It took 46 years to accomplish, but Ohio State’s horticulture building finally has a roof garden. When Howlett Hall was completed in 1967, a roof garden was supposed to be part of it, but as so often is the case, the money ran out before this could get done. Now the $450,000 project is completed, at probably double the 1960s construction cost. At least one restaurant in Columbus also has a roof garden on top of their one story building, but the bulk of specialty produce for the restaurant is grown outdoors or via high tunnel in a greenhouse setting, located in a more rural location. The OSU site will be used primarily for research, especially on dry tolerant plants, according to Mary Maloney, director of Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Center. [Read more…]
Todd McWethy has always been interested in plants, and that enthusiasm led him to formal education in the field. He landed jobs in landscaping and as a nursery manager, and eventually returned to school for a second degree in plant science.
“While I was there, I took a course in hydroponics,” said McWethy, “I have a love for plants and growing things. Hydroponics intrigued me, and it was something I had played around with on a hobby level.”
At Royal Oak Farm in Harvard, IL, it takes a small fleet of equipment to manage the 16,000 apple trees plus the raspberries, peaches, sweet corn, pumpkins, gourds and other produce grown there.
Savvy businesspeople know that happy customers return and spend more money. Smart farmers ask loyal CSA, farmers market and restaurant customers what they liked. Smart businesspeople seek customer suggestions for the future.
Visitors to farm-based food stores, cafes or restaurants tend to stay longer and spend more money according to Eric Nusbaum, Ph.D. of Wheelwright Consultants in Greenfield, MA, who led a workshop at the 2013 Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference & Trade Show. However, growers considering adding commercial kitchens should still use careful analysis to confirm a viable market justifies the significant investment.
LANSING – A referendum to determine whether to establish a Michigan Tree Fruit Research & Development Program will be conducted from February 17, 2014 through February 28, 2014 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD).
The referendum of Michigan tree fruit producers was authorized by MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams after her review of testimony given at two public hearings held in Comstock Park and Traverse City on November 25 and 26, 2013, and from written testimony received by MDARD. [Read more…]
DOVER – Delaware’s community farmers’ markets set a new sales record in 2013, with shoppers buying more than $2.1 million in fresh produce and other goods, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.
WORCESTER – On January 11th, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) will hold its 27th annual Winter Conference at Worcester State University (WSU). Mark Shepard, Restoration Agriculture author, offers this year’s keynote and all-day seminar.
The bane of phytophthora root rot is familiar to Fraser fir growers.
It’s familiar to producers of non-Christmas tree woody ornamental trees and shrubs, as the soil-borne water mold can affect a variety plants including azalea, dogwood, rhododendron, and boxwood.
LOVINGSTON, VA — Everyone in the commercial apple market has had to contend with the rise of China. Drumheller’s Orchard has responded the way many other small growers have — by retrenching and repositioning.
For decades, Drumheller’s was one of many small Virginia producers that grew and packed apples for the commercial market. They grew mainly just a handful of varieties — Red and Golden Delicious, Rome, Stayman, Winesap. At peak, they were growing 125 acres of apples. [Read more…]