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Growing Cold Hardy Figs in Maine

The protection of a hoophouse (and wrapping plants in winter with fabric row cover) offers promise for growing figs in Maine. Photo by Lauren Errickson Ripe figs. Photo by Lauren Errickson By Bill Errickson Farmers in the Northeast struggle with a short growing season, cool temperatures and harsh, unpredictable winters, so it behooves them to

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Terracing

Terraces at the author’s Khadighar Farm hold nutrients and water while supporting crop growth on a slope. By Will Bonsall Photos and illustration by Will Bonsall Around the world people have used terraces since ancient times to grow crops on steep hillsides. The benefit of preventing soil erosion is obvious, but an equal value is

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The Once and Future Cow

Toki Oshima drawing By Joann S. Grohman Maine has the highest rate of new farmers in the 48 states; we’ve gained 1,000 just in the past 10 years. Many of these new farmers will, I hope, consider keeping one or several cows, as nearly everyone did until less than 100 years ago. Even in towns,

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At Last the Seed

OSSI Open Source Seed Pledge You have the freedom to use these OSSI-pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives. Jack Kloppenburg,

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Tomatoes in High Tunnels

Leaf mold (Fulvia fulva) is a common problem in high tunnels due to high humidity and warm temperatures. Eric Sideman photos. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Now and then MOFGA organizes “Growers’ Meetings,” and this year we had a meeting about growing tomatoes in high tunnels. These meetings differ from most other educational events that MOFGA

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To Spray or Not to Spray

Toki Oshima drawing By C. J. Walke This is often the unasked question that arises when I deliver library presentations or teach hands-on workshops on growing organic tree fruit. I can see the look on people’s faces change when I mention the backpack sprayer, as if a dark storm cloud has shadowed their sunny afternoon.

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Kohlrabi As Wonderful as it is Weird

Will Bonsall holds a ‘Gigante’ storage kohlrabi. Photo by Yaicha Cowell-Sarofeen Summer kohlrabi varieties are much smaller than the storage types and should be eaten within a few days of harvest. English photo By Will Bonsall The so-called “cabbage family” – actually the species Brassica oleracea – has given us several botanical monstrosities we enjoy

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Root Cellars and Ginger

Ginger is an increasingly popular crop to grow and store in Maine. Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi of Villageside Farm in Freedom grew this ‘King Yai’ ginger, which earned a Judges’ Award in the Exhibition Hall at MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair. English photo. By Roberta Bailey I have lived with a root cellar my

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Bokashi A Compost Alternative

Fig. 1 – A VermiTek drain pan. Fig. 2 – The VermiTek drain pan installed Fig. 3 – The completed VermiTek bin with tamper By Adam Tomash Photos by the author I love to compost stuff and have been doing it for 50 years – the last 40 in Maine, with its cold winter. I

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Small Scale Processing

Threshing Jon Strieff’s ‘Sirvinta’ winter wheat at the Common Ground Country Fair. Photos by Geoff Johnson By Mark Fulford The lack of right-sized grain and bean processing equipment for Maine’s many small farms is a decades-long problem that is especially acute today, as demand for locally-grown dry crops is strong and enthusiasm high among both

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