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Three Mushrooms for the Farm and Homestead

Shiitake mushroom Wine cap or king stropharia mushrooms Agaricus mushrooms By Geoffrey Nosach Every farmer and gardener works in concert with the kingdom of fungi. The composting process relies on native fungal friends to convert carboniferous materials into a rich humus, which in turn provides the soil fertility we need to grow crops. Primary, secondary

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Foothill Farm Alliance

Five farms form the Foothill Farm Alliance, which offers a winter CSA share. Logo art by Natalie Beittel A winter meeting with Kyle Peckham (left) and Tom Earle. Photo by Gina Hancock Tom Earle gives a tour of his companion planting for apprentices. Photo by Gina Hancock By Stowell Watters As I write this in

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Evaluating Sericea Lespedeza and Big Trefoil

Goats grazing lespedeza at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Goats grazing big trefoil at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Pots of lespedeza (left) and trefoil planted by Jean Noon. Photo by Jean Noon Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Diane Schivera Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Jean Noon Lespedeza regrowth

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Dry Beans

By the time these Orlando’s beans have ripened, the leaves of the supporting amaranth will have dropped to expose the dry pods. Photo by Will Bonsall By Will Bonsall Ordinarily I advise people with limited garden space not to focus on growing staple crops such as grain and oilseeds that are less expensive to buy

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Backyard Selection Dabbling in Plant Breeding

‘Pink Princess’ tomato is a selection from ‘Honey Drop’. Photo by Roberta Bailey ‘Matchbox’ pepper is now an open source selection. Photo by Roberta Bailey By Roberta Bailey Photos by the author Every farmer and gardener can be a plant breeder. Humans have dabbled with plants since they started harvesting and later cultivating them. You

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Leeks: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Young leeks interplanted with carrots and brussels sprouts. Will Bonsall photo The leek “stalk” is a sheaf of elongated leaves bound tightly at the base by the root crown. English photo By Will Bonsall Some academic friends of mine were on sabbatical in southern France when their checks failed to arrive as expected. Weeks went

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Harvest Kitchen Connecting with Fungi

By Roberta Bailey Lately I have been focusing on connections. I have been reading about mycorrhizal relationships between plants and fungi and thinking about the deep connections between our ecosystem and our mental and physical health. Our culture tends to isolate things in order to study them, from insects attacking a plant to an animal’s

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Farming and Logging with Horses

Richard Lee and Kate Del Vecchio with their daughter, Samara. Photo courtesy of Tender Soles Farm By Richard Lee The day before writing this, I spent what I thought would be a leisurely Sunday on a forecart driving my team 4 miles down the road to pick up a free horse-drawn hay loader. I had

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Next Years Pest Management Begins Now

Seedcorn maggots feeding on young spinach. Seedcorn maggots in soil amended with soy meal. European corn borer overwintering in a corn stalk. Early blight on lower leaves of tomatoes. Close-up of early blight on tomato. Late blight on potato. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Fall garden care is the beginning of spring  garden pest management. Many

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Biological Restoration in the Forest

By Stephen J. Barr, M.D. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. – Chinese proverb Perhaps you have some woods behind your house, or perhaps you’re fortunate and have a fair amount of land. Maybe you’re a member of a local land trust and would like

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