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Vegetables
Articles, discussion and resources pertaining to vegetables generally. See also Farming, Farm Profiles, Gardening, Pests, specific vegetables.

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Articles

If you’ve had trouble growing good celery, maybe celeriac is the vegetable for you. This biennial, Apium graveolens var. rapaceum, is somewhat easier to grow than its fussier relative, celery; its edible part – a fleshy rootstock – adds a celery-like taste to plenty of dishes; and it lasts a long time in storage – just what we need for a Maine winter.

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Fresh artichokesThe impressive and mighty artichoke is actually the flower bud of a large thistle-family plant. This delectable but formidable-looking vegetable dates backs for centuries and was prized by Romans as food of the nobility. Widely grown France, Italy and Spain, and California, Maine gardeners can also cultivate and enjoy artichokes.

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Leafhopper burn on potato foliageThis is a good time of year to study up on the biology and symptoms of problems that may later arise in your crops. Problems will arise, and misreading symptoms may interfere with easy solutions, may cause unnecessary pesticides applications, and may lead to years of unhappiness. So I am reviewing a few of the most common mistaken identifications that I get as questions.

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TatsoiThere 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.

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Copies are available from Highmoor Farm in Monmouth.

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Cornell University has posted fact sheets, photos, news articles and more about diseases of major vegetable crops on a website.

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Answer: This is Cicorium intybus, Belgian endive or witloof chicory, which is grown like a carrot in the summer, dug in the fall and stored in the refrigerator or root cellar, then forced to produce “chicons” in the winter.

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Black rot on pumpkinWheeling great quantities of potatoes or lugging boxes of squash to their winter storage site gives the greatest sense of self sufficiency and satisfaction to gardeners. Going down to get a bit for dinner on a January night and having to sift through a mass of rotting food gives a horrible sense of failure.

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The following table of vegetable yields was prepared by Barbara Murphy at Oxford County Cooperative Extension and reproduced in Extension Perspectives, Waldo County Cooperative Extension, Jan. 1999.

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Electric washing machines, with their agitators and spin-dry cycles, were a great improvement for homemakers – and they can work wonders for farmers selling greens as well, especially when combined with mesh bags.

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