Archives: Resources

Reduction of Plastic in the Whole Farm System

By Holli Cederholm Organic agriculture has a plastic problem. The problem is, said vegetable producer Lincoln Fishman, plastic is useful. Drip tape for irrigation, bread trays for harvest, and perforated bags and woven plastic feed sacks are all “beautiful inventions,” he told a room of growers during a session on plastic reduction at MOFGA’s Farmer

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Creating Season Extension with Climate Batteries

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin A quick glance at most seed catalogs reveals a plethora of season-extending tools, from sprouting trays to cold frames. From there, season extension gets progressively more complicated: bendable hoops for do-it-yourself caterpillar-style tunnels, small backyard greenhouses with polycarbonate walls and large high tunnels most commonly found on commercial vegetable farms. The use

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Should Organic Growers Sell Their Soil into Carbon Markets?

By Will Brinton Organic farming is grounded in the principle and reality of a vibrant living earth, supporting healthy plant-animal-human communities. This linkage has been encapsulated in the contemporary and somewhat abstract term “ecosystem services,” essentially referring to the benefits humans obtain from natural systems, as formulated in the early work of Paul Ehrlich and

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Growing Winter Squash

By Will Bonsall Winter squash are generally distinguished from summer squash by their drier, denser flesh, their sweetness and their storability, though it’s not quite that simple. Most winter squash belong to the species Cucurbita maxima, whereas summer squash (including zucchini) are all in the species Cucurbita pepo. Several winter squash are in fact also

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Farming While Sick

By Sherri Talbot In February of 2023, I had my first bout with COVID-19. I tested positive for weeks, and developed long COVID with neurological symptoms. I became sluggish, had difficulty focusing, and my short-term memory became unreliable. Even several months later there are gaps from that period. In addition, I had surgery, my husband

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Apple Tastings at the Common Ground Country Fair: Notes and Namings!

By C.J. Walke, MOFGA’s Orchard Program Manager At this year’s Common Ground Country Fair, the Hayloft Tent was packed with educational talks, abuzz with fruit enthusiasts hovering over our heritage fruit displays, and brimming with curious fairgoers looking to learn about topics such as beekeeping, beneficial plant propagation and permaculture, among many other things. However,

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Why Would We Bother to Trim Hooves?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist The knowledge base for all farming endeavors needs to be extensive, but one major difference we see between livestock production and crop production is the year-round care and maintenance of a key source of revenue: the livestock themselves. Good quality feed and water keep them

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Harvest Kitchen: Leeks and Shallots

By Roberta Bailey At the end of each year, I evaluate what I have grown and how I will shift strategies for the following growing season. If I had a bumper crop of tomatoes, and the larder is now flush with canned tomatoes and salsa, I know that I can grow fewer tomato plants in

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Potential for Chickpea Production in the Northeast

By Javed Sidiqi, Eric Bishop Von Wettberg and Valerio Hoyos Villegas Why Chickpeas? Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) are an annual grain legume known for their high nutritional value and nitrogen-fixing properties. Chickpeas can provide benefits to agricultural rotations by reducing fertilizer inputs, in addition to producing a marketable crop. Chickpeas are widely loved in dishes

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