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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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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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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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How to Make Cannabis Salves

Making cannabis salves requires just a few ingredients. By Roberta Bailey Photos by the author As cannabis has become legal and more readily available, people are embracing its uses. Slowly, we are coming back to a plant that was our ancient medicine. We’re relearning its delicate secrets, its diverse strengths. Cannabis has so much to

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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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Harvest Kitchen Mushrooms The King of Umami and More

These shiitake mushrooms grown by Toshio Hashimoto of Rumford won a judges’ award in the Exhibition Hall at the Common Ground Country Fair. English photo By Roberta Bailey Mushrooms have come into the spotlight lately. They are strutting their stuff. Once they were thought of as just another white food, flavorful and filling but void of much

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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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Tillage Effects on Soil Health Parameters

One treatment in our study of the effects of tillage on soil health used a rototiller for cultivation. Another treatment used a broadfork. By Will Brinton Soil tillage is an increasingly important topic of discussion among agriculturists and poses new challenges for organic practices. At a soil health event in Aroostook County in 2014, Ray Archuleta,  conservation

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Controlling Pest Insects in the Organic Garden

One way to manage pest insects is to create habitat in your garden for beneficial insects such as ladybugs. Oxalic acid in the leaf blades (not petioles) of rhubarb can help repel flea beetles. Row cover, although a synthetic material, can last several years with care. An infusion of tansy, growing here with goldenrod, may

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