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Farm Raised Varieties

Breeding Better Varieties for Northeast Organic Growers by Sue Smith-Heavenrich Chris Awald didn’t set out to breed a new pumpkin variety; he just wanted a stronger handle for his jack-o-lanterns. Sixteen years ago, with the ink barely dry on his degree in land surveying, Awald returned to the family homestead near Buffalo, New York. “My

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Maine Department of Agriculture Educational Outreach Trailers Pitch the Right Message by Marada Cook Say you went to the fair. Not the Common Ground Country Fair, but, as a local homeschooler put it – a “real” fair – one with a midway, cotton candy, dust, bright lights and teenage excitement. You’d expect to see horse

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Ashwood Waldorf Education: A Reverence for Food

Waldorf schools, which number over 900 worldwide and are the fastest growing independent, nondenominational educational movement in the world, seek “to see the whole in every part, to engage the head, the hands, and the heart,” according to the Web site of the Rockport, Maine, Ashwood Waldorf School ( Founded in Germany in 1919 by

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Food for Schoolchildren

Elementary schools in Union 74 in Lincoln County are integrating foods into the curriculum. Through FARMS (Focus on Agriculture in Rural Schools), children taste-test freshly harvested foods and meet the farmers who grow them. School cafeterias are beginning to order directly from farmers in a pilot program that began in the fall of 2007. Food

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Elderberry flowers make a soothing tea. Photo by Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. by Joyce White Robert Henderson comments in “The Neighborhood Forager” that the elderberry (genus Sambucus) “is a case study in the dramatic conversion of North Americans from largely self-sufficient peoples to consumers.” Because of its variety of uses, elder bushes

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New Hops Variety Good For Herb Tea

“Hops” usually refers to the female flowers of hop vines, shown here growing at Merryspring Nature Center in Camden, Maine. Researchers at USDA Agricultural Research Service in Oregon have developed a new variety called ‘Teamaker’ that is especially good for making herbal tea. English photo. Drinking impure water was once a common way to pick

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Grow Heat Loving Plants

A large compost pile is made with a 25-foot length of snow fence. Green (nitrogenous) and brown (carbonaceous) layers of organic materials are alternated. By Adam Tomash and June Zellers © 2007 Photos by the authors Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and cucurbits are among our favorite crops. All require warm soil and a fairly long growing season, which means they need a protected, heated space

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Glorious Greens

Tat soi, sown 8/11/07, was ready to eat at the Common Ground Country  Fair on Sept. 21. English photo. by Jean English No surprise: I came home from the Common Ground Country Fair with a cornucopia of gardening ideas; and the lush results that came from taking a little time, space, seed and compost that

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Colemans Low Tunnels

Eliot Coleman, at the 2007 Common Ground Country Fair, demonstrated a new way to extend the growing season: Sow double beds with lettuce, spinach and other cold-tolerant crops in early October; cover the beds with hoops and row covers; and around Thanksgiving, add a second cover of greenhouse plastic. The crops should be protected over

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