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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

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

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Comments 4
08/23/18

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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: jessa.kay-cruz@xerces.org. Happy to share results.

08/24/18 10:05 AM

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70
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

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

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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

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08/19/18 4:29 PM

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Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Lunita Farm  |  Napa, CA

Subject: Overwintering Onions -- varieties and recommendation

Hey everyone, what onions varieties have you had most success with overwintering?

In Topics Seed & Planting

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Comments 4
07/24/18

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  |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

if you farm in Southern California, I can make some recommendations.

08/13/18 11:59 PM

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Katie Brimm  |  Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture  |  Oakland, CA

Subject: Earn a Certificate in Applied Agroecology with MESA's online course

Greetings all,

Our Spring Cohort for the Applied Agroecology Program is open for enrollement - sign up today for the May 1st start date. We invite you to learn more about this opporuntity below. Please share widely with your networks that might be interested! This is also a great opportunity to offer your farm workers/interns/apprentices as well to supercharge their learning experiences.
Best,
Katie and the MESA Team

MESA'S Certificate in Applied Agroecology Program:

Farm Locally, Connect Globally.

The Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agricultural (MESA) is proud to offer the Certificate in Applied Agroecology Program (CAAP), completely online! Our Certificate in Applied Agroecology is open-sourced, community based, with contributions from experts in the field, and builds both your technical knowledge and your theoretical framework of the socio-political aspects of farming.

Drawing

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Certifications, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol, CA Women, Food and Agriculture Network

Comment 0
04/17/18
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Justin King  |  Capay Apiary Products  |  Orland, CA

Subject: Attention ALMOND growers

1x1x4' tree stakes $.45 apiece.

do you have leaning trees or DON'T want leaning trees then these are the stakes for you.

minimum order 20,000

In Topics Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting, Marketing & Sales, Equipment, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture

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Comment 0
01/30/17
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Eric Munro  |  Ananda Valley Farm  |  Half Moon Bay, CA

Subject: Seedlings grow smaller in large cell-sized trays -- why???

Does anyone know why seedlings seem to grow bigger and faster when planted in smaller-cell trays

The picture below are broccoli seedlings 4+ weeks old. Same seed packet, same date seeded, same mix, same fertilization, same watering.

Only difference is one tray is 162 Proptek (2.4 cu in) the other 338 Proptek (1.3 cu in).

I thought I could grow bigger seedlings using the larger cell sized tray. But just the opposite happened, the bigger seedlings are in the smaller cell-sized tray. This has happened to me several times and every time I tried doing this.

The only reason I can conjecture is the smaller tray has steeper cell walls, so maybe water flows faster down it, bringing more oxygen to the roots??? Doesn't seem plausible.

Does anyone know why this happens???

In Topics Seed & Planting

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Comments 7
05/18/18

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  |  Ananda Valley Farm  |  Half Moon Bay, CA commented

Thanks Paul. What you say certainly matches my experience although not my initial "intuition".

One year I planted some tray seedlings alongside up-potted larger transplants. The smaller tray seedlings did better. Didn't do any up-potting again.

05/20/18 10:55 PM

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Ben Lyons  |  Lockewood Acres  |  Vacaville, CA

Subject: vacuum seeder

I was looking to invest in a vacuum seeder. Any input as to whether it is worth the 600 plus dollars as apposed to hand seeding 128 flats. I currently make .28/hr so my ROI would take awhile. Please provide reviews ( brand, price, ease of use, ect.). Thanks in advance to you all.

Ben

In Topics Seed & Planting

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Comments 9
01/25/18

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  |  TD Willey Farms  |  Madera, CA commented

Ben,

You may want to check in with Ryan Casey of Blue House Farm in Pescadero. He made his own vacuum tray seeder for pennies on the dollar.

Best, Tom

02/01/18 11:44 AM

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Eric Brennan  |  USDA-ARS  |  Salinas, CA

Subject: New cover cropping videos and climate change paper

Hi Folks,

Below are YouTube links to my two newest, 8 minute cover cropping videos that I thought might interest you:
It was fun to present the first video last night at the CCOF Central Coast Chapter meeting in San Juan Bautista. It was followed by a good discussion.
In my presentation I highlighted 1) a recent review paper (Agron Sust Dev 37p4) on cover crops and climate change, and 2) my recent opinion paper (HortTech 27p151) that includes some alternative cover cropping approaches (i.e., juicing shoots for liquid fertilzer, etc.). The PDFs of the papers (see citations below) are attached for you to download and enjoy.
-Kaye J.P., M. Quemada. 2017. Using cover crops to mitigate and adapt to climate change. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 37:4. Here's a link
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HortTech_27p151_1510103370.pdf
Agron_Sust_Dev_37p4_1510103396.pdf

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Equipment

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Comment 0
11/07/17, updated
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Meriwether Hardie  |  Bio-Logical   |  BOULDER, CO

Subject: Looking for organic manure in the Santa Cruz Area

Looking for advice - Hello! I am looking for a grass fed dairy operation in the Santa Cruz California to buy manure from to make compost for an organic farm operation. Only interested in chemical/hormone free operations. Does anyone have advice on operations that maybe interested to sell their green? Thank you!

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Waste Management, Seed & Planting, Livestock, Anything Goes

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Comments 2
10/09/17, updated

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  |  Bio-Logical   |  BOULDER, CO commented

Thanks Collette! I will e-mail you now. I would also love to hear from any others, as we are looking for multiple sources and also aged manure and bedding (from chemical free/hormone free operations).

10/10/17 9:54 AM, updated

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David Kaisel  |  Capay Mills  |  Rumsey, CA

Subject: Small Grains Field Day THIS SATURDAY

Sorry for the late posting!

The California Grain Campaign is organizing a Small Grains Field Day this Saturday, Feb.11, at Open Field Farm in Petaluma.

Registrations close Wednesday, Feb. 9. Email campaign@californiagrains.com for registration information.

A small number of California farmers have revived heritage grains in recent years. They've grown in varied climes and tried different strains. Now it's time to gather together, to learn from farmers and researchers, and to share best practices to strengthen our farms, businesses, and food shed.
The Small Grain Field Day is part of a series of workshops that will address technical aspects of grain farming specific to the California context.
AGENDA
The field day will cover four areas: seed selection, field cultivation, planting and monitoring -- including related equipment.
10 AM - Introductions and Open Field Farm tour
10:30 AM - Seed
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In Topics Seed & Planting, Harvesting, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community, Yolo Farmers Guild, Cooperation Among Farmers

Comment 0
02/08/17
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