Sustainable farming depends on sustaining farmers
By Mai Nguyen | Sustainable farming depends first on our ability to sustain farmers. Our country has never equitably compensated farm labor, and has too often worked actively against it.
Why I’m not giving up, despite a harvest from hell
By Andrew Barsness | As profit margins shrink, farmers need to farm more acres in order to remain profitable. But like many other young farmers, I’m pursuing a different route, focusing on diversification, value-added products, and specialty crops.
My one piece of advice to aspiring farmers
By John Wepking | Get to know the older farmers in your community, and start channeling your inner sponge. What we need first is not our own patch of dirt, but an ability to learn the trade from an experienced operator.
Marketing my grain is a mouthful
By Mai Nguyen | My grain is a mouthful. It is identity-preserved, non-Plant Variety Protection (PVP), incrementally upscaled heritage seed grown using rain-fed, on-site fertility, carbon sequestering, integrated pest management, nonsynthetic sprays, low fossil fuel, no-till practices and brought to market as stone milled whole grain flour.
Ready, set, harvest: fixing equipment & finding markets
By Andrew Barsness | It’s critical to get the crop off of the field and transported to a buyer or a storage facility when it’s in that Goldilocks moisture range.
Farming is all about timing, but climate change is changing the rules
By Mai Nguyen | There was a worrying absence of metronomic clicks. I took out my voltmeter and detected only a faint current in the sheep fencing.
Make hay while the sun shines (market grain while the toddler sleeps)
By Halee Wepking | Even with all of the small mills, bakeries, and distilleries that are popping up, and with the growing demand for organic food-grade small grains in general, there is a hole in the supply chain.
An Ever-Changing Puzzle
By Andrew Barsness | The crops are thirsty. My farm is on the outer edge of the area affected by the severe drought in the Dakotas, and it’s been over a month without any significant rain.
Organic farming is freedom
By John Wepking | This spring has been marked by extremes: long periods of frequent rain and then weeks without a drop. Without cover cropping and crop rotation we’d certainly be losing this battle.
The one thing my farm training never covered: racism
By Mai Nguyen | When I started farming grains and vegetables in California in 2014, I already had a lot of the knowledge, skills, and experience essential to farming. But no farm conference, internship, or book prepared me for the challenges of farming as a person of color.