Archives: Resources

Strawberries in Three’s

By Donna Levy Heaven, earth and water; body, soul and spirit; the beginning, middle and end. Threes are attributed to symbolism, aesthetic beauty, crop rotation schemes and, in this case, managing strawberries in raised beds. An avid gardener for years, I tended to get lazy about taking care of strawberries. Inevitably I didn’t renovate them

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Butter: A Wholesome Food

By Roberta Bailey Some of my most vivid childhood memories pertain to butter: making butter in kindergarten, Pilot crackers (4-inch-round crackers with flavor similar to oyster crackers) spread with butter at my grandmother’s house, buttering my hands to form popcorn balls, and making scrambled eggs with butter in seventh grade home economics class (I had

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Brushing Up on Soil Improvement

By Jack Kertesz There is an area of MOFGA’s fairgrounds where we have placed various types of fences to restrict human entrance to where livestock activity happens during the Common Ground Country Fair. Among some traditional and sometimes crude wooden rail fence designs are examples of even cruder types of make-do arrangements. There is a

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Colorado Potato Beetle

Pest: Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) Pest identification and lifecycle, most common symptoms and crops affected: As with most other insects and plants, there is a direct relationship between higher temperatures (in the range between about 55 and 90 degrees) and faster rate of development. That includes egg-laying, egg hatch, larval growth and feeding rates.

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Seedcorn Maggot and Other Maggots

Pests: Seedcorn maggot (Hylemya platura), Onion maggot (Delia antiqua), Cabbage maggot (Delia radicum) Pest identification and lifecycle, most common symptoms and crops affected: Seedcorn maggot larvae feed on seeds and young seedlings of many crops (including corn, beans, beets, peas, spinach, onions and Brassicas). The first symptoms are usually poor germination (or failure of seedlings

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Seedling Problems

In the early spring, when most plants are still in greenhouses — a much more controlled setting than gardens and fields — a lot of the problems that arise are abiotic (i.e., not infectious). Sometimes abiotic issues are transient (e.g., cold temperatures) so it’s good to both check new growth to see how it looks

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Dandelion Gnocchi Recipe

By Holli Cederholm Gnocchi is one of my favorite celebratory meals. I usually only make this potato-based pasta a few times a year, but it’s always for a special occasion: the arrival of an ingredient that I haven’t cooked with since the last time it was in season. In the fall, I mix up a

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Forestry as if the Climate Mattered: Carbon Considerations

By Mitch Lansky If the future really mattered, how would forests be managed to improve, rather than degrade, future timber values? How would trees be cut to minimize damage to the residual forest? How would foresters measure success toward minimizing damage? How would loggers be paid to lower logging impacts? How would forests be managed

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What Do We Do with All the Poo?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins As farmers we all acknowledge the benefits and challenges of manure application and storage. Poorly handled manure can create challenges to food safety and water quality in the form of unwanted bacteria and pathogens, and increased fly populations. However, well-managed manure and pasture systems that maximize our natural ecosystems can greatly

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Managing Invasive Forest Plants Organically at MOFGA

By Noah Gleason-Hart, MOFGA’s Low-Impact Forestry Specialist Like many landowners in Maine, MOFGA has a significant and growing non-native and invasive plant population in our forest. We’ve carried out some control work in the past, but the recommendations in our recently updated forest management plan made it clear that if we intend to maintain an

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