Why Cold Storage is the #1 Way to Reduce Postharvest Loss

Postharvest loss is a monumental problem worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that as much as 30% to 40% of all food produced (and 40% to 50% root crops, fruits, and vegetables) is lost due, in part, to a “lack of proper post-harvest storage, processing, or transportation facilities.” Put in monetary terms, the amount …

Nifty Hoops: Helping Midwest Farmers Farm More Seasons and Grow More Food

It’s a pretty simple equation — the longer your growing season, the more food you can grow. And, if you’re a farmer, the more food you grow, the more money you can make. In a place like Michigan, where cold temperatures start to settle in around October and snow can fall into April, any initiative that can extend the growing …

How to Build a Walk-In Cooler for Your Small Farm [Free Guide]

For small farms, cold storage can mean the difference between profitability and not making ends meet. Produce starts to deteriorate as soon as it’s picked, and, especially in warm temperatures, that deterioration can happen very quickly. This can lead to costly postharvest loss. Cold storage enables you to harvest your crops at the most advantageous time and keep them fresh …

How Amber Bradshaw Brings Fresh, Local Food to Her South Carolina Community

Amber Bradshaw knows a thing or two about growing, storing, and selling local, wholesome food — and how it can transform people’s lives. A little over eight years ago, Bradshaw started The Coastal Homestead, a website focused on teaching others about healthy, homegrown food and the simplicity of nature. She then took her knowledge of and passion for healthy, holistic …

“Go Break a Sweat”: Wise Advice from Homesteader and Author Marissa Ames

I thought I was busy. And then I met Marissa Ames. On the day I interviewed her, Ames was working on her latest novel for NaNoWriMo. She’s written a medieval fantasy series with rave reviews and has a nonfiction healthy eating book in the works. She writes for Backyard Poultry and Countryside Magazine and has a homesteading blog on Countryside …

Where to Find Local, Organic Food Made the Old-Fashioned Way in Blanco, TX

As you drive along U.S. 281 just north of Blanco, TX, you’ll see a big pink tractor on the side of the highway. You’ll want to stop. That well-known landmark signals that you’ve arrived at Pink Tractor Farms, a Central Texas haven for a wide variety of fresh produce, as well as Texas-made ice cream, pickles, cheeses, farm fresh eggs, …

How to Make Six Figures Farming on ⅓ Acre – Advice from Urban Farmer Curtis Stone

The next time you hear someone say that small farms can’t be profitable, tell them (as respectfully as possible, of course) that they have no idea what they’re talking about. Or, at least, that they need to talk with Curtis Stone, aka The Urban Farmer. A touring-musician-turned-urban-farmer, Stone established the Green City Acres farm in Kelowna, British Columbia, in 2010. …

How Two Brothers Scaled Their Hydroponic Lettuce Farm Using a CoolBot

Having grown up on a pig farm, brothers Julian and Jesse Howatt are no strangers to the demands of the farm lifestyle and the reprieve that innovation can bring. In 2013, they started a small indoor lettuce farm in Moncton, New Brunswick. Local by Atta scaled quickly from small experiment with 21 heads of lettuce in Julian’s apartment, to a …

Post Harvest Vegetable Care on the Farm

From an article in Growing For Market by Ron When we finally started our own mixed vegetable operation in a 77 acre ex-corn field, there were no trees, much less a walk-in cooler. We didn’t think it would matter much. After all, our goal was to provide the freshest possible produce to our CSA members. We’d wake up early enough …