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Archive | September, 2014

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Cover Crops for Pest Management

Two small farmers in Florida are partnering with University of Florida Extension to determine how cover crops can be used to manage insect pests. In a newly funded Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education On-Farm Research Grant, “Establishing and Evaluating Selected Cover Crops on Small Farms to Increase the Impact of Beneficial Arthropods on Crop […]

soil test

More Accurate Soil Testing

Soil testing that determines needed fertilizer will measure nitrate in the soil, but tests don’t sufficiently account for soil microbes, which mineralize organic nitrogen and make more of it available to a crop. As a result, farmers often apply more fertilizer than necessary. Richard Haney, a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil scientist in Temple, Texas, […]

oyster mushroom

From Coffee Grounds to Gourmet Mushrooms

Kansas State University researchers are taking used coffee grounds from a campus coffee shop and using them as compost to cultivate gourmet mushrooms at the K-State Student Farm. By composting alone, 50 pounds a week — or about 30 percent of the coffee shop’s total waste — has been diverted from landfills. “The goal of […]

Broad River Pastures Eco-Farmer

Meet an Eco-Farmer: Broad River Pastures

Why did you begin farming? I have loved working with animals since childhood and have always been fascinated with genetics and breeding. My husband Jon and I became foodies and locavores and spent a lot of time on farm tours and at farm conferences because of our interest in quality food. We started promoting farm […]

Organic Book Review

Book Review: Exploring the Truth Behind Food Labels

Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth Behind Food Labeling, by Peter Laufer, Ph.D. Review by Chris Walters One day Peter Laufer’s wife, Shelia, brought home a bag of organic walnuts from Trader Joe’s. The nuts were rancid. Well, these things happen occasionally. Before returning them, Laufer took a look at the label. “Product […]

Photo by Laura Joseph

Calf Rearing with the Madre Method

by Phyllis & Paul Van Amburgh Madre Method: the unencumbered suckling of a calf on its own biological dam from birth to the age of 10 months. There are three main commonalities of all successful dairy farms: the first is farmers that read and research, second is a good mineral and feed program for cows […]