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10 Things Every Beginning Gardener Should Know About Growing Tomatoes

Tomatoes are often considered an essential crop to grow for both new and experienced gardeners. No supermarket specimen can compare with a garden-fresh tomato. Growing tomatoes in your organic garden also allows for a much wider fruit selection: from cherry, pear and grape tomatoes, to plum and paste varieties, to heirlooms, slicers and beefsteak tomatoes,

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Flea Beetles

Pests: Crucifer Flea Beetle (Phyllotreta cruciferae) and Striped Flea Beetle (Phyllotreta striolata) Pest/disease identification and lifecycle, most common symptoms and crops affected: Crucifer and striped flea beetles feed on brassica crops as well as weeds that are in the same family, such as yellow rocket or wild mustard. Larvae feed on the roots and flea

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Asparagus Beetle

Pest: Asparagus Beetle, Common (Crioceris asparigi) and Spotted (Crioceris duodecimpunctata) Pest identification and lifecycle, most common symptoms and crops affected: Common Asparagus Beetle (Crioceris asparigi) Blue-black, shiny, smooth and about 6 to 9 millimeters (1/4 inch) long, with three large yellow, squarish spots with red margins along each wing cover. Eggs are black, laid standing on

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Edema

Pest: Edema Pest/disease identification and lifecycle, most common symptoms and crops affected: Edema usually shows up on tomato seedlings when they have been waiting through lots of cloudy cold days. It is also a common problem in plants in the cabbage family, and some house plants. Blisters or bumps appear on the surface of the

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Climate Change, Resilience and the Future of Food

By Holli Cederholm The weather instability that farmers are dealing with today is truly “unprecedented,” according to Laura Lengnick, a soil scientist and the founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC, in Asheville, North Carolina. Farmers have always had to assess weather-associated risks, but not like this. “Never before in the history – the 10,000 year history

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Seed Planting Calendar

If you’re new to growing vegetables or just need a refresher, here’s a basic vegetable planting calendar to get you started. We’ve also included a few herbs that are often grown similarly to vegetables. The dates are approximate — and based on USDA Plant Hardiness zone 5 — and will vary depending on your location,

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The Bread Dude’s Bread Recipe

By Dusty Dowse Some time back, the topic of bread for the Common Kitchen that feeds the Fair volunteers came up at a steering committee meeting. Folks thought it would be neat to be able to bake bread on site. Turns out there was a way. As a long-time MOFGA member, a bakery owner and

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Strategies for Handling a Hay Shortage

By Jacki Perkins As I am writing this, winter deepens and spring is still a far off dream, and the effects of last summer’s drought will begin to be felt. For anyone buying hay last season, it was a study in budgeting: both for pocketbooks and rations. Short of selling livestock to anyone with enough

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Humus is Dead (Long Live Humus)

A discussion on soil organic matter, hummus is the tasty chickpea dish. By Caleb Goossen, Ph.D. The word “humus” has been used to describe soil organic matter since the late 18th century, deriving from the same word in Latin, which simply meant soil. Beyond referring generally to the layer of a soil profile rich in

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