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Showing posts from August, 2016

Newsletter - Soils Farmbyte + Value added grant

I’ve been preparing and holding local field days this week and time is at a premium.  So, I have an abbreviated newsletter.  The field days are nutrient management focused, soils are on my mind and so I’ve got a soils-focused Farmbyte for you. 
Also, there’s a fantastic grant opportunity from the MN Department of Ag that comes around annually, I think many of you could benefit from the grant.
To sign up to receive this newsletter via email, fill out this form.

Farmbyte Soils:  Sampling and nutrient guidelines
In this Farmbyte, we share… A video on soil sampling procedureNutrient guidelines for fruit, vegetables, row crops and small grainsArticle on how to maintain soil fertility in organic fruit and vegetable systemsUSDA Web Soil Survey SoilsFarmbyte
MN Department of Agriculture's Value Added Grant program From their website...
Who's eligible? Individuals (farmers) or businessesAgricultural cooperativesLocal government entities
What can you use the money for? Equipment purchase or phy…

Newsletter - Happy National Farmers Market Week

This week is National Farmers Market week (read the USDA news release), so I'm sharing some marketing ideas and resources.

Prior to joining UMN Extension, I worked on a farm in Winona County.  During that time, I spent a season selling (mostly) fruit and (some) vegetables at the Winona Farmers' Market, I really enjoyed it.

Obviously, after just one year I'm not the professional marketer that many of you are, but here are the strategies that worked well for me;
The advice "pile it high and deep" is soundVary the height of product displaysClearly display pricesSmile and say hello to EVERYONE that passesGet to know and support your fellow vendorsHave fun For more ideas on display, The Art & Science of Farmers’ Market Display (UVM Extension) has some great ideas.
Other marketing resources
In each newsletter, we list "additional resources" at the bottom.
Marketing local food:  Start with this manual, it's great and has a MN focus.  From MISA, 

Newsletter - Bees

To me, it seems possible that people in caves have heard about the decline of bees, it’s all over the news.  I think people are responding - It’s exciting that a growing number of people are keeping their own bees.  In addition, as farmers, there’s a great role to play in improving the health of honey bees and the vast range of other pollinators out there – for their health and that of our crops.

So, here is some information, resources, and training opportunities for current/future beekeepers, and farmers.  And, if you have a lawn, make it a bee lawn, more below.  To get more bee news, sign up for the UMN Bee Bulletin.
To sign up to receive this newsletter via email, fill out this form.

TED Talk – Why bees are disappearing Dr. Marla Spivak, University of MN Professor, delivers this TED talk discussing the plight of bees and steps to improve bee health. Watch the talk
In the News - Here's the colony-killing mistake backyard beekeepers make MPR shares how a novice beekeeper manages va…