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Downeast

As part of the Downeast Farm to School Project, Regina Grabrovac and Taylor Weiss (not shown) taught a vermiculture workshop for eight Rose M Gaffney teachers. Photos courtesy of Regina Grabrovac. By Sharon Kiley Mack In rural Washington County, more and more farmers are connecting with schools through Regina Grabrovac and the highly successful Downeast

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Chufa

Starting from a single shoot, chufa soon forms a sedgey clump. John Paul Rietz photo. By Will Bonsall Many years ago I dabbled with a new crop I found in the novelty section of a seed catalog: chufa, or nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus). Doubting it would crop well in Maine, I planted some anyway. The results

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Raising Geese

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Raising geese can be a joy – or a headache. Any farm or homestead venture needs to suit your property and personality, and must work cohesively with other activities. If you like peace and quiet, don’t acquire very vocal African geese. Weeder geese for use on a greens growing operation is

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Ginkgo

By Deb Soule Ginkgo biloba is thought to be the oldest living genus of seed plants on our planet and is the only member of the genus Ginkgo. Its family is Ginkgoaceae. Botanists who study the evolution of plants through their fossil remains have found that ginkgo has remained unchanged for the past 150 million

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Fava Beans

By Roberta Bailey Fava beans (Vicia faha) are an Old World legume, originating in the Near East. They were probably the first domesticated food crop. From the Neolithic period onward, they appear in myth, Egyptian tombs, and archeological sites of the Mediterranean basin, China, and Northern Africa. Prior to the discovery of the Americas, favas

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Fava Favorites

By Roberta Bailey Over the last few years, I have been discovering shell beans. Their diverse flavors and uses are well worth the time that I once considered to be the reason that I didn’t grow them. This year I have discovered fava or broad beans. I tried growing them once, about 15 years ago,

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Lead

By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Lead is an element that is lumped with a group called heavy metals because of their similar chemical characteristics. Some of these metals are necessary nutrients in small amounts for plants and/or animals, but as a general rule, each becomes toxic at some concentration. Copper and zinc are essential in very

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Organic Apple Production

1996 Farmer to Farmer Conference Steve Page and Cynthia Anthony’s presentation at the Farmer to Farmer conference sparked a wide-ranging discussion about how to produce apples organically. This is Steve’s third orchard, and as he said, “The first one was experimental, and so are all the others since.” In many ways, Bear Well Orchard in

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Three Season Polyculture

A new type of “three season” (autumn, winter and spring) vegetable garden polyculture is being tested on Jajarkot Permaculture Program Resource Centers in Nepal. An adaptation of this method will be tested with summer crops next. The system is based on a pattern developed by Ianto Evans of Zopilote Association in Oregon and includes, as

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Grow Your Own Fruit Trees

By Roberta Bailey Planting fruit trees can be a big step, a commitment to a place and to one’s self. Some people plant trees as soon as they settle on a piece of land, knowing quite a few years will pass before they see fruit. For others, that same knowledge keeps them from planting. The

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