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Elderberries

Elderberry flowers make a soothing tea. Photo by Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. by Joyce White Robert Henderson comments in “The Neighborhood Forager” that the elderberry (genus Sambucus) “is a case study in the dramatic conversion of North Americans from largely self-sufficient peoples to consumers.” Because of its variety of uses, elder bushes

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Food for Schoolchildren

Elementary schools in Union 74 in Lincoln County are integrating foods into the curriculum. Through FARMS (Focus on Agriculture in Rural Schools), children taste-test freshly harvested foods and meet the farmers who grow them. School cafeterias are beginning to order directly from farmers in a pilot program that began in the fall of 2007. Food

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Ashwood Waldorf Education: A Reverence for Food

Waldorf schools, which number over 900 worldwide and are the fastest growing independent, nondenominational educational movement in the world, seek “to see the whole in every part, to engage the head, the hands, and the heart,” according to the Web site of the Rockport, Maine, Ashwood Waldorf School (ashwoodwaldorf.org). Founded in Germany in 1919 by

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AstroTurf

Maine Department of Agriculture Educational Outreach Trailers Pitch the Right Message by Marada Cook Say you went to the fair. Not the Common Ground Country Fair, but, as a local homeschooler put it – a “real” fair – one with a midway, cotton candy, dust, bright lights and teenage excitement. You’d expect to see horse

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Farm Raised Varieties

Breeding Better Varieties for Northeast Organic Growers by Sue Smith-Heavenrich Chris Awald didn’t set out to breed a new pumpkin variety; he just wanted a stronger handle for his jack-o-lanterns. Sixteen years ago, with the ink barely dry on his degree in land surveying, Awald returned to the family homestead near Buffalo, New York. “My

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Cut Flowers

Growing cut flowers can be management- and labor-intensive, but they are a high-margin crop if managed well – and they beautify your fields. At the November Farmer-to-Farmer Conference in Bethel, Maine, Barbara Murphy of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in South Paris, Nancy Stedman of Little River Flower Farm in Buxton and Don Beckwith

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CSA Farms

CSA Farms Grow Beyond Summer Veggies by Jean English Pete Johnson of Craftsbury, Vermont, and Jeff and Amy Burchstead of Wiscasset, Maine, described their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms at MOFGA and Cooperative Extension’s Farmer-to-Farmer Conference in November. Working with horses at Buckwheat Blossom Farm. Photo courtesy Jeff and Amy Burchstead. The Burchsteads of Buckwheat

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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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