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Native Bees are Important Urban Pollinators

For this pollinator study, tomato plants in 5-gallon buckets had some of the flower clusters covered with net bags before they went into the field. Photo courtesy of San Francisco State University By Sue Smith-Heavenrich A study released earlier this year from San Francisco State University shows that native bees provide an important pollination service

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Garden Tips

My source of water is city water, which can be expensive if watering a large garden. I have a sump pit in my basement, so I set up a rain barrel and attached a sump hose from the pit outlet pipe to the rain barrel through an opening I cut in the rain barrel cover.

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Permaculture Takes Root in Maine

By Stowell Watters Do yourself a small disservice sometime and type the words “permaculture definition” into an Internet search for a refreshing check-in with your college brain. Can you still absorb painful block-text paragraphs and talking-head quotes ranging from the vapidly vague to the searingly specific? Can you mentally digest a hurricane of exposition and

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Onions That Fit

‘Shaker’ is one of the largest, most vigorous top-setting onions. Will Bonsall photo By Will Bonsall I want to have fresh onions all year, but there’s a window in late spring-early summer when any bulb onions left in the cellar are sprouted or rotten and the new crop has yet to come in. Moreover there

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Spains Climate Changing Produce Growing Town of Tunnels

Eric Sideman alongside one of the high tunnels in Almería, Spain, where the density of reflective tunnels has lowered temperatures in the area. Becky Sideman photo By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Those of you who know me know that I never look forward to leaving my farm. I have to be talked into traveling – and

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Summer Eating in Maine Mussels

Toki Oshima drawing By Cheryl Wixson Archaeologists say that humans have been eating mussels for more than 20,000 years, and with good reasons. This edible bivalve of the marine family Mytilidae is an incredibly nutrient-dense seafood choice. The methods for both harvesting wild mussels and farming cultivated mussels are also environmentally sound, making them a

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Second Generation Rolling High Tunnel

The basic 22 x 48 metal frame of my moveable high tunnel. This size allows for sufficient ventilation through end wall vents. The sliding side-wall entrance alleviates the necessity for an end-wall entrance, so the end walls are stronger. By Phil Norris Photos by the author Here in Maine, the short growing season makes some

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Green Manures and Cover Crops

A strip of buckwheat growing at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. English photo. By Will Bonsall The terms “green manure,” “cover crop,” “soiling crop” and “catch crop” are often used interchangeably, which is not quite accurate, but for this article I’m lumping them all together. I refer to any crop that is planted not for

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Feeding Pigs on Backyard Resources

Pigs forage in the woods at the Deer Isle Hostel. Photo by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist A Tamworth pig grazes a wooded area at certified-organic Frith Farm in Scarborough, Maine. Photo courtesy of Frith Farm. By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist The end of our homesteading season has for five consecutive years been marked by the butchering of our pigs.

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Harvest Kitchen Summer Cookout

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey     In the pre-dawn hours of a bitter cold February morning, we had a house fire. It is an absolutely surreal process to move through getting everyone out safely, to call 911, to grab coats and a drawer of photographs, a spinning wheel, a computer, then to look around

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