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Notes from Livestock Meetings

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. The Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) Field Days, held in Mansfield, Penn., in September, featured talks on innovative ideas, current research and practical strategies for enhancing the health, productivity and profitability of organic dairy farms. Here are some tips from that event. Fodder from Sprouted Grain John Stoltzfus of Be-A-Blessing

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Raising Rabbits Organically at Rabbit Hill Farm

The rabbitry at Rabbit Hill Farm. All photos by Cheryl Wixson. By Cheryl Wixson For the urban gardener or homesteader, domestic rabbits can be valuable livestock. Rabbit meat is an excellent source of protein; the pelts can be used in numerous applications including hats, lap robes, cushion covers, vests and coats; and rabbit manure is

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Livestock

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Part of my job is to attend meetings where experts, including farmers, talk about livestock. This year those meetings included the Maine Agricultural Trades show, which had a session for the Maine Grass Farmers Network, the Common Ground Country Fair, and the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) meeting. Tips from

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Downeast

As part of the Downeast Farm to School Project, Regina Grabrovac and Taylor Weiss (not shown) taught a vermiculture workshop for eight Rose M Gaffney teachers. Photos courtesy of Regina Grabrovac. By Sharon Kiley Mack In rural Washington County, more and more farmers are connecting with schools through Regina Grabrovac and the highly successful Downeast

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Vietnam

A large farm growing a variety of foods in Vietnam. Photo by Dennis Jarvis (2009), from Wikipedia Commons. By Cory Whitney When Sir Albert Howard visited the farmers of India in the 1940s and brought back to the United Kingdom ideas about composting and other agricultural practices, he planted the seeds of a real agricultural

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Hugelkultur

This low garden bed was made with leaves, twigs, tree branches and compost – similar to a hugelkultur bed but lower, and without very large logs. Bobbie Goodell photo. Produce from the garden bed. Bobbie Goodell photo. Hugelkultur mounds can be higher – like this one made by Jack Kertesz of MOFGA and Unity College

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Onion Thrips

Onion thrips (left) and western flower thrips (right). Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thrips_tabaci,_Frankliniella_occidentalis.jpg By Tom Vigue Before 2002, I had seen the insect called thrips only under a microscope in entomology lab. Then in early July 2002, my onion crop was withering when the bulbs had just begun to size up,

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Antibiotics

Fire blight in apple. Photo by Sebastian Stabinger, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_tree_with_fire_blight.jpg By C.J. Walke The Debate Since the inception of the National Organic Program (NOP) in 2002, the antibiotics tetracycline and streptomycin have been approved for use in apple and pear production to combat fire blight (Erwinia amylovora), a bacterial disease that affects the pome family.

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