Small Farms Quarterly

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Summer Solstice, 1992

By Bill Duesing / July 4, 2010

  The following excerpt, “Summer Solstice, 1992” is the first in what will be a series of essays written by Bill Duesing and edited by Suzanne Duesing from the book Living on the Earth. Eclectic Essays for a Sustainable and Joyful Future. Each issue will feature a piece relating to the season. It is hoped…

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Small is Beautiful: Making a Living with 12 Cows on Wake Robin Farm

By Adrienne Masler / July 4, 2010

FROM VEGETABLES TO DAIRY After operating a vegetable CSA for six years at Wake Robin Farm in Jordan, NY, Meg and Bruce Schader agreed that they would rather milk cows.  Meg and Bruce were inspired to keep their farm small when they heard about a friend’s grandfather who sent his four children to college on…

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Silvopasturing

By Brett Chedzoy / July 4, 2010

Grazing domestic livestock in wooded areas is a common practice in many parts of the world and other regions of the U.S., but became taboo in the northeast in the later half of the 20th century when foresters and conservationists began to educate farmers on the potential harmful impacts of allowing livestock in their woodlots. …

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Planning for Effective Crop Rotation on Diversified Farms

By Charles Mohler / July 4, 2010

Good crop rotation practices are desirable for any farm.  Some of the advantages that can be obtained from a well planned crop rotation include suppression of soil borne diseases, better weed control, suppression of some insect pests, improvement of soil quality, increased nutrient availability and reduced nutrient losses. Although many of the benefits of crop…

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Online Marketing – a Review of Local Harvest

By Michelle Podolec / July 4, 2010

  Are you looking to increase your local marketing power? Marketing your CSA, local and organic produce can quickly get expensive and time consuming.  A simple online tool to add to your marketing arsenal is the website. Software engineer Guillermo Payet founded Local Harvest in 1998.  The Santa Cruz, California based project grew out of…

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New Kind of Old Fashioned Seed Company

By Jill Swenson / July 4, 2010

  The “buy local” and “grow your own” movements have gone mainstream. Yet, until now you couldn’t find a single seed company within 150 miles of Ithaca, NY, that sold seeds labeled locally grown. It makes a difference in the yield and bounty when the seed is suited to the local climate, soils, pests, fungi,…

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The Best Tool in the Beginning Small Farmer’s Toolbox: Mentorship

By Melissa Madden / July 4, 2010

  Starting my own farm has provided me with all of the expected opportunities to manage everything from soil fertility to accounting.  It is also a time for personal growth- to acknowledge my ideals and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, to humble myself before the project at hand, and to form real ties with a…

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Incredible Innovations from Overseas: Introducing the Japanese Paper Pot Transplanter

By Erica Frenay / July 4, 2010

  Incredible Innovations from Overseas: Introducing the Japanese Paper-Pot Transplanter If I said you could put 264 transplants in the ground in less than a minute all by yourself, with no motorized equipment, and no stooping and bending, you’d probably tell me I was full of… bunk. Or something worse. But it’s true, and the…

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How to Get Started with Sheep

By Ulf Kintzel  / July 4, 2010

Let’s assume you have a parcel of land. You would like to get started but you don’t know how. Here is an outline. Pasture. If your parcel of land is a hayfield or has existing vegetation but there are lots of weeds, work with it. Don’t plow it up unless you have some extra money…

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From Bats to Biodiesel, Hunt Country Vineyards Saves Energy & Dollars

By Adrienne Masler / July 4, 2010

Priorities and Strategies As sixth-generation stewards of their Branchport, NY land, the Hunt family is invested in doing what it takes to care for their land.  Their interest in stewardship and sustainability go hand-in-hand with their interest in saving money and energy.  “We want to still operate when the power goes out,” says Art Hunt. …

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