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tea time tip

Raspberry leaves June 1, 2020 Amid the harvest of tomatoes, green beans, broccoli and other veggies this summer, take some time to harvest the makings for tea. An hour or two spent harvesting the leaves of raspberry, mint and other plants, then drying them, can save several dollars in herbal tea bills throughout the year,

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Broccolini what’s in a name

  Broccolini. Photo by Jonathan Mitschele June 1, 2020 By Jonathan Mitschele Last April I bought a peat tray of six seedlings labeled “sprouting broccoli” because no ordinary broccoli was available, and I transplanted the seedlings into my garden. I also had a packet of Piracicaba “non-heading broccoli” seed that I had bought a year

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Blackberries The Sweet and the Thorny

By Joyce White My blackberry patch has a history, and it begins with raspberries. When I moved to the small town of Stoneham in the Western Maine foothills 23 years ago, I told my elderly neighbor, Arlene, that even though I had started a new raspberry patch, I missed picking fresh, ripe raspberries. “Well, you

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Waste Not Want Not

Over-mature garlic breaks apart and will not store as well, so it can be dried and ground into garlic powder. Photo by Kindle Bonsall By Will Bonsall I go to a lot of effort to produce food crops, and nothing irks me more than having useable food go to waste. I’ve heard people say, “Nothing really

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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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Letter Hyssop or Anise Hyssop or Both

I read with interest the letter in your winter newspaper issue from Joyce White regarding bees’ love of hyssop. We have had a hyssop next to our deck stairs for years, and every August we can hear the constant buzzing of bees as they work the blossoms. In 2018 I thought I would add to

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Homestead Maps

Ben Hoffman threshing wheat. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hoffman Map 1 – Base map Map 2 – Base map with contour lines Map 3 – Map with soil types Map 4 – Map with forest cover types By Ben Hoffman Maps showing land boundaries and vegetation are among the most useful tools a landowner can

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Saffron A Good Fit for New England

Dr. Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani and Dr. Margaret Skinner of the University of Vermont gave a fascinating talk about saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, at MOFGA’s Farmer to Farmer Conference. English photo By Jean English Dr. Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani and Dr. Margaret Skinner of the University of Vermont gave a fascinating and entertaining talk about saffron at

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Growing Grain on the Ludders Family Homestead

Jessica and Ross Ludders and their sons take a break from homesteading in Exeter, Maine. Some of the homestead plots that grow vegetables and grains A given plot supports pigs one year, grains the next and vegetables in the third year. By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Photos by Ross and Jessica Ludders “It was like magic. I

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Harvest Kitchen Growing the True Sweetness of Life

Toki Oshima illustration By Roberta Bailey I have been thinking about cycles. Maybe I am always thinking about cycles. As soon as the weather turns colder in September, I start to crave winter squash. And late June has me watching the baby summer squash, balancing my urge to pick it and eat it with the

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