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Livestock

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Part of my job is to attend meetings where experts, including farmers, talk about livestock. This year those meetings included the Maine Agricultural Trades show, which had a session for the Maine Grass Farmers Network, the Common Ground Country Fair, and the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) meeting. Tips from

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Winter Greens and Winter Roots

Cold-hardy greens sown in August, such as these planted by Johnny’s Selected Seeds at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, can be protected and feed us for an extended season. English photo. By Roberta Bailey In A Midwife’s Tale, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich tells of walking across the frozen Kennebec River in Hallowell at Thanksgiving time. The

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Hungry for Hostas

Hostas are edible when young and sheltering when older. English photo. By Ansel Oommen Hostas – count on them to liven up your shady patches, borders and sidewalks in ways no other plant can. With an endless array of low maintenance choices, they offer an artist’s palette of groundcovers. Yet, despite being so familiar, these

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Vietnam

A large farm growing a variety of foods in Vietnam. Photo by Dennis Jarvis (2009), from Wikipedia Commons. By Cory Whitney When Sir Albert Howard visited the farmers of India in the 1940s and brought back to the United Kingdom ideas about composting and other agricultural practices, he planted the seeds of a real agricultural

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Hugelkultur

This low garden bed was made with leaves, twigs, tree branches and compost – similar to a hugelkultur bed but lower, and without very large logs. Bobbie Goodell photo. Produce from the garden bed. Bobbie Goodell photo. Hugelkultur mounds can be higher – like this one made by Jack Kertesz of MOFGA and Unity College

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Onion Thrips

Onion thrips (left) and western flower thrips (right). Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thrips_tabaci,_Frankliniella_occidentalis.jpg By Tom Vigue Before 2002, I had seen the insect called thrips only under a microscope in entomology lab. Then in early July 2002, my onion crop was withering when the bulbs had just begun to size up,

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Antibiotics

Fire blight in apple. Photo by Sebastian Stabinger, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_tree_with_fire_blight.jpg By C.J. Walke The Debate Since the inception of the National Organic Program (NOP) in 2002, the antibiotics tetracycline and streptomycin have been approved for use in apple and pear production to combat fire blight (Erwinia amylovora), a bacterial disease that affects the pome family.

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Green Manures

The author mows down a crop of Japanese millet. Becky Sideman photo. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. People often ask me, “What is the best green manure?” That sets me off on one of my favorite lectures. “There is no best green manure,” I begin, and go on to explain that green manures (cover crops) have

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