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Storing Saved Seeds

‘Chateau Rose’ tomatoes. English photo A display of seed saving in the Exhibition Hall at the Common Ground Country Fair. Amy LeBlanc photo By Jean English Many garden seeds can be collected now and stored for planting in spring. Echinacea seeds are drying on their seed heads – at least those that the goldfinches aren’t

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MOFGA El Salvador Sistering Committee 15 Years of Solidarity

Farmland in the mountains of El Salvador. English photo In 2016 the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee celebrated 15 years of sistering with MOFGA-like organizations in El Salvador. Our committee came about when Salvadoran farmers linked with the Bangor-Carasque Sister City Project talked about issues they face, and some members of the Bangor committee (as well

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Wood Gasification

A wood gasification boiler. Wood is burned in the firebox (top), and gases travel downward and are burned at 1,800 to 2,000 F in the ceramic chamber below. The hot gases then pass through a fire-tube heat exchanger to transfer heat to water stored in a large tank. Flue temperatures are usually under 350 F,

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Harvest Kitchen Book Features Unique Ferments

By Roberta R. Bailey The Common Ground Country Fair is far more than the sum of its tents and activities. It is donkey brays at dawn, manure pitching of presidential magnitude, grass matted down by so many footsteps, cardboard sliding on a hill, the shush of a scythe through oats in a demonstration plot, Sweet

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Ground nesting Bees

Large and small ground-nesting bees, Andrena nasonii, from the study region. Photo by Heather Grab By Sue Smith-Heavenrich A recent study shows that common ground-nesting bees grow smaller in heavily farmed landscapes than in natural areas. In a Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education)-funded study, Heather Connelly and her colleagues at Cornell University collected

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First Heirloom Apple Collection

By John Bunker Now and then someone asks me the date of the first heirloom apple collection. I usually say 1934 – and I usually attempt to define an heirloom apple. After all, if you don’t know what an heirloom apple is, can you know the date of the first heirloom collection? The term “heirloom”

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Growing Ramps from Seed

Ramps take advantage of the early spring sunlight to grow and store reserves in the root system before forest trees leaf out. Three-year-old ramp seedlings in seed flats. By Heather McCargo Ramps are a delicious wild edible food beloved by chefs and locavores. Also known as wild leeks (Allium tricoccum), they are a member of

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Maine Harvest Bucks

By Heather Omand In 2015 MOFGA, as one partner in the Maine Local Food Access Network (MLFAN), embarked on a collaborative initiative to increase access in Maine to local, healthy foods. The MLFAN developed Maine Harvest Bucks (MHB), a nutrition incentive to low-income consumers that is available at farmers’ markets, farm stands, community supported agriculture

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Organic Inspections

By Jacomijn Schravesande-Gardei, MOFGA Certification Services LLC In order to sell, label or represent products as organic in the United States, farming and processing operations must be certified. MOFGA Certification Services (MCS) is accredited by the USDA to certify and inspect organic operations. The MOFGA Certification label assures consumers that products have been produced with

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Ground Cherries

The author harvests ground cherries from under a V-shaped trellis, which allows the fruits to drop to the ground while supporting the foliage. Photo by Lisa Quatrale Ground cherries on the ground, ripe and ready for harvest. Photo by Lisa Quatrale When ground cherries turn from green to yellow-orange, they are ready to be removed

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