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Go with Green

Swiss chard is among the greens that are great for braising. These bunches were being sold at the Belfast Farmers’ Market by New Beat Farm. English photo. By Cheryl Wixson Spring is the start of my favorite season of eating. I love the shift from eating root vegetables to just-picked, seasonal and local food. After

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Amaranth An Ancient Food for Modern Gardens

An amaranth inflorescence. Amaranth produces nutritious seeds, and plants can be part of sustainable cropping systems. Photos by Will Bonsall. By Will Bonsall Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) is a New World crop, a staple of the ancient Aztecs, who popped it and mixed it with honey to make a treat somewhere between marzipan and Cracker Jacks.

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Organic Sweet Corn

Sweet corn can not only lure customers to your farm stand but can be profitable, as well. USDA photo. Organic sweet corn has profit potential for farms and is a great draw to farm stands and farmers’ markets – if grown well. David Handley, UMaine Cooperative Extension vegetable and small fruit specialist, and Jack Manix

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Agricultural Soil

Toki Oshima drawing. By Céline Caron The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils, and one of the themes for the 2014 permaculture convergence held in July in Frelishburg, Quebec, was “Solutions are in nature.” A good part of the permaculture conference was devoted to soils. Here are the main points

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Sustainable Agriculture in El Salvador

Edith Portillo (in the dark jacket) addressed a Unity College organic horticulture class in October, while Cori Ring-Martinez (in the white shirt) translated. Portillo said organic agriculture is “a life or death situation” in El Salvador. English photo. Rosa is a member of the community council in Chilama, La Libertad. Chilama’s sister city has funded

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Harvest Kitchen Winter Baking with Eggs

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey Our farm is nestled up against a low ridge that parallels the Kennebec River. The soil is deep and virtually rock-free. We do get a bit too wet in spring with that river-bottom clay, but we never have to water. On the backside of the ridge is a meandering

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Phyllosphere

The reproductive conidia of Venturia inaequalis erupting through the cuticle of a crabapple leaf. From the Wikipedia article “Apple Scab,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_scab. By C. J. Walke As organic farmers and gardeners, we understand the importance of a biologically active soil, where beneficial microbes thrive in the rich organic matter and humus layer, converting mineral nutrients into

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Belize Organic Fair and Forum

Farmers selling organic produce at the Belize Organic Fair and Forum. Luisa Putul was the 2014 female Farmer of the Year, announced at the organic fair. First of Its Kind in Central America! By Michele Christle Photos by Brendan Keegan It’s impossible not to be inspired when visiting the Common Ground Country Fair. The produce,

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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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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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