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Website for Organic FarmersAt the Organic Farm Network (http://www.farmorganic.net), farmers can create (for a monthly fee) web pages without knowing the HTML programming language. The site allows you to use ready-made sections and not to worry about layout. You just fill in the blanks. The first three sections -- Whats New, Our Specialties, and Produce & Products -- allow you to list your products and services with a description and photo. The second three sections are "Our Favorite Links," "Work for Us," and "Visit our Farm." Customers can order your goods online, and the site tells how payment can be made over the net.
State Survey: Widespread Pesticide Use in Schools, Lack of IPM and Applicator TrainingIf you suspected that your kids were being exposed to pesticides in their schools, your hunch was probably right. A survey of Maine schools earlier this year showed widespread pesticide use, without notice to parents and kids, often without application by a licensed professional (a violation of the law) and hardly ever with an integrated pest management plan. Kathy Murray, Ph.D., an entomologist who was hired last year as the Department of Agriculture’s IPM specialist, undertook the survey after MOFGA suggested that pesticides in schools would be a good area of focus. As Murray noted in her report to the Board of Pesticides Control on November 4, children are developmentally and neurologically particularly susceptible to pesticides, and engage in behaviors at school, such as crawling on the floor or rolling on turf, that expose them more than adults. Murray, who has school age children of her own, also spoke on this issue at the Public Policy Teach-in on pesticides in schools at the 1999 Common Ground Fair. Before Murray undertook her project, little if anything was known about whether schools apply pesticides, how often they’re applied, and by whom.
The results of the survey are disturbing, and certainly make an excellent case for the further work Murray is engaged in to educate school professionals in proper approaches to pesticide use. Murray’s aggressive follow-up efforts after mailing the survey led to an exceptionally high response rate. Questionnaires were mailed to 336 individuals identified by their school district superintendents as responsible for pest management in the schools. Seventy-eight percent of the questionnaires were completed and returned, representing 88% of the 168 Maine school districts.
Indoors, 57% of respondents indicated that insecticides were used at least once a year; 42% responded that they were applied three or more times a year, and 2% applied them weekly. (These questions excluded disinfectants, which were addressed by separate questions.) Twenty-five percent of respondents, however, indicated that insecticides were never used.
Outdoors, 34% of respondents indicated that pesticides were applied three or more times a year. Fourteen percent never applied outdoors.
Sixty-two percent of schools reported that pesticide applications were made by school staff rather than contractors. When these respondents were asked whether school staff applying pesticides were licensed (the law requires all applicators in public, commercial and residential dwellings to be trained and licensed, unless you are applying in your own home), 53% responded that they weren’t licensed, and 32% responded that they "didn’t know." When asked whether their schools had a policy for integrated pest management (IPM--defined as "a systematic approach to keeping pests below harmful levels which uses a variety of methods for monitoring and managing pests and often minimizes pesticide use"), 82% responded "no" or that they were unaware of any.
Only 5% of schools provide written notice of when pesticides are to be applied, and only 2% maintain a list of chemically sensitive occupants.
Murray is now spearheading a cooperative effort of the Board of Pesticides Control and Cooperative Extension to educate school personnel about pesticide use.
In addition to the EPA grant that funded the survey, she has secured $53,000 in EPA funds to pursue this educational effort. Seventy-two of the 168 school districts have signed up for a three-hour on-site training session with a professional in turf Integrated Pest Management. Cooperative Extension is writing an outdoor IPM manual for schools, and Murray is hiring an indoor IPM training program director. Faced with the revelation that their custodial staffs have to be trained and licensed by the BPC, Murray said many schools may turn to outside commercial contractors for their pesticide applications. This, however, is not necessarily a solution. Murray recounted her review of the log of a commercial applicator in a schools, who reported monthly visits finding "no pests observed," and applied pesticides nonetheless. Schools have to be vigilant in demanding IPM from their contractors, and should know enough to be sure they’re really getting it.
MOFGA's Journeyperson Program Off to Good StartWe're working with two journeypersons this year, Jeff Burchstead and Amanda Jamison, and we're gearing up for a slight expansion in our advanced training program for next year. Amanda was at Nezinscot Farm for part of the year, then moved to Morris Farm as farm manager. Jeff is working part-time at Morris Farm and learning draft horse skills working with a farmer in Pittston. Our goal is to work with young, would-be farmers to help them develop a workable business plan to go with their hands-on training in production skills.
For next year, we hope to find at least five individuals or couples who are interested in farming in Maine, and work with them to get ready to farm on their own. We hope, also, to place a few people in our Modern Homestead to act as resident gardeners at MOFGA's Common Ground.
If you're interested in developing additional skills in the year ahead through our journeyperson program, please contact the MOFGA office for more information.
New Outlet for Maine ProductsIn September, the State of Maine Cheese Company’s (SMC) new Maine Made Products Center opened on Route 1 in Rockport. The 9,000-square-foot facility combines retail and production facilities. "We will have a new state-of-the-art production facility and a first-class retail store to promote and sell SMC products," said Cathe Morrill, SMC partner. "In addition, the new facility offers specialty food producers and others an incredible opportunity to expose their products to new customers and to increase sales." The Department of Transportation estimates that 14,000 cars will pass the Maine Made Products Center every day. Aside from Interstate 95, Route 1 is the most heavily traveled highway in Maine.
At the store, each supplier will have a signature display exclusively for its products. Suppliers to date include Maine Gold (maple products), Borealis Bread, Carrabasset Coffee, Oakhurst Dairy and Sweet Sensations. Customers will be able to pick up educational materials, to sample many of the products offered for sale, and to register near the station where food is sampled. The registration material will become a database for SMC and suppliers to use for direct-mail sales materials. SMC received a $12,500 grant from the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund to promote Maine agricultural products.
State of Maine Cheese looks forward to doing more retail business; it historically has sold 85 to 90% wholesale. "We are very proud of the quality of all of our products," said Bill Swartzbaugh, SMC partner. "We know the producers that supply our milk. Each has signed a pledge to refrain from the use of [r]BST in production of their milk."
Those interested in displaying products at the Maine Made Products Center can contact Cathe Morrill, Bill Swartzbaugh or Tom Kelly at 800-762-8895 or 207-236-8895; the website is www.cheese-me.com.
Source: "State of Maine Cheese Opens Maine-Made Product Center," Agriculture Today, Maine Dept. of Ag., Food & Rural Resources, Sept. 11, 2000.
Knox-Lincoln County Has New Extension EducatorAfter eight years without an agricultural extension educator, the Knox-Lincoln County Cooperative Extension has hired a quietly dynamic man who is wasting no time making up for lost time. Mark Hutchinson has been on the job since midsummer, and he is already immersed in programs and projects.
Hutchinson is no stranger to MOFGA, having inspected organic farms in Maine for the organization for several years. Originally from Binghamton, New York, he came to Orono in 1977 and earned his B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine. He also got a high school teaching certificate in life sciences, and he met and married Jane Hutchinson while at the University.
For 15 years, Hutchinson taught field biology, anatomy and physiology at Mount View High School in Thorndike, and while there he met and worked with Waldo County Extension Educator Rick Kersbergen and District Soil Conservationist Randy Doak. "Randy offered his bus tour of [conservation] sites of Waldo County, and encouraged me to write a Challenge Grant to look at phosphorus levels in the watershed," says Hutchinson. He got the grant, and he and his field biology students set to work collecting data. "The kids were outside all the time," he says. Doak subsequently got another grant, using data collected by Hutchinson’s students, to help build manure storage facilities in the area.
Working with Cooperative Extension and the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, Hutchinson and his students looked at phosphorus levels and pre-sidedress N concentrations in order to refine nutrient management on dairy farms. This work, combined with the project he did with Doak, resulted in observable differences in life structures within the watershed. "It was neat how everything fell together and played itself out over the years...[how the project] mushroomed and grew... It was a neat combination of three agencies working on water quality issues," he says. In 1990, his efforts were rewarded when he received the Conservation Education Teacher-of-the-Year Award.
During the summers, Hutchinson and his wife and their two boys raised small fruits and vegetables on a 3 1/2-acre farm in Plymouth. They grew strawberries, cole crops, peas and beet greens, which kept them busy seven days a week for 45 or 50 days, until the first of August. Then they took that month off for "family time." In the fall, they sold melons, pumpkins, winter squash, gourds and Indian corn wholesale. His farming experiences enabled him to "understand some of the trials and tribulations farmers go through." They put his wife’s accountant training to work doing the farm books--training she now plans to use by starting her own accounting business.
After 15 years at Mount View, Hutchinson felt that he "needed to grow professionally" but knew that he "didn’t want to become an administrator," the only growth option in the school system. So he applied for the highly competitive Christa McAuliffe Fellowship and received it. He used the funding to return to Orono, where he got his M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science, with an emphasis in Agronomy.
He returned to Mount View, where he taught until 1999, then was hired by the Univ. of N.H. Cooperative Extension Service to work as an extension educator in Carroll County. Shortly after that, the Knox-Lincoln County job opened. Hutchinson, anxious to be back in Maine (partly because his wife’s family lives in Houlton), applied for and got it.
His job focuses primarily on commercial dairy, beef and vegetable growing, and on home horticulture, including the Master Gardener program. When we spoke in September, he was still assessing the needs of the community--which stretches from Wiscasset to Camden along the coast, and inland almost to Augusta--and formulating plans. "I’m trying to get my constituents together, to meet as many people as I can, and to ask, ‘What do you need from Extension?’ When I hear things over and over, there’s probably a need."
The three items that have been cropping up most frequently so far are the labor shortage in agriculture; issues about farmland conservation; and the need for him "just to be available for consultation." Regarding labor, one issue is that local, nonfarming businesses can offer workers $10 to $12 an hour for work that is not physically demanding, and farmers cannot keep up with those rates. "Maybe we need to educate farmers about migrant labor laws," he says.
Regarding farmland, he says that a lot of people want "to do land conservation easements." Also, he and his constituents are interested in how "local government looks at farmland in town. Are there undue restrictions on farms? Or are restrictions farm friendly?" Different kinds of businesses should be treated differently, he believes. For example, "A farm stand is a lot different from a gas station." While working in New Hampshire, Hutchinson was part of a state-wide coalition that was finding ways to preserve rural space through agriculture. One of the accomplishments of the coalition was to develop "a neat checklist for towns to see if they’re supporting local farms."
As far as being available to answer questions, Hutchinson says that one of the main concerns coming his way is, ‘What do I do about Japanese beetles?’ These insects seem to be moving into his area of Maine, and he is looking for ways that home gardeners and farmers can deal with them. Nematodes have been somewhat successful, he says; milky spore disease doesn’t seem to survive here; but a new Bt product might be helpful.
Hutchinson’s geographic area is a hotbed of gardening enthusiasm, as evidenced by the 65 very active Master Gardeners already trained, and about 130 waiting to be trained. He and Rick Kersbergen are doing training sessions this fall and will do two more in the spring to accommodate 50 volunteers. He is actively looking for volunteer sites where the trainees can do their 40 hours of community service.
In addition to the large issues and day-to-day questions, Hutchinson has been involved in Knox-Lincoln Extension’s upcoming move to a new building, which may be erected on land at Medomak Valley High School. The 4,600-square-foot building will have a "nice conference room," an office, and a "wet lab" for the marine science work that Extension does. In addition, land will be available for trials and demonstrations.
Hutchinson plans to continue to work closely with MOFGA: "It’s always been a positive experience for me to work with MOFGA people," he says. "I think it’s important to foster Extension-MOFGA cooperation.
"I’m just excited to be here," he adds warmly.
Fertile Ground for Local and Organic Food SalesLocal and organic foods are among the fastest growing segments of agriculture. For instance:
From 1994 to 2000, the number of farmers’ markets in the United States jumped from 1,755 to 2,863. In New England, Massachusetts has 94; Connecticut, 58; Maine, 54; Vermont, 41; New Hampshire, 29; and Rhode Island, thirteen.
Organic food sales in the United States rose from $78 million in 1980 to an estimated $6 billion in 2000, and the projected annual growth for organic foods is 20 percent. There are 12,000 organic farms in the United States--a number that is increasing by 12% per year.
Source: Weekly Market Bulletin, N.H. Dept. of Agriculture, Aug. 9, 2000.
Television Networks Discredited
ABC’s Stossel Reprimanded for 20/20 Misinformation
Last February, ABC News personality John Stossel reported that organic produce was no safer than conventional because no pesticide residues were found on either in test samples--even though ABC had no such test results. Stossel did not report on the air that traces of pesticides were found on conventional poultry but not on organic--even though ABC did have such test results.
The Washington-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) complained to ABC about the report after the February airing. The result? Stossel made the same erroneous report on July 7, when he said to anchorwoman Cynthia McFadden: "It’s logical to worry about pesticide residues, but in our tests, we found none on either organic or regular produce."
When the EWG complained again, ABC reprimanded Stossel and suspended his producer, David Fitzpatrick, for 30 days. ABC did not say why Stossel was allowed to repeat his mistake even after the network knew that his information was erroneous.
The conservative Washington Times, generally supporting Stossel’s "pieces exposing the myths of political correctness," said, "This time, however, it appears that Mr. Stossel and his crew crossed the line of journalistic standards in order to prove their premise."
Stossel also reported that organic food is more likely to have deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria on it than conventional food because it is more likely to be fertilized with manure. Stossel relied on widely discredited misinformation provided by Dennis Avery, a hired gun of corporate agriculture, for this report. In fact, the E. coli testing was not specific for this deadly new strain--a fact that was pointed out to Stossel before his February broadcast. In fact, most manure in the United States is produced in factory-farmed feedlots and is spread on conventional, chemical farms nearby. Organic farmers have strict rules governing the use of manures, so that organic food should, theoretically, contain less E. coli 0157:H7 than conventional. Also, the tendency for feedlots to feed high-grain diets to cattle living in crowded conditions can cause E. coli 0157:H7 to proliferate, according to research done at Cornell University and reported in Science.
Sources: AP reports by David Bauder, 8/8/00; 8/11/00; "ABC At It Again," Washington Times editorial, 8/9/00; letter to ABC News from Maria Rodale and Cheryl Long, Editor-in Chief and Senior Editor, Organic Gardening Magazine; Science, 9/11/98, Vol. 281, p. 1666-68; for more information about E. coli 0157:H7, go to www.Safefood.org; for more about the 20/20 report, go to www.ewg.org.
Fox Found Guilty TooA Florida jury decided on Aug. 18 that the Fox Television network pressured Jane Akre and Steve Wilson to broadcast false, distorted and slanted news in a report that the husband-and-wife team produced about recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). The two found widespread, secretive use of rBGH by Florida dairy farmers and said that Florida supermarkets reneged on promises not to sell milk from cows treated with rBGH until it had been accepted by consumers. In their lawsuit, Akre and Wilson charged that Fox Television, owned by the multinational News Corp (owned by Rupert Murdoch), was pressured by Monsanto to violate Florida’s whistleblower act by firing the journalists for refusing to broadcast false reports about what they had found and for threatening to report the TV station’s conduct to the Federal Communications Commission. The jury awarded Akre $425,000 in damages from her former employer; it decided that Wilson’s resistance to distorting the news and his threat to report Fox’s misconduct to the FCC was not "the" reason the station chose not to renew his contract." Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone is injected into 5 to 10% of U.S. dairy cows, but is banned in Canada, Europe, Japan and other industrialized nations. (BioDemocracy News #29, Sept. 2000; Agribusiness Examiner, 8/4/00; see also www.foxBGHsuit.com) Organic Gardening Highlights Benefits of Grass-Fed Animals
Chickens crowded so tightly that they can barely turn, and without daylight or a single blade of grass. Beef cattle standing all day in their own manure with no access to fresh grass, their natural diet for thousands of years. Dairy cattle injected with genetically engineered growth hormones to force milk production. These are merely three of the examples of the ill kept animals that feed us, according to "Factory Farming is Fouling Our Food" in the Nov./Dec. 2000 issue of Organic Gardening.
Merely switching animals to a more natural grass-based diet can solve many of these problems, OG reports. Following are just a few examples of the health risks of factory animal farming and the health benefits of grass products as outlined in OG’s report and in its new book, Why Grassfed is Best!
Grain-Fed. vs. Grass-FedHigher levels of acid-resistant E. coli: Feeding cattle a grain diet vs. grass makes their digestive system more acidic, resulting in greater numbers of a dangerous form of E. coli bacteria and, in turn, increasing the risk to consumers of food poisoning.
More fat: Steaks from grain fed cattle contain 30% to 50% more fat than those from grass-fed cattle.
More pollution: Factory farms produce an enormous amount of manure--more than can safely be used by local farms. Pasture-raised cattle naturally return their manure to the fields, building soil fertility.
Higher cholesterol: Eggs from confined chickens contain 33% more cholesterol than those from free-range chickens.
Less essential omega-3 fatty acids: Meat from grain-fed animals has two to six times less heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grass-fed animals.
Fewer anticancer agents: Products from grass-fed animals are much richer in a newly discovered healthful fat called "conjugated linoleic acid," which may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.
Less essential vitamins: Grass-fed products contain four to five times more vitamin E and 50% more vitamin A, as well as more beta-carotene.
Planting Mixtures of Rice Varieties Almost Doubles YieldsWhile biotechnology continues to disappoint growers regarding yield, a return to the traditional practice of growing more than one variety of a crop in a field is having the opposite effect--and dramatically so. When Chinese, Philippine and U.S. scientists grew disease-susceptible rice varieties along with resistant varieties in one field, they had 89% greater yield and 94% less blast (a fungal disease) than when they were grown in monocultures. Growing different varieties of the same species in one field is a common feature of "less developed" agriculture. "The experiment was so successful," say the scientists, "that fungicidal sprays were no longer applied by the end of the two-year program." The lead scientist, Youyong Zhu, suggested that the spread of disease was reduced by increasing the distance between susceptible plants. The experiment, in which thousands of farmers in the Yunnan province participated, was reported in the Aug. 16, 2000, issue of Nature. In an accompanying article, scientist Martin Wolfe suggested that the mixture approach was not used more widely because farmers worry abut product quality and harvesting problems. These problems evaporated in practice, he said. "The mixture approach represents a simple ecological way of dealing with disease while maintaining production from high yielding varieties."
Source: "Old Style Rice Growing Better Than New Monocultures," Reuters, 8/16/00.
Marketing by BusMerryspring Park in Camden had a novel way to raise funds and promote local agriculture and other local producers this fall. The Park organized a bus tour of several midcoast businesses that sell Maine-made products. Participants paid $20 each, with proceeds to benefit Merryspring, and they got behind-the-scenes tours of each business, followed by time to buy the products the saw being made. Stops included the Maine Made Products Center at the State of Maine Cheese Company’s new Rockport facility; Morgan’s Mills in Union; the Cellar Door Winery in Lincolnville; and Danica Candleworks in Rockport. Refreshments were served at some stops.
A Hot Website for Pepper EnthusiastsFireGirl.com is a website designed by Mary Going of Freeport, Maine, who sells more than 800 sauces, salsas and spices...sauces such as Acid Rain, Hog’s Breath Extra Hot, Pure Poison, Ring of Fire Xtra Hot, and Dave’s Temporary Insanity. Sounds like a torturous site for those of us with touchy taste buds, although Going does offer mild and medium products as well.
Whatever your preference regarding taste, FireGirl is a valuable website to visit for its recipes (hundreds!) and for the lively seed exchange that goes on there. One visitor asks if anyone has Piri-Piri pepper seeds from Mozambique, and if anyone has ideas about the best way to germinate the 35-year-old seeds that he brought back from there and then misplaced for that long.
Mary Going is a former webmaster who went on a cross-country trip in 1992 and "discovered her calling" after tasting some jalapeno jam in a New Mexico shop that specialized in hot and spicy products. She came back to Maine, started her website to share tips on growing chili peppers in cold climates (there’s a good article on container growing), added recipes and gardening tips, and then started selling hot pepper products...to all 50 states, as well as Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Sweden, China and Mexico. Hot peppers from Maine to Mexico?
Those without Internet access can contact Going at 1-800-296-9646.
Community Supported Apple TreesHere’s an innovative way to be certain you get your share of apples. Craig Chick of Cask & Hive Winery in Monmouth is offering a new Select-A-Tree program. You go to the orchard and pick a tree that looks friendly and productive. For $40, you buy the rights to that tree’s production for a year. Each tree will produce about five boxes of apples each year. And here’s the best part: Craig will take care of the clean up, will prune your tree and be responsible for Integrated Pest Management. You can visit your tree from time to time... In a great year you might get six or seven boxes of apples. In a bad year, you get an education in the risks all growers face when they invest in crops.
Source: "Apples Aplenty," by Rod McCormick, Agriculture Today, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, Sept. 25, 2000. Agriculture Today is Maine’s revived newsletter "dedicated to Maine’s agricultural community" that promises that "all subscribers will receive value greatly in excess of the price of subscription." To subscribe, send $15 (check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Maine) along with your name and address to Agriculture Today, 28 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0028.
Clay Barrier Deters InsectsResearch by USDA led to the development of an insecticide that works by leaving a clay particle film on leaf surfaces. The commercially available product derived from that research, Surround WP, sold by Engelhard Corp., is 95% kaolin (clay), formulated to leave a white film on plant surfaces that is moderately effective as an insecticide and as a fungicide.
Initially developed for use on tree fruit, Surround WP is labeled for suppression of plum curculio, leafrollers, leafhoppers, apple maggot, first generation codling moth, thrips, and for control of pear psylla. It is also labeled for use on vegetable crops, including suppression of Colorado potato beetle, flea beetles and leafhoppers on tomato, eggplant and pepper; suppression of onion thrips on onions; and suppression of cucumber beetles on cucurbits. In addition, it is labeled for small fruits (only if they are to be used for processing), including for suppression of Japanese beetle, leafhoppers and thrips on blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and wine grapes.
Surround should be applied to dry foliage as a fine mist, using 25 to 50 pounds per 100 gallons of water and an air blast or high pressure sprayer to assure good coverage and adhesion. Reapplication is necessary when the dry foliage has lost its white appearance, generally every seven to 14 days.
Heavy rain, rapid foliage growth and wind erosion will affect film quality and may require reapplication. Crops usually must be washed to remove the clay film unless it weathers off before harvest. The re-entry interval is four hours, and the preharvest interval is zero days.
Surround is approved by OMRI and is approved by most organic certifiers.
Source: "New Insecticide Relies on Clay Barrier to Halt Bugs," Weekly Market Bulletin, April 26, 2000; originally reported in Vermont Agriview.
by Thom J. McEvoy, Assoc. Prof. and Extension Forester, Univ. of Vermont
Sept. 2000; 96 pages
$9 plus $3.75 shipping and handling from Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES), 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca NY 14853-5701; 607-255-7654; fax 607-254-8770; email NRAES@Cornell.edu; or visit www.nraes.org.
Viewing a community of plants and animals as a household composed of interrelated members is crucial to understanding how ecology relates to forest management practices and timber harvesting. A new book from NRAES introduces practical concepts that will help woodland owners, loggers and foresters anticipate how the forest will react to change and control the environmental disturbance of timber harvesting. Introduction to Forest Ecology and Silviculture provides an overview of two closely related subjects: forest ecology--the study of life in areas where the predominant vegetation is trees; and silviculture--the art and science of controlling the species mix, growth rate, size and form of trees in forests for the production of wood products and other benefits. Following an introduction, individual chapters cover: aspects of the forest site; how forests grow and change; the effects of stress and disturbance on forest ecosystems; forest management as controlling disturbances; typical practices and purposes of silviculture in the Northeast; silvicultural systems; developing silvicultural prescriptions; combining timber goals with other resource values; the realities behind common myths about silviculture; working with foresters and loggers; and ecosystem management. Attention is also given to practicing silviculture in stands that are susceptible to ice damage and to silvicultural practices that benefit wildlife.
$25 plus $5.50 shipping & handling (plus 8% sales tax for N.Y. residents) from NRAES, Cooperative Extension, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701.
Greenhouses for Homeowners and Gardeners covers planning, design and construction details for every style and type of greenhouse--from relatively inexpensive, film-plastic-covered growing spaces to custom-designed sunspaces that extend the living area within the home. This comprehensive, easy-to-follow book will help readers select and design the most appropriate size and style of greenhouse to fit their needs and budgets, find the best location for a greenhouse, and decide whether to build it themselves or hire a contractor. It provides extra guidance and in-depth information for people who want to work with a contractor or build a "ready-to-assemble" kit greenhouse. The book addresses gardeners, homeowners, cooperative extension educators and institutions (such as retirement homes, schools and prison associations). Small farmers may also find the book useful.
The eight chapters cover greenhouse basics, selecting a greenhouse, greenhouse planning, framing materials and glazing, greenhouse layouts and equipment, the greenhouse environment, window greenhouses and growth chambers, and garden structures. It will enable both aspiring and practicing greenhouse operators to make informed decisions about foundations, construction materials, space utilization, interior design, heating and cooling systems, supplemental lighting, watering and fertilizing systems, and other design and construction issues. The garden structures chapter covers the design, construction and use of cold frames, hotbeds, shade houses, row covers and high tunnels.
Nearly 150 line drawings illustrate building, design interiors, labor saving equipment, and more. Ten do-it-yourself plans for different types of greenhouses and other garden structures are provided in an appendix. Each plan includes materials lists and construction diagrams and details. Three additional appendices contain a greenhouse maintenance checklist, lists of greenhouse and equipment suppliers, and useful conversions. A glossary concludes the book.
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