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Grow Your Own Schisandra

Eastern Prince schisandra berries shown by Aaron Parker of Falmouth in the Common Ground Country Fair Exhibition Hall. English photo By Roberta Bailey A few years ago, a friend was helping my husband and me erect a high tunnel on our farm. After a lunch break, he pulled out a little tincture bottle and said, “This is

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Livestock Meeting Notes 2015

Toki Oshima drawing By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This is my annual wrap-up of meetings I attended in 2015, beginning with the Northeast Pasture Consortium meeting in Morgantown, W. Virginia.   Using a conservation planning computer tool created in response to concerns expressed last year at the Northeast Pasture Consortium, Peter Kleinman demonstrated effects of grazing

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Banatka Wheat

Banatka wheat (8- x 8-inch spacing) with a Dutch white clover understory to the right of the range pole; Warthog on the left. Sowing Dutch white immediately after planting Banatka produced a beautiful, weed-free understory, but frost seeding Warthog was not so good. In a subsequent sowing of Banatka in both plots, the right side

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Ethiopian Highlands

A farmer shows his seed-saving garden. By John Bliss Photos by the author Last November, as the farming season in Maine was winding down, I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia. Our harvest at MOFGA-certified organic Broadturn Farm was tucked away in our storage coolers, and the crew was preparing for winter. Tractors and implements were

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Fiddleheads: Grow Your Own!

Farming Fiddleheads? Raspberries and Fiddleheads Grow Together in Camden Garden Fiddlehead croziers emerging in spring. English photo A fiddlehead fern in late spring, with fertile fronds from the previous year. English photo By David Fuller Agriculture/non-timber forest products professional, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Ostrich ferns, an herbaceous perennial that can reach five feet in height, die

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The Incredible Edible Egg

These prize-winning eggs shown in the Common Ground Country Fair Exhibition Hall by David Mansky of Bar Harbor came from four breeds of heirloom chickens. English photo By Cheryl Wixson Now that the longer days of spring are almost here, we are enjoying a surplus of local farm eggs. Considered one of the world’s healthiest

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Lowland Integrated Rice Production in Maine

Rice and azolla growing at Wild Folks Farm in Benton. Ben Rooney photo Rooney harvests rice with a scythe. Corallina Breuer photo By Ben Rooney Wild Folks Farm is entering its fourth season of lowland integrated rice production in Benton, Maine. Lowland refers to paddies. We have nine, with a gravity-fed water system. The paddies comprise about

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If You Can Keep It You Can Eat It

Vegetables ready for storage – some fermented, some as harvested. We store carrots, beets, rutabagas and celeriac in wooden boxes with damp spruce wood shavings. The uniform boxes stack and keep out rodents. The boxes also were sized to hold Mason jars. How we store our year-round supply of produce By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist Photos by

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Beneficial Insects

Cocoons of a wasp that parasitized a tomato hornworm. Eric Sideman photo Beneficial insects are part of complicated relationships in ecosystems, and we are just beginning to understand those relationships, said Kathy Murray, Ph.D., an entomologist and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program coordinator with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Murray is also

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Enterprise Budgets

By Heather Omand Four MOFGA-certified organic Maine farms – three machinery-powered and one horse-powered – participated in 2015 in a carrot enterprise budget project. Results are presented here, with the horse-powered farm enterprise budget separate due to substantial differences in costs versus the machinery-powered farms. Some farms tracked certain pieces of information more successfully than

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