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How to Plan Your Harvests for Food Preservation

By Roberta Bailey In the last two years, seed companies experienced record sales which translates to new gardeners turning ground for the first time, some veteran gardeners increasing their plots and farmers planting more acreage to meet the growing demand for local, fresh produce and value-added specialty items. Food security is on people’s minds. This

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Don’t Kill All the Japanese Knotweed!

Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) has the unfortunate reputation of “invasive species” which means that there has been a concerted effort to eliminate it. In the process, we may be losing a valuable source of medicine. Not only that but Japanese knotweed has been a food source for both human and animal foragers alike, and its

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Air and Your Garden

By Will Bonsall Organic matter is basically composed of two types of elements: minerals and gasses. The minerals are obvious: they’re what’s left when you burn organic matter (like wood). The part that is gone is the gasses, four of them in all: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon. Now of course reduced carbon (as in

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Forest Stewardship: It’s More Than Cutting Trees

By Noah Gleason-Hart Logging is our most dramatic opportunity to create change, either destructive or restorative in our woodlots, so we focus much of our low-impact forestry work on promoting careful harvest practices. However, commercial logging is a relatively infrequent event on a given property, perhaps every 10 to 15 years. A landowner may see

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Yes, You Can Grow Figs in Maine!

Figs are a subtropical plant from the Mediterranean region and need some special care to flourish in Maine … but you can do it! The easiest way to grow figs is in a container. You should bring it inside in fall after leaf drop. maintain dormancy. Unheated cellars work great. Potting mix should be well

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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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