Archives: Resources

Organic Cotton and Fair Trade

As Goes Cotton… by Alex OwreCopyright 2006 Eli Whitney was just trying to help. Before he invented the cotton gin in 1793, workers removed cotton seeds from the fiber by hand, cleaning one pound a day. Using his simple machine, a single person could clean 50 pounds. In just a few years, this labor-intensive plant

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Spring Growth – From the Ground Up: Soil Improvement

Presentations at Spring Growth 2010 At the Spring Growth Conference, Eliot Coleman talked about the importance of soil fertility and soil aeration in promoting the growth of pest-resistant crops. English photo. The 2010 Spring Growth Conference at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity featured Dr. Will Brinton of Woods End Laboratories in Mt. Vernon, Maine; Eliot

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Growing Garlic the Easy Way

By Jonathan Mitschele I grow German White garlic, lots of it, and in 2018 I had the best crop ever, so I thought I would share what I learned. First, plant certified nematode-free hardneck garlic. Second, plant in wide beds; they use garden space much more efficiently than does planting in single rows. I use

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In The Orchard: Get Ready for Winter

Apple scab on fruit and leaves. Photos by C.J. Walke. By C.J. Walke Autumn is an exciting time in the orchard, because you get to taste the fruits of your labors and share the harvest with your family and community. Autumn is also the time to clean up the orchard, prepare trees for winter and

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Group Forms to Conserve Medicinal Plant Populations

By Deb Soule I save seeds from more than 13 medicinal plants growing in my 1-acre garden in West Rockport. Some are native to Maine, some to the Northeast, some to Europe, one to China and one to the tropics. Collecting their seed has become an important fall ritual for me. As the growing season

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A Simple, Strong Fence Corner

By Ben Hoffman I happened to meet a U.S. Forest Service engineer who worked on fences and structures for range lands. He introduced me to a fence corner that had been tested in both the United States and Australia that outperformed other designs with multiple posts and cross and angle braces. The key is that

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Floating Row Cover Foils Potato Pests

By Jonathan Mitschele In late July 2017 I discovered that my potato plants were not doing well. Leaves were yellowing and the plants were not growing as expected. Suspecting some sort of blight, I sent photos to Eric Sideman at MOFGA. He thought the problem was potato leafhoppers and referred me to a MOFGA pest

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Benefits of Solarizing and Tarping

Solarization with clear plastic and tarping with black plastic help with weed management in high-value horticultural crops that otherwise need extensive hand weeding. Solarization tends to be more effective under suitably warm and sunny conditions, although tarping may be more suitable for some applications. With either practice, the plastic may be removed before planting, allowing

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Apple Orchard Activity Calendar for the Northeast

By C. J. Walke Introduction Growing organic tree fruit can be a bit of a challenge, considering the various insects and diseases that like to call your fruit tree home and the relatively short efficacy window of organic control materials; so being attentive to stages of fruit development and biological cycles of pests in your

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