Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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Buy Local and Organic

November 17, 2017

Who needs Black Friday when we've got Green Everyday in Maine? Please support your local organic producers this holiday season by purchasing their goods at farmers' markets, food co-ops and other local outlets – or by mail order or website. MOFGA-certified organic producers, along with their products and markets, are listed here, where you'll find sources of chaga tea, maple cream, garlic, grains, herbs, seeds and so much more. You can also find local and organic Thanksgiving and December holiday meal ingredients, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey, squash, pumpkins, cranberries ... oh my! And check MOFGA's online Country Store for gift items, as well, including sweatshirts and T-shirts with the Common Ground Country Fair designs, select Common Ground Country Fair posters, gift memberships to MOFGA and more. Thanks for supporting MOFGA and local, organic businesses.

Minimizing Seedcorn Maggot Damage

November 2, 2017

The seedcorn maggot is the larvae of a fly, says Eric Sideman, MOFGA's organic crop specialist, in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. He continues: This critter spends the winter as a pupa in the soil. Flies emerge very early in the spring from these pupae and lay eggs near decaying organic matter and germinating seeds. The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on the seeds or young plants. Fall is the time to start thinking about managing this pest because the pupae that overwinter come from eggs laid in the fall.

Time to Think Storage

September 28, 2017

Despite the drought in many parts of Maine, gardens produced at least some crops abundantly, especially if gardeners were able to water. Pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, onions, carrots and more are ready or almost ready to be stored for winter. Read about storage techniques in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, including Anneli Carter-Sundqvist's "How we store our year-round supply of produce," Cheryl Wixson's "Root Cellars: Safe and Secure from the Corporate Food Train," "A Dozen Storage Crops for Homegrown Food Security" and Adam Tomash's "Using a Bulkhead as a Root Cellar." For crops that did not do well in your garden this year, local farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture farms offer great options for affordable organic goods.

Plan a Butterfly Garden

September 14, 2017

Hooray for unsprayed gardens with plenty of flowers for butterflies! Those who cultivate such habitats may be rewarded now with gold-dotted chrysalises of monarch butterflies, such as the one pictured here on a milkweed butterfly plant (Asclepias tuberosa). Find out how to attract butterflies to your yard in UMaine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #7151, Landscaping for Butterflies in Maine, by Nancy Coverstone, Jim Dill and Lois Berg Stack.

Harness Compost to Heat Water

August 17, 2017

Dennis Carter and Anneli Carter-Sundqvist needed an ample supply of hot water for summer guests at their Deer Isle Hostel. Inspired by Paul Wheaton's video, "500 Showers Heated from One Small Compost Pile," Dennis built an 8-foot-wide by 5-foot-tall compost pile with 200 feet of half-inch diameter poly pipe coiled inside. The pile heated the water in the pipe, and the water was transported through a hose to an outdoor watering-can shower. Read the details in Carter's article, "Compost-Heated Outdoor Shower," in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

Focus on Soil Biology

August 10, 2017

Focusing on soil biology should ultimately reduce fertilizer expenditures, improving nutrient efficiency by enabling plant and microbe relationships, reducing nitrate leaching to improve water quality, and reducing unnecessary soil tillage to aid in carbon sequestration and soil structure. Read Will Brinton’s in-depth article “Rebirth of a Movement: The Concept of Soil Health is Changing Soil Testing and Soil Amending” in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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