Tag: Pasture

Preserving Pasture

By Jacki Martinez Perkins Fencing In the life of an organic livestock farmer summer brings one never-ending task: fencing. The winter frosts heave most posts loose of their moorings, the deer disregard the works of mankind in their quest for forage, and mother nature herself eats away at even the stoutest of materials. All this

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What Do We Do with All the Poo?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins As farmers we all acknowledge the benefits and challenges of manure application and storage. Poorly handled manure can create challenges to food safety and water quality in the form of unwanted bacteria and pathogens, and increased fly populations. However, well-managed manure and pasture systems that maximize our natural ecosystems can greatly

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Can Agriculture and Solar Farming Co-Exist?

By Tim King It’s hard to keep up with the rapid expansion of commercial solar installations being developed in the Maine countryside. In January of last year, the Portland Press Herald reported that BNRG/Dirigo Solar, a venture of companies based in Portland, Maine, and Ireland, has 36 active projects in Maine, with 10 under construction. 

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Considerations for Building a Homestead

By Jacki M. Perkins The face of production farming has changed drastically in the last 100 years. We have moved away from growing our own food and have relied on others to provide for us. There has, however, been a growing interest, driven by global circumstances, in re-learning the art of the homestead. The majority

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Questions About Poisonous Pasture Plants

Toki Oshima drawing By Jacki Perkins I’ve received a few questions this summer about the effects of poisonous pasture plants on livestock. Here are my responses, along with a reference to a longer article on the subject in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Q: How much should I worry about my livestock eating poisonous

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Pasture Management Tips

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Deciding how to rotate pastures on your farm can be confusing! You have to consider many stable factors, such as soil type and slope of the land, and shifting factors, such as the amount of feed in the field at a given time and the weather. Many resources are available to

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Evaluating Sericea Lespedeza and Big Trefoil

Goats grazing lespedeza at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Goats grazing big trefoil at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Pots of lespedeza (left) and trefoil planted by Jean Noon. Photo by Jean Noon Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Diane Schivera Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Jean Noon Lespedeza regrowth

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Livestock Meeting Notes 2015

Toki Oshima drawing By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This is my annual wrap-up of meetings I attended in 2015, beginning with the Northeast Pasture Consortium meeting in Morgantown, W. Virginia.   Using a conservation planning computer tool created in response to concerns expressed last year at the Northeast Pasture Consortium, Peter Kleinman demonstrated effects of grazing

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Salsify and Its Many Uses

‘Hoffmann’s Schwarze Pfahl’ black scorzonera, growing at Khadighar. Will Bonsall photo. As a youth, I knew salsify only as an obscure reference in an Uncle Remus tale, along with persimmons and calamus root. But never Salsify. When I began gardening, I saw salsify in the novelty section of seed catalogs, along with plants such as

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By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Part of my job is to attend meetings where experts, including farmers, talk about livestock. This year those meetings included the Maine Agricultural Trades show, which had a session for the Maine Grass Farmers Network, the Common Ground Country Fair, and the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) meeting. Tips from

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