Start Farming Blog
As you are about to shear your sheep this spring I thought you might want to review our sheep shearing videos. Mike Fournier, Penn State Extension demonstrates the six shearing positions as well as tool maintenance.
Check out this event featuring new farmers from our area talking about social media.
Right now, livestock farmers are in a difficult position. Feed prices have skyrocketed and it can be difficult to pass that entire increase on to our customers without having very expensive chicken that might be out of the range of most of our customers. We might need to raise our prices to help recoup some of the cost but we also need to find areas where we can improve efficiencies, cut costs, and know where our greatest expenses lie.
Exploring the Small Farm Dream is a course for people who are thinking about starting a farm.
Join us for tractor and machinery safety training April 4th from 2-6pm in Perkasie PA. Penn State Extension and Blooming Glen Farm will be hosting a tractor safety workshop for seasonal farmers, interns and farmers who have not received any safety training and may have become complacent about the dangers.
Are you interested in or currently farming in a city? Do you wonder how to access land, how to reclaim a contaminated site, how to maximize use of a small growing space, or how to most successfully target your urban market?
The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) are sponsoring three regional meetings for landowners and farmers on March 7th, March 12th, and March 14th to discuss leasing experiences, resources, and opportunities.
One question prospective beekeepers have is: “Where will I get the bees?” There are four possibilities. Package bees, nucs, swarms and established colonies.
Join us for Introduction to Vegetable Production, a course for people planning to make the leap from vegetable gardening to production for profit and beginning vegetable producers who are ready to refine their techniques in order to optimize their production and profit. Penn State Extension is offering this course in Eastern and Western PA.
The FruitGuys Community Fund, established in 2012 as a non-profit, fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, is pleased to announce funding to support sustainability projects for small- to mid-size farms. PA farms in the Delaware Valley qualify for this program.
Spring is in the air. “What?” you say, “It is the coldest day of the year.” Well that may be true but as farmers I am sure you are all busy thinking about spring already.
If you have not done it yet, now is the time to finish up your crop plan for next year. Soon it will be time to start seedlings and the whirlwind will begin. At a recent CSA day organized by Lehigh County Extension’s Brian Moyer, I shared some tips for crop planning. What follows is a teaser, just the first few steps of the crop planning procedure I put together based on the great crop planning information Josh Volk from Slow Hand Farm recently shared with us. For the full procedure and example spreadsheets click the links below.
USDA Finalizes New Microloan Program Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers
It seems that we are experiencing more unusually warm periods during mid- and late-winter, so trees may be more susceptible than in the past to moderately low winter temperatures. Lessons from years in which there was a sudden drop in temperature indicate that trees most injured were those that lacked adequate vigor, those that were too vigorous, and those that had been pruned before the cold event.
On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft Produce Safety Rule as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011. This proposed regulation would establish mandatory practices that farmers must take to prevent microbial contamination of fresh produce. Below are highlights of requirements FDA would issue in the final regulation.
As effective marketers we are comfortable with the practice of being at our best when we produce and market what the customer actually wants. Unfortunately, these wants are a dynamic mix that is influenced by many factors. Trying to get a handle on shifting of our many customers’ needs can be a challenge.
Thinking about growing some perennials to sell? Maybe you already have some perennials in production and you need information to improve your production system. Join us for an educational day with a Penn State expert!
Think about who your ideal CSA member is. Find them and keep them.
Upcoming online course.
With five times as many farmers over 55 than under 35 and more than a thousand farmers planning to retire in Pennsylvania in the next ten years; we need new farmers to feed the world local food. In 2009 Penn State Extension launched the Start Farming Program, responding to the need for new farmers and an overwhelming interest in farm start-up from community members. After three years, thirteen hundred participants in fifty three Penn State Extension Start Farming programs have learned tools for success.