Brian Boyce Johnny's Selected Seeds/Rinky Dink Ranch

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David Plescia  |  New Family Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA

Subject: Tractor models that have worked? The classic One-Tractor dilemma

Howdy Farmers,

I am looking for specific tractor models, old or new (manufacturer, model, and year) that veggie growers have really liked, so that I can search them used on TractorHouse. Our situation is this...

My partner and I are tooling up to break ground on a 6-8 acre, diverse vegetable CSA in Sebastopol. We are researching tractors, and deep into the classic "one tractor conundrum". With the ability to only afford one tractor, we would like to have a versatile one. We'd like it to be able to do primary tillage, as well as has have properly spaced and thin enough tires to get it into our shaped beds to help renovate beds for second-plantings (to undercut, disc, rototill, or spade), to weed the furrows and to possibly flame-weed (if we can find a 60" tractor mounted flame weeder). We will cultivate in-row manually the first years.

Our requirements are: ~50 horsepower, 4WD, 60" center-to-center tread

... Read More

In Topics Equipment, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol, Cooperation Among Farmers, Nevada County Guild

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  |    |   commented

As an owner of Massey Ferguson Tractors Dealer in Ghana. I will recommenced Massey Ferguson MF 375 (2WD), Massey Ferguson MF 375 (4WD), Massey Ferguson MF 385 (2WD), Massey Ferguson MF 385 (4WD). heavy-duty tractors at best prices For Farmers in Africa.

04/09/22 1:10 AM

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Torrey Douglass  |  Weather Watch Ranch  |  Boonville, CA

Subject: It's almost fly time! Spring is ramping up and the first flies are appearing. We have chickens, pig

It's almost fly time! Spring is ramping up and the first flies are appearing. We have chickens, pigs, and cows. Anyone have some effective and non-toxic/low-toxic solutions for fly abatement? Thanks for any tips!

In Topics Pest & Disease Management

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  |  Rincon-Vitova Insectaries  |  Ventura, CA commented

We at Rincon-Vitova Insectaries grow 3 species of fly parasite wasps for a mixture that works in most situations. In addition we sell the Sagebrush traps made by David Olkowski from small hanging traps to ones that sit on a 5 gallon bucket and one that sits on a 55 gallon drum. Molasses diluted 1:3 with water makes a great fly bait that smells pleasant for about 2 weeks then begins to stink. We also carry balEnce fly spray that is NOP organic, so we can offer a complete organic/biological fly control program. balEnce contains a strain of Beauvaria bassicana, an insect eating fungus, that kills flies but does not harm fly parasites. For biting flies we produce the NZI trap that is a visual target for tabanid flies like horse and deer flies that irritate cattle and humans. We set up scheduled shipments so farmers can stay on top of fly problems so they can keep flies suppressed, a comfortable place to be.

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04/11/18 11:04 PM

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Ben Lyons  |  Lockewood Acres  |  Vacaville, CA

Subject: vacuum seeder

I was looking to invest in a vacuum seeder. Any input as to whether it is worth the 600 plus dollars as apposed to hand seeding 128 flats. I currently make .28/hr so my ROI would take awhile. Please provide reviews ( brand, price, ease of use, ect.). Thanks in advance to you all.


In Topics Seed & Planting

In General FarmsReach community

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  |  TD Willey Farms  |  Madera, CA commented


You may want to check in with Ryan Casey of Blue House Farm in Pescadero. He made his own vacuum tray seeder for pennies on the dollar.

Best, Tom

02/01/18 11:44 AM

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Emma Torbert  |  Cloverleaf Farm  |  Davis, CA

Subject: Landscape fabric?

Does anybody know where to get landscape fabric locally (to north California)? I called Shaw's fabrics and got a quote for Lumite, but it comes from Georgia and freight is expensive. I emailed Extenday but I haven't heard back from them. Thank you!

In Topics Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

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  |  One acre farm  |  morgan hill, CA commented

Try G&M, it's in AZ, they probably not going to ship from CA but they are normally much cheaper than the rest of the farm vendors so it still comes cheaper

02/03/15 9:03 PM

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Eric Brennan  |  USDA-ARS  |  Salinas, CA

Subject: Free Pelleted Alyssum Seed for aphid control in Lettuce/Vegetable Plantings/Efficient Intercropping

Hi Folks,

Alyssum is an effective plant to use as an insectary for beneficial insects, and can help to control aphids in crops like lettuce. For several years I’ve been working on simple ways to integrate alyssum plants into direct-seeded lettuce plantings to provide beneficial insects, like hoverflies, with the food they need to help us control aphids. To do this, I had untreated alyssum seed (which are much smaller than lettuce seed) pelleted to the same size as a lettuce pellet (13.0). The alyssum pellets are then mixed with the lettuce pellets, planted together with the lettuce, and then at thinning the alyssum are left alone. Preliminary evaluations over two years and several sites have indicated that this is an efficient way to establish alyssum, assuming that the thinning crews are shown how to identify alyssum at thinning. Alyssum is often flowering or just about to flower at the lettuce

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In Topics Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

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  |  USDA-ARS  |  Salinas, CA commented

Hi Brian,

Great Question. It's a major bummer that Bagrada likes alyssum, although, I don't think this should make us 'write off' alyssum as an insectary in several situations. You're correct that alyssum can serve as a host to this nasty pest. Here's a link to the UC Guidelines for managing Bagrada for anybody interested . We clearly still have lots to learn about Bagrada and alyssum. I don't know of any replicated studies that have looked at the effects of alyssum insectary plantings on Bagrada damage in crops that are susceptible (like brassicas) or not susceptible (like lettuce). It seems to me that we may need to be more cautious with using alyssum insectaries in brassicas, than in crops like lettuce, and more caution may be needed in brassicas during warmer times of the year when bagrada popullations are higher. Last year, in

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01/23/15 1:26 PM

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Eric Harvey  |  Our Table Cooperative  |  Sherwood, OR

I am wondering if anyone might have some suggestions for flea beetle management. We are used to the ubiquity of the crucifer flea beetle and always have mixed results controlling with remay. However, we have never seen flea beetles on everything, but in particular on our solanums. Between the different families of flea beetles, they are eating our tomatoes, tomatillos, celery, zucchini, parsley, cilantro, flowers and spinach (and brassicas to an extent, although they are all covered). I hesitate to put out our eggplant, peppers, melons, cukes and winter squash. On the tomatoes, the damage has been negligible, but the tomatillos are another story (especially the healthiest and strongest ones to go out). Most organic pesticides seem to be non discriminatory, like Pyganic or Diatomaceous Earth, and covering everything with remay would be impractical and probably too late. Does anyone have any suggestions for short and/or long term management? Thanks!

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

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  |  P.J. Dunn Working Redworms  |  Galt, CA commented

I am just wondering (out loud) if anyone has been following the current research on casting/compost (actively aerated) teas regarding their insecticide properties? Dr. Norman Arancon at U of Hawaii/Hilo has conducted some interesting experiments, research is on-going concerning citrus psysillid (sp.?) and the latest work is with chitin (the flexible natural polymer that is a component of insect exoskeletons and shrimp shells) and chitinase degraders introduced through chitin rich worm tea that acts as a natural repellant. This is good stuff, to be sure (worm castings, that is) and there is the recycling and sustainable aspect that make vermicomposting an essential component that can help reduce input costs.

06/03/14 9:12 PM

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Lorri Duckworth  |  Duckworth Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA

Hi there,

I am an organic berry grower. Does anyone know of good berry package options other than the clamshells? Or companies that make good berry packaging?


Duckworth Farm


In Topics Washing, Packing & Packaging

In General FarmsReach community, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol

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  |  Kokopelli Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA commented

Hi Lorri and others,

I get my open pulp baskets from Reynolds Packaging here in Sonoma County. They deliver. I still have some left over from last year, but will need to make another order. The price goes down if we order more, so perhaps we can consider a group order.
The best way to reach me is at 707-829-8185. We just had our first training of six pickers this morning for our boysenberries, which harvest starting early June. We are still look for more pickers to train and then hire. It is early-morning, short-term work.
Shepherd Bliss, Kokopelli Farm, Sebastopol
05/14/14 11:47 AM

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Jason Wehmhoener  |  Birdsong Orchards  |  Watsonville, CA

We're getting ready to put a couple hundred heirloom tomato plants in the ground (in about 90 varieties). We'll do raised beds, and the bed shaper we have access to will make 80" beds center to center.

I'm currently researching alternatives to black plastic mulch. One alternative is to roll and crimp our cover crop rather than tilling, but there are so many caveats to this process, that I'm a bit hesitant to go there. However, Rodale Institute has written up some great research on the topic:

Another alternative is to use degradable plastics. Some research about that here:

Has anybody here used any of these black plastic alternatives? Any wisdom to share?

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

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  |  Birdsong Orchards  |  Watsonville, CA commented

Thanks folks, really great discussion. I agree about leaning towards on-farm solutions.

For this year, we're going to bury our drip tape and go with elbow grease and a hoe for any weeds that decide they didn't need much water to sprout.

If we find that required more elbow grease than we were hoping for, I'm going to consider durable/reusable plastics or hope that some of the degradable plastics have achieved OMRI certification. Another option I might consider is hay-and-newspaper mulch.

05/02/14 9:49 AM

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Brian Boyce  |  Johnny's Selected Seeds/Rinky Dink Ranch  |  Rumsey, CA
Hello friends,

I apologize for the short notice, but I wanted to make sure you're aware of the opportunity THIS THURSDAY evening to spend the evening with one of our great agrarian elders, Tom Willey, of T & D Willey Farm.

The evening will include a fabulous meal featuring produce from T&D Willey, prepared by Chef Ame Harrington, and conversation with Tom and special guest Nathanael Johnson of Nathanael interviewed Tom for Grist a couple of months ago.
Good news for you is that there are still some spots available - so please consider joining us - tickets are less than $40! And spread the word to anyone interested in food and agriculture.
More information and a link to that interview are here.

Thanks and I hope to see you there!



Julia Thomas ~ Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
Education Assistant Manager
1900 Alhambra Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 732-3151

In Topics News & Events

In General FarmsReach community

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John Maeck  |  Mw Farm  |  San Francisco, CA
Has anyone contracted with a store or restaurant who would be willing to share your contract template? Or, if you didn't have an official contract, can you share the terms of your handshake agreement? I'm working with a store/cafe in San Francisco, and I'd like to lock down what we agreed to somehow. Thank you! John

In Topics Marketing & Sales

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  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

A contract might sound like a great idea (protecting your farm), but in reality, there's a much greater likeliehood that something will prevent you from meeting your end of the deal (bugs and weather being the two biggest) as there is that the restaurant will fail to live up to their promises.   Much better to have an open ended relationship with lots of flexibility (What, no arugula this week? Well sure, spinach would work instead...).   A wiser farmer than me has told me dozens of times "Keep the lawyers out of it, a farmer never has the resources to outlawyer anyone."
08/27/13 6:48 PM

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