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MICRO ECO BUSINESS: Besides the organic apple-a-day, The Center for the Micro Eco-Farming Movement is working on a report on quality and affordable health care insurance for small business farms — urban to rural. We welcome legitimate information from real farmers or small business owners. We don’t welcome ads for insurance disguised as articles by [...]no comments.
TRENDS: Micro farming can look towards trends that will effect other small businesses to guide their way. This quote is from the Trends Research Institute, which accurately predicted many events, including the current growth in micro farming: “Craftspeople and small manufacturers that can establish a reputation for quality products will be able to build thriving [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO: Those involved in small-scale dairy farming may have known all along that cows in natural conditions without the stress of fearing the humans who regularly handle them produce better milk yields. The Ig Nobel prizes are awards given to legitimate scientific research that can’t help but make one laugh at first, but [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO: Many of those involved in small scale farming and micro farming utilize various organic mulches. If you own a farm dog or cat, you may want to avoid cocoa mulch, an otherwise excellent mulch widely available. It’s made from the shell waste caused by the extraction of chocolate from cocoa beans. It [...]no comments.
MARKETING: Here’s a link to receive a free brochure on the problems of GMOs, courtesy of the Organic Trade Association, for small scale farmers and micro farmers who would like to hand them out to their customers. The brochure can be put in with CSA shares, given out at roadside stands and farmers’ markets, and [...]no comments.
MICRO ECO BUSINESS: Farming grants are now being offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). They have several categories which may apply to some involved in small scale farming. Below are just a couple of past farming grants NRCS has funded, to give you an idea. Their site (link above) gives all the information [...]no comments.
MARKETING: As small-scale farming and micro eco-farming – urban to rural – continue to grow across the country, so must local food distribution systems. The local small farming and backyard farming communities need places to sell their food and fiber. Sometimes the best methods come from very good community models already in process. Here’s a [...]no comments.
VALUE ADDED: The micro farm and small scale farming community – from blueberry u-picks to lavender farms, are integrating farm art as a value-added product. Some are selling farm images or farm logos on t-shirts, caps and totes. Others are actually turning walls of their farm markets or barns into mini rural art galleries with [...]no comments.
SEED/ANIMAL SOURCES: Here’s an intriguing herb garden seed source herb farmers may be interested in. The Center for the Micro Eco-Farming Movement is compiling a major database of seed and plant sources that may be of interest to the eco-friendly and unique niche farming many readers are involved in. As sources come in, we’ll publish [...]no comments.
MICRO-FARMING HOW-TO: Native orchard mason bees are an increasingly popular alternative or addition to honeybees for pollination, especially for early spring blossoming crops. They generally need temperate winters to complete their life cycles, but winter temperatures below 30 F. can kill them if their winter nests aren’t protected enough from the elements. They don’t make [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO: Here’s a video on an interesting tool getting good reviews for helping you know if you have full sun, partial sun, partial shade, or shade. (The Center for the Micro Eco-Farming Movement has no business affiliation). This knowledge is very important when choosing the crops and location of crops, especially for backyard [...]no comments.
MARKETING: Using fliers for farm marketing? Perhaps you’re announcing the opening of your roadside stand or soliciting customers for an on-farm festival or u-pick season. Here are some tips to help your fliers benefit your farm marketing campaign: People in general don’t stop to read lengthy text-book looking fliers with lots of small type or [...]no comments.
AGRITOURISM — It’s not just young and newbie small-scale farmers who embrace agritourism to help their farm’s profit. The long-time small-scale farming community is also restoring its rural livelihood with agritourism as well. Here’s Farmer Bob Ricci in his own words about his journey back to full time farming: My great-grandpa homesteaded our farm in [...]no comments.
TRENDS: The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association reported that organic beef sales had a steady rise and peaked in the 2008 recession, and have again rebounded, hitting levels at 14 percent higher at mid-2009 than they were a couple of years previous. One farmer noted that people buying her grass-fed beef weren’t “elite,” nor buying it [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO – TRENDS – VALUE-ADDED: A micro-sized woodlot can be a valuable business asset for the eco-micro farm and those involved in small scale farming. ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, PO Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702; Phone: 1-800-346-9140 — FAX: (479) 442-9842, http://attra.ncat.org offers a publication entitled “Woodlot Enterprises.” “Backyard Woods,” [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO: Researchers at West Virginia University created a natural bee source of supplemental food that appears to interrupt the reproduction cycle of varroa bee mites without harming bees if done correctly. It was fed at the entrance and broodnest. It’s believed the nurse bees feed it to the larvae, and it eventually gets [...]no comments.
Editors wrote: Got a mobile app in the works that you’re just dying to demo? Unleash it at this happy hour mingle, hosted by Mobile Monday, MassMobile, and Drinks on Tap, groups that regularly bring together developers in the area. Registration is free, so sign up on this event page. Comments | Reprints | Share: [...]no comments.
Lemon balm MICRO FARMING HOW-TO — SEEDS/ANIMAL SOURCES For a bee source from your own neighborhood, here’s an old beekeepers’ folk method for attracting a new swarm of local honeybees to the bee skep or hive. Rub lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) on the inside of the skep or hive you’ve built for honeybees right before [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO: Micro eco-farmers can become sustainable beekeepers far easier and sometimes for free by using an alternative simple and natural beehive called the top-bar beehive (see video below). The top-bar honeybee hive’s benefits to small scale farming: – Build this uncomplicated hive with simple tools, free downloadable plans and recycled materials, possibly building [...]no comments.
TRENDS: Please enjoy the video below on a 10-acre micro eco-farm in Jordan – and note how it became self-sustained and in fact continues to make itself more abundant even when left on its own. And for even more on this topic, please see our friend and colleague’s article on Greening the Deserts. We don’t [...]no comments.
AGRITOURISM — TRENDS: If your small scale farming operation utilizes agritourism as a way to make money from the farm, here are four travel forecasts from AAA to consider. 1. Train travel is predicted to grow in popularity. With the economy troubles and airline travel safety restrictions becoming a headache, more people are traveling by [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO — SEEDS/ANIMAL SOURCES: The urban, backyard and small scale farming of heirloom tomatoes continues to be profitable for many involved in micro eco-farming. Different varieties grow best in different regions, making the crop of heirloom tomatoes in your tomato garden unique. And if desired, the value-added possibilities with crops from a tomato [...]no comments.
MARKETING — TRENDS — VALUE-ADDED: In Montana, the Gallatin Valley school district as well as a half a dozen schools close to Bozeman are selling local farm products as fundraisers instead of the usual items such as candy. Some of the small scale farming products sold include honey, syrups, huckleberry and other preserves, fresh winter [...]no comments.
MICRO FARMING HOW-TO: Both table grapes and wine grapes grown locally and sustainable are poised to become even more popular as the growing number of studies on their health benefits continue to reach the mainstream, and as locally and sustainably produced crops continue to be sought. If you’re currently composting this most recent fall’s leaves, [...]no comments.