July 2013

  1. Musings on the Ethics of Organically Approved Pesticides

    Flossing Your Way to Organic Health: Musings on the Ethics of Organically Approved Pesticides  (and why you should visit the dentist) When I first began flirting with farming, it was closely tied to my commitment to a natural and organic lifestyle.  It came about at the same time that I stopped washing my hair regularly, sprinkled nutritional yeast on my...
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  2. Optimizing Your Backpack Sprayer

    Backpack sprayers being discussed by John Grande, Ph.D., from the Rutgers Synder Research and Extension Farm. Most farms have at least one backpack sprayer. They are cheap to buy, easy to run and are an efficient way to get the sprays on the crop. My farm is small enough that I will probably never use a tractor-mounted spray rig but...
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  3. The Unique Challenge of Colorado Potato Beetles

    It wasn’t until about 150 years ago that Colorado potato beetles began to play such a dramatic role in potato production in the US. Before then, this harmless insect fed on a handful of weed species in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. As the first pioneers brought potato production to the western territories, the potato beetle found a new...
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  4. Downy Mildew Got You Down?

    Downy Mildew is a type of foliar plant disease that spreads under cool, wet conditions and affects many different crops.  Ornamental flowers, grapes, onions, basil, lettuce and cucumber all get Downy Mildew, a parasitic pathogen in the Peronosporaceae family.  Although they all come from the same “big, happy family”, different species of Downy Mildew attack different crops.  For example, Bremia...
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