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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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    Ernesto Montenero  |  Sustainable Technologies  |  Alameda, CA

    Subject: Direct Solar provide 20years of free pumping at Full Belly farm

    Capay Valley, CA – Agriculture has always been part of California since the beginning, but with an impending drought, the sustainable utilization of our natural resources has been brought to the forefront. Full Belly Farm in Capay Valley is committed to organic and sustainable farming practices since 1985. Their latest commitment is an innovative renewable energy project: an off-grid solar pumping system by Sustainable Technologies. This direct solar system pump operates independently throughout the day. No power drop required and no electricity bill. The Varisun pumping controller can run any 3 phase pump.

    The system sits on nearby grassland that the farm recently acquired, but it had no power within reach. The cost to install power near the well was unreasonable, and more expensive than the solar PV system itself. Irrigating the land would require power, so the farm chose to produce power where they

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    In Topics Water & Irrigation

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    Comments 5
    06/11/18

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      |  Yolo Press  |  Winters, CA commented

    Just to clarify the options: Photovoltaic panels produce direct current (DC) electricity. The Full Belly installation uses an inverter/transformer plus controls (plus phase converter?) to convert this to AC (alternating current) to power the pump (the pump runs on AC). My system uses a pump that runs on direct current (DC) power, so there is no inverter/transformer, no phase converter, no controls. It is a much simpler system for off-grid pumping.

    06/12/18 8:21 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

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    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

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    08/19/18 4:29 PM

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    Sally Negroni  |  Sikes Road  |  Dixon, CA

    Subject: Liquid fertilizer vs. compost or manure

    A question for organic orchard growers: are you more likely to use compost or manures to supply nitrogen, along with a cover crop, or apply liquid nitrogen in your irrigation water? A friend has been giving me dried horse manure from his operation, and I have also purchased compost. I'm trying to decide if I should buy a manure spreader for the dry material, or look into a pump system to apply liquid fertilizer. While it would be easier to calculate the application amount with the liquid, I could be getting other benefits with the compost or manure. Thanks for any input.

    In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Equipment

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    Comments 4
    01/25/18

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      |  Fruitilicious Farm  |  Watsonville, CA commented

    We use cover crops, compost and bagged fertilizer on most of our trees, although some of the big older trees do not get all of this every year because their root systems are deep enough and the soil is built up enough. We do some foliar sprays and fertigation too, but mostly with seaweed and fish and micro-nutrients as needed. Although we hated to buy a manure spreader because we only use it once per year, we couldn't find one we could borrow or rent and with an orchard the commercial spreaders won't fit under the canopy, so we bit the bullet and bought one. It would be really great if regions with small growers could get together to share equipment like this.

    01/28/18 11:08 AM

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    Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Lunita Farm  |  Napa, CA

    Subject: Iron in Well Water

    I'm just starting a vegetable farming venture on an acre of land (hopefully). I had already begun to invest in the project so I'm committed to moving forward if possible. Unfortunately, I just received the water test and iron level is listed at 8 mg/L. I've done a little research online and it sounds like that is going to be problematic. Can anyone give me more information about this? Are there affordable ways to remove iron, or irrigation systems that can handle this amount of iron. Normally, I have used t-tape, which I understand may not be able to handle this level of iron. I'd so appreciate any resources or information anyone can share. I do not want to give up on this project, but maybe I will have to?

    In Topics Water & Irrigation

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    Comments 12
    01/21/18

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      |  Water Lever  |  Somerville, MA commented

    Rachel,
    If you decide to go with a treatment, check out http://irrigationcleaning.com/. We market a product called Phyto-Cat which uses a liquid fermentation to eliminate scaling in irrigation systems. It is not acidic or toxic and it helps to improve the soil as well. It costs $70 a gallon which is enough to treat an acre of drip irrigation for at least one full growing season. It's a new technology which began being used in irrigation in 2016 and we have already helped several farmers in California deal with sever Iron reducing bacteria problems in their irrigation systems.

    02/07/18 6:52 PM, updated

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    Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Flatbed Farm  |  Glen Ellen, CA

    Subject: Preferred Invoicing Systems

    I'm curious what programs people are using for invoicing in particular and record-keeping in general. I've been using a simple excel sheet I set up for many years, but I'm ready to upgrade to something that will hopefully make the process more stream-lined. I'm thinking of Quickbooks. Also thinking of Square cause we already have an account (we use a square register in our farm strore) and they do have an invoicing system but not sure how good it is. Just curious what's most popular and most liked among farmers. Thanks.

    In Topics Marketing & Sales, Business & Financial Planning

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    Comments 3
    07/13/17

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      |  Green Star Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA commented

    I use Xero online accounting, it is extremely versatile, very user friendly and a good price. I used to use Quickbooks, found it cumbersome... I have never looked back. I have it fully integrated with all of my inventory software, mobile credit card services, paypal, and POS systems, it works flawlessly. (also easily integrated with payroll)Good luck!SarahC2A0Green Star Farmhttp://GreenStarFarm.com707-861-0060
    07/14/17 4:35 PM

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    Lalitha Vish  |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA

    Subject: Subsoiler vs rototiller, newbie question

    i went and saw some tractor attachments today. I have a kuboto with rototiller attachment. When I saw the sub soiler attachment, I had to wonder about the whole point of a rototiller? Is a subsoiler only for compacted soil? is it damaging to the soil layers? How different is it from deep ripping? In the attached image, is it a 'v-blade' on the 3point hitch? Terribly embarassed, but total newbie here. would sub soiler be considered 'an essential' piece of equipment..is it inherently superior to roto-tilling...as much as 'tillage' is considered essential..as it were.

    In Topics Equipment

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    Comments 15
    01/29/15

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      |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

    As stated by others, the object in the photo is not a subsoiler. It is used to make furrows. Subsoilers and rippers do not invert the soil. They just fracture the soil breaking up the lower layers (subsoil). Other tools are used to make a seedb such as discs, harrows, and/or rototillers, just to name a few.

    01/14/17 11:38 AM

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    EDWARD GARDENER  |  Mcbally Farm  |  not in us, IA

    Subject: Looking for resourches for CSA planning

    Hi,

    I'm starting a farm and I'm trying to make a farm plan.

    1: I'm looking for seed spacing resources so I can calculate the amount of seed that I need per row and per bed. So that If i decide I want two beds of lettuce or tomatoes that I know, ok one bed of tomatoes is going to cost me X amount of this seed ect.

    I'm trying to figure this all out and want to use bio-intensive spacings. Or something simmilar of close spaced intensive plantings.

    Does anyone here have any idea where to come across these types of numbers? I'm looking for this for a while now and are not able to find a good reference.

    2: I'm starting a CSA, I'm wondering if there is any place where I can see people's point of refereance for how many carrots for instance to plant for one week of CSA per customer. I'm coming to the conclusion that before I can start to make a schedule that I need to know how much goes in every box and also

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    In Topics Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

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    Comments 4
    12/16/16, updated

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      |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

    Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog has good info on seeds per 100 feet of row. It's on page 4. Their chart might also be available online at http://johnnyseeds.com.

    12/17/16 11:51 PM

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    Ken Kimes  |  Greensward / New Natives LLC  |  Aptos, CA

    Subject: Tiller / bed shaper

    Good Morning

    We are looking at using a tiller/ bed shaper as a one unit combination. Anyone out there using that combo now? What's your set up, manufacturer, horse power, bed height? And most important what are the draw backs, or pit falls to trying to use these two as one unit?

    Thanks Ken

    In Topics Equipment

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    Comments 14
    08/18/15

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      |  Yanmar America  |  Adairsville, GA commented

    Ken Krimes, You might be interested to learn about this product recently introduced by Yanmar America. A 4-in-1 rotary tiller / bed shaper. In one pass, you can till, shape a bed, install one or more irrigation tubes, and install your choice of plastic or paper mulch. Video here: https://youtu.be/5yRsJ54TriA

    Yanmar Tractor dealer locator: https://www.yanmartractor.com/dealer-locator

    07/09/18 5:55 AM, updated

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    Paul Underhill  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA

    Subject: UCCE Bagrada Study

    I thought it best to post this in a new thread. This study shows the extreme difficulty of controlling bagrada bugs organically as well as the potential risk it poses to anyone who is growing brassicas.

    http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=15855

    In Topics Pest & Disease Management

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    Comments 12
    11/11/14

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      |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

    When the mustard on the adjacent hillsides drys up, the Bagrada moves into my fields - August or September usually. When the weather cools down in November, they are a lot less active. They try to hide in cracks and crevices in the barns and houses.

    11/15/14 6:11 AM

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