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A Frustrating New Brassica Pest The Swede Midge

Swede midge larvae, circled Broccoli leaves contorted by swede midge larvae feeding Swede midge damage in broccoli Multiple heads of Veronica cauliflower – a result of swede midge feeding By Caleb Goossen, Ph.D. Photos by David Fuller Over the coming years, farmers and home gardeners in Maine will likely encounter damage on their brassica plants

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Mixed Orchard Crops

Jesse Stevens of Sy’s Trees in Sweden, Maine, grows a “hyper-diversified” orchard of more than 1,000 varieties of woody plants. Photo courtesy of Jesse Stevens Honeyberry, Lonicera coerulea, is an underutilized species that Stevens believes is well suited to organic culture in Maine. Photo by Opioła Jerzy, from Wikimedia. By Jean English Farmers from Sy’s

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Manos o Machina

Toki Oshima illustration The decision to switch from hand to machine milking By Jacki M. Perkins Recently a question on a listserv for beginning farmers piqued my interest. When and why have any of you switched from hand milking to a machine?” Having grown up milking cows commercially, been formally educated in dairying, then switching

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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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What Apple Is This Identifying Apples in 2020

Illustration by John Bunker By John Bunker “A further knowledge of the facts is necessary before I would venture to give a final and definite opinion.” Sherlock Holmes, “His Last Bow” Although we usually begin to identify apples each year in August and early September, the Common Ground Country Fair weekend is the official kickoff

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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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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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MOFGA El Salvador Sistering Committee

Don Raúl hosts the MOFGA Delegation at his beautiful organic coffee nursery and parcela. Photo by Heather Spalding. Members of MOFGA’s Delegation and the Carasque Sewing Cooperative met to discuss sales of beautiful, hand-made string bags. Photo by Heather Spalding. Paul Volckhausen stocks up on the wonderful dried organic fruit from a women’s cooperative in

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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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