaves for stuffing as well. Illustration from Handbook of Plant and Floral Ornament from Early Herbals, by Richard G. Hatton, Dover Publications, N.Y., 1960. By Jean Ann Pollard The Norse tale of Leif Eriksson’s epic voyage across the Atlantic to “Vinland” circa 995 –
Vegetables can be fermented in glass jars of various sizes, with rubber gaskets and wire bails, using non-iodized salt (such as sea salt or pickling salt) and non-chlorinated water. A scale is essential to get the right ratio of vegetables to salt. By Roberta Bailey One way that I coped with the interminable rains of
Illustration by Toki Oshima. By Roberta Bailey When I first came to Maine, I lived in northwest Washington County, close to the Aroostook County border. As in all rural Maine towns, you drive at least a half hour to an hour to get anywhere other than your local gas station/convenience store, which also serves as
by Jean Ann Pollard “Clostridium botulinum produces the serious neurological and potentially fatal disease commonly known as botulism.” (Fox, Nicols. Spoiled: The Dangerous Truth About a Food Chain Gone Haywire, HarperCollins, N.Y., 1997, p. 59.) Home canning has always been “a notorious breeding ground for a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum,” reports Nicholas Bakalar in Where
A Brief History of Canning Canning is only about 200 years old. It began when Parisian Nicolas Appert set out, in 1795, to win a reward from Napoleon Bonaparte for preserving food by vacuum-packing. By 1804, he’d learned to boil meat and vegetables in jars, seal them with corks and tar, and soon opened the
Find inspiration for how to enjoy local, organic meat with these recipes.
Harvest Kitchen Column with Roberta Bailey
For over 30 years, Roberta Bailey has been a regular contributor to MOFGA’s quarterly publication, “The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.” She’s written a vast collection of personal stories mixed with tasty recipes.
Toki Oshima illustration By Roberta Bailey When I was a child, my family went out to eat at a restaurant once a year, on Mother’s Day. We went to Howard Johnson’s. I always got fried clams. I know it was due to socioeconomics, but I also think people went out to eat less in the
Turmeric grown by students at the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast and entered in the 2018 Common Ground Country Fair Exhibition Hall. By Roberta Bailey High tunnels have changed the cycles of Maine’s local food systems, extending our live food harvests to year-round bounty. Along with cucumbers, greens, sweet potatoes and tomatoes come the
Drawing by Toki Oshima By Roberta Bailey Happy Anniversary to me! This spring marks the 35th anniversary of my time writing this column. My entire adult life has evolved around the full flavors of homegrown food straight from the garden, pantry and root cellar. I have never thought of myself as a fancy cook. Instead, I feature
Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey These days “kindness” is the word that I hold in the foreground of my mind. It is on a slip of paper at the corner of my bathroom mirror, the base of my computer, and I envision it on the inside of my forehead. It helps me move through
Stock up on ingredients for fall and winter recipes at the Common Ground Country Fair farmers’ markets. John Williams photo By Roberta Bailey Here we are at another September, another Common Ground Country Fair. We have persevered through drought and heat, wild thunderstorms and unexpectedly chilly nights. We have reveled in a cool breeze, cooled
By Roberta R. Bailey The Common Ground Country Fair is far more than the sum of its tents and activities. It is donkey brays at dawn, manure pitching of presidential magnitude, grass matted down by so many footsteps, cardboard sliding on a hill, the shush of a scythe through oats in a demonstration plot, Sweet
By Roberta Bailey Hallelujah! We made it to the longer days of spring and the much yearned for warmth of the sun. I hope you are all faring well and that along with the sunshine comes an unlocking of our tightly bound, weary hearts. Throughout the pandemic I have marveled over how I barely noticed
Raspberry leaves June 1, 2020 Amid the harvest of tomatoes, green beans, broccoli and other veggies this summer, take some time to harvest the makings for tea. An hour or two spent harvesting the leaves of raspberry, mint and other plants, then drying them, can save several dollars in herbal tea bills throughout the year,
Drawing by Toki Oshima By Roberta Bailey Well, we have made it this far in the pandemic. It is a time of such extremes: the extreme pain of missing people, of not being there for holidays, birthdays, weddings and deaths. Some businesses are thriving and some have closed their doors; some had to temporarily shut
By Roberta Bailey Many magazine or periodical journalists write their pieces for the readers of the future. With my Harvest Kitchen column, for example, I write in April for the summer issue of The MOF&G. Normally I don’t know in April whether summer will turn out to have been dry or whether we will have
Toki Oshima illustration By Roberta Bailey I have been thinking about cycles. Maybe I am always thinking about cycles. As soon as the weather turns colder in September, I start to crave winter squash. And late June has me watching the baby summer squash, balancing my urge to pick it and eat it with the
Over-mature garlic breaks apart and will not store as well, so it can be dried and ground into garlic powder. Photo by Kindle Bonsall By Will Bonsall I go to a lot of effort to produce food crops, and nothing irks me more than having useable food go to waste. I’ve heard people say, “Nothing really