NOFA-NY Blog

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On-farm Education at Fledging Crow Vegetables

On-farm Education at Fledging Crow Vegetables


On August 15, Fledging Crow Vegetables hosted a NOFA-NY field day at their Keeseville farm on “Quick and Clean: Planning for Efficient Harvest.” In this wide ranging field day, Fledging Crow farmer Ian Ater covered the history and development of their farm, how they manage their fields and cultivation to bring in large scale harvests, and how they are working to create washing and processing facilities that both meet their buyers’ food safety requirements while helping them efficiently handle produce.

Here are just a few highlights of the afternoon. Many thanks to Ian and all those at Fledging Crow Vegetables, as well as Dylan and Dan Badger of Ausable Brewing Company for your generous field day hosting.

 

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Smart Farm Infrastructure with Poughkeepsie Farm Project

In June, NOFA-NY kicked off its 2018 summer field day season at the beautiful Poughkeepsie Farm Project. Host farmer, Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s Leon Vehaba, led the inaugural full-day field day of the year “Building Success through Smart Farm Infrastructure,” along with Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program’s Ethan Grundberg. The day mixed classroom and field sessions, focusing on both the key farm infrastructure of irrigation and high tunnels, as well as managing for safe water quality.

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The steamy day kicked off in the (air-conditioned) classroom with a great workshop by Leon that hit on essential irrigation practices and principles. In addition to decoding irrigation terminology, Leon stressed the importance of learning your soil’s physical properties, knowing how water interacts with nutrient movement and availability, and how building up organic matter can boost water retention. He also detailed a range of methods to monitor your irrigation needs, including an in-depth introduction to the concept of water budgeting, and the impact of evapotranspiration on plant water needs.

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Decreasing Erosion Through Innovative No-till Organic Farming at Lakeview Organic Grain with Jan-Hendrik Cropp

Decreasing Erosion Through Innovative No-till Organic Farming at Lakeview Organic Grain with Jan-Hendrik Cropp

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Jan-Hendrik Cropp is an innovative German organic vegetable farmer working on organic no-till and minimal tillage systems. He is also a consultant on soil fertility, and a freelance journalist. He studied organic agricultural science, and has conducted extensive on-farm research, applying his research on a 12-acre organic vegetable farm in Germany.   

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On Monday Sept 11, Jan-Hendrik Cropp will give a field day presentation at Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens’ farm -- Lakeview Organic Grain -- in Penn Yan, NY.  NOFA-NY is happy to be involved in this field day. A morning session on using crimped cover crops for "no-till organic" will be held from 10 am-noon in a field where the Martens rolled rye in May, planting soybeans directly into it.

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Field Day at Fruition Seeds

Field Day at Fruition Seeds

It was a beautiful Saturday to make the drive to Fruition Seeds in scenic Naples, NY for the August 26 field day, FINDING YOUR TRIBE: Growing Your Food, Your Seeds and Your Team.

b2ap3 large purple beansFruition Seeds cultivates over 300 varieties of certified organic vegetables, herbs & flowers, a number of which were on view at the field day. Rows of various and beautifully colored beans, cucumbers, marigolds, and dahlias were soaking up the sun, while busy bees were visiting and doing their pollination job.

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Did you ever consider why it took 50 years....

Thanks to our NOFA-NY Grain & Field Crop Coordinator Robert Perry for submitting this blog in advance of Friday's first Field Day, "Sowing the Future of Organic Wheat Research in the Northeast" at Cornell University.

Did you ever consider why it took 50 years for people to wonder what’s wrong with “Wonder Bread?” Each slice is a mirror image of the slice before, and the loaf before and after.

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Fortunately for all of us, there have always been a few precious seeds of ancient grains in our heritage that have inspired farmers, millers, bakers, researchers, writers, and the next generation of providers and consumers to grow the true flavor of wheat and whole grains.

The cereal world has been quietly resurrecting itself locally on farms and universities throughout the Northeast for many years. A community network has developed around taste and resilience associated with grains like Einkorn, Emmer, Warthog, and Red Fife. With the shared vision of researchers, farmers, millers, bakeries, brewers, and educators, the best is yet to come as we continue to grow the future with the seeds of the past.

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Our first Field Day event of 2016 on Friday, June 10 from 12:30-6 pm is the culmination of a recent Organic Agriculture Research & Extension Initiative (OREI) Value Added Grains project at Cornell, and will feature some of the pioneers of this incredible Grain Renaissance. I have had the opportunity to share some of their expertise and resources while demonstrating a mobile grain cleaner for the project and growing heritage grains on my farm. 

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