Archives: Resources

Tree Leaves

Leaves from deciduous trees, once shredded, make excellent mulch for most vegetable crops, and they enrich the soil. English photo. By Will Bonsall Trees and their leaves are probably the greatest natural soil builders on earth, greater even than grasses. (I mean “on earth” literally, as I am not including the oceans.) The incredible proliferation

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American Chestnuts

Glen Rea, president of the Maine chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, studies the growth rings of an American chestnut while Joe Dupere, MOFGA’s landscape coordinator, looks on. English photo. By Jean English On May 20, 2011, a small group of dedicated chestnut enthusiasts met at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center to plant two blight

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In the Orchard Starting the Season

European apple sawfly larva damage. Photo by C.J. Walke By C.J. Walke As winter draws to a close, the days continue to lengthen and we approach early March, it is time to prune the orchard (see The MOF&G, Dec. 2010-Feb. 2011), collect scionwood for grafting, prepare to plant young trees and patiently await the brilliant

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Harvest Kitchen Dry Beans

Sam Birch grows more than 100 varieties of beans and displays them at the Common Ground Country Fair Exhibition Hall each fall. English photo. Dry beans at Common Ground’s Exhibition Hall. English photo. By Roberta Bailey “Beans, beans, the magical fruit … ” I have been thinking that Jack (of beanstalk repute) wasn’t so crazy

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Understanding Farm Food Safety

By Cheryl A. Wixson Passage of the Federal legislation S.510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act reflects consumers’ needs and desires for assurance that their food supply is free from pathogens and contaminants that cause foodborne illnesses. Russell Libby, MOFGA’s executive director, logged countless hours in Washington, D.C., advocating for small, diversified farms as the bill

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High Tunnels

The 2010 Farmer to Farmer Conference at Point Lookout in Northport, Maine, featured a session on managing soils in high tunnels. Speakers were Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont vegetable and berry specialist; Bruce Hoskins of the University of Maine Diagnostic Lab; and Paul Volckhausen, who, with his wife Karen, grows organic tomatoes and other crops

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Maines Hoophouses

Hoophouses at Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, Maine, and at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity. English photos. A Tribute to Farmers’ Innovative Instincts Tentative deadline for final year of NRCS funding: July 1, 2011 By Jo Anne Bander As crocuses and wild spring greens emerged in Maine, so did crops in an increasing number

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Local Eating

By Marina Schauffler Recent media attention on local foods has raised public awareness about the health benefits and community returns from thriving local agriculture. Often, though, stories portray local “foodies” as purists fixated on 100-mile diets that banish even imported condiments. Eating from local sources comes off looking like an extremist food fad, rather than

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Managing Nitrogen Fertility

Nitrogen deficiency often appears as a uniform yellowing on the lower leaves of plants. English photo. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Nitrogen (N) is the nutrient most commonly limiting crop growth and yield on organic farms. This is especially true when creating a farm from an old, abandoned field and when transitioning from conventional to organic

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Meat Processing Terminology

Beef Made Easy Cut Chart used with permission of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Talking to Your Butcher By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. When you bring animals to be processed, you need to have a clear understanding with your butcher to get the product you desire. You need to know the terms being used, and you

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