Reduced till goes organic: Q&A with soil scientist Doug Collins

  As a Small Farms Extension Specialist for Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Collins finds new ways to bring the benefits of reduced tillage to the state’s growing organic agriculture industry. In honor of Washington Organic Week, Sept. 12 to 19, …

Vintage Seed Cleaner

The seed cleaner basically separates the seeds from the chaff. This makes the oil press run much more smoothly. It sorts out the stalks and other parts of the plants that we don’t want pressed. This actually saves money, because the rough stalks and pods are hard on the very expensive press screw. Read full …

New thinking for organic combinable crop agronomy

Mr Pawsey said: “Soil has a limited ability to store N, and its release is partly dictated by soil structure. Building fertility can help increase soil organic matter and balance the release of nitrous oxide [NO2] into the atmosphere,” he said. He is taking inspiration from growers in Scandinavia in an effort …

Instead of Using Pesticides, Farmers Can Plant More Flowers

A new study shows that fields bordered by native hedgerows had higher levels of pest-eating insects. Planting flowers is no vanity. Not only does having a variety of blooms dotting the edges and uncultivated parts of a farm provide forage for bees and other pollinators, but it can reduce the amount of pesticides …

Farmers, Scientists Work To Find Organic Solution To Invasive Fly

Prices for organic produce are always a little higher. But lately you might have noticed you’re paying even more for berries. That’s partially because of a tiny fly called spotted wing drosophila. It’s a lot like an ordinary fruit fly, only it can lay its eggs inside a piece of fruit even before it starts to …

Using a bulkhead as a root cellar

When I built my first house in northern Maine, I placed a small, stone-faced root cellar under the house with access through a trap door in the floor. A stepladder provided access and worked well. We kept root crops and canned goods there to keep them from freezing in our absence. Read full article >>

Making wine the biodynamic way

Benziger is one of about 35 vineyards in the US that have gone beyond organic principles to a fully biodynamic method of production, where the abandonment of chemical controls and fertilisers in favour of natural alternatives is taken further, so that the balance between soil, plants and animals is made paramount. …