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Backyard Selection Dabbling in Plant Breeding

‘Pink Princess’ tomato is a selection from ‘Honey Drop’. Photo by Roberta Bailey ‘Matchbox’ pepper is now an open source selection. Photo by Roberta Bailey By Roberta Bailey Photos by the author Every farmer and gardener can be a plant breeder. Humans have dabbled with plants since they started harvesting and later cultivating them. You

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Foothill Farm Alliance

Five farms form the Foothill Farm Alliance, which offers a winter CSA share. Logo art by Natalie Beittel A winter meeting with Kyle Peckham (left) and Tom Earle. Photo by Gina Hancock Tom Earle gives a tour of his companion planting for apprentices. Photo by Gina Hancock By Stowell Watters As I write this in

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Climate Change and Bumble Bees

While the southern range of bumble bees is moving north, the northern range seems to be stationary. English photo By Sue Smith-Heavenrich As the planet warms, many animals – and even plant populations – are migrating to cooler areas.  Some expand their ranges northward; others move upslope, to higher elevations. But not bumble bees. A

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Three Mushrooms for the Farm and Homestead

Shiitake mushroom Wine cap or king stropharia mushrooms Agaricus mushrooms By Geoffrey Nosach Every farmer and gardener works in concert with the kingdom of fungi. The composting process relies on native fungal friends to convert carboniferous materials into a rich humus, which in turn provides the soil fertility we need to grow crops. Primary, secondary

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Dry Beans

By the time these Orlando’s beans have ripened, the leaves of the supporting amaranth will have dropped to expose the dry pods. Photo by Will Bonsall By Will Bonsall Ordinarily I advise people with limited garden space not to focus on growing staple crops such as grain and oilseeds that are less expensive to buy

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The Value of MOFGA Certification

The offices of MOFGA Certification Services LLC are now at 38 School Street in Unity Village. Photo by Chris Grigsby By Chris Grigsby, Director, MOFGA Certification Services LLC As many know, MOFGA has been certifying organic operations for decades. We are proud to have been one of the first in the nation and well ahead

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Evaluating Sericea Lespedeza and Big Trefoil

Goats grazing lespedeza at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Goats grazing big trefoil at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Pots of lespedeza (left) and trefoil planted by Jean Noon. Photo by Jean Noon Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Diane Schivera Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Jean Noon Lespedeza regrowth

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Biological Restoration in the Forest

By Stephen J. Barr, M.D. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. – Chinese proverb Perhaps you have some woods behind your house, or perhaps you’re fortunate and have a fair amount of land. Maybe you’re a member of a local land trust and would like

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Next Years Pest Management Begins Now

Seedcorn maggots feeding on young spinach. Seedcorn maggots in soil amended with soy meal. European corn borer overwintering in a corn stalk. Early blight on lower leaves of tomatoes. Close-up of early blight on tomato. Late blight on potato. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Fall garden care is the beginning of spring  garden pest management. Many

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LIF Helps Woodlot Owners

By Denny Gallaudet At Millbrook Farm in Cumberland, we have a mix of activities, including raising vegetables, sheep and chickens, supported by pasture and hayfields and a 25-acre woodlot. Over the years the woodlot, which is enrolled in the Maine Tree Growth Tax Program, has provided firewood for home use and periodic harvests of saw

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