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Cool Kale

Johnny’s ‘Red Russia’ kale. Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau. by Jean Ann Pollard In Maine, kale comes into its own in autumn. Healthy and tall even in November, it barely shivers when ice and snow decorate leaves and stems. In fact, cold weather seems to improve its flavor without deleting nutrition. According to The

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Using Cottonseed Fertilizer

Far Better Options Exist by Alex Owre High-nitrogen content (6-2-2) cottonseed meal is an organic fertilizer that lowers the pH of soil, poses little danger of burning plants, and provides nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as many minor plant food elements. It is cheap and readily available. In some states, however, cottonseed meal is

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Chicken Tractors

Unity College displayed a chicken tractor that student Sara Trunzo designed and built for use in the campus apple orchard. The 32-square-foot structure includes a closeable hutch for shade and nest boxes, water, feeder, and plenty of open space and sunlight. It also protects birds from predators and lets people access the birds and their

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Colemans Low Tunnels

Eliot Coleman, at the 2007 Common Ground Country Fair, demonstrated a new way to extend the growing season: Sow double beds with lettuce, spinach and other cold-tolerant crops in early October; cover the beds with hoops and row covers; and around Thanksgiving, add a second cover of greenhouse plastic. The crops should be protected over

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Glorious Greens

Tat soi, sown 8/11/07, was ready to eat at the Common Ground Country  Fair on Sept. 21. English photo. by Jean English No surprise: I came home from the Common Ground Country Fair with a cornucopia of gardening ideas; and the lush results that came from taking a little time, space, seed and compost that

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Grow Heat Loving Plants

A large compost pile is made with a 25-foot length of snow fence. Green (nitrogenous) and brown (carbonaceous) layers of organic materials are alternated. By Adam Tomash and June Zellers © 2007 Photos by the authors Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and cucurbits are among our favorite crops. All require warm soil and a fairly long growing season, which means they need a protected, heated space

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Hummingbirds

Solomon’s seal is one of dozens of flowering plants that support the ruby-throated hummingbird. English photo. by Deb Soule Hummingbirds of North America, by Sheri Williams, lists 31 species of hummingbirds, but the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only breeding hummingbird living east of the Mississippi River. It is found in Maine between May

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Harvest Kitchen Broccoli Bounty

English photo. by Roberta Bailey Around the end of June or the very beginning of July, the garden changes dramatically from a plot full of fragile seedlings and newly seeded rows into a full-blown summer garden. This year the shift occurred on July first in my garden. I was absent-mindedly walking through it on my

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Local Food

by Melissa White A cruel paradox in our world today is that a disproportionate number of lower income people are obese. Of Mainers with under $25,000 annual household income, 25% are obese, compared with 15% of those with incomes of $50,000 or greater.1 One factor contributing to this discrepancy is the cost of healthful food.

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Pigs

These five pigs are being raised on pasture by MOFGA’s farmers-in-residence, Clayton Carter and Kendra Michaud. They turned under a lush stand of rye and hairy vetch in one week, then were moved to a spot where oats, peas and forage brassicas had been seeded several days earlier. The pigs pushed the seed into the

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