Small Farms Quarterly

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SFQ seed saving

Starting to Save Seeds Intentionally

By Erica Frenay / July 3, 2023

How the Seed Producers Course, offered by a collaboration of Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, experienced seed producers, and regional seed companies, helped to level up one farmer’s seed-saving skills. At the end of last year, like every veggie grower I know, my mailbox filled with seed catalogs. And I, like every veggie grower I know, delighted in perusing the bright colors and optimistic…

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SFQ sheep pregnancy

Hypocalcemia versus Pregnancy Toxemia in Sheep

By Ulf Kintzel  / July 3, 2023

A downed sheep is a dead sheep. Towards the end of pregnancy, a ewe may go down and will be unable to get back up. Common perception is when a sheep is down, it will die. It doesn’t have to be that way. A pregnant ewe just weeks from giving birth going down and being…

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SFQ tomato disease resistant

New Tomato Bred to Naturally Resist Pests and Curb Disease

By Krishna Ramanujan / April 3, 2023

A Cornell researcher has completed a decades-long program to develop new varieties of tomato that naturally resist pests and limit transfer of viral disease by insects. A Cornell researcher has completed a decades-long program to develop new varieties of tomato that naturally resist pests and limit transfer of viral disease by insects.    Martha Mutschler-Chu,…

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Editor’s Letter, Spring 2023

By Anu Rangarajan / April 3, 2023

  Dear farmers and friends,    Over the last few years, the Cornell Small Farms Program has been growing in both staff and program areas.  With this growth comes an invitation to also reflect on how we must to plan ahead to meet future needs. What are the emerging opportunities and challenges that our small-scale…

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Red clover has the added benefit of being relatively drought resistant. Ulf Kintzel / White Clover Sheep Farm

Pasture Mix for Sheep

By Ulf Kintzel  / April 3, 2023

What grass and legume species are liked by sheep and are easily established?  A recurring question I receive is the one of what grass and legume species to choose when a pasture is being reseeded. Exotic names are being tossed around and I am being asked my opinion. Pasture mixes that are offered by various…

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SFQ farm community rwp cloud

A Path to Farm Community

By Violet Stone / April 3, 2023

The Cornell Small Farms Program’s “Reconnecting with Purpose – A Renewal Experience for NY Farm and Food System Educators and Change Makers” fosters a welcoming and trustworthy space for participants to explore challenges, to “live their questions,” and to uncover a sense of clarity and direction in their work and lives. “One of the hardest…

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SFQ ancient wheat pastor

Ancient Farming Strategy Holds Promise for Climate Resilience

By Susan Kelley / April 3, 2023

“Duragna” is a mix of wheat and barley, and sometimes other grains too, planted together rather than one type of grain sown in orderly rows.  Morgan Ruelle, M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’15, was living in the remote mountains of Ethiopia in 2011, researching his dissertation on food diversity, when he kept hearing about a crop that…

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SFQ mushrooms survey cover 1

Smart Marketing for Specialty Mushrooms

By Steve Gabriel / April 3, 2023

Results from a 2021 survey of specialty mushroom growers around the USA offer an interesting glimpse into this growing industry. By Kristen Park and Steve Gabriel  In January 2021, the Cornell Small Farms Program conducted a survey of specialty mushroom growers about their cultivation and marketing practices. We want to thank the growers for providing…

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SFQ farm stress Frenay barn fire

Stress Management Through… a Decision-Making Framework?

By Erica Frenay / April 3, 2023

Farmers are particularly susceptible to both chronic and acute stress, and one underappreciated strategy for reducing this stress load is our mindset and approach to decision-making.   What causes you to feel stressed out? Major sources of stress in my life include, in no particular order: money, kids, livestock, off-farm job, my farm business, and the…

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SFQ farmer mental health cce

Cornell, CCE Responding to Farming Mental Health Crisis

By Melissa Jo Hill / April 3, 2023

As the nature of farming can lead to feelings of social isolation, it is important that farmers feel like they have people to talk to about their issues.  Nicole Tommell knows well the financial challenges today’s farmers face. But over the last few years, Tommell – an agricultural business management specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension…

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