Personal hygiene and field sanitation

2013-06-28T08:41:18+00:00June 28, 2013|Grower East, Grower Midwest, Grower West|

G3-MR-1-Personal Hygiene 1by Anna Meyerhoff, Farm Safety Educator, NYCAMH
As warmer weather approaches, it’s time to make sure everything is ready — and safe — for the growing season ahead. For orchards and vegetable growers, it’s time to get everything ready: workers arrive and are trained, equipment is repaired, supplies are ordered. It’s a very busy time of year, but it’s important to take time for safety! There’s one topic that’s very important to your operation but may easily be overlooked — field sanitation and personal hygiene.
Fresh produce carries some risk of food-borne illness. In the United States, there are 76 million reported cases of food-borne illnesses a year. Many cases could have been prevented with proper sanitation and good work practices in the field. Safe handling of food products is crucial in preventing illness, and employers should help their workers to understand and follow the guidelines of good hygiene.
Workers should understand the importance of practices such as thoroughly washing hands with soap and water before and after working, using the (more…)

GrowNYC FARMroots Program Announces Funding Opportunity for Orange County Growers

2013-05-30T07:25:17+00:00May 30, 2013|Grower, Grower East|

image003New York, NY— Greenmarket, a program of GrowNYC, is soliciting proposals from fruit and vegetable
producers in Orange County, NY for a funding opportunity to build new or improve existing produce
washing stations. The aim of this funding program is to improve labor efficiency, enhance food safety and
increase profitability through enhanced on-farm infrastructure. Examples of eligible projects include
installation of shade coverage and lighting, drainage improvements, enhanced spray options, increased (more…)

Growing cherries under cover

2013-05-24T07:37:27+00:00May 24, 2013|Grower, Grower East|

GO-MR-2-Growing cherries 3by Sally Colby
It’s hard to miss high tunnels perched on a hillside in the heart of the Adams County, Pennsylvania fruit belt. Although many growers have added greenhouses, high tunnels and covered rows to extend the season for fruits and vegetables, the McCleafs have gone a step further: they’ve put a high value tree fruit crop under cover. (more…)

Important blueberry pollinators in Maine

2013-05-24T07:33:58+00:00May 24, 2013|Grower East|

GO-MR-1-Important blueberry 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Dr. Frank Drummond, Entomology professor at the University of Maine, spoke on the role of native pollinators, honeybees and bumblebees in pollinating blueberries. Each of these insects offers ecologically- and economically-important services. Dr. Drummond presented “A wild, wild world of pollination Downeast: Renegade bees and loaded pistils” at the 2013 Ledermann Lecture at the University of Rhode Island. (more…)

New Virginia farmer focusing on sales at Metro DC Farmers Markets

2013-04-26T14:51:37+00:00April 26, 2013|Grower East|

GO-RP-3-New VA 2by Gus Schumacher
After noting the success of farmers expanding their operations to offer more local, fresh produce at Metro DC farmers markets, Robert Schubert purchased his own 10-acre farm just outside of Purcellville, VA in 2011.
Three months after the close of the sale on his property, Schubert began marketing his produce at the Arlington Courthouse Farmers Market, the Ward 8 Farmers Market in D.C. and The Farmers Market at Maryland in College Park, as well as selling vegetables directly to local restaurants.
Assisting Schubert on his fast start were the USDA’s Farm Service Agency and the Farm Credit system. The two agricultural lending organizations (more…)

Grafting tomatoes for commercial grower use

2013-04-26T14:44:50+00:00April 26, 2013|Grower East|

GO-MR-3-Grafting tomatoes 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Skip and Silas Paul of Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton, RI have been grafting tomatoes for over ten years. Like other greenhouse growers who graft tomatoes, Skip started because of production problems — largely due to growing tomatoes in the same greenhouses year after year. Diseases like Corky Root Rot eventually reduced yields and shortened the productive lifetime of the farm’s tomato plants. Wishing Stone Farm grafts tomatoes for their own use and sells about 4,500 grafted tomato plants to other greenhouse growers. (more…)

Garland truffles: North American truffle pioneer

2013-04-26T14:29:25+00:00April 26, 2013|Grower, Grower East, Grower Midwest, Grower West|

GMNO-SF-2-Garland Truffles 2by Karl H. Kazaks
HILLSBOROUGH, NC — A stroke of luck pushed Franklin Garland into truffle notoriety.
It was the early 1990s. Garland, at the time a commercial shiitake and oyster mushroom producer, was hosting a group of students from Duke University at his farm. Someone asked about the truffle orchard he had planted some dozen years before.
Garland had planted the orchard — inoculated European filberts (Corylus avellana), Holly oaks (Quercus ilex), and English oaks (Quercus robur) — in 1980 after becoming fascinated with the fungus the year before. He had read an article about a new method of inoculating trees for truffle production. (more…)

Lancaster grower reflects on 50 years farming

2013-04-02T12:20:52+00:00April 2, 2013|Grower East|

GO-MR-3-Lancaster grower 3by William and Mary Weaver
During the 40+ years that the Haas family has been operating Cherry Hill Orchards in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, they have developed an impressive direct marketing operation. About a quarter of the fruit they grow on the 164 acres they own and lease is marketed Pick-Your-Own (PYO), and about half is (more…)

Bedding plants — Spring 2013

2013-04-02T12:12:21+00:00April 2, 2013|Grower East|

GO-MR-2-Bedding plants 1by George Looby, DVM
With the massive clean-up effort following Storm Charlotte not yet complete, the Extension System of the University of Connecticut was able to avoid postponing the first of two programs for bedding plant operators on Thursday, Feb. 14 and go on with the show. The Tolland County Office of the Extension (more…)

Success with sustainability

2013-04-02T12:06:45+00:00April 2, 2013|Grower East|

GO-MR-4-Success with 1by Sally Colby
Glenn Cook grew up in a large family, loved being outdoors and had been exposed to gardening since childhood — a good start for what would become his career. He had plans to become a forest fire fighter, but ended up as a horticulture major at Virginia Tech, specializing in pomology. Several farm purchases,lots of scrimping and saving and about 35 years later, Glenn, his wife Karen, and Glen’s father Ed now operate a successful fruit and vegetable farm on 70 acres in Amesbury, MA. (more…)