Author: Andrew Mefferd
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: 2017-02-15
Best practices for the eight most profitable crops Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers--large and small--can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple do's and don'ts. As senior trial technician for greenhouse crops at Johnny's Selected Seeds, author Andrew Mefferd spent seven years consulting for growers using protected agriculture in a wide variety of climates, soils, and conditions. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook brings his experience and expertise to bear in an in-depth guide that will help readers make their investment in greenhouse space worthwhile. Every year, more growers are turning to protected culture to deal with unpredictable weather and to meet out-of-season demand for local food, but many end up spinning their wheels, wasting time and money on unprofitable crops grown in ways that don't make the most of their precious greenhouse space. With comprehensive chapters on temperature control and crop steering, pruning and trellising, grafting, and more, Mefferd's book is full of techniques and strategies that can help farms stay profitable, satisfy customers, and become an integral part of re-localizing our food system. From seed to sale, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook is the indispensable resource for protected growing.
Author: Pam Dawling
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Release Date: 2018-11-13
Genre: Technology & Engineering
Design and build a hoophouse or polytunnel, and grow abundant produce year-round in any climate Growing in hoophouses – also known as high tunnels or polytunnels – reduces the impact of an increasingly unpredictable climate on crops, mitigates soil erosion, extends the growing season and keeps leafy greens alive through the winter, and enables growers to supply more regional food needs. The Year-Round Hoophouse is a comprehensive guide to to designing and building a hoophouse and making a success of growing abundant, delicious fresh produce all year, whatever your climate and land size. Chapters include: Hoophouse siting, size, style, frame construction, and tools Bed layout, soil, crop rotations, and extensive coverage of various crops for all seasons Organic solutions to pests and diseases Disaster preparation Tested resources for each chapter. The Year-Round Hoophouse is ideal for farmers who wish to move into protected growing, as well as beginning farmers in rural and urban spaces. It is an essential reference resource for professors and students of courses in sustainable agriculture, as well as interns and apprentices learning on the job.
Author: Ben Hartman
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: 2017-11-10
Genre: Technology & Engineering
At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work. In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency. From finding land and assessing infrastructure needs to selling perfect produce at the farmers market, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables digs deeper into specific, tested methods for waste-free farming that not only help farmers become more successful but make the work more enjoyable. These methods include: Using Japanese paper pot transplanters Building your own germinating chambers Leaning up your greenhouse Making and applying simple composts Using lean techniques for pest and weed control Creating Heijunka, or load-leveling calendars for efficient planning Farming is not static, and improvement requires constant change. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables offers strategies for farmers to stay flexible and profitable even in the face of changing weather and markets. Much more than a simple exercise in cost-cutting, lean farming is about growing better, not cheaper, food—the food your customers want.
Author: Forrest Pritchard
Publisher: The Experiment
Release Date: 2018-09-10
Genre: Business & Economics
A totally modern, all-purpose handbook for today’s agricultural dreamers—covering the challenges and triumphs of launching any successful farm—from two leading lights in sustainable farming Do you dream of starting your own farm but wonder where to begin? Or do you already have a farm but wish to become more sustainable to compete in today's market? Start Your Farm, the first comprehensive business guide of its kind, covers these essential questions and more: Why be a farmer in the 21st century? Do you have what it takes? What does sustainable really mean, and how can a small (as little as one acre) to midsize farm survive alongside commodity-scale agriculture? How do you access education, land, and other needs with limited capital? How can you reap an actual profit, including a return on land investment? How do you build connections with employees, colleagues, and customers? At the end of the day, how do you measure success? (Hint: Cash your lifestyle paycheck.) More than a practical guide, Start Your Farm is a hopeful call to action for anyone who aspires to grow wholesome, environmentally sustainable food for a living. Take it from Forrest Pritchard and Ellen Polishuk: Making this dream a reality is not for the faint of heart, but it's well within reach—and there's no greater satisfaction under the sun!
Featuring profiles from more than 20 states and illustrated with over 200 color photographs, Farming with the Wild offers a compelling view of a future in which farming and ranching operations are integrated into regional networks of protected wildlands. Dan Imhoff records his travels to the far reaches of the United States in search of farmers, ranchers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations who are striving to develop and renew successful agricultural practices that are compatible with wild Nature. Combining elements of narrative, travelog, photo essay, and resource guide, Imhoff provides valuable information and inspiration for conservationists, farmers, ranchers, gardeners, students, landowners, and anyone interested in a truly sustainable future for agriculture and biodiversity. Farming with the Wild demonstrates persuasively that such a future is possible. Book jacket.