Tag: Farming

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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Pasture-Based Livestock Profitability

By Holli Cederholm In Bowdoinham, Maine, farmers Abby Sadauckas and Jake Galle of Apple Creek Farm raise a diverse mix of grass-based, certified organic livestock for eggs and meat, as well as value-added bone broths and pate, sold year-round at local farmers’ markets and a handful of retail outlets. Aspects of holistic management have informed

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Keynote Address First Lady Karen Baldacci

Our Future Is In Sustainable Agriculture First Lady Karen Baldacci has worked hard to promote Maine foods and healthful eating. She gardens and saves seeds at the Blaine House. English photo. Maine’s First Lady, Karen Baldacci, was Common Ground’s keynote speaker on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006.  Russell Libby, executive director of MOFGA, introduced her, explaining

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Can We Survive the Green Revolution

What Is Agribusiness? In this article, we use the term “agribusiness” to refer to large-scale, industrialized, vertically integrated food production, as opposed to smaller farms owned by and supporting families or individuals and their communities. This type of agribusiness is often referred to as “industrial agriculture,” which the Union of Concerned Scientists defines as “the

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Why Support Organic Dairy

Brooke Chase of Chase’s Organic Dairy Farm in Mapleton, Maine – one of dozens of MOFGA-certified organic dairy farms. English photo By Jacki Martinez Perkins Some would say that owning a commercial organic dairy today is a losing proposition. For others it’s the only life they’ve known, and they would never think of changing. Dairy

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