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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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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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Value Added Dairy

Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith of The Milkhouse in Monmouth, Maine, make yogurt and ship milk. Photo courtesy of The Milkhouse At MOFGA’s November 2015 Farmer to Farmer Conference, Jack and Anne Lazor of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont, and Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith of The Milkhouse in Monmouth, Maine, talked about value-added dairy.

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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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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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Bokashi A Compost Alternative

Fig. 1 – A VermiTek drain pan. Fig. 2 – The VermiTek drain pan installed Fig. 3 – The completed VermiTek bin with tamper By Adam Tomash Photos by the author I love to compost stuff and have been doing it for 50 years – the last 40 in Maine, with its cold winter. I

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The Once and Future Cow

Toki Oshima drawing By Joann S. Grohman Maine has the highest rate of new farmers in the 48 states; we’ve gained 1,000 just in the past 10 years. Many of these new farmers will, I hope, consider keeping one or several cows, as nearly everyone did until less than 100 years ago. Even in towns,

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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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Celeriac

Celeriac growing in a garden in mid-August. English photo Harvested celeriac. English photo By Jean English If you’ve had trouble growing good celery, maybe celeriac is the vegetable for you. This biennial, Apium graveolens var. rapaceum, is somewhat easier to grow than its fussier relative, celery; its edible part – a fleshy rootstock – adds

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