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Nitrogen Fertilizer

By Eric Sideman, PH.D. Ever since humans began to cultivate food, nitrogen has been the most common limit to crop yields. Modern agriculture has answered this limit with synthetic production of nitrogen fertilizers, which has greatly increased global food production and has supported an astonishing growth in the world’s population. However, the environmental problems are

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Gifts

By Roberta Bailey Winter is upon us again.The days are short and the nights, long. Time to catch up on reading, knitting, sitting by the fire and reflecting. A time to rest, to peruse the seed catalogs, and dream about what we will do next year. But the seeds are dormant in their hulls, silent

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Healthy Meals

By Jean English I use four guidelines for most of my food choices. First, I avoid foods that are high in saturated fats (animal fats), high in polyunsaturated fats (corn and other vegetable oils) or high in hydrogenated oils (aka trans-fatty acids: margarine and solid shortenings, for example). Second, I avoid foods with pesticide residues,

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Breadseed Poppy

Quite a few years ago, a Slovakian friend served me a dish of little soft pieces of bread sticks, coated with a sauce of ground breadseed poppy, some honey, and probably a few other ingredients. I never had anything like it. It was unforgettably delicious. While we ate, he explained that Slovaks used poppyseeds as

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Conference

Bowdoin College, October 1997 Every three minutes, another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Every 12 minutes, another woman dies from breast cancer in the United States. These were some of the grim statistics presented by Andrea Martin, founder and president of the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Fund, at a conference

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Herbs

Set a narrow tray in the bottom of a basket, set four pots of herbs of different textures and/or colors on the tray, and you’ve got a great gift for the holidays. To make such a gift now, you’ll have to buy the herb plants or propagate them from some you’ve been growing indoors. If

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Oilseed Pumpkins

‘Gleisdorfer’, one of the oilseed pumpkins Bonsall trialed last summer. Photo by Will Bonsall. By Will Bonsall We usually class pumpkins along with other succulent vegetables; however a particular type of pumpkin is much more nutrient-dense, in that it is an oilseed, like sunflowers, sesame and peanuts. For centuries, Eastern European farmers have raise pumpkins

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Shell Beans

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Roberta Bailey For the first time in almost, 20 years of preserving food, I had a surplus of canned green beans and tomato sauce. I had planned on putting up a little less food as my son, Isak, was leaving for college. I hadn’t planned on my daughter having swim

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Seeds

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Roberta Bailey When we plant a seed, we create a direct link between our ancestral past and our potential future. The seed we plant has traveled around the world, from farmer to farmer, from native populations to traders and conquerors to royalty and eventually back to farmers. The carrot seed

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Leafhoppers Again?

These apple leafhopper nymphs and adult show the shape of the insect.  Potato leafhoppers are the same shape but greenish in color. Photo courtesy of Don Barry, Univ. of Maine Pest Management Office. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. MOFGA’s Director of Technical Services Last year towards the end of June and early July, I started to

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