Articles by Megen Hall

  1. Got Veggies? Lacto-Ferment Dilly Beans and more for Healthy Winter Meals

    I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in Vermont everybody makes "dilly beans", vinegar-pickled string beans with garlic and dill.  When I first heard about dilly beans after moving to VT in 1999, in order to immerse myself in the culture of my new home, I immediately began canning this old time tradition, lining my pantry shelves...
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  2. A Basil For Every Occasion

    Originally native to India, basil has earned itself a seat at many a dinner table around the world. Most commonly found in Italian cuisine and a main ingredient in the popular condiment pesto, basil is also used in many Southeast Asian dishes as well. This delicious aromatic mint-relative has many wonderful properties and a multitude of uses around the world...
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  3. The Roadside Stand Advantage: Is it Right for You?

    As a young farmer in an already-saturated organic farming community, I have had to find creative solutions for marketing my produce. Our local coop and other stores selling local produce already have producers for most crops, so normally my only option would be to get in line with the other new growers, hoping to get a foot in the market...
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  4. Shoots and Microgreens to Expand your Winter Market Selection

    Living in a climate like Vermont, where growing greens outdoors all winter is not an option (or even in areas where it is), raising shoots and microgreens can be a great way to expand the selection of winter produce available to your customers. By definition, shoots and microgreens are the tiny immature leaves of salad greens, herbs, edible flowers, and...
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  5. A Garden Seed Worth Saving

    Many years ago, I was working on a farm, and happened by a group of people who were gathered around for a workshop.  The man giving the workshop, who was about my age, was talking excitedly about plant sex which was enough to make me take pause!  I listened for long enough to learn that they were talking about saving...
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  6. Sprouts and Shoots: For the Love of a Winter Salad

    As we all search for ways to eat fresh, home-grown food year round—especially those of us with harsh winter climates—let us give tribute to the sprout and shoot…two super easy ways to feed your family fresh green and living foods all winter long; all year long, for that matter, for just a few moments of care a day.  They are...
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  7. A Market Garden in the Kingdom - Reflections on a New Business Venture

    Nestled in a fertile river valley in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, my daughter and I have been breathing new life into a sweet old farm stand. I’ve finally been given the opportunity to put into practice all that I have been learning for the past 10 years as I worked my way from farm to farm, learning from our...
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  8. Companion Planting - Utilize nature's diversity to improve the health of your garden

    When dreaming of an ideal garden, one often imagines a neat and orderly, well-weeded and organized garden, not necessarily an overgrown forest, right?  Well…in some ways a forest can set a great example for your garden.  Biodiversity is nature’s very organized plan for mixing things up.  The wide range of plants and animals found in natural fields and forests can...
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  9. Organic Vegetable Crops that Store Well

    In an era where food security is becoming a growing priority, having access to affordable and nutritious food all year, say in your basement or pantry, is becoming increasingly important to many families, including my own.  Canning, lacto-fermentation, and freezing are all great ways to preserve the harvest, but storing produce “as is” is by far the most simple and...
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  10. Garden Planning: A Step by Step Approach

    Whether you are breaking new ground or an experienced gardener, making a detailed plan can help you to make the best use of your space, prioritize your crops, and maximize your harvests.  While I love my wheel cultivator and swan neck hoe, my most precious garden tools are my planting map and calendar.  Without them, I would be lost.  There...
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