Small Farms Quarterly

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From Hobby Farm to Farm Business: Laughing Goat Fiber Farm

By Monika Roth / April 4, 2010

  Lisa Ferguson has held a lifelong passion for knitting.  Thus, when she and her husband Gary purchased a 48 acre parcel west of Ithaca, NY, 9 years ago, they put the land to quick use raising angora goats for fiber.  Their goat raising venture started as a hobby, and for the past 5 years,…

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To Buy or Not to Buy…Influencing Your Customer’s Purchases

By Debra Perosio / April 4, 2010

Do you wonder what is going through a customer’s mind when they come to your farm store, pick up a product, look it over carefully, and then put it back and walk out? Do you ask yourself, “What happened to that sale?”  Consumer decision making is a complex science about how consumers make purchase decisions:…

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A “Web” of Support: Online Directory to Women in Agriculture Organizations

By Susan Neal / April 4, 2010

For many of us, winter is that time of the year when life finally slows down for a little while, a time when we can engage in social activities, pursue educational goals, catch up on bookkeeping, or reacquaint ourselves with local and national issues. This past winter I finally found the time to do some…

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Small and Versatile: Dairy Adapts to Changing Markets

By Adrienne Masler / April 4, 2010

The Schefflers respond to the growing demand for local, organic food BECOMING CERTIFIED Seasoned dairy farmers Ed and Eileen Scheffler have learned over the years that adapting the farm business to changing times is the only way to succeed.  For the Schefflers, being small has made adapting their business easier because they haven’t made huge…

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Where the Green Grass Grows: Local, Renewable Fuel

By Adrienne Masler / April 4, 2010

A NEW VENTURE How did May and Bob Miller go from dairy farming to making grass pellets?   They had always been interested in “green” energy, but when fuel prices started to rise in 2008, they saw new potential in the growing acreage owned by non-farming landowners surrounding their home in Delaware county.  With the goal…

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Grow Trees Not Weeds! Weed Control Strategies in Christmas Tree Plantings

By Elizabeth Lamb / April 4, 2010

Weeds in Christmas tree plantings are often the most difficult pests to control. They can reduce growth rates in young trees and affect the shape of older ones. They can provide a refuge for insects and create microclimates that diseases love. And they just get in the way of shearing, spraying and harvesting. Planning before…

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Raising and Finishing Lambs on Pasture

By Ulf Kintzel  / April 4, 2010

“It can’t be done”. I hear that often when the topic of raising and finishing lambs on pasture is being discussed. Can it be done? Let’s take a look at the history of sheep. Sheep as well as goats were raised in areas that could not support a cow. Or they were raised by people…

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Prudent Carnivore: Chicken, Inside and Out

By Shannon Hayes / April 4, 2010

Often, one of the first forays customers make into the world of farm-direct meat buying is pastured poultry.  From the viewpoint of a farmer, nothing could be simpler (or cheaper) to bring home to the kitchen.  During the morning rush at our farmers’ market, I tend to grab the plump birds, bag them up, total…

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Growing Mushrooms for Fun and Profit

By Rebecca Hargrave / April 4, 2010

  In the Fall 2009 issue of Small Farms Quarterly, Mike Farrell wrote an introductory article on some agroforestry topics, including maple syrup production and nuts. There are dozens of other crops that can be farmed in the understory of a forest including ginseng, floral and ornamental crops, specialty wood products, fruits, and mushrooms. Most…

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Yes, Cows Eat Weeds!

By Nancy Glazier / April 4, 2010

Learn from Kathy Voth’s work The Northeast Pasture Consortium (NEPC) Annual Meeting was held in January this year inVermont. The weather can be questionable at best in January, but it cooperated this year. The latest pasture research was presented by universities, agencies and producers at the two-day conference. Many great projects were shared and lots…

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