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MOFGA Certification Services Hemp Update

Toki Oshima illustration By Chris Grigsby The year 2019 was certainly a whirlwind in the world of hemp production in the United States. MOFGA Certification Services (MCS) has been working hard to relay information to growers, submit comments and testimony on proposed rules, and prepare our organic certification program to accept applications from hemp growers.

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Spring Orchard Work and then Ice Cream

Delton Curtis grafting at the Seed Swap and Scion Exchange. English photo By John Bunker Springtime in central Maine was designed for orchard activity. The long days and the warming sun lure me out the door like the Pied Piper’s flute. Get up early and cook up a saucepan of apples from the last bushel

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Harvest Kitchen Change and Opportunity

One way to deal with the challenges of farming and gardening is to plant a variety of crops. English photo By Roberta Bailey As farmers and gardeners, we are all well acquainted with impermanence and resilience. The well-weeded row quickly becomes ragged. The peas mature and go by. A petite zucchini quickly swells to the

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Of Bees Birds and Berries

Hyssop officinalis, from Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé “Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz,” 1885. By Joyce White I am grateful that younger friends and neighbors share some of their observations and experiences of Nature with me. Last spring a neighbor was out of work for a few weeks, healing from surgery. During this unusual period

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Crop Rotation in the Garden

One rotation I use is spring-sown oats interplanted later with transplanted squash. I flatten and then mulch over the oats in July. The following spring I transplant cabbage into the mulch. English photos By Will Bonsall We usually hear about crop rotation in the context of large farms where folks are talking about crops such as wheat, oats,

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Another Maine Area Affected by Leek Moth

Leek moth cocoon Adult leek moths A leek plant destroyed by leek moth larvae. By David Fuller Photos by the author Leek moth was identified in 2017 by Cooperative Extension in Jackman. Those populations have subsequently migrated south to Long Pond Township, a distance of about 10 miles. Now leek moth has also been found in Rangeley

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A Total Immersion Dairy Farm Apprenticeship at Wolfes Neck Center

Left to right: Matt DeGrandpre (farm operations manager), Tierney Lawler (apprentice), Caitlin Morgan (apprentice), Big Cow, Haden Gooch (graduate apprentice, current journeyperson) and Corinne Carey (apprentice). Cows head out to pasture at Wolfe’s Neck Center. Wolfe’s Neck Center hosts about 50,000 visitors per year. Entrance to the milking parlor. By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture

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Biological Control of Fire Blight Bacteria

Early symptoms of fire blight in a Liberty apple tree. The branch is just starting to make the shepherd’s crook and blacken. Photo by C.J. Walke By C.J. Walke Managing disease is often a challenging task in organic farming and gardening because pathogens can be very aggressive, additional hosts often exist outside farm boundaries, and most materials

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Bringing Agriculture into the Classroom

Students grow seedlings in the classroom at Harmony Elementary School. Enjoying the harvest from three raised beds. By Benjamin Cookson Photos by the author Many schools throughout Maine share the initiative of bringing agriculture into the classroom.  School gardens, garden clubs, 4-H programs and after school programs bring quality education to students across the state, all with

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To Cut or Not to Cut Is That the Question

Large diameter cavity trees provide bird habitat, enhancing the overall value of a forest. English photo By Noah Gleason-Hart When the topic of forestry or land management comes up, the first question people often ask is, “Should I my cut my woodlot?” or, “Is my land due for a harvest?” It’s a daunting question with huge implications.

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