Grafted tomatoes at Wishing Stone Farm
Skip and Silas Paul have been grafting tomatoes for over ten years at Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton, RI. 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 their yields and shortened the productive lifetime of the farm’s tomato plants. Wishing Stone Farm now routinely grafts tomatoes for their own use. The farm sells about 4,500 grafted tomato plants to greenhouse growers. [Learn how to graft tomatoes here.]
Posted in Agriculture, Food, Produce, Recent Posts, Vegetables
Tagged farm, Garden, Grafting, greenhouse, organic, Plant, rootstock, scion, Silas Paul, Skip Paul, Tomato, tomatoes, Vegetable, Wishing Stone Farm
Cheddar cheesemaking at Shelburne Farms
The dairy and farmhouse cheese operations are an integral part of Shelburne Farms, a non-profit education organization in Shelburne, Vermont whose mission to cultivate a conservation ethic for a sustainable future. Shelburne Farms offers year-round farm-based education programs that connect families and students with farmers, nature and where their food comes from. The farm also trains farm-based educators and supports the 2,500+ member Farm-Based Education Network. The property is a working dairy and diversified farm, which strives to protect soils, plants, animals and the environment. [Learn more here]
Brown Swiss dairy cow at Shelburne Farms
Posted in Agriculture, Environmental Issues, Food, Recent Posts
Tagged Brown Swiss, cheddar cheese, Cheesemaker, dairy, dairy cow, Education, farm-based education, Local food, Shelburne, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Vermont, Vermont
“Award of Merit” recipient, Ken Ayars, Chief of the RI DEM’s Division of Agriculture, and Jean Cotta, co-owner of Portsmouth Nursery.
The “Award of Merit” was presented to Ken Ayars, Chief of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM)’s Division of Agriculture by the Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA). Jean Cotta, co-owner of Portsmouth Nursery in Portsmouth, RI, presented the “Award of Merit” to Chief Ayars at the 2013 RINLA Winter Conference held at URI.
A Rhode Island resident since 1972, Ayars has graduated from the University of Rhode Island earning BS in Zoology and Plant Sciences. In 1985, he earned a Master’s degree in Plant Sciences with a focus on Agronomy. Since 1987, Ayars has worked at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) in the Division of Agriculture. He has worked on a variety of programs including animal health, pesticides, land protection and farm ecology. [Learn more here]
Posted in Agriculture, Environmental Issues, Food, Horticulture, Produce, Recent Posts, Vegetables
Tagged Agriculture, business, Business and Economy, farmers, farming, growers, Jean Cotta, Ken Ayars, landscapers, nursery, Portsmouth Nursery, Providence Rhode Island, Rhode Island, RINLA, United States, University of Rhode Island
Rachel Cadwallader-Staub, Children’s Farmyard Manager and Farm-Based Educator at Shelburne Farms’ ABCs of Farm-Based Education Workshop.
Farm visits can change your life. Farmers should take a few important steps to improve safety and ensure that farm visits are wonderful experiences for everyone. At a recent ABCs of Farm-Based Education Workshop at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT, 20 farmers, farm educators and food service professionals shared how they ensure visitor safety. [Learn more here.]
Posted in Agriculture, Food, Recent Posts, Vegetables
Tagged farm, farm educators, farm safety, farmer, farming, food, handwashing, Local food, Rachel Cadwallader-Staub, Shelburne, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Vermont, United States, Vermont
Primary Sources of Nitrogen in Organic Cropping Systems
John Spargo, UMass Extension Soil Scientist and Director of the UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory, shared his expertise with Nitrogen (N) dynamics in organic cropping systems at the Agriculture & Food Conference of Southeastern Massachusetts in February, 2013. Spargo discussed how to manage N to optimize crop quality and yield as well as how to minimize losses to the environment.
Spargo reminded growers that one of the fundamental principles of organic management is feeding soils so that soils can feed crops. Both nutrient deficits and excesses can be detrimental to crop health and yields. [Read more here.]
Posted in Agriculture, Environmental Issues, Food, Recent Posts
Tagged Agriculture, compost, Crop, farm, farmers, farming, farms, Fertilizer, John Spargo, manure, Nitrogen, nitrogen cycle, Nutrient, organic, Organic farming, Organic matter, organics, Plant, Soil, soil test, soil testing
Maple sugaring at Shelburne Farms
Sap from sugar maples has been boiled down into syrup since before colonial days. Every spring, Shelburne Farms visitors experience this historic process. They might learn to select and tapping a tree as well as help collect and boil sap into syrup. The sugarbush at Shelburne Farms offers a chance to explore history and make a connection to the natural world. Students on field trips experience the sugaring process. They may use math to measure, select, drill and tap a maple tree and later help gather sap. Students calculate sap output and investigate impacts of weather and climate on both the syrup and on the trees long-term. They visit the sugarhouse, watch the boiling sap and talk with the sugarmakers. [Read more here.]
Posted in Agriculture, Food, Recent Posts
Tagged Acer saccharum, Boiling, Maple, Maple syrup, Plant sap, Shelburne, Shelburne Farms, sugar, Syrup, Tree, Vermont
Leading landscapers reveal the secrets of their success
Leaders from three RI landscape firms shared the secrets of their success at the 2013 Rhode Island Landscape & Nursery Association (RINLA) Winter Meeting on January 16 and 17, 2013.
Rich Clark of Clark Farms in Wakefield, RI said “Success can be measured in many ways. Mom still says she is proud of me.” Clark described how agritourism brings families and customers to his garden center each fall. Dave Renzi of Out in Front Horticulture in Exeter, RI described how customer collaboration distinguished him to his customers. [Read more here]
Posted in Agriculture, Horticulture, Recent Posts
Tagged Clark Farms Wakefield, Coventry, Dave Renzi, Exeter, Jim Wilkinson, Kyle Stewart, Out in Front Horticulture, Rhode Island, RI, Rich Clark, RINLA, Seascapes, Stewart Nurseries, United States, Wakefield