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Grassland Improvement for Gardeners

Grassland – which can include many more species than grasses – is one way nature builds soils. English photo By Will Bonsall The only people who need to care about grasslands are those who keep livestock, right? Wrong! Anyone who cares about sustainable, self-reliant soil maintenance, whether on many acres or in a postage-stamp-sized backyard

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35 Years of Harvest Kitchen

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Roberta Bailey Happy Anniversary to me! This spring marks the 35th anniversary of my time writing this column. My entire adult life has evolved around the full flavors of homegrown food straight from the garden, pantry and root cellar. I have never thought of myself as a fancy cook. Instead, I feature

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An Inexpensive Low Tunnel Season Extender

Photo 1 – Each frame was fitted over a 2-foot-long, half-inch re-rod driven into the ground. Re-rods were covered with half-inch plastic pipe for added rigidity. Longer re-rods would be an improvement, and 3-foot 4-inch sections of half-inch conduit might be even better. Photo 2 – Frames were assembled on the ground, left and right

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The Maine Forest and the Perfect Storm

When forests are left to grow, they continue to sequester carbon. English photo By Peter Hagerty When my wife and I moved to Maine in 1974, I went into the woods logging with a team of horses named Barney and Nick. Since that first winter we have always had big horses on our farm. In

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Organic Certification in the European Union

All the different organic logos in Europe, displayed at Biofach in Nuremberg. Photo by the author. By Jacomijn Schravesande-Gardei, Associate Director of Crops, MOFGA Certification Services, LLC A few years ago I had the pleasure of attending an IFOAM organic leadership course in Europe. IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, is the worldwide

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Worldwide Agricultural Travel Through IFOAM and WWOOFing

Pakaraka Farm raises beef, sheep and pecans. Mustering the sheep at Pakaraka In addition to working hard in the farm fields at Pakaraka, I played duets with my host, Jeanette (right), every afternoon. By Amy LeBlanc Photos courtesy of the author. If you had asked me 20 years ago if I would be traveling, and

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Hay Mulch and Other Low tech Adaptations for Home Gardens

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Joyce White My garden area in Stoneham’s stony foothills is ringed with trees, mostly ash and maple, that have grown very tall during the 21 years I’ve lived here. Their roots have grown very long, too, reaching beneath the soil of the whole garden area. Because of those roots and

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Meeting Notes from 2016

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This is my annual wrap-up of meetings I attended in 2016, beginning with the 20th annual Northeast Pasture Consortium (NEPC) meeting held in Maine at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. It was very exciting to have the meeting in Maine for the first time in its history. The meeting sessions included

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Managing Cabbage Aphids

Cabbage aphids on kale growing in a tunnel. Photo by Eric Sideman Habitat plants flowering among brussels sprouts. Photo by Becky Sideman By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Although it may seem so, the cabbage aphid is not a new pest. My favorite discussion of this pest is in a 1928 text called “Destructive and Useful Insects, Their Habits and

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