Archives: Resources

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

Read More »

Growing Berries Herbs and Flowers

Raspberry plants are abundantly productive and take only a small amount of work in the home garden. English photo Calendula is easy to grow, produces sunny bouquets and is used in medicinal salves and other skin-care products. English photo Pots of basil set on a deck are readily available for snipping. English photo By Joyce

Read More »

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

Read More »

How Safely Do You Operate Your Tractor

2017 tractor safety course students at Hall’s Implement Co. in Windham with instructors Jason Lilley (UMaine Cooperative Extension, Cumberland County) and George Hall. Photo courtesy of Jason Lilley By Ellen S. Gibson, Farm Education Specialist, Maine AgrAbility How did you learn to drive a tractor? As a woman who began farming in her 40s, I know that training

Read More »

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

Read More »

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly, screenshot of photo by Henripekka Kallio from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Perho.jpg, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Tree-of-heaven, seed-bearing female plant, photo by Luis Fernández García from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=139593, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Spain license. By C.J. Walke As winter rolls into spring, work in the orchard transitions from pruning and

Read More »

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

Read More »

Agriculture in El Salvador

Juan Luis Avilés Moreno at the Common Ground Country Fair with (left to right) interpreters Jan Morrill and Christa Little-Siebold and (right) MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee member Karen Volckhausen. English photo Avilés Moreno (center) talks with Will Bonsall about grain processing at the Fair. Jim Torbert, interpreter and MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee member, is on

Read More »

Too Many Wood Chips

A pile of year-old chips partially transformed by white mold. These heavily-bearing blackberry plants have never been treated with anything but chip mulch. By Will Bonsall I’ve spoken and written extensively about using forest residues, especially shredded brushwood, or “ramial chips,” to build and maintain soil tilth. I’ve advocated incorporating them into gardens as short-term

Read More »

Low tech Grain Production

Banatka wheat with a dense understory of Dutch white clover, and no weeds. Hand harvesting Banatka wheat. Temporary storage in a drying cart. Threshing uses a modified MacKissic chipper-shredder. By Ben Hoffman After struggling for 10 years trying to grow and process cereal grains, I joined forces with an equally frustrated Bob Mowdy. We worked

Read More »
Scroll to Top