Favorite things from the farmers and gardeners at Johnny’s Seeds

How could any beginning farmer go into a company like Johnny’s Selected Seeds, find themselves surrounded by a spectrum of farmers and gardeners and not want to pick their brains for useful bits of information? I already knew what I wanted to ask when I finally bucked up the nerve to approach colleagues at work for this series of articles. And… Read more »

Friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds

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johnnys selected seeds

I’ve been back to work at Johnny’s Selected Seeds since the start of the new year, and while it’s always a little bittersweet to have to work off the farm, I’m really very happy to be able to work for this company. This is my 2nd year working in their Call Center in Fairfield, Maine. I answer the phone, take… Read more »

The sustainable apiary─brood factories & bee bombs

For years now Mike Palmer of French Hill Apiaries in St. Albans, Vermont, has been working to convince beekeepers that they can raise their own bees. He proposes beekeepers use the brood and bee-resources in non-productive hives to make mid-summer nuclei, to overwinter for replacement bees. According to the statistics beekeepers are losing 42% over the course of the winter…. Read more »

Greens in the ground!

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early greens in the mini hoop house

Yesterday was mild here in central Maine, with temperatures reaching 50° so I seized the opportunity to get a jump on the season. I managed to get a few seeds in the ground inside my trusty mini hoop-house (check out these simple plans for my DIY mini hoop-house), which I had left set up on the garden in the fall… Read more »

Bee-school crash course

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basic beekeeping crash course

I’ll be at the Somerset County Cooperative Extension in Skowhegan this Saturday giving my annual bee-school. This will be my 5th year teaching the course as president of the Somerset Beekeepers and I’m looking forward to spending a day talking with folks about bees. It’s lots of fun helping prospective new beekeepers to learn how to get started with their… Read more »

Gearing up

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seeds

As the days grow longer and the winter begins to wane, farmers, gardeners, and beekeepers alike are all gearing up for the growing season ahead. Like many others out there, I have been eagerly planning my garden for the 2016 growing season. More than ever before I am determined to grow as much of my own food as possible─not only to… Read more »

Working with beeswax

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working with beeswax

Carol Cottrill is a former president of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association and has held a number of other positions within Maine’s beekeeping community, including president of the Western Maine Beekeepers’ Association. She’s been beekeeping for years and has dedicated a fair amount of time over the years to sharing her knowledge with other beekeepers. I’ve invited Carol over to the… Read more »

Freeze-your-face-off COLD!

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It was seriously cold this morning as I made my way across the road to the barn. I honestly worried that I was going to freeze my face off (okay so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!). It’s a familiar story on any farm across Maine this today. Morning chores in the frigid and windy temperatures,… Read more »