Growing Tips

  1. Cichoria!: Italianize your Farm and Round Out your Season with Bitter Sweet Chicories

    Umami is not the only neglected flavor to resurge mainstream taste as of late. Amaro has recently become a household word and we can thank the often chicory-infused Italian liqueurs for giving bitter its trendy new platform. Not only does every restaurant menu in New York City now feature a variation of a chicory salad, but every dive bar mixes...
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  2. Crop Talk: Alliums

    Onions are the third most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States behind potatoes and tomatoes, and as such demand to be a crucial part of a diversified vegetable farmer’s crop plan. Thankfully, there are myriad types of alliums to choose from these days without having to resort to a monocrop of Vidalias. In order to achieve success with your...
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  3. Grow Microgreens in your Home Kitchen in 7 Easy Steps

    Here in Vermont, where gardens are frozen under snow for long cold winters, gardeners can still grow their own greens inside. While microgreens may sound and look fancy, you don’t need fancy equipment to grow them. In fact, between your garden and your kitchen, you likely already have all the supplies you need to grow microgreens. Like sprouts and shoots...
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  4. 7 Resources for Season Extension

    All growers are familiar with the guessing game that happens each fall when cool weather comes around: when is the first hard freeze going to hit this year? As the global climate continues to shift in unpredictable ways, the things we as growers thought we knew about our regions’ ecological rhythms are being thrown to the wind (so to speak...
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  5. Fall Cover Crops: How to Plan, Establish and Incorporate

    Why Plant Fall Cover Crops? A cover crop of winter rye emerging in early fall. Fall is the most common, and arguably the most important, time to sow cover crops. When the window for getting new cash crops in the ground closes, the window for sowing overwintering or winterkill cover crops begins. For some regions this can be as early...
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  6. 5 Water Retention Methods for Organic Growers

    Even if you don’t live in a drought-prone area, water retention is advantageous for any growing space. Vegetables require copious amounts of water to grow to their ideal eating size, and even in humid climates where moisture is plentiful farms must use surprising amounts of water for irrigation to achieve ideal results. Good Heart Farmstead in Worcester, VT uses permanent...
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  7. Creating a Stale Seed Bed with Solarization

    Stale seed beds are beds in which weed seeds have been allowed to germinate, and then are killed before direct-seeding or transplanting your crop. Creating stale seed beds can save you time cultivating by getting rid of the weeds before you direct-seed or transplant your crop, and at Good Heart Farmstead this is one of our main weed control practices...
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  8. Pest or No Pest? How to Diagnose Abiotic Plant Disorders

    There are a myriad of ways a plant can show signs of abnormalities. Sometimes these abnormalities are due to the worst causes – namely harmful pests or diseases. But other times, the symptoms are emblematic of an underlying cause, either cultural or environmental, and can often be reversed as long as diagnosis is correct and treatment is swift. When a...
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  9. Summer-Sown Cover Crops: How to Plan, Establish and Incorporate

    Why Summer-Sown? Buckwheat (left) and BMR Sorghum-Sudangrass F1 (right). When the summer is your prime harvesting season (as it is for growers in the north), or your short rest before another growing season (as it is for growers in the south), it can be easy to marginalize anything other than cash crops in favor of the things that need your...
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  10. 5 Key Pieces of Advice for Growers Preparing for the Transplanting Rush

    -- PLEASE NOTE: SINCE THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE OF THIS BLOG POST THERE HAS BEEN A MATERIALS UPDATE ON THE NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM (NOP) STANDARDS. There was some concern that because paper chain transplanting pots contain a synthetic substance they should not be approved for use in organic production. As of January 2019, the NOP has reversed their decision to...
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