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Schravesande Gardei Editorial

Toki Oshima drawing By Jaco Schravesande-Gardei MOFGA Certification Services LLC Organic, natural, sustainable, local, responsibly grown … When shopping at farmers’ markets or grocery stores, consumers face a barrage of enticing labels. What do they mean … if anything? Only the term “organic” has specific, legal, federal standards that farmers must follow and relates to

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Rusted Rooster

The Rusted Rooster Farm family, left to right (with ages as of Oct. 2017): Sean, Chloe (3), Jackson (5), Sandra, Lacey (17 months) and Shannon (6). Photo by Lily Piel Mowing a cover crop of peas and oats for cattle feed with an 826 International. Photo by Sean O’Donnell Sean at work in his John

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Kohlrabi As Wonderful as it is Weird

Will Bonsall holds a ‘Gigante’ storage kohlrabi. Photo by Yaicha Cowell-Sarofeen Summer kohlrabi varieties are much smaller than the storage types and should be eaten within a few days of harvest. English photo By Will Bonsall The so-called “cabbage family” – actually the species Brassica oleracea – has given us several botanical monstrosities we enjoy

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Root Cellars and Ginger

Ginger is an increasingly popular crop to grow and store in Maine. Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi of Villageside Farm in Freedom grew this ‘King Yai’ ginger, which earned a Judges’ Award in the Exhibition Hall at MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair. English photo. By Roberta Bailey I have lived with a root cellar my

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Growing Cold Hardy Figs in Maine

The protection of a hoophouse (and wrapping plants in winter with fabric row cover) offers promise for growing figs in Maine. Photo by Lauren Errickson Ripe figs. Photo by Lauren Errickson By Bill Errickson Farmers in the Northeast struggle with a short growing season, cool temperatures and harsh, unpredictable winters, so it behooves them to

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Terracing

Terraces at the author’s Khadighar Farm hold nutrients and water while supporting crop growth on a slope. By Will Bonsall Photos and illustration by Will Bonsall Around the world people have used terraces since ancient times to grow crops on steep hillsides. The benefit of preventing soil erosion is obvious, but an equal value is

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Tomatoes in High Tunnels

Leaf mold (Fulvia fulva) is a common problem in high tunnels due to high humidity and warm temperatures. Eric Sideman photos. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Now and then MOFGA organizes “Growers’ Meetings,” and this year we had a meeting about growing tomatoes in high tunnels. These meetings differ from most other educational events that MOFGA

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To Spray or Not to Spray

Toki Oshima drawing By C. J. Walke This is often the unasked question that arises when I deliver library presentations or teach hands-on workshops on growing organic tree fruit. I can see the look on people’s faces change when I mention the backpack sprayer, as if a dark storm cloud has shadowed their sunny afternoon.

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Homemade Bokashi Bucket

A Gamma Seal bucket Holes drilled in the bottom of the top Gamma Seal bucket Italian Bottling Spigot with nut and two washers Drain stopcock installed in the bottom bucket By Adam Tomash Photos by the author My last article on bokashi (the Japanese word for “fermented organic matter” and a way to compost; see

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Food Safety Modernization Act

State Sales Tax Changes In another move affecting some cheese makers and other food processors, Maine has substantially changed its sales tax rules regarding food. No longer is the tax as straight-forward as groceries (non-taxable) and prepared food (always taxable). Now some groceries are taxable. For example, a mix called a “DIP” is taxable. A

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