Archives: Resources

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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Farming and Logging with Horses

Richard Lee and Kate Del Vecchio with their daughter, Samara. Photo courtesy of Tender Soles Farm By Richard Lee The day before writing this, I spent what I thought would be a leisurely Sunday on a forecart driving my team 4 miles down the road to pick up a free horse-drawn hay loader. I had

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Leeks: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Young leeks interplanted with carrots and brussels sprouts. Will Bonsall photo The leek “stalk” is a sheaf of elongated leaves bound tightly at the base by the root crown. English photo By Will Bonsall Some academic friends of mine were on sabbatical in southern France when their checks failed to arrive as expected. Weeks went

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Ethiopian Highlands

A farmer shows his seed-saving garden. By John Bliss Photos by the author Last November, as the farming season in Maine was winding down, I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia. Our harvest at MOFGA-certified organic Broadturn Farm was tucked away in our storage coolers, and the crew was preparing for winter. Tractors and implements were

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Fiddleheads: Grow Your Own!

Farming Fiddleheads? Raspberries and Fiddleheads Grow Together in Camden Garden Fiddlehead croziers emerging in spring. English photo A fiddlehead fern in late spring, with fertile fronds from the previous year. English photo By David Fuller Agriculture/non-timber forest products professional, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Ostrich ferns, an herbaceous perennial that can reach five feet in height, die

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Lowland Integrated Rice Production in Maine

Rice and azolla growing at Wild Folks Farm in Benton. Ben Rooney photo Rooney harvests rice with a scythe. Corallina Breuer photo By Ben Rooney Wild Folks Farm is entering its fourth season of lowland integrated rice production in Benton, Maine. Lowland refers to paddies. We have nine, with a gravity-fed water system. The paddies comprise about

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Organic Seed Growers Conference

Organic Seed Alliance Seed Internship Program Micaela Colley, executive director of Organic Seed Alliance, spoke of seeds as a “public, natural resource that we all know demands careful stewardship.” Photo courtesy of OSA The eighth Organic Seed Growers Conference was convened in February 2016 by Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) in Corvallis, Oregon. Micaela Colley, executive

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Beneficial Insects

Cocoons of a wasp that parasitized a tomato hornworm. Eric Sideman photo Beneficial insects are part of complicated relationships in ecosystems, and we are just beginning to understand those relationships, said Kathy Murray, Ph.D., an entomologist and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program coordinator with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Murray is also

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Banatka Wheat

Banatka wheat (8- x 8-inch spacing) with a Dutch white clover understory to the right of the range pole; Warthog on the left. Sowing Dutch white immediately after planting Banatka produced a beautiful, weed-free understory, but frost seeding Warthog was not so good. In a subsequent sowing of Banatka in both plots, the right side

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A Trellis Primer

Photo 1. Pole and crossbars used to trellis beans, peas and cucumbers Photo 2. A spike inserted through two holes where crossbar ends overlap holds crossbars together. By Tom Vigue Photos by the author A number of common garden crops benefit greatly from trellising. Crops that do not directly contact the soil and that have vastly improved

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