Archives: Resources

Organic Certification in an (Organic) Nutshell

By Chris Grigsby, Director of MOFGA Certification Services, LLC For those of us who work within the certified organic landscape every day, we sometimes miss that becoming familiar with what certified organic means, and doesn’t mean, isn’t something that everyone is familiar with. This is the case for both farmers and producers, as well as

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What’s the Deal with Ducks?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins Chickens are a popular addition to homesteads due to their efficiency and easy maintenance. Ducks can be another enjoyable option for many reasons. Their personalities are far less aggressive than chickens, their management considerations differ and, because of a difference in proteins, some individuals who cannot digest chicken eggs are able

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Managing Perennial Weeds in the Garden

By Caleb Goossen, MOFGA’s Crop Specialist One of the events that I look forward to at the Common Ground Country Fair every year is the “Answers to Your Organic Vegetable Questions” session that I put on each morning in the MOFGA Tent with Eric Sideman, MOFGA’s crop specialist emeritus, and Mark Hutton, University of Maine

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Heritage Fruit Recipes

Celebrating Fall Flavor and History By Roberta Bailey Early last winter, a friend of mine told me about an ancient tree on the farm where she used to live. It was a Northern Spy apple tree. She said it was the old strain of Northern Spy, better than what seems to be around now. Her

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Make Your Own Compost Bin from Pallets

By Ivonne Vazquez There are many methods for making compost and just as many types of compost bins. I’m going to focus on building a cold compost bin using wooden pallets. Why Cold Compost? Cold composting is a method of composting in which you do not regularly turn your compost pile. It is easy to

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Ecoefficiency on the Farm and in the Garden

By Will Bonsall Ecoefficiency is a word that I once coined, only to learn later that it was already used in a somewhat different context. For me, it encompassed many ideas implied by “organic,” “sustainable” and “natural.” Basically, the term assumes that every living organism, be it mushroom, palm tree, gerbil or giraffe, requires a certain

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Waxy Breakdown of Garlic

Condition: Waxy Breakdown (an abiotic disorder) Pest/disease identification and lifecycle, most common damage symptoms and crops affected: Waxy breakdown of garlic is a physiological condition that sometimes affects garlic, though typically only rarely in Maine. Development of the condition is not fully understood but often associated with very high temperatures and/or sunscald damage around harvest

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Harvesting Winter Squash for Peak Flavor and Optimal Storage Life

By Caleb Goossen Winter squash look ready to harvest before they actually are mature. It is important to wait for maturity to maximize storage life and eating quality, whenever possible. The fruit of most squash varieties reach full size by 20 days after pollination (fruit set). Accumulation of starch and other dry matter peaks at

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Powdery Mildew of Cucurbits

Disease: Powdery Mildew of Cucurbits (Podosphaera xanthii and Erysiphe cichoracearum) Pest/disease identification and lifecycle, most common damage symptoms and crops affected: Management options: Powdery mildew is a common disease of pumpkins and winter squash. All cucurbits are susceptible, but many common cucumber and melon varieties have had powdery mildew resistance bred into them. The disease

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Pest: Hornworms (Manduca sexta, M. quinquemaculata) Pest/disease identification and lifecycle, most common damage symptoms and crops affected: Hornworms are probably the most destructive insect that attacks tomatoes. They are giant caterpillars that grow rapidly and can do a vast amount of eating in a very short amount of time. Sometimes it seems that healthy-looking tomato

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