Start Farming Blog
Basic recommendations for keeping packing areas sanitary.
One question prospective beekeepers have is: “Where will I get the bees?” There are four possibilities. Package bees, nucs, swarms and established colonies.
A group of 12 young growers just returned from touring fruit growing regions in Central California. Penn State Extension Young Grower Alliance Network Tours provide experiential training in sustainable production practices and encourage innovation among this next generation of growers.
Mistakes made in planning and planting an orchard cannot easily be reversed. Before establishing a new orchard block, it is important to carefully assess all the factors that will ultimately affect fruit quality and orchard sustainability. Proper planning includes evaluations of business goals, management style, site characteristics, and market potential.
Backpack sprayers are very useful tools for crop farmers to have on hand. Whether your farm is large or small, newly established or centuries old, certified organic or conventional, there is a spot for a backpack sprayer or two on your farm. However, to make the most of a backpack sprayer, we recommend that you make some upgrades to the sprayer wand assembly and of course, keep your sprayer calibrated.
Here are some practical tips when looking to manage pastures this spring.
Organic fruit growing in the Mid-Atlantic Region can be successful and profitable with careful study and planning. There are natural features in the Mid-Atlantic region that offer nearly ideal conditions for growing high quality organic fruit. Also, the market in this area for locally grown organic fruit far exceeds the current production capacity of existing organic fruit farms.
Disease management begins with the fundamental understanding the three factors must be present and interact for disease to develop.
Penn State Extension is hosting a day-long program on the science of produce handling and the art of produce marketing. This workshop is appropriate for new employee training and as a refresher for existing employees. The Retail Farm Market School will be held at Yoder's Restaurant and Buffet, New Holland, on Wednesday, March 11 from 9:30 to 3.
Many times when we introduce our products to the marketplace, we don't always think about how our potential customers will view the product. We may know how special our new product is, but how do we get that information to our customers?
Appropriate job descriptions communicate the image of a well-managed business and can be useful in a very competitive labor market.
Record keeping templates designed by the Farmers Legal Action Group.
Fruit growers are constantly manipulating tree canopies to maximize fruit production. This is done in two ways: by pruning to remove limbs or shoots or by bending limbs or shoots in specific orientations.
Tips on people and time management from John Good, Quiet Creek Farm. Delegation, hiring, setting expectations, prioritizing, and efficiencies are critical as you grow your operation.
For small scale vegetable growers just getting started, these two hot bed systems are a step up from growing under lights or in your kitchen window without all the costs of heating an entire greenhouse. Hot beds provide enough bottom heat to transplants enhancing germination, stimulating root growth and keeping transplants above freezing on cold nights.
The Penn State Tree Fruit Pathology Program has established a Twitter account to be another tool for folks to receive updates, information, and interesting pictures. Please start following!
Penn State Extension is offering a new series of discussion groups in Spanish for next generation growers made possible by a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant. A group of Hispanic growers are partnering in a production unit and plan to produce cilantro, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, epazote, onions, tomatillos and lettuce. They expect to sell these items at local Mexican restaurants and stores in the 50 mile radius of their community.
A farm can provide benefits to a community that are not always easy to measure in economic terms. A farm can keep land in agricultural production, be used as a teaching tool or be used to grow food for charity. A for-profit farm may not have the capacity or time to focus on these types of educational or charitable activities.
Each farmers market has its own personality. But perhaps we can learn a few things about our prospective customers from recent surveys of farmers market customers.
Are you planning for your fertility for next year? Do you need phosphorus or potassium? Is your organic matter low? Here are some things to think about as you consider amending your soil with compost.