"Worms are the unsung heroes of our food chain. Their burrows allow oxygen and water to penetrate the soil, they add fertility and prevent flooding."
- Farming Today, BBC Radio
Genetic Engineering News
Board of Pesticides Control
Another Bt Corn Approval
Repeated Rule Violations and Fines
Maine Organic Guide Coming in June
Maine School Garden Network
MSGN Children’s Art Contest
Post Your Events on MOFGA.net
Thanks to Empty Bowl Donors!
Organic Certification: Pesticides 101
Low Impact Forestry:
Winter Harvest 2010
From Logs to Lumber
Clean and Share Your Garden Seed at the Fair
Lively Rooster Art by Holly Meade Animates 2010 Poster
2011 Fair Poster: Call for Entries
Volunteer for the Fair
Help Organize the Fair!
Grow Food to Feed Fair Volunteers
|| The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener – Summer 2010
|Photos on this page by Jean English
The Summer Vegetable Garden
By Roberta Bailey
There is a week in late July when I find myself wishing that I could stop time. The garden is perfect. Tomatoes are ripening, green beans, summer squash, zucchini and cucumbers are prolific. Creamy new potatoes and baby carrots overlap with late shelling peas in delicate perfection. Virtually everything I need for a simple feast is just a few feet away. I want to live in this paradise and to nap in sun-drenched mulched rows for months.
Prince Charles: Royal Patron for Sustainability
By Robert Taylor
New Zealander Bob Taylor visited HRH Prince Charles’ organic farm, the Duchy Home Farm, and interviewed farm manager David Wilson in October 1994. That visit was reported in a feature article in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, December 1995-February 1996 issue. In August 2009, Taylor revisited the farm to see what changes had been made over these 15 years.
Why We Need Cows – and Should not Worry about Their Carbon Footprint or Methane Contribution
By Joann Grohman
The cow, that enduring nursery icon, has been losing fans lately due to misinformation being spoken in the highest places. Some of this character damage may be deliberate; much is due to city dwellers having become so distanced from cow reality that absurd statements fly by unchallenged.
Maine’s Growing Meat Sector: Challenges and Opportunities
By Jo Anne Bander
Meat producers and retailers are increasing their numbers in Maine – reflecting the increased demand for local foods. Here’s a glimpse at some of those farmers and vendors.
Water and the Web of Life
By Joyce White
We in Maine have such an abundance of water that we tend to take it for granted, seldom questioning that it will always be here for us; but by 2005, an ongoing struggle had begun in Maine to ensure the continuous supply of potable water for all. Now, towns in Maine and worldwide are struggling against giant corporations for control of water.
Is There a Place for Wheat in Your Garden?
Part II: Harvesting and Propagating Wheat
By Will Bonsall
The last time I wrote about home-scale wheat growing, I referred in passing to other crops occupying the same ground at the same time. Let’s go there first.
Spring Growth 2010
From the Ground Up: Soil Improvement
The 2010 Spring Growth Conference at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity featured Dr. Will Brinton of Woods End Laboratories in Mt. Vernon, Maine; Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine; Dr. Sue Erich and Dr. Marianne Sarrantonio of the University of Maine; Dr. Fred Magdoff, co-author of Building Soil for Better Crops; and Dr. Eric Sideman, MOFGA’s organic crop specialist.
Strategies That Work: Fences and Traps
© Adam Tomash 2010
When the corn is coming in or the cabbage transplants just went out, I have trouble sleeping unless I know my “babies” are safe and won’t be devoured in the night by hungry herbivores. So a long time ago I vowed to keep those herbivores away from my food, preferably without killing them.
By Jean Ann Pollard
Wild things that march into vegetable and flower gardens from surrounding fields and woods are often beautiful, and when they’re edible as well, culinary excitement is great. Take Asclepias syriaca L., our common milkweed. With edible young shoots, leaves and flower heads, it’s a treasure trove of great, green food.
The Joys of Local, Seasonal, Organic Eating
By Cheryl Wixson
One of the joys of local, seasonal, organic eating is anticipating the bounty of summer. Once the first ruby stalks of rhubarb unfurl and the golden dandelion blossoms beckon, my gastronomical fever quickens. My mouth waters for freshly steamed fiddleheads tossed with farm butter, tender asparagus shoots, crunchy-sweet sugar snap peas, sun-warmed raspberries. It's the start of a whole new season of eating!
Harvest Kitchen: Cucumber Craze
By Roberta Bailey
Cucumbers are back in style. They are all the rage! Haven’t you noticed? Hmm … maybe it’s just in my backyard or in my mind. Or maybe the buzz just hasn’t reached your town yet. But more likely, I am just catching up with all the other hip gardeners out there. Either way, it is the year of the cucumber on my farm.
In the Organic Orchard
By C.J. Walke
This new MOF&G column will focus on home-scale organic orcharding, using MOFGA’s educational orchards as an example and beginning at the ground level.
Fusarium Wilt of Peas
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
Have you ever had a row of peas give up just before producing peas? Nothing is as discouraging as watching a crop grow and look good for weeks and then, shortly before you get to reap any fruit, wham, things turn ugly quickly.
National Organic Program Requires Grazing Beginning in 2010/2011
By Gwyneth Harris, MOFGA dairy certification specialist, and Diane Schivera, M.A.T., MOFGA organic livestock specialist
The National Organic Program’s new Pasture Rule becomes law on June 17, 2010. It will be enforced for currently certified producers on June 17, 2011, while new applicants for livestock certification must meet all aspects of the new rule when they become certified. Those who are adding livestock after June 17, 2010, to their currently certified land also need to comply immediately.
MOFGA Farmers-in-Residence: Profitable Farming Requires Creative Strategies
By Holli Cederholm
In talking with friends from my suburban childhood home about my post-college career path as an organic farmer, the last quality that any of them attributed to farmers is business savvy.
Geraniums vs. Japanese Beetles
St. John’s Wort Compounds Studied
Clipping Carrot Foliage Reduces Disease
Daytripping 2010: Farms and Gardens to Visit This Summer
Welcome to the 2010 Daytripping list, an annual MOF&G feature. This year’s farms and gardens feature composting toilets, seed saving techniques, kiwi cultivation, a fiber CSA and much more.
GE Hawaii, by Travis Roderick
Organic In and On the Body, by Holly Ihloff
By Russell Libby
Picking up my tree order at FEDCO is one of my favorite days of the year, and from the long lines on Friday morning this year, I know that I’m not alone. The sale is a sure sign of spring, but it’s also sending important messages about what kind of food we want.
Local Organic Matter: The Answer to So Many Problems
By Jean English
“Why are some people concerned about genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops?” That was one exam question for my organic gardening class at Unity College, and when I read one student’s response, I laughed out loud: “Because they will come back to bite you in the a--.”
Reviews & Resources
Fresh Food for Small Spaces, by R.J.Ruppenthal
Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates, by Robert Kourik
Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada, by David L. Spahr
Mushrooms for Health – Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, by Greg A. Marley
Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Programs for K-12 Youth
Forgotten Fruits Manual & Manifesto – Apples
Crop insurance for organic growers
A Chemical Reaction, a film by Brent Plymale