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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

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Quick and Simple Cakes and Fritters for Summer Meals

By Roberta Bailey We have arrived at full summer. The days are long. The air is scented with hay and warm leaves. Bees buzz from flower to flower. Bumble bees roll inside squash blossoms. Tree swallows swoop and chortle, catching insects to bring back to their nests. Dragonflies gather and dance in the air, their

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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

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Cultivating a Farmer to Farmer Conference in Puerto Rico

Yanna Mohan Muriel is helping plan a farmer to farmer conference in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of Alexandra May. A work brigade organized by Organización Boricuá for Samnyasin La Finca, the farm where Muriel was raised. Photo courtesy of Yanna Mohan Muriel. Muriel and her daughter found earthstar fungi on Finca Marisol while observing soil

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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

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Terraces in Ancient Jerusalem

Terraces at Sataf in the Jerusalem Corridor. Photo courtesy of the photo archive of the Jewish National Fund. Spring water at Sataf flowing into the second plot. Photo by Deborah Rubin Fields Patch cultivation or box fields in the Modin area. Photo courtesy of Dr. Rafael Lewis, from a 2017 article co-authored with Prof. Shimon

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Passing the Baton

Whip and tongue graft. Illustration by John Bunker Bark graft. Illustration by John Bunker Delton Curtis grafting at the Seed Swap and Scion Exchange. English photo By John Bunker Not everyone knows that when you start an apple tree from a seed, it will never come true to type. If you plant a ‘McIntosh’ seed and wait about

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Seeking Flint Corn Propagators

Michele Carmel and Albie Barden at their Norridgewock home. One aspect of “living with the corn.” A Benjamin & Co. model corn sheller made in Winthrop in the 1800s By Jean English Photos by the author “We live with the corn, in all of its manifestations.” Michele Carmel’s understatement amuses me as I sit with Albie Barden

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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

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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

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