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New to gardening and don’t know where to begin? Here are 5 easy crops to start with: 1. Lettuce: When you first start a garden, especially if you have only a small space, you want to grow those foods that taste DRASTICALLY better from your garden than from the store. Because it doesn’t store very long or travel very well, there is just nothing quite like lettuce straight from the garden. It’s also pretty hard to mess up. Plant it densely and you get to harvest baby lettuce. Give it more space and you get whole heads. Take a few...

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If you are like me and farm in an area where ear wigs are a big problem, hand pollinating just does not work. Ear wigs feed on tender corn silks and heavy infestations can reduce pollination of corn. Though the corn silks continue to grow and remain receptive to pollen for around a week, heavy, constant feeding damages them enough that pollination is not achieved. Ear wigs are nocturnal and if you have an infestation you can go out with a headlamp to find you precious developing ears to be covered in ear wigs. During the day they hide in...

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Had trouble getting your tomatoes to ripen in recent years?  Do loads of plump green fruit hang on your tomato vines at the end of the season?  We've had this problem the last couple of summers too. The common misconception is that tomatoes love hot weather, and the hotter the better.  According to Purdue University though, when daytime temperatures stay consistently over 85 degrees, most tomato varieties have a hard time producing lycopene and carotene, the pigments responsible for the oranges and reds of fully ripe tomatoes.  Though there can be other causes of perpetually-green tomato crops, such as nutrient imbalances, here are some...

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As an organic farmer, our arsenal against pests and diseases is limited. We choose not to use chemically synthesized pesticides to defend our crops against the pests and diseases which would damage or destroy our crops. Instead, we have to work with natural solutions to raise healthy and marketable produce. For us, this involves a combination of encouraging natural predators of pest insects, using pest exclusion techniques like row cover, and using naturally resistant crop varieties. The use of naturally resistant crop varieties saves us a lot of work and planning, and is one of the most elegant solutions to...

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Food Storage, Nutrition, Winter Abundance, Winter Squash -

Cinderella pumpkin is a great edible pumpkin variety that is well suited to a shorter season like mine. The name couldn't be better suited to its appearance, which is nothing short of storybook ready. The deep orange color, smooth skin, and modestly lobed shape give it an old fashioned pumpkin look. The flesh is bright orange and smoothly textured. The flesh is solidly three inches thick. This is a great pie or puree pumpkin as the orange color deepens with cooking. Don't overcook it though, it turns super soft quickly. So far, mine have kept 4 months and are going...

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