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Maureen Thompson  |  California Farm Academy, Center for Land-Based Learning  |  Winters, CA

Subject: CA Farm Academy: Accepting Applications!

The California Farm Academy is accepting applications for the Apprenticeship & Training Program!


The CFA Apprenticeship Program is a paid, full-time, two-year apprenticeship in sustainable commercial agriculture focusing on specialty crops (row crops, vineyards, orchards) in the Northern Central Valley of California. The program is a formal, state-registered apprenticeship with paid on-the-job training and supplemental coursework. It is for individuals who are passionate about farming and are looking to further their career in agriculture. Apprentices will gain hands-on training, work experience, and exposure to all aspects farming to prepare them to obtain a management position on established farms, or eventually start their own farm business.

To learn more about the Apprenticeship Program, or to apply, please visit: ... Read More

In Topics Business & Financial Planning, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community, Yolo Farmers Guild, CA Women, Food and Agriculture Network

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Melinda Price  |  Peace and Plenty Farm  |  Kelseyville, CA

Subject: Taking the Leap: Health Insurance

Hi Farmers! I am gearing up to take the leap and quit my day job and be a farmer full time but have the big stumbling block of health insurance coverage. Does any one who has done this recently have any advice? I am wondering if there is some kind of farmer's guild that would offer group health insurance.

Thank you!

Peace and Plenty Farm

In Topics Insurance

In General FarmsReach community

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Eric Munro  |  Ananda Valley Farm  |  Half Moon Bay, CA

Subject: Tilling Wood Chips into Vegetable Beds

Our farm received a grant from the California Healthy Soil Initiative.

We are trialing tilling wood chips into vegetable beds.

Our 1st year trials and results can be seen on this video:

We've gotten some interesting results, which are summarized at 20:00 minutes into the video.

Overall it worked quite well and nitrogen tie-up wasn't a problem overall.

We even tilled in fresh Eucalyptus to see the effect. 1-2" was fine, no negative effects. 5" was a problem. But 5" of aged Eucalpytus mulch tilled in helped plant growth.

As part of our grant we must do outreach, so there will be a field tour on 10/20, Saturday from 11am to noon.

Please rsvp at

Also if you leave a comment here with your farm name we can count that against our required outreach.


In Topics Soil Fertility Management

In General FarmsReach community

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Liya Schwartzman  |  California FarmLink  |  Sacramento, CA

Subject: There's still time to register for the FarmLink Business Skills Camp!

Hey Folks,
Fall is in the air, so it's the perfect time to brush up on your farm business management!
California FarmLink is hosting a 4 part business skills workshop series taught by Poppy Davis and Alan Haight in October in Sacramento. We'll also be covering the latest on the implications of the new tax law on farm businesses! Don't miss this opportunity to build your business and start the next season on the right foot!

In Topics Marketing & Sales, Business & Financial Planning, Funding Opportunities, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Insurance, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Urban Agriculture, News & Events, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community, Yolo Farmers Guild, California FarmLink, CA Women, Food and Agriculture Network, Nevada County Guild

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Laura Patterson  |  UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: For anyone in CA that raises at least 1 pig outdoors: fill out a survey & be entered to win a gi

Hello - I am a former small-scale California farmer and currently a PhD candidate in epidemiology at UC Davis. My thesis focuses on small-scale diversified farms, with an emphasis on the interface of feral pigs and outdoor-raised pigs. My advisor is Dr. Alda Pires, who is a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist of urban agriculture and food safety.

We recently created an online survey to identify outdoor-raised pigs in California as well as areas which are impacted by feral pig intrusions. This survey is appropriate for anyone that raises at least one pig outside including: pork producers, farmers, ranchers, backyard operations, 4-H/FFA members, pet pig owners, heritage pig breeders, pig rescue groups, etc.

Click here to take the survey.

Survey participation will help UCCE develop outreach and educational materials for all operations that raise pigs outdoors and/or

... Read More

In Topics Pest & Disease Management, Food Safety, Wildlife Management, Livestock

In General FarmsReach community

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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Transitions: Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms

We’re excited and honored to share the last in our series featuring recently-retired, influential leaders in the CA sustainable agriculture movement: Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms !

A long-time farmer, advocate and activist in the organic sector, Tom shares his reflections and ideas after 40 years of farming in California.

Topics include:

  • Industry Reflections
  • Opportunities & Advice for Smaller-Scale/Newer Farms
  • Responsible Relationships Between Older & Younger Farmers
  • Soil Management, Climate Change & AgTech
  • The Food Commons
  • Closing Remarks [to the next generation]

We posted both (meaty) Highlights as well as a full Transcript.

It’s always a treat to have a leisurely conversation with someone so knowledgable of the industry and steeped in the community. Thank you, Tom, for taking the time! We wish you all the best in your years of fun and discovery

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Water & Irrigation, Marketing & Sales, Certifications, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Weather & Climate Change, Policy

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
09/07/18, updated
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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Events coming up in September!

Below are events coming up in September! To track the latest as they are added, check out our full Events Calendar.

9/4: Online Listening Session – CDFA SWEEP and Healthy Soils Program - Online
9/6: San Benito Working Landscapes Group Meeting - Hollister
9/10: Managing Lands in a Changing Climate - Davis
9/11: Ground Squirrel and Gopher Management Workshop - San Jose
9/11: Webinar: Oregon Tilth Practices & Policies that Protect Integrity Through the Supply Chain - Online
9/11: Field Day: Farm Stands & Direct Marketing at Table Top Farm - Point Reyes Station
9/11: Minimizing Risk Using Whole-Farm Revenue Protection - San Gregorio
9/12: Webinar: Digital Organic Recordkeeping - Online
9/13: CASFS Apprenticeship Orientation Tour - Santa Cruz
9/14-15: Small Ruminant Grazing School - Auburn
9/16: On-Farm Organic Research Field Day - Gilroy
9/17: Field Day: Lean Farming at Fortunate Farm – RSVP by 9/10 -

... Read More

In Topics News & Events

In General FarmsReach community

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Sally Negroni  |  Sikes Road  |  Dixon, CA

Subject: Cover crop selection for walnut orchard

Hello. I am trying to decide if I should change the cover crop mix on my walnut orchard that I am currently certifying organic. In the past I have planted vetches, clovers as well as some grains, and have managed it as a reseeding annual cover with a high mowing February to March, and closer mowing starting in May to June. My micro-sprinkler irrigation system covers most of the orchard floor, my trees are young and not providing much shade, and in the summer, I get lots of weedy grasses growing. I do a close mowing every month or even more often. I am thinking about planting a perennial clover mix (strawberry and white clover) because I would get more nitrogen benefit from that than the volunteer grasses. Perennial clovers are supposed to use more water, but the volunteer grasses are using water also, and since I can't use herbicides, and don't want to till, I don't have a clean orchard floor anyway. The

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 4

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  |  The Xerces Society  |  Sacramento commented

I've been doing a lot of work with cover cropping, including in walnuts, through a grant w/ the USDA. My focus is on designing multi-benefit cover crops, including soil health and insectary habitat. Email if you want more info: Happy to share results.

08/24/18 10:05 AM

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Flying V Farmers  |  Flying V Farm  |  Placerville, CA

Subject: Seeking Garden Symphylan Guidance

Hi all,

My name is Grayson, myself and three others started a diversified fruit and veggie farm in Placerville CA this January.

We are learning that we have a Garden Symphylan (GS) infestation in parts of our veggie field. I have found them on the roots of crop plants, as well as lured them with potato slices. They have seriously damaged patches of direct sown spinach, killing or stunting plants just after germination, seems to be stunting growth on transplanted parsley and currently are attacking our direct seeded squash as it germs, killing some before they break the soil surface. It is presenting in patches, and is especially hindering direct sown crops. I have found them in numbers up to five per plant in the bad spots, and 15+ on some of the potato lures. It's definitely impacting our yields and causing us to worry about the suitability of the site.

After reading though some literature on GS it

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 19
06/02/18, updated

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  |  NCAT/ATTRA  |  Davis commented

So, I recall attending a Soil Food Web seminar back in 2002 in Santa Cruz, with Elaine Ingham, and we went to UCSC farm/garden, which has major symphylan infestation at the time, and Elaine claimed that the soil was "out of balance", and that symphylans only are primarily fungi feeders, which didn't match my, or Jim Leap's observations. I think symphs are opportunistic, feeding on fine plant roots and/or soil fungal mycelia, as the opportunities arise. Both Jim's and Mike M's experience underline the idea that incorporated cover crops provide large boost to population numbers, likely through symphs feeding on fungi, as well as the ease of transport in the upper layers of the soil, with so many transport routes (roots?) in the top soil layer from decaying cover crop residue. Because they migrate vertically in the soil profile, their population numbers can be pretty random, as Jim L mentioned. it's

... Read More
08/19/18 4:29 PM

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Team Bernier  |  Bernier Farms  |  Geyserville, CA

Subject: Rats on the farm

Hello fellow farmers,

How is everyone doing with their rodent population. It seems that we have more rats than usual and I have been setting traps with peanut butter, but my rats don't seem to go for it. We have tried the electronic or battery operated traps and those don't seem effective either. Any suggestions out there? Yael Bernier/Bernier Farms

In Topics Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 12

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  |  Strutz Ranch  |  Sloughhouse, CA commented

Placement is important And more traps.  Had I 1 or 2 traps in my attic, then. When I put 10 up there caught the rats quickly. Geotech supply is my pest control supplier very knowledgeable pest control supplier Good luckSent from my iPhone
08/18/18 5:54 AM

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