Friday, April 30, 2010

Home Grown: Growing Heirlooms

Most gardeners have heard of heirloom seeds and probably have a fairly good idea what they are. Gardeners often refer to heirloom seeds as "Grandmother's seed" or something similar.

"As the name implies, heirloom seeds are carried down from generation to generation, similar to handing down a desired antique from generation to generation," says University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Matt Kostelnick.

"What is so special about this? Isn't that what a seed company can do? In short, yes. But the full answer to this question is a little more complicated."

Hybrid vs. Heirloom

Most gardeners are familiar with "hybrid seed. Hybrid seed is essentially the opposite of heirloom seed. Hybrid seed is seed that is a cross between two distinctly different parents that have been inbred over numerous generations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

California Smoked Salmon from Ojai, California

California Smoked Salmon now available direct from Ojai, California

This smoked salmon comes from a small, family-owned company whose owner has fine-tuned his scrumptious recipe for over twenty years, using only natural ingredients to ensure authentic, robust flavor. Each small batch is carefully brined in homemade teryaki and smoked in seasoned smokers, making it taste unlike anything you will try elsewhere.

This moist, flaky salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, yet is a low-calorie and low-fat food. Sold by the pound and shipped Fedex 2-day on ice packs in food containers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Goat meat direct from Del Norte, Colorado.

Goat meat now available direct from the producer in Del Norte, Colorado.

A variety of cuts and whole carcasses available from premium all-American, all-natural, young alfalfa- and grass-fed Boer and Boer-X meat goats.

All meat is USDA inspected with no hormones, no steroids, and no artificial feeds.

Chevon, also known as Cabrito or Capretto is the very tender goat meat of young kid goats. Also known as chevon, cabrito, and capretto -- names that can be used interchangeably -- goat meats referred to as cabrito are sometimes defined as weaned or suckling goat, while chevon or capretto is the meat of an older yearling, weaned meat goat.

Rum Lip Balm from Lewes, Delaware

Rum Lip Balm now available from Lewes, Delaware

This homemade, all natural lip balm is made from fine butters, oils, and beeswax. It smells just like a shot of rum.

Ingredients include sunflower oil, beeswax, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, and essential oils.

Sold in twist-up tubes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gamesmanship: Cyborg® R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse for PC

Ready to lose the wire? This top-of-the-range mouse has the power and performance of the R.A.T. 7 combined with next-generation wireless technology for an unsurpassed gaming experience.

This mouse is a 24/7 wireless beast, shipping with 2 custom built lithium-ion battery cells. One powers the R.A.T. while the other one charges in the dock, allowing the gamer to perform a ‘hot swap’ whenever and wherever needed.

A staggering 1ms response time ensures that lightning fast reactions remain lightning fast.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Growth Spurts: Calculating Crop and Ethanol Yields and Irrigation Needs in Four Easy Steps

Estimating crop yields based on available water in semi-arid regions has been made easier using a special calculator computer program developed by an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist.

The device, called the MultiCalculator CD, was developed by agronomist David Nielsen at the ARS Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, Colorado.

The MultiCalculator uses three simple downloadable Excel spreadsheets.

In four steps, the yield calculator predicts non-irrigated crop yields--a vital factor in the semi-arid central plains.

First, farmers estimate how much available soil water their fields have. Farmers can tab to a table on a different screen that helps them make this estimate, giving multiplication factors for various soil types. For example, farmers on the predominant soil type in the area, silty loam, would multiply the depth of their wet soil by 2.2 to get the number of inches of soil water available for the crop at planting time.

In the next three steps, farmers choose a crop, a location, and guess the percentage of average precipitation they expect during the growing season.

The computer instantly shows the yields they can expect. The yield calculator does this for 18 crops, including cereal grains, seed legumes, oilseeds and forages.

The water calculator also works in reverse--in five steps--beginning with the farmer choosing a crop, then the target yield. It tells how much irrigation water will be needed to achieve the target yield.

In addition, the calculator will also tell farmers how many gallons of irrigation water they will need for each gallon of ethanol produced from the corn they grow.

The calculations are derived from data from long-term ARS research at Akron, which showed a linear relationship between crop yields and seasonal crop water use.

Growth Spurts
Home Grown
Farm Supply
Mathematical Models of Crop Growth and Yield

Kitchen Supply: Working Glass

Working Glass now available in the Housewares section of Kitchen Supply.

These 20-ounce glasses with lids are perfect for homemade jams, jellies, marmalades and preserving. Sold in sets of four. Dishwasher safe.

Growth Spurts: Planting Depth Critical in Corn

As farmers gear up for corn planting, it is important to keep in mind problems that can result from incorrect planting depth, especially under wet planting conditions if the planter is raised up.

Problems can include: restricted root development due to compaction, rootless corn syndrome, lodging, lack of surface soil moisture, variable emergence, potential damage from pre-plant or pre-emergence herbicides and/or potential fertilizer injury.

"Proper planting depth is essential for ensuring good nodal and brace root development," said Jenny Rees of University of Nebraska Extension. "During the rush of getting the corn in the ground, especially under wet conditions, the planter often is raised up."

Raising the planter can cause problems, though, Rees said.

"Often variable emergence is observed," she said. "Also, as the seedlings grow, their roots may not become as established as they would if the seed were planted deeper."

Bob Klein, extension western Nebraska crops specialist at University of Nebraska 's West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte, said on windy days in May and June you'll see the effects of rootless corn syndrome when seedlings flop around, braced only by the main radial root.

"This causes a great deal of plant stress with plants often becoming dislodged or dying due to a lack of root structure and moisture stress," Klein said. "This ultimately reduces plant population and subsequent yield."

May winds can quickly dry out the surface soil, resulting in lack of soil moisture at the surface where seedling roots are found.

Shallow rooting depths also can increase the probability of damage from pre-plant and pre-emergence herbicides. Damage from fertilizer also increases with shallow planting, particularly when fertilizing within that planting row.

"It's important to remember that many closing wheels are designed for a 2-inch seeding depth," Klein said. "Planting shallower than this results in the seed being in loose soil that will dry out more quickly and provide for less seed-to-soil contact."

Improper seeding depth also can contribute to agronomic problems later in the year such as increased stalk lodging due to inadequate brace root development. Brace roots on shallow planted corn often appear stubby and stunted and can be confused with symptoms caused by herbicide or nematode injury.

"Research conducted by universities and the ag industry show that planting at a 2-inch depth compared to a 1-inch depth provides more uniform plant populations and better yields, thus our recommendation is to plant corn at least 2 inches deep," Rees said.

Many producers aim for a 1.5-inch planting depth; however, hitting old root stumps and not exerting enough down pressure when cutting through residue can quickly raise that planting depth closer to the surface.

Sources:
Jennifer Rees, extension educator, Clay County, (402) 762-3644, jrees2@unl.edu
Robert Klein, extension western Nebraska crops specialist, agronomy and horticulture, (308) 696-6705, rklein1@unl.edu

Bites: Red Wine Prevents Stroke Damage

Researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have discovered the way in which red wine consumption may protect the brain from damage following a stroke.

Two hours after feeding mice a single modest dose of resveratrol, a compound found in the skins and seeds of red grapes, the scientists induced an ischemic stroke by essentially cutting off blood supply to the animals' brains. They found that the animals that had preventively ingested the resveratrol suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound.

"Our study adds to evidence that resveratrol can potentially build brain resistance to ischemic stroke," says Sylvain Doré, Ph.D., the leader of the study, which appears online in the journal Experimental Neurology.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home Grown: Creating a Container Herb Garden

Growing plants can be a great deal of fun, especially if the plants are easy to care for. That's why a favorite group of plants for home gardening is culinary herbs. Not only do these plants add a variety of color to the landscape and are good filler plants in perennial and herb gardens, they add flavor to your favorite food dish.

Growing herbs in containers can add variety, fragrance, and a splash of color to a deck, balcony, patio, or any small space. Herbs can be used alone in containers or mixed with annual flowers or vegetables.

Kitchen Supply: Ultrasonic Fruit and Vegetable Washer

The Ultrasonic Fruit and Vegetable Washer, now available in Kitchen Supply, makes cleaning fruits and vegetables -- as well as jewelry, baby items, and more -- a breeze.

While this small appliance is pricey, getting chemicals off of the food you put in your body can be priceless.

This washer is equipped with a "3D Soul" that decontaminates, disinfects, and deodorizes while it cleans. Wash time is 5 minutes for cleaning the dirt and grime off of all fruits and veggies. Gets the pesticides and other harmful chemicals off of food and makes it ready for consumption.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Market Watch: Corn and Soybean Prices Weighed Down by Production Expectations

Prices for the 2010 corn and soybean crops experienced some weakness immediately following the March 31 USDA reports, but made substantial gains in the following two weeks. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, that rebound appears to be ending.

December 2010 corn futures traded to $3.75 following the Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports, but traded to a high of $3.95 last week. November 2010 soybean futures traded to a low of about $9.08 following those reports, but were $.60 higher late last week. Prices turned lower at the start of this week.

"While much of the day-to-day chatter in these markets centers on the so-called outside markets, including energy, currencies, and financials, the most important
price factor now is prospective crop size," Good said.

For corn, expectations for the size of the 2010 U.S. crop are likely getting larger.

"There is some expectation that planted acreage will exceed intentions reported at the end of March," Good said. "Favorable spring weather and rapid planting progress raise expectations that producers will plant more corn than intended in early March. This year, a relatively dry April may have allowed much needed field work to be finished, resulting in more corn acres than planned. In addition, there has been a tendency for actual planted acres of corn to exceed March intentions in recent years."

Planting intentions reported in March were exceeded in five of the past six years, with 2008 being the exception. However, acreage exceeded intentions only six times in the past 10 years and only eight times in the past 20 years.

Good said it is not clear how producers will respond to lower prices of corn. December 2010 futures were near $4.15 in early March, but are now below $3.90. On the other hand, November soybeans futures are higher now than anytime in March. December corn futures are below the spring price guarantee for crop revenue insurance and November soybean futures are above the guarantee.

Yield prospects for the 2010 corn crop also remain favorable early in the growing season.

"Our crop weather models reveal a yield penalty for planting corn late or after May 10," Good said. "Widespread late planting likely resulted in a substantial yield penalty in the eastern Corn Belt in 2009. For now, it appears the U.S. crop will be planted in a very timely fashion, resulting in negligible yield penalties in 2010. In addition, the National Weather Service forecast is for generally benign summer weather conditions."

According to Good, some market analysts believe that the current volcanic activity in Iceland could also lead to favorably cool summer weather in some parts of the northern hemisphere. However, that volcanic activity is much smaller than historic episodes that have influenced summer weather. The timing and magnitude of the weakening of the current El Niño may have some influence on summer weather as well, but correlations are not strong. The relatively dry conditions in April could have some minor negative influence on corn yield potential. That impact, however, may be offset by the generous amount of precipitation from last fall through March 2010.

Good said expectations for the 2010 soybean crop are not as well defined as those for corn. In general, an increase in corn acreage from intentions would lead to expectations of fewer soybean acres. In eight of the last 10 years, the difference between March intentions and actual soybean acreage was in the opposite direction of the difference in corn acreage. The exceptions were in 2008 when acreage of both crops exceeded intentions, and in 2001 when acreage of both crops was below intentions.

"The magnitude of change in 2010 is difficult to anticipate since planting decisions will be influenced by decisions for a number of other crops," Good said. "In addition, the magnitude of total planted acreage of all crops could deviate from March intentions. Soybean yields are most heavily influenced by July and August weather. At this juncture, there is no reason to expect the 2010 U.S. average yield to be below trend."

Good said if favorable planting and early growing season weather conditions persist, as forecast, corn and soybean prices could experience some ongoing weakness. More volatility would be expected as the crops approach the critical part of the growing season in July.

Source: Darrel Good, 217-333-4716, d-good@illinois.edu

Monday, April 19, 2010

Growth Spurts: Sudangrass Effective Against Canada Thistle

Farmers minimizing their use of chemical herbicides need creative solutions to win the battle against aggressive perennial weeds. In ongoing research at the University of Illinois on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), Sudangrass is proving to be a worthy summer smother crop.

"Sudangrass gets very tall. It outcompetes the thistle for light. The Sudangrass creates shade so photosynthesis cannot occur in the thistle," said U of I weed scientist John Masiunas. "In our test plots, primarily in the northern part of Illinois, we've seen 95 percent control, so farmers can plant a cash crop the following year in the patch that had been infected with Canada thistle."

Planting time of the smother crop of Sudangrass is critical. "It's
got to be seeded in the first couple of weeks in June. If you get much past the mid-to late June, the Sudangrass is not able to compete adequately because the thistle grows rapidly in that time period."

A combination of mowing and tilling the thistle before planting the Sudangrass is also recommended.

"Tilling and mowing the thistle interrupts its life cycle so that it can't put energy back into the roots.

Mowing the Sudangrass is important for several reasons. You can mow to prevent seed heads from forming on the Sudangrass and reseeding itself, and mowing helps to control the amount of residue. If you let the Sudangrass grow the entire season, you'll have a plant seven or eight feet tall, with a lot of shoot tissue, a lot of biomass to deal with. So when you mow it, you just leave it as a surface mulch."

For the past three years research specialist Dan Anderson has been working with from nine to 20 farmers each summer on environmentally friendly ways to control Canada thistle.

The farmers he's been working with are primarily in the northern part of Illinois. Because of the weed's adaptation, Canada thistle needs a longer day, so it's not as much of a problem in southern Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi, or Alabama.

"I've seen some horrible fields in northern Illinois, just full of thistle. The Sudangrass was planted on patches of ground where Canada thistle was prevalent, some larger patches and some smaller. That's one of the advantages to this is you don't have to devote the entire field to this."

Masiunas stressed that the problem is usually found in patches. "What we're aiming at is to eliminate a problem in patches that occur in a field. Our purpose is not to manage Canada thistle on 100 acres but in areas that might be 100 square feet. The hope is that the farmer would catch the Canada thistle in a relatively small patch in an intensively managed farm. If they're doing a lot of tillage, they're not going to have as severe a case of Canada thistle. If they're doing reduced tillage and staying on top of the weeds, they might have a small patch of Canada thistle, but it shouldn't have taken over a whole field."

Anderson said that some of the farms he has been working with also have a livestock component. The Sudangrass can be mowed and left as a smother crop, or it can be grazed.

Is the Sudangrass smother crop a strategy that a conventional farmer would consider trying?

Masiunas said that conventional farmers might incorporate Sudangrass as an integrated pest management approach if they're trying to diversify their management strategies.

"You're generally not going to get 100 percent control with any type of herbicide that you can use against Canada thistle — 95 to 98 percent control is about the best you'll get with the best application of herbicides. And we're getting a similar level of control with Sudangrass."

Sources:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
"Canada Thistle Suppression with Buckweat or Sudangrass Cover Crops
and Mowing," published in the October-December 2009 issue of Weed Technology.

Kitchen Supply: Turning Slicer

The Benriner Pro Turning Slicer is used for making fine cut carrots potato strings for salad strings of green pepper or beets and curly strands of cucumbers.

Made of nylon and reinforced glass, the slicer includes four stainless steel blades -- a flat-edged blade, a fine-toothed blade, a medium-toothed blade, and a coarse-toothed blade. You can make 50 servings in 5 minutes and it does not waste any vegetable material.

This slicer also peels various vegetables that wedge into the center spike with an adjustable thickness of cut. Turn the handle only to produce fine strings of carrots, onions, cucumbers, peppers, etc. The fine blade creates elegant vegetable garnishes for professional looking meals. The medium blade is best for quick and easy uniform stir-fry pieces. The coarse blade makes chunky and crisp cuts of fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, onions, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, apples, peaches, etc.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Husbandry: Portable Breeding Barn Makes AI Easier

Beef farmers who practice artificial insemination will find that a portable breeding barn makes life a lot easier on both man and beast.

"This is especially true if fixed-time AI is practiced and inclement weather hits the day the cows or heifers must be inseminated," said

Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. A portable breeding barn can simply be backed to a lead up alley gate. When the back door opens the animals to be worked can hardly wait to go into the nice, dark confines of the unit.

"There are no head gates inside to cause them to struggle, just a bar that drops behind them that allows the inseminator to safely do the
breeding or pregnancy check," said Cole.

Research has shown that one secret to higher conception rates is to reduce stress on the female before, during and after insemination. The breeding barn does that.

"Since the barn is a new adventure for the animal and they've not experienced any discomfort in the past, they remain calm in the barn," said Cole. "The technicians appreciate the comfort of having all their necessary AI items under roof and out of the wind. When pregnancy checking with ultrasound, its dark enough to easily see the screen."

The breeding barn is available in one or two-stall designs. If a large numbers of cows are to be processed and two inseminators used, the two-stall barn allows both to work comfortably.

MU Extension has several breeding barns in Missouri for public use by the public.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Home Grown: Sites for Growing Roses

There are several things to consider when looking for a site to plant new roses.

Roses need a minimum of six hours of sun per day to grow well and produce their flowers. Consider planting roses in a south-facing exposure for maximum sunlight. An east-facing exposure is also good as it will receive morning sun. Morning sun will hasten the drying of dew from the plants and be cooler and less stressful than afternoon sun.

Good air circulation is also important. Many of the disease problems common to roses are more likely to occur when the plants stay wet for extended periods of time. A site with good air circulation will keep plant surfaces drier and reduce the incidence of disease. Avoid planting roses too close to one another, to other plants or to buildings or to other structure.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Open Air Relocates

The Open Air blog has been moved to a new location:

http://openairfarmersmarkets.blogspot.com/

Please visit this site for news, information, and updates on open-air farmers’ markets and similar public markets throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In Season: Strawberry Varieties for Home and Commercial Growers

Many of the popular varieties of strawberries grown in home and commercial gardens were created in a 100-year-old strawberry breeding program at the USDA's Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.

These varieties include Earliglow, Tribute, Northeaster, Blakemore and Steelmaster .

Earliglow, which was released in 1975, set a new flavor standard for strawberries. The berry is perfect for fresh eating, bite-sized and very sweet. High-yielding and very disease resistant, Earliglow is an excellent choice for beginners and home gardeners.

Tribute, released in 1981, produces fruit multiple times during the growing season. This variety is also easy to grow, yielding large amounts of firm fruit in the spring, summer and fall.

Northeaster, released in 1994, is prized for its high-yielding large, beautiful, aromatic fruit. The berries ripen early and freeze well. Northeaster is an ideal garden variety, growing well in light or heavy soils.

Blakemore, released in 1931, was the first variety firm enough for shipping, making it possible for consumers all over the country to enjoy fresh strawberries.

The release of Steelmaster in 1954 saved the early strawberry industry from the devastating, root-rot disease called red stele.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Open Air: Waianae Farmers' Market

The Waianae Farmers' Market in Hawaii is relocating to Waianae High School on May 1.

Sponsored by the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC), a non-profit community medical home, the Waianae Farmers' Market attracts hundreds of locals and visitors weekly. It offers a "local twist" with its unique vendors, cultural demonstrations, and live, local entertainment.

The Saturday market has around 12 -15 participating vendors, with items such as fresh pounded poi, lau lau, omelets, local eggs, fruits & vegetables, local butter and cheeses, tropical plants, and locally caught, fresh fish. Every last Saturday of the month, there is live, local entertainment and once a month, a cultural demonstration.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Farmer's Market Online Today

Welcome to Farmer's Market Online, the world's oldest and largest continuing online marketplace for producers selling their handmade, custom crafted, home grown and farm raised goods direct to consumers worldwide.

On Saturday, April 10, there were 3,597 unique visitors at Farmer’s Market Online making 21,857 page hits.

Our Open Air Farmers Markets Directory lists and profiles more than 4,000 farmers markets across North America by the state or province of their location. The directories visited most often this week have been:

1. New Jersey
2. Illinois
3. Florida
4. Ohio
5. Michigan
6. North Carolina
7. Texas
8. Pennsylvania
9. California
10. Virginia

To list your market on the directory, or to update a profile, use our Market Listing Form.

To list a handmade or home grown product on the Buy Direct Directory, use our Registration Form

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rural Delivery: Country Hardball

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1994. All rights reserved.

There's a town called Dyersville in eastern Iowa where they build farm toys and play baseball. Pick up most any toy tractor and look for who it's made by. If the maker is The Ertl Co., Scale Models or Spec-Cast, then it came from Dyersville.

Walk in a straight line out from the center of Dyersville in any direction and you'll soon be in a corn field. Keep on walking and there's a chance, if you luck onto the right bearing, that you'll come to a clearing and walk out onto a baseball field.

If it's baseball season and it's the last Sunday of the month there's likely to be a ballgame in progress between two teams dressed in turn-of-the-century Chicago White Sox uniforms. Looking at the crowd of spectators gathered on wooden bleachers and hearing the solid "kah-lok!" of a bat making contact, you might think you've stepped back into a simpler, happier time.

The ballfield straddling the properties of two farmers outside Dyersville was built a few years back as a setting for the movie "Field of Dreams." In that movie an Iowa farmer is compelled by a voice he hears to build a ballfield for ghostly ballplayers.

When the movie folks moved on, the ballfield remained behind. Now the local folks gather on that field regularly to shag flies and round the bases.

Just as the toy tractors Dyersville's residents make are often replicas of yesterday's machinery, so the baseball they play is a recreation of the country hardball once common across America.

Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball. It began with groups of farmhands and sharecroppers playing bat-ball games wherever they could find a clearing. It began with country kids tossing peach pits in the air and swinging at them with willow branches. It began with rock throwing contests.

It's no accident that baseball season begins at the same time as spring planting and concludes during autumn harvests. The nine innings of a game could represent the nine months from the first days of spring to the onset of winter and the four bases of the diamond are like the four points of a compass -- north, south, east and west.

Baseball is played on a "field" instead of a court and follows the natural course of "innings" rather than the mechanical movements of a clock. Its runs are counted like wheat in a granary and batting averages parallel comparisons of yield and profits.

But win or lose, and whatever the final score, the game can begin anew with the promise of spring. The cycle of baseball repeats itself like seasons, over and over again, endlessly.

The public image of baseball may be broadcast via satellite from shining new ballparks in cities where they sign athletes to million-dollar contracts for afternoon play. But the soul of baseball still lives in places like Dyersville where the game is played for the same reason they make toy tractors: just for fun.

Rural Delivery
Country Hardball
Michael Hofferber
Field of Dreams

Friday, April 9, 2010

Specialty Foods: Barbecue Sauces and Rubs direct Montgomery, Texas

Barbecue Sauces and Rubs now available direct from the maker in Montgomery, Texas.

This family-based producer in a small Texas town offers a classic sweet and spicy barbecue sauce great for any BBQ and a spicy vinegar and mustard based sauce called "Georgia Juice."

Barbecue Sauce
Specialty Foods & Beverages
add your sauce to the Buy Direct Directory

Farmer's Market Online Today

Welcome to Farmer's Market Online, the world's oldest and largest continuing online marketplace for producers selling their handmade, custom crafted, home grown and farm raised goods direct to consumers worldwide.

Created 14 years ago as a “fair trade” enterprise, Farmer’s Market Online is dedicated to providing an inexpensive opportunity for small-scale and home-based entrepreneurs to sell their homemade, home grown and self-produced products to shoppers worldwide. Vendors in this market receive 100 percent of the purchase price for every item sold. There are no sales reports to file and no commissions to pay. Every transaction is strictly between the consumer and the vendor.

It is our conviction that independent entrepreneurs who sell their own products directly to consumers are a key component of a sustainable economy. It is our belief that a producer-driven economy based on the creation of real goods with tangible value is much stronger and more resilient than one based on services or the redistribution of goods.

On Wednesday, April 7 there were 3,509 unique visitors at Farmer’s Market Online making 21,165 page hits.

Most Visited Blogs:
1. Open Market
2. Open Air
3. Market Watch
4. Bites
5. Rural Delivery
6. Husbandry
7. In Season
8. Farm Kitchen
9. Selling Points
10. Growth Spurts

Unlike other online marketplaces, vendors in this market receive 100 percent of the purchase price for every item sold. There are no sales reports to file and no commissions to pay. Every transaction is strictly between the consumer and the vendor.

Shoppers communicate with and deal directly with the producer, giving them the opportunity to know who is making or growing the goods and how they are being produced.

To join Farmer's Market Online as a vendor, either lease a Booth or register for a basic Listing on the Buy Direct Directory.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mozzarella from Manhassett, New York

Mozzarella now available from Manhassett, New York.

This fresh unripened mozzarella is made daily with carefully selected whole milk. Since there is no salt it is packed in lightly salted water to insure freshness.

This product must be shipped next day air in summer months, 2 days air the rest of the year. Gift wrapping available

Here's How To... Compost

Each year more than 3.5 million tons of recyclable yard waste is unnecessarily sent to landfills. Viewed by many as rubbish, home gardeners see this waste as "gardener's gold."

Yard waste can be converted into compost. It's simple to construct a container which would save much in purchasing bags of amendments.

Use what you have.

A compost container can be anything from a wire cage to pressure-treated lumber or whatever material you have available.

Trying building two 4-by-4-by-3-foot bins side-by- side.

You can continuously add material throughout the process. Work out of the first bin and build the second for later.

Continued...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scented Candles from Kingwood, Texas

Scented candles now available direct from Kingwood, Texas.

These candles are handpoured when ordered to ensure the best candle there possible. They are made using a creamy soy/parrafin blended wax to deliver a great cold and hot scent throw and eco-friendly wicks.

Candles are scented with the maximum amount of fragrance oil the wax will hold, then poured in small batches.

Each candle is labeled with hand-crafted tags designed, printed, cut and assembled by the candlemaker.

Candles
Handmade
add your candles to the Buy Direct Directory

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Duke Blue Devils "Metro Basket" available in The Gift Shop

March Madness Gift: Duke Blue Devils "Metro Basket" available in The Gift Shop.

A thoughtful gift for the traveling Blue Devils fan, this lightweight fully-collapsible, insulated basket can be used for many occasions.

Made of durable polyester canvas, the basket features a water-resistant interior and expandable drawstring top and sturdy aluminum frame from which the canvas detaches. Easy to clean and versatile.

Handpainted ceramic mugs from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Handpainted ceramic mugs now available from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

These dishwasher safe, ovenproof, and 100% lead free mugs are handmade and handpainted. This iris design is available in four styles: 16 oz mug, 12 oz Travel Mug, 10 oz Teacup or 16 oz Latte.

Each 16-ounce mug is approximately 3 3/4 inches in diameter and 4 inches in height.

As with all hand crafted pottery the coloring (tints) and size will vary from piece to piece, making each piece a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Ceramics
Handmade
add your ceramics to the Buy Direct Directory

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home & Garden Center: Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader

Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader with Rain Cover now available in Home and Garden Center.

This tow-behind broadcast spreader allows for quick and easy spreading while towing behind almost any tractor or vehicle with its universal hitch and hitching pin. It has a generous-sized hopper (2,927 cubic inches or up to 130 pounds) and rugged construction, making it well suited for jobsite conditions.

This 130-pound capacity spreader has a fingertip cable control that can be reached while sitting on the tractor, allowing for quick and easy adjustments to the 10- to 12-foot spread width pattern.

Comes equipped with 15-Inch treaded turf tires.

Friday, April 2, 2010

In Season Guide: Asparagus

Asparagus is a perennial that provides one of the first vegetables harvested from the garden each season. Best of all, once a planting is established, it will last for many years, perhaps a lifetime.

Asparagus grows best in fertile, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter.

Plant asparagus at the edge or side of the garden where it won’t be in the way of garden activities. Be sure to loosen the soil about a foot deep and incorporate well-rotted manure or compost to increase the drainage and organic matter.

Open Air: Spokane Farmers’ Market

The Spokane Farmers’ Market is relocating to a field near Lewis and Clark High School at 5th and Browne in Spokane, Washington, for the 2010 season.

The move from the market's precious location at Division and Second was necessitated by the reconstruction of Second Avenue, which is scheduled over the next two years.

The 12th season of the Spokane Farmers’ Market will begin on Saturday, May 15, 8am to 1pm, and will continue through October. The market will also be open Wednesdays, 8am to 1pm, beginning June 9.

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