Categoryhow-to

Tips on Succession Planting for a Continual Flow of Product

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Succession planting refers to strategically planning out a sequence (or succession) of crops that will be planted one after another in a designated area throughout your growing season. On a small-scale bio-intensive market farm, the goal is to maximize the yield of a limited growing space. This makes strategic succession planting of utmost performance. The more rotations of high-value crops you...

How To Build A DIY Coolbot Trailer

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Having a large enough space to keep your veggies adequately cool until delivery is incredibly important. With all of the painstaking labor that has gone into planting, protecting, harvesting, washing, and packing your beautiful produce, the last thing you want is for it to spoil due to an insufficient cooling space! Different Cooling OptionsStandard RefrigeratorCommercial Refrigerator (“Two-Door...

Tips & Tricks for Designing a DIY Wash/Pack Tunnel

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Having an efficient wash/pack station on your farm is one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure to have in place when you first design your farm. When the first harvest starts, you don’t want to be scrambling around piecing something together last minute. You need to be able to wash, package and cool your product. Otherwise, all your hard work to finally reach the point of the harvest...

TARPING STRATEGIES FOR MARKET GARDENING: SILAGE TARPS VS. CLEAR TARPS

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Over the last 10 years or so, the use of black silage tarps on small farms has become more and more common. This growing popularity of using tarps can largely be attributed to Jean-Martin Fortier from his book, The Market Gardener. JM was, and is, a huge proponent of the benefits of tarping when it comes to weed management and no-till soil preparation for new plots. Occultation is the term for...

Old School Row Cropping Vs. Permanent Beds

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A 30” wide bed is the most common standardized width in the world of market gardening today. It’s an easy width to straddle for most body types, doesn’t hyperextend the back when reaching into the center of the bed from the pathway, and most tools and supplies are built to accommodate this size.  If such is the case, it would seem that it would be counterintuitive for a grower to deviate...

Farm Hacks for the BCS Walk-Behind Tractor

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For those of you who have worked with a BCS walk-behind tractor, you have learned that the heavier your implement is, the harder it is to turn the machine around at the end of a bed. The Power Harrow, for example, is an extremely heavy implement. In order to turn the tractor at the end of the bed, the operator will typically disengage the PTO for safety, lower the handles for leverage, and then...

Tips Tricks for Building Permanent Raised Beds with a Rotary Plow

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In the market gardening world, permanent raised beds generally refer to beds that are raised 4-6” above the pathways, creating a mound. The mound is then leveled off to create a nice “tabletop” surface for planting crops, typically 30” wide. Pathways are often 18” wide. The 18” width is not only for the convenience of allowing a comfortable space for harvest totes and wheelbarrows, but it also...

DIY Tray Filling Station: An Ergonomic & Efficient design!

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When doing a task on the farm that can require long hours and repetitive motions, it’s essential to factor in the toll it will take on your body, and also how you can eliminate unnecessary steps or movements in your system. When designing my nursery space back at Winding Road Farms in Petaluma, California, I made it a personal goal to think of a more ergonomic and efficient system for filling...

Vermicompost: A Practical Guide On Worm-POwered Compost

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How to Use Worm-Powered Composting for Improved Soil Health, Stronger Seedlings & Higher Yields on the Farm – By Jordan MacPhee of Maple Bloom Farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Simplifying the Journey to Soil Health We all want healthy living soil to make our job easier as farmers. Living soil makes it easier to grow plants that are more resilient to pest and disease pressure and...

Building a Nursery GREENHOUSE Out of a Caterpillar Tunnel

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When you are leasing land, or on a tighter budget, constructing an adequate nursery space can be a challenging prospect. While a beautiful high tunnel with cement floors, a drainage system, permanent plumbing, polycarbonate end walls, and automated heating and cooling systems would be IDEAL, it’s often not within reach–at least when starting out.  When I was faced with this dilemma at the...

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