Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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The Almost-Last Garden Hurrah of the Season

September 3, 2020

We're down to about 13 hours of daylight. Beans and greens, blueberries and raspberries pack the freezer. The garden bursts with late-summer abundance – for us human consumers and for lots of other beings. Hummingbirds lick the nectar from scarlet runner bean flowers before the birds' long flight south later this month, while bumblebees and honeybees gather pollen from sunflowers that support the runner beans. It's a jungle out there – one to appreciate as the equinox approaches; one to evaluate for next year's even better garden. Enjoy!

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Time for Zucchini Patties

August 6, 2020

Here's one way to enjoy some of summer's abundant zucchini. Mix 4 or so cups of grated zucchini and one chopped onion with three eggs. Add 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan, 2 cups seasoned panko bread crumbs and a couple of squirts of barbecue sauce. Let the mixture sit for half an hour. Form the mixture into patties and fry in butter or oil. Serve with fresh corn on the cob and a salad and/or potato salad. Freeze any leftover patties for winter, when you'll think fondly of summer zucchini.

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Enjoy the Veggie Bounty

July 16, 2020

Given the surge in seed sales last spring due to the pandemic, Roberta Bailey predicted that many gardeners' counters would be overflowing with freshly grown produce by now. She asked, "What can one do with 20 zucchinis or all the broccoli that is ready at the same time?" Her recipes for zucchini puree, dilly vegetables and broccoli cheddar soup, and her tips for freezing vegetables answer that question. Read more in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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Greens That Overwinter

November 24, 2017

Looking for veggies that will overwinter in the garden with little protection? Roberta Bailey listed several in her MOF&G article, "Winter Greens Fill the Garden Palette" – "varieties that are very resilient and cold hardy and some that eat snow for breakfast." She includes 'Kolibri' kohlrabi, which frequently overwinters with nothing more than snow cover; 'North Pole', 'Hyper Red Rumpled', 'Dark Red Lolla Rossa' and 'Brun d'Hiver' lettuce, which survive with nothing more than row cover; and many more. Keep Roberta's list handy when you order seeds for your next garden.

 

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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.

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Harness Hot Attic Air to Dry Fruit

August 3, 2017

Houses have an enormous supply of hot, dry air in the attic whenever the sun shines in the summer. Read how Eric Evans made a drying cabinet in an upstairs room to hold cooling racks and arranged a 4-inch duct and a small fan to suck air from the attic and blow it down through the cabinet full of sliced peaches. See "Low-Energy Food-Storage Solutions" in the summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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