Archives: Resources

Grow Your Own Sunflowers

Pole beans growing up sunflower stalks. English photo. By Will Bonsall I’m amazed that so many gardeners plant a row of sunflowers along the edge of their garden to feed the birds. What amazes me is that they plant only for the birds (and perhaps for a windbreak on the north side) and that they

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Managing Ectoparasites

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Ectoparasites (parasites that live on the outside of the host) can cause large financial losses to livestock farmers if not managed in a way to reduce populations. Itching and skin irritations cause animals to scratch, rub and bite infested areas. Blood loss, depressed appetite and decreased rate of weight gain are

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Vegetable Pest and Disease Calendar

By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Sometimes it is better to be prepared for bad news then to be surprised by it. This chart prepares growers for some of the most common vegetable problems seen in Maine. It is based on the Bug Reporter, which used to be published by the University of Maine Extension Pest Management Office, and

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The Slow Flower Movement Grows in Maine

A bouquet of peonies, grown and arranged by the author. Photo by Jude Lamb. By Karen Volckhausen Welcome to the first column in a series about the slow flower movement in the United States and Maine. It is time to start highlighting the great flower growing that is going on here and elsewhere. Like the

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Harvest Kitchen Local Protein

Toki Oshima illustration By Roberta Bailey Maine and Vermont have two of the fastest growing local food movements in the country. That is apparent in the number of new farms and people trying to figure out how to get onto a piece of land; through the health of the seed industry; in local farmers’ markets;

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Tetebatu

A view of Rinjani, Lombok’s highest volcano, from the village below. Neighbors come together to help the first of the rice harvest. A shaded platform at the edge of a rice paddy offers a midday escape from the Indonesian sun. Two farmers carry wild forage for their cows. Rice seedlings bundled to be transplanted into

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Two Important Updates Regarding Livestock

Toki Oshima illustration By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Important Update on External Use of Zinc Sulfate The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) recently sent letters of non-compliance to certifiers that allowed external use of zinc sulfate, ZnSO4, to treat hoof infections of sheep, goats and cows. MOFGA Certification Services was one of those certifiers. The NOP

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Vegetable Oil

Oil being expressed from black oil sunflower seeds in a Piteba press. Photos by Anita Budhraja. After the oil has been pressed and the sediment and pigment allowed to settle for hours, the product is decanted, giving finished, ready-to-use oil. By Will Bonsall Those of us who seek to be more self-reliant are often content

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Innovative System High Tunnel

Rich Schuler, energy consultant with Practical Farmers of Iowa, by the insulated compost bin. Heat from composting warms water which is stored in tanks and available to heat greenhouse soil when needed. Sally Gran runs TableTop Farm, where the innovative heating system was trialed. The compost is aerated by blowing air through PVC pipes set

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Prototype High Tunnel

This 22- by 49-foot high tunnel at Stutzman’s Farm in Sangerville is made from native white cedar, using an innovative design by Sunny Stutzman. Detail of the structure. Two side vents – one at each end of the house – are gas-powered and can be set to open at a specific temperature. Close-up of a

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