Start Farming Blog
The choices most consumers face for their food and fiber purchasing are many. Why do they shop with us? I expect they are comfortable with our brand of customer service delivery. However, we have some time yet before spring work to consider how we might best enhance the buying experience for our current and future customers.
Onion seeding is just around the corner. If you are a new organic grower there are a lot of things to consider. As you plan for success in 2012 here are a few things to consider for healthy transplants.
If you can't make it to in-person courses or want to compliment your hands on experience Cornell online courses may be a great option for you.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering Conservation Innovation Grants to stimulate development and implementation of innovative conservation technologies.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers for implementing and maintaining high standards of resource conservation and environmental stewardship.
Farmers who have not yet ordered their certified potato seed for 2012 might be in for a surprise. Wet soils from excessive rain and flooding impacted the availability of high quality potato seed for the 2012 growing season. Most of the certified potato seed used in Pennsylvania is grown and certified in Maine or New York.
The Seed Farm is a new farmer training program and agricultural business incubator project supported by the County of Lehigh in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The mission of the Seed Farm is to start and grow new sustainable farms and farmers in the Lehigh Valley and to support the growth of our local food system.
Considering the interest in cover crops by farmers, the general public, and others, the Crop Management Team at Penn State Cooperative Extension established cover crop trials on dairy farms across Pennsylvania since 2009. At eight recent field days across the state we reviewed results from the first year of the study, observed the performance of the cover crops this fall and interacted with peers and specialists during these events to learn more about cover crops and their potentials.
If you are looking to scale up your organic farm next year, you may be dreaming about using a tractor mounted cultivator. A wet year like this one, where the weeds got out of control, is a good reminder of how important it is to have a weed management plan, and the tools to execute it.
A few key concepts in understanding the customers we currently have and how to focus efforts as we change to meet their needs.
Your management over your sheep flock does impact the number of lambs your ewe produces each season. What can you do to ensure your ewes lamb twins this breeding season? Read on to find out more.
Do you purchase hay for your livestock or produce your own hay? Learn to visually identify some quality indicators in hay.
A Penn State Extension program that is helping novice farmers to start and maintain successful farm businesses has been recognized for its efforts. Extension's Start Farming program received the Search for Excellence in Beginning Farmer Programming award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. A collaboration with Pennsylvania Farm Link and The Seed Farm, an agricultural incubator project in Lehigh County, the Start Farming program offers education and hands-on training to help farmers get started, become profitable and keep going.
At this time of year, a lot of small poultry producers who market their products directly to the consumer are in the middle of raising turkeys for the Thanksgiving market. One thing producers are struggling with is the ever increasing prices of inputs particularly the cost of feed.
Looking for a place to take your used ag plastics for recycling? Here is a list from Penn State, which compiles a lot of contacts for companies that might accept them.
Maybe the extremely wet September has delayed your planting of cover crops. If so don’t be alarmed, there is still time to plant cover crops, but you may need to switch from what you had planned on planting to a crop that can tolerate being planted in late September or October.
At a recent Penn State Extension Start Farming Program for farm apprentices, John Good from Quiet Creek CSA shared his experience and expertise. After a tour of John and Aimee’s eight acre organic farm which serves 200 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions, John focused on weed management. Like John says, “As an organic vegetable farmer, managing weeds is a lot of what you will be doing. So you better learn to be good at it and enjoy it.” After seeing the excellent weed control at Quiet Creek, I plan to use three things I learned from John: buckwheat to out compete weeds; row markers; and seven-inch sweeps to cultivate paths between plastic.
A four day course in commercial fruit production will be conducted by Penn State Extension this fall.
Running a business is often challenging. Running a business that depends heavily on the weather can add to this challenge. Later, if we do get time to actually spend a significant amount of management effort on analyzing how our year went – we are much better equipped to make informed and meaningful decisions if we have taken a few moments now to think, analyze and record “how’s it going this season?”
Summertime is in full swing; a great time to view what is growing. I took a day to visit farms and friends in Philadelphia and am thrilled how they are thriving. There are many urban farms models; some are non-profits with a mission to educate and serve the hungry, others are more of a business model intending to provide a source of income for an entrepreneur, others are a combination. On this unbearably hot July day, I saw all three versions.