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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

    In General FarmsReach community

    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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    David Plescia  |  New Family Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA

    Subject: Tractor models that have worked? The classic One-Tractor dilemma

    Howdy Farmers,

    I am looking for specific tractor models, old or new (manufacturer, model, and year) that veggie growers have really liked, so that I can search them used on TractorHouse. Our situation is this...

    My partner and I are tooling up to break ground on a 6-8 acre, diverse vegetable CSA in Sebastopol. We are researching tractors, and deep into the classic "one tractor conundrum". With the ability to only afford one tractor, we would like to have a versatile one. We'd like it to be able to do primary tillage, as well as has have properly spaced and thin enough tires to get it into our shaped beds to help renovate beds for second-plantings (to undercut, disc, rototill, or spade), to weed the furrows and to possibly flame-weed (if we can find a 60" tractor mounted flame weeder). We will cultivate in-row manually the first years.

    Our requirements are: ~50 horsepower, 4WD, 60" center-to-center tread

    ... Read More

    In Topics Equipment, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Anything Goes

    In General FarmsReach community, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol, Cooperation Among Farmers, Nevada County Guild

    Comments 10
    12/01/16, updated

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      |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

    I swear I am not a Kubota sales rep, and I've never actually seen a 7060 up close, but the online specs say that both the front and rear wheel spacing on the 4wd model can be set at 60 inches. http://www.tractordata.com/farm-tractors/007/4/2/7423-kubota-m7060-dimensions.html

    This turned into a great thread with lots of farmers posting...I guess it takes tractor talk in December to get the FR forums humming.

    The reason everyone likes Kubotas is because they are still built the old way, to last. Little or no electronics, no computers, simple hydraulic systems, bombproof engines, and components and parts that are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive.

    12/05/16 9:41 PM, updated

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    Posted by Brian Boyce  |  Johnny's Selected Seeds/Rinky Dink Ranch  |  Rumsey, CA

    Headline: Johnny's Selected Seeds Northern California/Southern Oregon Territory Rep

    Greetings folks. I am a new rep for Johnny's in the mentioned region. I have a number of years experience both farming and marketing. Get in touch to discuss seed, tool, or crop planning needs.

    Brian Boyce

    bboyce@johnnyseeds.com

    In General FarmsReach community

    Comment 0
    06/16/15
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    Posted by Kaley Grimland  |  Sol Seeker Farm  |  Prunedale, CA

    Headline: Seeking a soul to sell at Farmers' Markets

    Sol Seeker Farm is a certified organic pastured poultry operation. The farm is located in Tres Pinos. We sell meat and eggs at farmers markets, mainly in Santa Clara County, but we have a few in Monterey and potentially one just south of San Francisco.

    We are looking for a bilingual (English-Spanish) soul who can work our some farmers markets for us, primarily Friday-Sunday as some of the market times coincide and overlap with others. We hope to find someone energetic and passionate about sustainable livestock raising and can talk with customers at market and confidently explain our operation.

    Qualifications:

    CA driver's license

    Bilingual (English/ Spanish)

    Customer Service Skills

    Personable

    Well spoken with customers

    Timely

    Passion for sustainable agriculture

    We can pay above minimum wage plus product from the farm.

    With any questions, please reply to solseekerfarm@gmail.com

    For new employees, we will provide one paid training day at market.

    Best!

    In General FarmsReach community

    Comments 10
    04/27/15

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      |  Feral Heart Farm  |  Sunol, CA commented

    Jane et al.,

    Turning in a vendor for selling that which they didn't grow AND getting results is easier said than done. I think many of us here could go to virtually any farmers market and point out who is growing what they sell and who is not. Tell the market manager: good luck. They say, "well, if it's on their cert then we have to trust the ag commissioner certifying them actually did his/her job." Tell the ag commissioner: not sure if it varies from county to county but in San Mateo where I used to grow and vend the ag com. needed to receive two complaints about a farm before triggering an automatic site inspection. What might result from said inspection is anybody's guess. Mine would be, nothing.

    It's sad that this is the case. It's worse that people who go to farmers markets think they are buying farm-direct produce, and granted, most of the time they probably are. However, the few cases where

    ... Read More
    04/30/15 12:21 AM

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    Emma Torbert  |  Cloverleaf Farm  |  Davis, CA

    Subject: Landscape fabric?

    Does anybody know where to get landscape fabric locally (to north California)? I called Shaw's fabrics and got a quote for Lumite, but it comes from Georgia and freight is expensive. I emailed Extenday but I haven't heard back from them. Thank you!

    In Topics Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management

    In General FarmsReach community

    Comments 5
    02/01/15

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      |  One acre farm  |  morgan hill, CA commented

    Try G&M, it's in AZ, they probably not going to ship from CA but they are normally much cheaper than the rest of the farm vendors so it still comes cheaper

    02/03/15 9:03 PM

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    Eric Brennan  |  USDA-ARS  |  Salinas, CA

    Subject: Free Pelleted Alyssum Seed for aphid control in Lettuce/Vegetable Plantings/Efficient Intercropping

    Hi Folks,

    Alyssum is an effective plant to use as an insectary for beneficial insects, and can help to control aphids in crops like lettuce. For several years I’ve been working on simple ways to integrate alyssum plants into direct-seeded lettuce plantings to provide beneficial insects, like hoverflies, with the food they need to help us control aphids. To do this, I had untreated alyssum seed (which are much smaller than lettuce seed) pelleted to the same size as a lettuce pellet (13.0). The alyssum pellets are then mixed with the lettuce pellets, planted together with the lettuce, and then at thinning the alyssum are left alone. Preliminary evaluations over two years and several sites have indicated that this is an efficient way to establish alyssum, assuming that the thinning crews are shown how to identify alyssum at thinning. Alyssum is often flowering or just about to flower at the lettuce

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    Pelleted_Alyssum_Seed_Planting_Ideas_for_Beneficial_Insect_Habitat_in_Direct-Seed_Lettuce_1421948770.docx

    In Topics Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management

    In General FarmsReach community

    Comments 2
    01/22/15

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      |  USDA-ARS  |  Salinas, CA commented

    Hi Brian,

    Great Question. It's a major bummer that Bagrada likes alyssum, although, I don't think this should make us 'write off' alyssum as an insectary in several situations. You're correct that alyssum can serve as a host to this nasty pest. Here's a link to the UC Guidelines for managing Bagrada for anybody interested http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74166.html . We clearly still have lots to learn about Bagrada and alyssum. I don't know of any replicated studies that have looked at the effects of alyssum insectary plantings on Bagrada damage in crops that are susceptible (like brassicas) or not susceptible (like lettuce). It seems to me that we may need to be more cautious with using alyssum insectaries in brassicas, than in crops like lettuce, and more caution may be needed in brassicas during warmer times of the year when bagrada popullations are higher. Last year, in

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    01/23/15 1:26 PM

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    Eric Harvey  |  Our Table Cooperative  |  Sherwood, OR

    I am wondering if anyone might have some suggestions for flea beetle management. We are used to the ubiquity of the crucifer flea beetle and always have mixed results controlling with remay. However, we have never seen flea beetles on everything, but in particular on our solanums. Between the different families of flea beetles, they are eating our tomatoes, tomatillos, celery, zucchini, parsley, cilantro, flowers and spinach (and brassicas to an extent, although they are all covered). I hesitate to put out our eggplant, peppers, melons, cukes and winter squash. On the tomatoes, the damage has been negligible, but the tomatillos are another story (especially the healthiest and strongest ones to go out). Most organic pesticides seem to be non discriminatory, like Pyganic or Diatomaceous Earth, and covering everything with remay would be impractical and probably too late. Does anyone have any suggestions for short and/or long term management? Thanks!

    In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management

    In General FarmsReach community

    Comments 8
    05/27/14

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      |  P.J. Dunn Working Redworms  |  Galt, CA commented

    I am just wondering (out loud) if anyone has been following the current research on casting/compost (actively aerated) teas regarding their insecticide properties? Dr. Norman Arancon at U of Hawaii/Hilo has conducted some interesting experiments, research is on-going concerning citrus psysillid (sp.?) and the latest work is with chitin (the flexible natural polymer that is a component of insect exoskeletons and shrimp shells) and chitinase degraders introduced through chitin rich worm tea that acts as a natural repellant. This is good stuff, to be sure (worm castings, that is) and there is the recycling and sustainable aspect that make vermicomposting an essential component that can help reduce input costs.

    06/03/14 9:12 PM

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    Lorri Duckworth  |  Duckworth Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA

    Hi there,

    I am an organic berry grower. Does anyone know of good berry package options other than the clamshells? Or companies that make good berry packaging?

    Lorri

    Duckworth Farm

    Sebastopol

    In Topics Washing, Packing & Packaging

    In General FarmsReach community, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol

    Comments 2
    05/14/14

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      |  Kokopelli Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA commented

    Hi Lorri and others,

    I get my open pulp baskets from Reynolds Packaging here in Sonoma County. They deliver. I still have some left over from last year, but will need to make another order. The price goes down if we order more, so perhaps we can consider a group order.
    The best way to reach me is at 707-829-8185. We just had our first training of six pickers this morning for our boysenberries, which harvest starting early June. We are still look for more pickers to train and then hire. It is early-morning, short-term work.
    Shepherd Bliss, Kokopelli Farm, Sebastopol
    05/14/14 11:47 AM

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    Jason Wehmhoener  |  Birdsong Orchards  |  Watsonville, CA

    We're getting ready to put a couple hundred heirloom tomato plants in the ground (in about 90 varieties). We'll do raised beds, and the bed shaper we have access to will make 80" beds center to center.

    I'm currently researching alternatives to black plastic mulch. One alternative is to roll and crimp our cover crop rather than tilling, but there are so many caveats to this process, that I'm a bit hesitant to go there. However, Rodale Institute has written up some great research on the topic: http://rodaleinstitute.org/beyond-black-plastic/

    Another alternative is to use degradable plastics. Some research about that here:

    http://vegetables.wsu.edu/AltMulch.html

    Has anybody here used any of these black plastic alternatives? Any wisdom to share?

    In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management

    In General FarmsReach community

    Comments 10
    04/29/14

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      |  Birdsong Orchards  |  Watsonville, CA commented

    Thanks folks, really great discussion. I agree about leaning towards on-farm solutions.

    For this year, we're going to bury our drip tape and go with elbow grease and a hoe for any weeds that decide they didn't need much water to sprout.

    If we find that required more elbow grease than we were hoping for, I'm going to consider durable/reusable plastics or hope that some of the degradable plastics have achieved OMRI certification. Another option I might consider is hay-and-newspaper mulch.

    05/02/14 9:49 AM

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    Torrey Douglass  |  Weather Watch Ranch  |  Boonville, CA

    Subject: It's almost fly time! Spring is ramping up and the first flies are appearing. We have chickens, pig

    It's almost fly time! Spring is ramping up and the first flies are appearing. We have chickens, pigs, and cows. Anyone have some effective and non-toxic/low-toxic solutions for fly abatement? Thanks for any tips!

    In Topics Pest & Disease Management

    Comments 8
    05/30/13, updated

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      |  Rincon-Vitova Insectaries  |  Ventura, CA commented

    We at Rincon-Vitova Insectaries grow 3 species of fly parasite wasps for a mixture that works in most situations. In addition we sell the Sagebrush traps made by David Olkowski from small hanging traps to ones that sit on a 5 gallon bucket and one that sits on a 55 gallon drum. Molasses diluted 1:3 with water makes a great fly bait that smells pleasant for about 2 weeks then begins to stink. We also carry balEnce fly spray that is NOP organic, so we can offer a complete organic/biological fly control program. balEnce contains a strain of Beauvaria bassicana, an insect eating fungus, that kills flies but does not harm fly parasites. For biting flies we produce the NZI trap that is a visual target for tabanid flies like horse and deer flies that irritate cattle and humans. We set up scheduled shipments so farmers can stay on top of fly problems so they can keep flies suppressed, a comfortable place to be.

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    04/11/18 11:04 PM

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