Articles by Farmer Paul Betz

  1. Field Walks: Staying Connected to Your Crops

    In my mind, I am a now junior grower.  I figure you get one freshman year, and then a bunch of sophomore years.  After 12 seasons, I am unwilling to consider myself a senior grower, but I get a little closer every day.  I remember when I first started farming I felt the need to see everything on the farm...
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  2. Tomato Grafting for Your Greenhouse

    I have been growing tomatoes in the greenhouse for 12 years now. I switched to grafted plants after my house “hit the wall.” After four successful years of growing glorious plants laden with fruit, my un-grafted plants topped out at three feet. Fortunately, I had gotten some grafted plants from a friend. Their production was off the hook, and saved...
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  3. Building Efficiencies Into Your Farm

    I love to farm, but I am also happy when the day is over and I can have some time for other pursuits. I try really hard to keep a schedule, and quit for the day at a certain time. Granted, it has to bend some days. Spring is tough--there’s always too much to do. But I think there are...
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  4. Giving Thanks

    In 1995, my wife and I moved to Maple Corner in Calais, VT, and found a cool little house to rent. We had been traveling and the prospect of having more than 80 square feet of living space was really exciting. Our plan was to get to know the local area, work on a few farms to get a feel...
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  5. Greenhouse Tomato Pollination

    - Paul Betz is the owner of High Ledge Farm in Woodbury, VT, and in the winter months is a High Mowing Organic Seeds Sales Associate. We grow a fair amount of tomatoes for our markets, but like I have said many times in...
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  6. A "How-To" Guide for Watering Plants in a Greenhouse

    One of the great things about running a greenhouse is the level of targeted care that you can give to your plants. They are all in one spot, and their basic needs can be addressed in a way that would be hard in a field setting. Having some control, even a little, can be a great thing, when the real...
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  7. Utilizing Every Last Inch - Farming on a Small Plot

    At my farm, we are growing on 2.5 acres of land. Given that we are land locked, and have little opportunity to expand our acreage, we have very little room for planting too much of any given crop. Over the years, we have developed our farm to reflect the markets that we serve. That approach might sound pretty obvious, but...
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  8. Give Peas A Chance - Growing Peas On Your Farm

    It seems that everyone likes eating peas, but the planting and picking part can be a challenge. At my farm, we have decided that they are an important piece of our crop mix, and have found ways to ease their burden and have them week after week for our markets without too much stress. Lots of the problems around...
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  9. What's Happening in Florida?

    I recently attended the 2011 Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference in Kissimmee Florida. There was lots of excitement from attendees and exhibitors around the programs offered and the local food movement in Florida. There is an on-going increase in the number of smaller farms operating in Florida, and an emerging market for local food is ready to buy...
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  10. Turning Your Lawn into Your Lunch – How to Break New Ground for a Garden

    Every year, more and more people are opening up new ground for gardening, either to create a plot or to expand an existing one. I am a big fan of smaller lawns and bigger gardens, as long as a little space is saved for lawn games like bocce (or croquet). Having planted directly into tilled sod (ground that was previously...
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