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Ectoparasites

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This summer I got many calls from chicken owners about ectoparasites. These pests are rarely problematic in the summer when birds have access to the outside, with sunshine and many places to dust bathe. However, folks in other New England states had the same comments this year. The cause is a

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Organic Agriculture

Direct marketing at farmers’ markets and farm stands is the primary way to sell local, seasonal, organic foods in Maine – as Tom Harms of Wolf Pine Farm did at the Common Ground Fair farmers’ market. To further meet the demand for year-round local foods, we need more storage, processing and handling facilities, more transportation

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Cookies

Summer’s bounty, such as these black walnuts shown in the Waldo Organic Growers’ booth at the Common Ground Fair, and raspberries picked and processed into jam, add local flavor to winter comfort foods. English photos. By Roberta Bailey The winter winds are blowing. The colors on the horizon are deep evergreen and the pale gray

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Maine Academy of Natural Sciences

Co-directors Emanuel Pariser and Troy Frost at Maine’s magnet school emphasizing project-based learning about agriculture, sustainability, forestry, business, alternative energy and the environment. English photo. By Jean English On a typical day at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS), agricultural specialist Jeff Chase is outside exploring with a small group of students how the

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Companion Planting

‘Green Arrow’ peas are planted with two rows of ‘Nantes Fancy’ carrots on either side. Photo courtesy of Will Bonsall. By Will Bonsall Polycultures, intercrops, companion plants – all describe more or less the same idea: growing two or more different crops on the same plot at the same time, in a way that one

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Strawberries

Strawberries growing in a matted row system. MOFGA file photo. David Handley, UMaine Extension small fruit and vegetable specialist, and David Pike, who grows strawberries in Farmington, Maine, talked about this crop at MOFGA’s November 2011 Farmer to Farmer Conference. Handley noted that aside from wild blueberries, strawberries are the most popular berry grown in

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Ideal Organic Potato

Blue flags mark rows of variety trials. At far left, ‘Papa Cacho.’ From left to right: ‘Chieftain,’ ‘Peter Wilcox,’ ‘Early Ohio,’ ‘Daisy Gold.’ Photo by Theresa Joseph, NOSP trial grower. By Sue Smith-Heavenrich In a country where french fries reign supreme, how does an organic grower find great-tasting potatoes that not only appeal to chefs but

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Food Safety

By Cheryl Wixson Forty-one days after our company launched its first products, we received an urgent recall from Starwest Botanicals, a supplier of organic herbs and spices, due to Salmonella contamination of organic celery seed, 1 pound size, lot number 40302, shipped between June 29, 2011, and November 29, 2011. We were instructed to examine

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Drosophila

Figure 1 – The female spotted wing Drosophila (fruit fly), a new pest in New England, uses her serrated ovipositor to make a hole in sound fruit and lay her eggs, which develop into larvae in the fruit. Photo courtesy of Alan Eaton of the University of N.H. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. I am usually

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Root Cellar Daze

Toki Oshima Drawing By Roberta Bailey My jumbled box of seed has been sorted and organized. My seed orders have been placed and most have arrived. Little packets of promise. The seasons ahead hold such bright potential: ‘Drama Queen’ poppies, ‘Variegated’ blue collards that promise to overwinter, enough Phacelia to plant multiple rows in all

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