Tag: Farming

Wirey Weeders: Ridiculously Simple or Simply Ridiculous

By Jack Kertesz Farm and Garden Tool Hacks As MOFGA’s landscape coordinator I am frequently out in the sun on the fairgrounds. Ok, I do wear a hat, but as revealed in this article, it has an effect on my brain. I don’t enjoy repetitive, tedious work, but for some reason, weeding in full sun

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Case Studies in Covered Agriculture in Maine

By Bill Giordano Implementing greenhouses and other covered structures for extending the growing season has been a popular trend in farming’s recent memory. This millennium’s plastic-covered agriculture precedent now spans hundreds of thousands of acres nationally and includes an increase in covered acreage across farms in Maine, when comparing the USDA’s 2017 census data to

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Making Decisions at Moodytown Gardens

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin A farm is the sum of decisions. Long-term strategic and on-the-fly decisions. Decisions that induce arguments and ones requiring risk. They can be based on emotion. And some decisions are rooted in childhood experiences — as is the case with the owners of Moodytown Gardens in Palmyra, Maine. Johanna Burdet, or Jo

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A Reverence for Soil

How Two No-Till Farms Cultivate Soil Health By Holli Cederholm Farmers Yoko Takemura and Alex Carpenter of Assawaga Farm in Putnam, Connecticut, have built their entire farm system with the goal of minimizing soil disturbance. “When we pull root crops, those are coming out of the soil,” said Carpenter. “That’s probably the most destructive act.”

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Northeast Fellows Trial On-Farm Adaptations to Climate Change

By Holli Cederholm In the past several years, farmers in Maine have struggled to cope with drought, severe precipitation events, excessive wind, temperature extremes and hail storms. Across the world, farmers are on the frontlines of volatile weather caused by climate change. From vegetable and small fruit producers to dairy farmers and forest managers, climate

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The Roots of Soil Health in Organic Farming

By Will Brinton One hears the phrase “soil health” so often these days it seems to be reaching a crescendo. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) formed an entire Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) division for it. Around the same time, the Soil Health Institute (SHI) was formed, including sponsorship by USDA, agribusiness and

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A Novel Shallow Well

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin “Each time we’ve dug a shallow well, the excavator operator looks at me and says, ‘I don’t know Joe, I don’t think you’re going to get much water out of there,’” says Joe Ayotte, a hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in New England. “It does look pretty dry but

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Climate Change, Resilience and the Future of Food

By Holli Cederholm The weather instability that farmers are dealing with today is truly “unprecedented,” according to Laura Lengnick, a soil scientist and the founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC, in Asheville, North Carolina. Farmers have always had to assess weather-associated risks, but not like this. “Never before in the history – the 10,000 year history

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Planning a Resilient Farm Layout at Evening Song Farm

By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Evening Song Farm, owned by Ryan and Kara Fitzbeauchamp and certified organic by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, offered a virtual farm tour during MOFGA’s 2020 Farmer to Farmer Conference. Located in Cuttingsville, Vermont, 11 miles southeast of Rutland, the 100-acre property is perched at 1,200 feet on a hillside

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