Skip to main content

UMN Extension Small Farms Newsletter - May 2017

How muddy are your boots?

The 2017 growing season is up and running, in fits and starts.  

Either way, it's happening, and I have a few select resources, specifically for vegetable producers, to help along the way; some tools and ideas for diagnosing and managing the pest and disease issues you may encounter this season (more simply put, vegetable IPM).  

I'm also sharing some educational opportunities for beekeepers and cottage food producers, plus some new resources related to policy and sale of local produce and meat.

Plus, I could use your help!  Please consider responding to a (seriously) short survey, especially if you market local food or want to market local food.  It will help guide and improve a project in development.

Jake Overgaard
UMN Extension Educator

You can subscribe to this newsletter, sign up here.
Crop Disease Management in a High Tunnel
This webinar, presented by Michelle Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator, was part of the 2017 Local Foods College.  It covers the following;
  • Where pathogens come from
  • Optimizing the environment in a high tunnel to reduce disease
  • Crop rotation, disease resistant crops, and grafting
Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers
Here's a sampling of the questions answered in this expansive guide.
  • What products (organic and conventional) can I use to treat bacterial diseases of onions?
  • How long from pollination to maturity for a cucumber?
  • At what temperature should a hot water bath be for lettuce seed?
  • What's a hot water bath?
What's Wrong With Your Plant?
Cut down on your head-scratching and start using this great diagnostic tool! It's a photo and symptom based tool for diagnosing diseases and other pest issues of vegetables, fruit, trees, and more.

Watch a demo of how it works at our YouTube site.

Or, go straight to the tool;

Upcoming Educational Opportunities

The UMN Bee Squad has a mentoring program this year where participants can get hands-on experience and learn from experienced beekeepers.  Classes are held periodically throughout the season, and you can attend in St. Paul, Wayzata, or Rochester. You must have prior experience or have taken a beekeeping class.  Visit the Mentoring Apiary page to learn more and sign up.

There are training session for cottage food producers who make and sell baked goods like home-canned pickles, salsa, jam, or jelly (& don't necessarily live in a cottage :) that meet MN Department of Ag training requirements.  Many dates and locations to pick from; Rochester, Minneapolis, Grand Marais, Willmar, Little Falls, and St. Cloud!  Learn more and get registered.

New Resources
Local Food Advisory Committee Fact Sheets
The MN Local Foods Advisory Committee has put out a series of fact sheets related to local food sales and the related and sometimes confusing regulations and policies.  

Produce, meat, eggs, poultry, aggregation, and more.

Such a Short Survey

I have a project in development, interviewing local food buyers (those in intermediate markets like co-ops, grocery stores, food hubs, etc) to get tips for farmers marketing to those outlets.  I want to know what you want to know to make this project better. The survey is six questions long.

Print Friendly and PDF