Archives: Resources

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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Cultivating Shiitake Mushrooms as an Agroforestry Crop for New England

Shiitake mushrooms in the Exhibition Hall of the Common Ground Country Fair. Amy LeBlanc photo By Steve Gabriel Research based at Cornell University in partnership with the University of Vermont, Chatham University, county Cooperative Extension personnel and farmers has increased demand for and interest in forest mushrooms. This effort was boosted by almost a decade

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Strawberries Revisited

Strawberry runners transplanted in August. Roberta Bailey photo A thick patch of strawberry plants at the end of the second summer, ready to be tilled under as weeds are encroaching. Roberta Bailey photo By Roberta Bailey We all want to grow strawberries. Who can resist the allure of a basket brimming with fat, red, juicy

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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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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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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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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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Going Native Establishing a Native Plant Nursery

  You can start hundreds of native plants in a small area to create your own nursery. Heather McCargo photo By Heather McCargo The traditional nursery industry has been following an ecologically destructive trajectory similar to the path of conventional agriculture. Most plants are mass produced using an arsenal of synthetic chemicals; many varieties are

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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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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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