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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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Crop Tree Management Managing for Value Not Volume

A red oak crop tree with double flagging surrounded by competing red maple, oak lacking quality and diseased beech (not pictured) marked to be cut. Crown view of the same red oak crop tree. Note the crown competition and lack of available growing space. “The crop tree crown in the center of this illustration has been

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MOFGAs Clean Cannabis Program

By Chris Grigsby The goal of MOFGA’s Certified Clean Cannabis program (MC3) is to offer an independent, third-party-verified marketing claim similar to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) but for cannabis products, which cannot be certified organic at this time. The standards were developed by MOFGA with a group of dedicated Maine caregivers. The program is entering

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The Sweet Spot

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Jacki Martinez Perkins The dairy industry has found itself in the same position that many small businesses encountered during the past few decades. Small farms are being driven out of business by the natural progression of capitalism. Large-scale dairies can operate at lower costs per cow, negotiate their price points and own

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Smaller and Lighter Beehives Are Better

Photo 1 – A complete, two-queen, side-by-side hive. Each side is a stack of three four-frame medium boxes. Entrances to the hives are on opposite ends, minimizing drift of bees from one box to its neighbor. Photo 2 – Hive components specific to a two-queen, side-by-side, four-frame hive shown from front to back: an inner

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To Till or Not to Till

A heavy hay mulch, as promoted by Ruth Stout, smothers weeds (until some, such as quackgrass, creep in) but is not suitable for closely set plants or for grain crops. English photo By Will Bonsall No-till is the rage now and for some good reasons. Plowing, spading and rototilling disrupt the natural soil structure and dilute richer

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Spinach Downy Mildew

Downy mildew on winter spinach in a high tunnel. Photo by Eric Sideman By Caleb Goossen, Ph.D. Winter-grown greens have increased dramatically in popularity, and subsequently in ubiquity, over the past couple of decades. We are miles beyond the era of my grandmother’s childhood in northern Vermont, where the “hungry period” set in during the end of winter

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Agricultural Plastic Part II Recycling

Many agricultural plastics, including some row covers, are difficult or impossible to recycle. English photo By David McDaniel In the summer 2019 MOF&G, I discussed how Maine farmers depend on many plastic products and the difficulties of recycling these materials. Here I review some of the limited ways to recycle agricultural plastic and types of plastic to

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Seeking Flint Corn Propagators

Michele Carmel and Albie Barden at their Norridgewock home. One aspect of “living with the corn.” A Benjamin & Co. model corn sheller made in Winthrop in the 1800s By Jean English Photos by the author “We live with the corn, in all of its manifestations.” Michele Carmel’s understatement amuses me as I sit with Albie Barden

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10 Q & As About Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer shown on a penny for size comparison. Photo by Howard Russell, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org, from https://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=1241011. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Flecked bark resulting from woodpecker feeding on emerald ash borers. Photo by Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org, from https://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5471784. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution

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