Page 1

Eastern Edition n


Section One of Three

August 2012 Volume e 21 Number r 8


Serving All Aspects of Commercial Horticulture

Greenhouse • Nursery • Garden Center • Fruit & Vegetable • Farm Markets • Landscapers • Christmas

Mock’s Greenhouse ~ Page e A4

Today’ss Marketing g A5 Christmas Classifieds Falll Harvest

B1 C11 C1

Summerr Shows


Inserts (in some areas) Greenstarr Farm m Market

Perishable retailing in today’s marketplace ~ Page A3

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 2

FARMSTOCK 2012 ~ Silver Heights Farm by Judy Van Put Sullivan County, New York’s FARMSTOCK series of working farm tours continues this summer, from May through September, 2012 with a great lineup and variety of farms. This is the third year of the FARMSTOCK events, created by the Sullivan County Farm Network in 2010, to ‘increase farming activities in Sullivan County and to strengthen communication between those who grow food and those who consume it.” On Sunday, June 27, FARMSTOCK was held at the Silver Heights Farm and Nursery, along Route 52, Cochecton Center, NY. Trina Pilonero, who runs Silver Heights, moved with her husband, Ted, to the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York in 1990. Having been raised on a farm in Kansas, Trina gravitated toward gardening; she took a Master Gardening class through the local Cornell Cooperative Extension and in 1994, she began raising a few heirloom varieties of tomatoes. After friends and neighbors sampled her delicious and vigorous tomatoes, word spread and before long, Trina was in business supplying local farmers markets, the New York City Greenmarket and more recently, the GrowNYC and Green Guerillas community gardens, as well as the Edible Schoolyard project in New York City public schools. Having been a seed saver and heirloom seed specialist for about 20 years, she began her nursery in her backyard high on a hillside outside of Jeffersonville, NY. She moved

genetic diversity has been developed and shepherded through centuries by families and farmers alike. Gardeners and farmers once routinely saved a seed crop every year for next year’s bounty. Folks selected seeds from plants that exhibited valued characteristics so that they could enjoy this year’s bounty in the following years. Saving seeds once had a recognized, valuable place in the circle of life.”

Trina, Ted, Ann, Jonathan and Buddy greet visitors to Silver Heights Farm and Nursery FARMSTOCK. Photos by Judy Van Put

the nursery to its present location on part of the Gorzynski Farm along Route 52, Cochecton Center in 2005, in order to be more accessible to her customers. All plants are grown organically, and are certified by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC. This year, Trina has produced Silver Heights Farm’s 11th catalog of her certified

The Silver Heights nursery makes use of modular tables, so they can be broken down and stored over the winter in the cold frame, along with the plants that are over-wintered. The tables are painted in bright colors for interest, Trina explains, because once the seedlings grow, “what’s on them is just green.” In late May and June, once air temperatures reach about 80 degrees, a shade cloth is used to cover the large 20foot-by-84-foot cold frame. This drops the inside temperature by 15-20 degrees, and is important to keep the interior temperatures down as much as possible. The structure is built in four-foot sections to

accommodate the snowload in winter, and a roll-up system is employed that even a ‘small woman’ can handle. In early spring, three to four more helpers are on hand for the busy time of planting the trays of seeds. Trina uses 10 20 row seeders to plant the individual seeds; each year she prints out 80,000 plant labels which are well-organized with a library of labels filed away by variety — and variety she has — at last count about 300 varieties just of tomatoes. Starts are planted in rounds — mainly for the New York City customers, as the demand is from two to three weeks, even one month ahead of the Sullivan County farmers markets. Silver Heights produces three rounds of greens, for example, and as they sell out, they switch to raising spring vegetables and herbs; then summer vegetables and so on. There is a good variety Asian and specialty greens and plants. For more information visit; E-mail at or call 845482-3608.

organic, heirloom and unusual open-pollinated vegetable transplants. She specializes in plants that perform well in the shorter, cooler summers of New York’s Catskill Mountain region; and takes pride in the open-pollinated plants: “Open pollinated plants are the unheralded champions of our agricultural heritage. Their amazing

Trina Polinero shows her brightly colored folding tables, used for supporting her seedlings. She explained that the tables add some much-needed color to the scene, which is otherwise ‘just greens’ growing on them.

In addition to her husband Ted, Trina employs others to help with the seeding and planting. Here an intern, between college semesters, enjoys watering the plants.

by Sanne Kure-Jensen “Today’s retail garden centers face significant challenges,” said John Stanley, retail coach, author and trainer. “This is the only industry where customers and retail staff are regularly smiling,” he continued. Why wouldn’t people smile when, according to Stanley, there is an average of 23 percent growth in perishable retail sales in the last 12 months. This will be a year of disruption; Stanley paraphrased William Taylor of Harvard University. All businesses must change or they will not be in business next year. It can be both exciting and terrifying, for retail owners and managers to consider which practices to stop, continue or start. Your Customer Today’s average American customer is a women aged 35 to 45. To grow your business, learn to reach this challenging customer; they are hard to understand, predict and engage/capture as loyal customers. You must satisfy the “hunters” and the “gatherers.” Men often shop like “hunters;” they gaze, select and go; men appreciate simple and clear signs. Most women shop like “gatherers.” They enjoy the experience of browsing, reading signs and labels before making selections. Today’s retail customer wants “an experience” with “weekday convenience” and “weekend experience.” Customers are looking for something to do, not necessarily something to buy. On-line shopping is the perfect way to address this with the “store” conveniently open 24/7. The New Rules Here are Stanley’s recommendations on ways to grow your business: • Social Interaction and Service. Surveys show that staff with name badges are perceived as 15 percent more helpful; • Sensory Experience. Smells matter. (think vanilla and cinnamon) Color matters. (think red) Sounds matter. (think water garden or Japanese table fountain); • Dress Code. Uniforms like logo Tshirts increase staff credibility; • Develop hiring standards. Staff must be neat, speak clearly, make eye contact and be courteous. Hire the best candidates who engage you and fit your business. • Staff Training. Help your staff to understand your brand and image goals and customer service; everyone must deliver a consistent message. Merchandising Strategy Bring your customer on an adventure that only you can provide. You and your staff are “Day-makers;” you help customers by making their day. Update and rotate displays regularly for a fresh experience when customers return. In less than 40 seconds, new customers make up their mind about your store. Here are some ways to engage customers, meet their needs, solve their problems and move more products. 1. Street Appeal. Does your place look “sexy” from the road? Does your display garden have weeds? Do not let your storefront or parking lot be full of

John Stanley makes recommendation on Clark Farms’ “Wow” display. Photos by Sanne Kure-Jensen soil, mulch and fertilizer bags. Put those items near the parking lot, to the side or even out of sight. 2. Entry. Is your front door appealing and clear, inviting customers in to see your beautiful displays, or is it full of credit card logos and posters promoting someone else’s products? 3. Power Display. Your “Wow” table should be four to five steps inside your door. If done well, it should sell up to five times more product than anywhere else in your store. It should be round, hexagonal or conical, three to five feet tall with at least two tiers. An umbrella or other tall element works well if the venue supports it. Customers are buying the whole package — not just a plant to go in the ground. Consider coordinating container colors with flowers. Include some whimsical shapes or containers. Offer several sizes of the same plants. Include a sign explaining your theme: “terra cotta is our color of the month.” Or “begonia is our plant of the week.” 4. Staff ambassadors. These “Daymakers” should engage customers and help make their day. 5. Flow matters. Americans typically move through a store counterclockwise, set up your displays accordingly to maximize revenue. Put basic commodities in the back. Offer your unique, special products along the way to the commodities. 6. Season. In winter, you will be a production grower. For the six to eight weeks of late spring, you should operate like a supermarket and should offer straight rows to get customers in and out quickly. The rest of the year, you will be a lifestyle retailer. For success, you must adjust your display’s style and layout to the season. 7. Display Height. Far more products move from shelves located between customers’ chin and belly button levels. 8. Lower your hanging baskets to chest or chin level to increase sales rather than hanging them up high with their “bottoms” showing. When cus-

tomers have to stretch up to reach a product, only 3/4 as much product moves. Customers bending over select about 1/2 the products and the floor shelf gets less than one-fifth as much action. 9. End caps. These areas turn over more than twice as much product as typical “chin to belly button” shelves. Always remove one product so people think it is okay to take a product off the display. Include a medium to large sign. 10. Aisles. Be sure your aisles are wide enough that people have enough room to maneuver around strangers. Store footprints should have at least 60 percent aisles and no more than 40 percent product displays. 11. Bench displays. Make simple benches with 2 by 4s and wire mesh. Variable bench heights create interest; use adjustable or detachable wooden or cinder block legs. 12. Theater. This is your display space above customers’ heads. Tell your story. A good theater will increase sales underneath it. 13. Be a hero. Display pictures of your owner, family and key staff. If you are a garden center, show production process and finished gardens. If you sell produce or meats, include farm and animal photos. Tell your story. Help customers connect with you. 14. Offer related items together. Grocers do this well: they offer whipped cream and shortcakes near the strawberries or buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil together. Alone, these items move steadily; when displayed together, all three jump off the shelves. 15. Colors. Use color blocking. Customers are programmed to stop at red. Put high value items near red products for increased sales. Do not put red items at row ends. 16. Range. Be known as a complete shop with hundreds of plant choices and problem solvers. Offer a range of plant sizes and a single brand of problem solvers. (i.e. don’t carry 10 varieties of ant traps) Customers will perceive

the single solution as “tried and true” and you will sell more of it. 17. Signage. Avoid confusion. For staples and commodity items, just list the price. For specialty items, tell what the product is and list three benefits, uses and/or recipes. Use words and phrases like: new, picked today, just in, bestseller, award-winning and homemade. Fun signs enhance the customer experience. Stanley shared great signs he has seen with cartoon drawings: “If tomatoes could talk … they would say, do not put us in the refrigerator, it kills the ripening process and our flavor.” He saw a cartoon duck with a bubble that read, “Please don’t offer us people food; it makes us sick.” Use QR codes on your display signs linking to plant or product information. 18. Clearance Bins. Scatter a few medium-sized bins around the store instead of one large bin to increase clearance sales up to 80 percent. 19. Shelf Talkers. Hang a small to medium tag near two or three items on key shelves: “Now is the time to fertilize your roses” or “Kelly’s favorite tomato.” 20. Checkout. Promote that your products are local. Displays near your checkout counter can account for as much as one-third of your total sales. Offer impulse items like small bags of fertilizer near the end of the customer journey through your store. Be sure the flow leads them through the whole store. 21. More time in the store means more sales. Be sure you have “toys for the boys.” This could be products meant to appeal to men, a coffee shop with newspapers and sports magazines or even a “bored husbands bench.” The longer that men are occupied, the longer the women will be shopping and buying. Be sure to analyze your current sales per square foot in each department or store segment. Share this information with your staff and tell them your goal is to improve it 20 percent. Reward them if they reach 30 percent. Know the number of stock turns per year for each product and move the slow products around the store, or dump the ones that do not move. Promotions and solutions Social media is a great tool. Assign one or more staff to run your social media campaign. Keep a conversation going; include people and production/harvest photos and humorous stories. Ask your customers to recommend your business. Try weekly contests like “Why are carrots orange when they used to be purple?” The first five people to come in with the right answer win a free cup of coffee (or bunch of carrots, etc.) Answer a question/Solve a problem. Can you tell a customer how many blueberry bushes it takes to make a pie? John Stanley spoke at a Twilight Meeting co-hosted by the RI Nursery & Landscape Association and the RI Fruit Growers Association in June. About 45 people attended the presentation and dinner at South Kingstown Land Trust’s Barn in South Kingstown, RI.

Page 3 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

‘Perishable retailing in today’s marketplace

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 4

Mock’s Greenhouse uses hydroponics to grow year round by Kelly Gates If year -round vegetable production is the goal, most would consider a warm climate the only solution. But according to Paul Mock, owner of Mock’s Greenhouse and Farm of Berkeley Springs, WV, growers in even the harshest climates can turn out tomatoes, produce peppers and raise radishes from January through December. All they have to do is consider an increasingly popular indoor option — hydroponics. “Hydroponics presents a wealth of opportunities for growers any-

where, whether it’s in California, Minnesota or West Virginia,” Mock told Country Folks Grower. “Hydroponics is great for growing in colder regions, but it is also a way to grow produce in urban areas, too. An old warehouse or industrial building would even work for hydroponics, if the proper grow lights were installed.” Mock should know how well it works. The entrepreneur started his own hydroponic business in 2005 after acquiring a wide range of experience in the agriculture and horticulture

industries. Most of his early years were spent on a farm in Pennsylvania, helping his family grow row crops and Christmas trees and tending to several greenhouses. As an adult, he even dabbled in landscaping for a while. “After spending so many years dealing with down time during the winters, I wanted something that would keep me busy all four seasons, something that would keep the cash flow going too,” Mock said. “I had experimented with hydroponics in the ’80s and when I

Cover photo by Sanne Kure-Jensen John Stanley makes recommendations about Clark Farms Nursery’s Wow’ display.

Country Folks The Monthly Newspaper for Greenhouses, Nurseries, Fruit & Vegetable Growers (518) 673-3237 • Fax # (518) 673-2381 (ISSN# 1065-1756) U.S.P.S. 008885 Country Folks Grower is published monthly by Lee Publications, P.O. Box 121, 6113 St. Hwy. 5, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428. Periodical postage paid at Palatine Bridge, NY 13428. Subscription Price: $20 per year. Canada $55 per year. POSTMASTER: Send address change to Country Folks Grower, P.O. Box 121, Subscription Dept., Palatine Bridge, NY 13428-0121. Publisher, President........................................Frederick W. Lee Vice-President Production ..........................Mark W. Lee, ext. Vice-President & General Manager ..........Bruce Button, ext. 104 Comptroller ................................................Robert Moyer, ext. Production Coordinator ............................Jessica Mackay, ext. Editor ......................................................Joan Kark-Wren, ext. Page Composition ....................................Allison Swartz, ext. Classified Ad Manager ..............................Peggy Patrei, ext. 111

Palatine Bridge, Main Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518-673-3237 Accounting/Billing Office . . . . . . . . 518-673-2269. . . . . . . . . . . Subscriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518-673-2448 . . . . . Web Site: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Send all correspondence to: PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 Fax (518) 673-2699 Editorial Email: Advertising Email: AD SALES REPRESENTATIVES Bruce Button, Ad Sales Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 104 Dan Wren, Grower Sales Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 117 Jan Andrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext 110 Dave Dornburgh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 109 Steve Heiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 119 Ian Hitchener . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518-210-2066 Scott Lizio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext 118 Tina Krieger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-218-5586, ext. 262 Kegley Baumgardner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 540-255-9112 Wanda Luck / North Carolina. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336-416-6198 (cell) Mark Sheldon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 814-587-2519 Sue Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 949-599-6800 Lee Publications 6113 State Hwy. 5, PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 We cannot GUARANTEE the return of photographs. Publisher not responsible for typographical errors. Size, style of type and locations of advertisements are left to the discretion of the publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. We will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The publisher reserves the sole right to edit, revise or reject any and all advertising with or without cause being assigned which in his judgement is unwholesome or contrary to the interest of this publication. We assume no financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisement, but if at fault, will reprint that portion of the ad in which the error appears.

started researching hydroponics systems again, I knew it was what I wanted to do.” In August of 2004, Mock started construction on one new greenhouse and two used greenhouses on a property he owned in Berkeley Springs. He devoted one of the spaces to green bib lettuce and the others to red tomatoes. When it became apparent that the demand for hydroponic vegetables was going to be high and consistent, the new business owner immediately made plans for yearly expansions. “We added greenhouses every year, starting with three the first year,” he noted. “Now, we have 20 hydroponic houses and one high tunnel. I also have half an acre of vegetables in soil production.” With such a large number of indoor growing spaces, Mock’s Greenhouse is able to produce 5,000 heads of green bib lettuce per week during the summer months. In the winter, when daily hours of sunlight diminish, the company produces between 3,000 and 3,500 heads of lettuce. Watercress is another crop grown there. Totals reach 3,500 clusters in the summer and 3,000 in the winter months. The numbers of tomatoes varies however, as Mock grows an assortment of varieties. “We have seven greenhouses devoted to tomatoes,” he said. “Along with an array of red hydroponic varieties, we also have heirloom tomatoes like Green Zebra, Yellow Brandywine and Gold. This is only our third year growing heirlooms.” Not many hydroponics growers care to cultivate heirloom tomatoes due to inconsistent flower sets and lack of disease resistance, he added. As far as Mock is concerned, there are benefits to growing what others won’t. Being one of the only purveyors at the farmer’s market with heirlooms in May and June is nice. Being able to implement a slight price increase for the

Paul Mock harvests lettuce at one of his farm’s 20 hydroponic greenhouses. hard-to-grow items doesn’t hurt either. Mock and his staff sell their vegetables at five farmer’s markets throughout the year. One is local, in the town of Berkeley Springs. But the rest are further away, in Virginia and Massachusetts. “We sell around 3 percent of our produce at farmer’s markets and 97 percent wholesale to retail stores like Whole Foods and Wegman’s, and to distributors who sell to schools, restaurants and institutions,” said Mock. “Along with our lettuce, tomatoes and watercress, we grow a little bit of basil, arugula and cilantro for sale at the farmer’s markets too.” Mock believes that much of his company’s success is due to the uptick in the number of consumers who support local growers. The buy local movement has increased sales at Mock’s Greenhouses annually since its inception and continues to prompt people to purchase produce from area growers. Consequently, even after adding eight new greenhouses in 2011, Mock doesn’t expect to have to find new markets for the vegetables he harvests in 2012. Instead, he plans to sim-

ply sell more to the consumers, retailers, restaurants and distributors already buying from him. His wholesale customers have recognized this trend as well. “In the past, we actually got paid less for produce we sold to local stores. The buyers would tell us that since we’re only a few miles away, our costs had to be lower and therefore, the prices they offered were lower,” he explained. “Recently, I’ve had several buyers say that they will pay more for my products than those they order from Canada, Florida and other areas, because consumers perceive our vegetables as fresher and more nutritious and because they want to support local farmers.” Some produce departments at grocery stores even showcase photos of their local growers, emphasizing the human element, added Mock. The hydroponics operation owner plans to continue catering to this demand for local produce for many years to come. And, with the ability to grow indoors during all four seasons, Mock’s Greenhouse stands to keep earning profits each year, long after others have packed it in for the winter.

By: Melissa Piper Nelson Farm News Service News and views on agricultural marketing techniques. What’s in the pipeline? Second half marketing strategies Many major sports (except our summer obsession, baseball) have either drawn to a close, or are contemplating and planning for the next few months of a rapidly cul-

minating year. We like to call the process: Taking stock and future planning. Some producers liken it to looking far down the marketing pipeline and deciding where to shuffle the business for a profitable ending. With either analogy, the plan remains

the same, what marketing strategies in the second half of the year will work the best? Maybe the first half of the year has positioned your business for new opportunities: Adding value to an already existing product, rolling out an entirely new venture, or diversifying a current operation to include a different set of products or services. Whatever the opportunity, a business operator needs to consider the best use of three major components: Land, labor and capital. Of the three factors, land use is often the most difficult to plan for and implement. Unlike hiring more help or seeking more funding, plan-


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ping, raising livestock, or agri-tourism. After reviewing the first half of the business year, you may be looking at expanding a part of the operation or extending hours of operation. Labor requirements for each part of this new operation must be covered and included a fluctuating business plan for the remainder of the year. Making major adjustments that affect capital considerations half way through the year is no easy task, either. If a new venture requires more capital than you planned for, you may need to go back to your lending agency to discuss additional financing, or pull money from your savings or “rainy day” fund. Lenders will want to see how the new venture or diversification will add to your profit margin and what types of risk may become barriers to repayment. If you are selffinancing, borrowing for a new venture should be weighed against other factors that may occur until the end of the year. Great summer sales may encourage you to consider other options for the second half of the calendar year, but be prepared to outline how the venture may impact the three major components of land, labor and capital, as well as many other life and business factors. Un-

expected things happen with farm families and to business operations. Being prepared for as many situations as possible is a prime part of risk management. Managing the “what ifs,” allows for more immediate and better implementation when new opportunities show up. As you look down the pipeline and decide what the second half of the business year will bring, you can opt for new and exciting ways to grow your business, or be mired with decisionmaking that could keep you from pursuing a great option. Producers often ask why business and marketing plans are necessary — why you can’t just offer a product and see what happens, or start a new venture that looks like a good deal. Planning for diversification and managing your overall business through new phases is much easier if you have thought about it, planned for it, and are ready to implement a strategy that has substance backing it. A good business plan prepares you for handling an ever changing market and meeting customer needs. The above information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for professional business or legal counseling.

Page 5 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Today’s Marketing Objectives

ning for new or diversified uses of fields, pastures, cover crops, and even rented land demands “think time,” research, risk management and flexibility. Even if a new venture looks promising, the implementation time could be months to years before a new product could be brought to market. Incorporating new products into a rotation, or withdrawing a product from a current farm plan, should include careful consideration of just what is down the pipeline in terms of possible expenses vs. income. While labor may seem like an easier component to handle on a timely basis, it too, requires advanced planning. What will happen when your summer help returns to school, or if a family member cannot help? Risk management carries over into labor issues as much as crop-

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 6

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Securing equipment on trailers by James Carrabba, Agricultural Safety Specialist, The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine & Health - NYCAMH Many agricultural businesses transport tractors and heavy equipment on trailers. When hauling equipment on trailers, it is vitally important to make sure that the equipment is properly fastened down. This article will review some basic safety tips for ensuring that machinery is properly secured onto trailers. Also, loading and unloading equipment from trail-

ers can be a hazardous task. The following are some safety recommendations to minimize hazards when loading and unloading mobile equipment from trailers: • The truck and trailer should be parked on firm, level ground. • Set the parking brake and chock the wheels. • The trailer and/or ramps need to be wide enough for the equipment being loaded. • If using a flatbed trailer with ramps, check to make sure the ramps are long enough to avoid having a steep angle. • The operator needs

be familiar with the equipment and preferably experienced in loading and unloading the equipment. • When possible, and from a safe distance, have a ground spotter assist the equipment operator in getting the machine properly positioned on the trailer. Do not overload the trailer and truck. Use an appropriate sized truck for the size of the trailer and the weight of the equipment being hauled. Check the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the truck and its towing capacities. If the combined weight of the truck, trailer and equipment being hauled exceeds 10,000 pounds, you must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations. This includes U.S. Department of Transportation

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markings on the truck, properly securing cargo, and stopping at roadside inspection stations. Proper steps to follow to secure the machine for transport: • Inspect all the tiedown points and hardware for any signs of damage or wear. • Inspect all chains. Look for any broken, cracked, or stretched links. • Balance the load properly on the trailer. Position 60 percent of the load towards the front of the trailer. An improperly balanced load can cause the trailer to sway potentially resulting in a loss of control. • Lower the bucket or any attachments down on the deck of the trailer. • With articulated machines, connect the steering frame lock out bar after loading.

• When tying down the equipment, keep the chains straight and tight. It is best to use ratchet binders. • In New York, heavy equipment with tracks or wheels must be restrained against movement with a minimum of four tiedowns. Each tiedown must be fixed as close as possible to the front and rear of the machine or to mounting points on the machine that are specifically designed for that purpose. • The working load limit of the tiedowns must be at least one-half the weight of the equipment that is being moved. • Many states require that the truck driver stop and check the tie down attachments shortly after the start of the trip. In New York, truck drivers are required to stop and check the load tie downs

within the first 50 miles of the trip. Also, drivers are required to recheck the load and tiedowns every three hours or every 150 miles, whichever comes first. • Truck drivers need to occasionally check the position of the trailer and load in the truck mirrors during transport. If you would like further information on this topic or any agricultural safety issue, please give NYCAMH a call. If you would like to schedule a farm safety survey or onfarm safety training session, please contact me at 800-343-7527, ext 239 or e-mail me at NYCAMH, a program of Bassett Healthcare Network, is enhancing agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury and illness.

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ate and warm spring conditions allowed for an excellent bloom. Weather during the bloom period was mild, allowing for good pollination. Michigan’s production is forecast at 5.5 million pounds, down 97 percent from 2011 and down 96 percent from 2010. In Michigan, normally the largest producing state, record high temperatures in early spring led to premature development of trees. This was followed by below normal temperatures and continual frost events throughout the state. Additionally, pollination conditions were poor. The majority of growers lost all of their harvestable crop this year. Oregon’s production is forecast at 2.5 million pounds, equal to 2011 but 108 percent above the production in 2010. Oregon growers reported a good blossom set and pollination levels. Wisconsin production is forecast at 0.5 million pounds, down 93 percent from last year and down 91 percent from 2010. In Wisconsin, early warm spring temperatures caused trees to bud, followed by several days with temperatures below freezing at night. U.S. sweet cherry production is forecast at 382,150 tons, up 11 percent from 2011 and 22 percent above 2010. The Washington crop forecast of 235,000 tons is up 18 percent from 2011. Winter conditions were moderate and warm spring conditions allowed for an excellent bloom and resulted in good pollination levels. The Michigan crop is forecast at 3,300 tons, 82 percent below the 2011 production. Record high temperatures early in the spring caused premature development of trees. This was followed by below normal temperatures and continual frost events later in the season, leading to a significantly smaller crop than normal. New York’s crop is forecast at 250 tons, 64 percent below the 2011 crop of 700 tons, and 75 percent below the 2010 crop. Growers reported that warm temperatures in March followed by freezing temperatures in April drastically reduced their production potential.

Page 7 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Tart and sweet cherry production down

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 8

New York Farm Bureau challenges workers’ comp rate hike New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton submitted strong testimony in opposition to the New York State Department of Financial Services’ plan to raise “loss cost” by 11.5 percent, and he is asking the state to reevaluate the proposal. If passed, this will be used by insurance companies to set higher workers’ compensation rates, and it would have a serious impact on New York farmers. Family farms now compete in a global marketplace while also trying to make ends meet in a state that has high production costs that may now grow even higher with this proposed change. “Between 2009 and 2010 we lost 300 farms, irrevocably, from producing the myriad of

agricultural products such as dairy, fruits and vegetables in New York State. Workers’ compensation insurance premiums contribute to the high cost of production in New York, and that is a factor our farm families must grapple with as they seek to continue to grow local food for local families. Continuing to raise costs in New York, particularly on the employment side will cause further economic complications for agriculture leading to a loss in jobs in farming and food production. The loss of farms impacts us all as farmland ends up in the hands of developers or is simply allowed to go fallow. That would be a lost opportunity for growth in our important agricultural sector,” said President Dean Norton.

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While NYFB does appreciate the proposed 2 percent reduction in assessments, that number is not proportional to the 11.5 percent hike. Ultimately, if it goes into effect on Oct. 1, many farm families will have to pay several hundred dol-

lars more for their coverage every year. NYFB’s Safety Group 486 provides Workers Compensation Insurance for eligible ag-related businesses. Kevin Cook, Director of NYFB’s Member Services said, “From an insurance perspective, I can

understand the need for some rate increase as medical costs and the weekly cash benefits have increase due to 2007 Workers’ Compensation reforms. However, a hike of this magnitude will mean a significant increase for a bulk of our

“Safety Group 486” members. This will affect the ability of these farms to continue their operations.” To read Norton’s testimony, go to www.nyfb. org/img/document_files /Loss%20Cost%20Filing%20Testimony.pdf.


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Late Blight confirmed in Suffolk County; growers should be on lookout for disease New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine on July 3 alerted growers of the potential introduction of late blight this growing season, as it has been confirmed in Suffolk County. Late blight is a plant disease that spreads rapidly from plant to plant in wet, cool weather that causes tomato and potato plants, primarily, to wilt and die.

“To help protect the State’s potato and tomato crops, the Department has once again initiated a concerted strategy to enhance the State’s detection and eradication efforts for late blight this growing season,” the Commissioner said. “While the recent hot and dry weather patterns should reduce the spread of this plant disease, commercial growers and gardeners should always be on the lookout and take the recommended precautions to protect their plants.”

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The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has trained horticultural inspectors that are currently surveying plants, in particular transplant tomatoes, at the retail level and in commercial greenhouses. Collectively, they have inspected more than 1,600,000 tomato plants and seen no signs of late blight detected in tomatoes. In addition, the Department continues to work with Cornell Cooperative Extension to conduct outreach and follow up in the field with both growers and gardeners. As a result of those efforts, three cases of late blight in field potatoes have been confirmed in Suffolk County.

Late blight is a plant disease that mainly attacks potatoes and tomatoes, although it can sometimes be found on other crops, weeds and ornamentals, such as petunias, nightshades, and tomatillos. Late blight was a factor in the Irish potato famine in the 1840’s, during which millions of people in Ireland starved or were forced to emigrate. Late blight is caused by an oomycete pathogen that can produce millions of spores from infected plants, spreading readily with wet weather and high humidity. Spores travel through the air, land on plants, and if the weather is sufficiently wet, cause new infections.

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Once infected, plants may wilt and die within three days. New York has battled strains of late blight in 2009 and 2011 that were particularly devastating to tomatoes. Presence of the disease, combined with wet weather those years led to a quick and devastating spread of the disease. Organic growers struggled with the dis-

ease as they have few approved control measures to use, and commercial tomato growers were challenged to apply crop fungicides in time to prevent the outbreak. For more information about identifying late blight and how to control it, please visit http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cor to_LateBlt.htm.

New York Farm Bureau’s statement regarding apple export reform for New York growers New York Farm Bureau commends Representative Bill Owens’ efforts to get much needed language helping New York apple growers into the overall House version of the Farm Bill. Its passage would mean a large savings for the fruit farmers who are coming off a tough spring season. The bill would amend the 1933 Apple Export Act to exempt bulk shipments of apples from U.S. inspection requirements when they are being shipped to Canada. There isn’t a need for the inspections since Canada does not call for them.

In turn, not only will it speed up the exporting process, but it would save New York apple producers $450,000 every year in inspection fees without impacting the relationship with Canadian importers. “This is common sense house cleaning to remove an outdated and expensive burden on New York’s apple producers. We urge its inclusion in the final passage of the Farm Bill to put money back into the pockets of the state’s hard working fruit farmers,” said Dean Norton, President of NYFB.

Page 9 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

NY Commissioner alerts growers of presence of late blight

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 10

IPPS conference in the Brandywine Valley Oct. 10-13 You first get the sense that something is different about this year’s International Plant Propagators’ Society conference when you read “IPPS in the Brandywine Valley.” Those familiar with the area swoon at the possibilities. Many, though, may not even be sure what state it’s in! If you fall into the latter category, you are in for a real treat as you learn about and ultimately have the chance to explore this beautiful and historic area. The Brandywine Valley is nestled among the rolling hills between southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. This is where the duPonts made their fortunes, built their mansions, and where three generations of Wyeths have lived and painted the landscapes and people. It is home not only to magnificent destinations in the form of American castles, museums and historic battlefields but also to an abundance of world class horticultural attractions from botanical gardens and arboreta to production nurseries and greenhouses. Sleeping rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn Express in Glen Mills, PA but nearly all conference events will be held off site. Our group room rate is just $109 (use group code “IPP”). The hotel room rate includes an extensive hot breakfast where you can fill up each morning before heading out on tours or to the educational sessions. The hotel is 15 miles from the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) if you plan to fly to the meeting. Shuttle, taxi and rental car services are available from the airport. This is the year you may want to consider driving to the meeting (more room for plants on the way home!) or renting a car to allow yourself greater flexibility to see this beautiful area. Transportation to the meetings from the Holiday Inn Express each day will be provided or you may provide your own transportation. Registration this year will allow you to register

for just one day or for the entire four-day event with a significant member discount. Non-members who wish to attend the entire event will be given a year’s membership in the IPPS Eastern Region as part of their registration fee! Conference Outline Wednesday, Oct. 10: A tough choice awaits you in selecting your full day Pre-Conference Tour. The Lancaster Area PreTour will visit Creek Hill Nursery, the Leola Produce Auction, Aris/ Greenleaf Perennials and Esbenshades Greenhouses. The Botanic Garden and Arboretum PreTour will visit the Scott Arboretum, Chanticleer Gardens and the Jenkins Arboretum. Both tours will meet at the end of the day for a tour and welcome reception at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA. Folks arriving during the day Wednesday will be bused from the hotel to the reception. The welcome reception promises to be a great social opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues old and new. Thursday, Oct. 11: We will enjoy a full day at the fabulous Longwood Gardens in Ken-

nett Square, PA. Longwood is one of the great gardens of the world with outdoor gardens spanning 1,077 acres and a 4-acre conservatory. The morning will start with a series of dynamic speakers in the Longwood Ballroom, including keynote speaker Kirk Brown who will bring America’s first world-class plantsman John Bartram back to life with his unique, costumed portrayal. Following the morning coffee break, the first of two hands-on grafting workshops will be offered for those who preregister. The talented staff from Longwood Gardens will demonstrate grafting techniques including cleft grafts, bud-grafts, and side-grafts and participants will then have an opportunity to practice the techniques on live plants, which they will then be allowed to take home. Participation is limited to a maximum of 25 participants per session. Talks will continue concurrently. Once the workshops and presentations have concluded at 3 p.m., you will be able to choose between touring Longwood

on your own or joining a behind-the-scenes tour. Those who elect to go on the behind-the-scenes tour of Longwood Gardens will get to experience first-hand the key facilities and operations that provide the materials used to create the world class displays for which Longwood is known. From 5:30-7 p.m. conference attendees will have the unique opportunity of experiencing Longwood’s world famous conservatories at

night as Longwood generously hosts an evening reception for us. This special event will include a myriad of culinary delights placed throughout the conservatory along with a wide range of cocktails and other beverages. To make the evening even more memorable, participants will be able to interact with Longwood’s star aquatic specialist, Tim Jennings, as he provides a demonstration in the nearby aquatic pools explaining

the mysteries of the Victoria water platters (including the breeding that produces the Victoria Longwood Hybrid), the water lilies (Nymphaea species and hybrids) and other aquatic plants in the displays. This is a very special event which few people get to experience! Friday, Oct. 12: Friday brings another full day of tours with two options available.



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the day at North Creek Nurseries for a nursery tour and Ice Cream Social. You will have dinner on your own. There are many restaurants near the hotel. Be sure not to linger too long over dinner as you will want to return to the hotel for a lively

and fun evening social event. We will have not only our silent and live plant auctions Friday evening but also an engaging event in the hotel’s auditorium — plans still under wraps! We’ll be able to enjoy dessert, coffee and drinks while moving

among the events. Saturday, Oct. 13: The venue for educational sessions and tours on Saturday changes to Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Winterthur, DE. Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”)

has a 60-acre naturalistic garden and is the premier museum of American decorative arts. The program continues with back-to-basics presentations on seed physiology, cutting strategies, grafting techniques and tissue culture. Once the program ends mid-after-

noon, you will be able to tour Winterthur grounds via tram and/or visit the 175-room house where Henry Francis DuPont entertained his family and friends in grand style. The house is furnished with his outstanding collection of antiques and objects added since his death. This is not the year to leave early — plan to stay for a full day on Saturday. Spend the night and enjoy the company of your fellow members and colleagues. The hotel bar, Firewaters, touts 50 beers on tap plus more than 100 different bottled beers from around the world! Spend Sunday exploring this extraordinary area on your own. Now that you have the lay of the land, start making your plans now! Check out the full educational program and register at www.

The DuPont Legacy Tour will visit Nemours Gardens, Hagley Museum and Gardens and Mt. Cuba Center. The Nursery Tour will visit Mt. Cuba Center, W.D. Wells and Sons Nursery, The Conard Pyle Company and Ivy Acres. Both tours will meet at the end of

Page 11 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012


August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 12

All-America Selections announces first winners for 2013 DOWNERS GROVE, IL — The AllAmerica Selections (AAS) Board of Directors met recently to approve two holdovers from previous trials as the first two winners for the 2013 gardening season. A July introduction is much more timely for various wholesalers in that they can better plan to include these two new AAS Winners in their offerings later this summer, into fall and winter. Canna “South Pacific Scarlet” F1 AAS Flower Award Winner “South Pacific” adds a beautiful touch of the tropics to the garden with showy, 4-inch flowers that bloom all summer long in a delicious shade of scarlet. AAS Judges raved about this first F1 hybrid canna from seed because it is such a robust and floriferous bloomer. “South Pacific” grows up to 24-inches tall in a two gallon container, 4-5-feet tall in the garden, providing a great grouping of specimen plants or a back-of-the-border focal point. The colorful blooms are produced on a flower spike held above the large leafed statuesque plants. Commercial growers will benefit from the F1 vigor and the six or seven

basal branching and even withstood a light frost, all top qualities lending itself to grower programs for both the mass market and independents. As with other cannas, “South Pacific” tolerates wet conditions so it can be used as a pond border or in other similar growing conditions. It’s bred by Takii & Co. Ltd. AAS Winner Data Genus species: Canna generalis Common name: Canna Unique qualities: First F1 seed canna, more vigorous and sturdy than other seed propagated cannas, nonstop flowering all season long.

Echinacea “Cheyenne Spirit.” flower-laden branches it produces. Compared to other seed cannas, “South Pacific” was earlier to flower by one week, bloomed longer, had better

Flower color: Scarlet Foliage color: Green Flower form: Standard Flower size: 4-4.5 inches Plant height: Up to 24 inches (in a 2 gallon container), 4-5 feet full maturity Plant width: 8-10 inches (in a 2 gallon container), 12-18 inches full maturity Plant type: Tender perennial in zones 7-10 Garden location: Full sun Garden spacing: 18-24 inches Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 11-12 weeks

Winners A13

Closest comparisons on market: ‘Tropical’ series Echinacea “Cheyenne Spirit” AAS Flower Award Winner This stunning first-year flowering echinacea captures the spirit of the North American plains by producing a delightful mix of flower colors from rich purple, pink, red and orange tones to lighter yellows, creams and white. This wide range of flower colors on well branched, durable plants are sure to please the color preferences of any gardener. As an added bonus, “Cheyenne Spirit” does not require a lot of water and offers a wide-range of uses from the perennial border, in a mass landscape planting, in a butterfly garden or as a cut flower. “Cheyenne Spirit” can be used by the professional grower as either a first year flowering perennial in their annual program, or by the traditional perennial grower who sows in the fall for over-winter production. In both applications, they can offer flowering plants from spring thru September. “Cheyenne Spirit” is best offered in larger containers for transplanting to a sunny spot in the garden or landscape. This AAS Winner is also a Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. U.S. utility patent number 7,982,110. It’s bred by Kieft Seed AAS Winner Data Genus species: Echinacea hybrida Common name: Coneflower Unique qualities: Vivid color range in a

Page 13 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Winners from A12

Canna “South Pacific Scarlet” F1. first year flowering perennial from seed Flower color: Shades of purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, cream and white Foliage color: Green Flower form: Single daisy Flower size: 3-3.5 inches Plant height: 26-32 inches Plant width: 25-30 inches Plant type: First year flowering perennial Garden location: Full sun Garden spacing: 24 inches Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 23-24 weeks from a January sowing

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August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 14

New rolling high tunnels from Growers Supply make crop rotation easy DYERSVILLE, IA — Avoid soil nutrient depletion and prevent buildup of soil-borne diseases with New Rolling Premium Round Style High Tunnels from Growers Supply. Smooth rolling action with pipe track rollers allows you to move your high tunnel from one section of your field to another. Experience enhanced crop yield and quality and an extended growing season, plus the ability to rotate your crops. Fourteen-gauge, triple-galvanized steel frames and five rows of purlins ensure durability. Triple-zippered end panels, manufactured from 10 oz., 22 mil premium rip-stop translucent fabric, come complete with fabric clips for attaching. Four-sided ventilation is made simple with roll-up sides and Growers Supply’s exclusive “Twist-ofthe-Wrist” Roll-Up Assembly. Growers Supply is the leading manufacturer of tension fabric structures and greenhouses. The Growers Supply

catalog features over 30,000 products designed to meet commercial growing and hobby gardening needs. Corporate headquarters are located in South Windsor, CT. The company’s Hercules Truss Arch manufacturing and distribution center is in Dyersville, IA. Visit them on the web at or call 800-476-9715.

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Winners from A13 Closest comparisons on market: “Paradiso Mix,” “Magnus,” and “Bravado” As with all AAS Winners, these new, never-before-sold entries were trialed by the esteemed AAS Trial Judges who are trained and experienced horticulture professionals. A complete list of judges and trial sites can be found on the AAS website. These newest AAS Winners are available for immediate sale. Commercial growers should inquire with their favorite seed supplier. AAS Winner tags are available from supporting tag sup-

pliers. Consumers will find these seeds as supply becomes available in the coming months with catalog companies, in seed packets, from mail order companies and various websites. AAS Winners will also be available as young plants in lawn and garden retail stores next spring. Complete data sheets on these and all AAS Winners are available on the newly designed AAS website. For further information contact Diane Blazek, All-America Selections, at

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57th SNA Research Conference Proceedings available ACWORTH, GA — The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) announced recently that the proceedings of the 57th Annual SNA Research Conference Proceedings are compiled and now available online at This 381 page proceedings is searchable, downloadable and printable, and is provided free to the industry. The 2012 proceedings includes 13 sections of the latest horticultural research on Container Grown Plant Production, Economics and Marketing, Engineering, Structures and Innovations, Entomology, Field Production, Floriculture, Growth Regulators, Landscape, Pathology, Plant Breeding and Evaluation, Propagation, Water Management and Weed Control. Seventyfive titles were presented by 197 authors from 15 states and Mexico. A complete list of titles can be found in the Covers and Introduction section, page viii. The SNA Research Conference, which began in 1956, provides a forum for horticultural researchers to communicate relevant and recent research findings to the industry. Its origin cannot be traced to any one individual, but the roots were planted by several SNA board members that recognized the need to consolidate duplicate research programs throughout the region. From an informal effort of compiling papers gathered from several horticultural research centers and assembled and printed, this two-day conference is held annually and has become world-renowned for quality research.

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This allows Roots Farm to offer 30 week summer CSA shares versus other traditional growers’ 20 week shares. High and Low Tunnels Cost sharing through a 2010 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) grant helped fund two high tunnel greenhouses at Roots Farm. Moveable greenhouses excite many growers, but the increased cost of moveable systems limit many growers from purchasing upgraded specialty designs. The Roberts invested in truly movable greenhouses designed by RIMOL Greenhouse Systems of Hooksett, NH. ( Kelli and Mike believe they have the only RIMOL high tunnels on rollers in the area. The sturdy steel frames are encased in longlasting, 6-mil plastic with a large front door that can be rolled up for easy access and cooling as needed. Because the greenhouses move on rollers, it takes six people just a few minutes to roll a greenhouse to its new location. Securing the anchors in the new location takes a few hours more. Because the greenhouses are regularly moved, greenhouse crops are rotated around six of the 12 50’ by 30’ plots, including indoor and outdoor spaces, greatly reducing disease pressures for crops like tomatoes. The greenhouses receive no supplemental heat. When the outdoor temperature drops an additional layer of cover is set up inside as well. Sturdy wire is bent over the vegetable beds to act as supports for row covers held in place with wooden clothespins. Carrots,

Kelli and Mike Roberts in front of their movable greenhouse at Roots Farm in Tiverton, RI. Photos by Sanne Kure-Jensen spinach and other greens are easy to harvest inside; cooler temperatures make them sweet and delicious. Outdoors, low tunnels covered in Reemay cloth rest on 1/2” metal con-

Roots Farm A18

Page 17 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Roots Farm - Year-Round growing with sustainable techniques

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 18

Roots Farm from A17 duit hoops. Plastic conduit has NOT proven sturdy enough in recent winters. Sandbags hold down the Reemay every 4’ to 6’. During the coldest winter months, moisture already inside the sealed low tunnels keeps cool-season plants hydrated. As winter approaches an outer layer of 6-mil plastic will be secured by cord zigzagged over the top with ground anchors. The end hoops will be secured to the ground. Mike said “as long as the plastic is taught, purlins or ridge poles are not necessary for Rhode Island winter snow loads.” While it may be tempting to grow cold season greens in low tunnels since they rarely freeze solid, growers should not plan on winter harvesting when air temperatures outside are below freezing, where opening the tunnels could damage crops. If flexibility in the harvest schedule allows, harvesting greens from low tunnels during days above freezing is an option. The low tunnels are ideal

for holding crops like onions, leeks and greens like spinach or chard for early spring harvesting. Organics One of the basic principles of organic farming is to feed and nurture soils to encourage and sustain beneficial soil microbes and nutrients. “Feed the soil; it feeds the plants which feed us,” said Kelli. Thorough micro and macro nutrient tests are performed regularly on soils and compost at Roots Farm through the International Ag Labs ( Mike said they use 30 yards of compost

annually. Any time a new crop is planted he adds three wheelbarrow loads of compost per 50’ by 2.5’ bed as well as crab or fish meal and other recommended amendments. Cover crops are selected for their nutrient and organic matter building benefits. Winter or frost killed plants like buckwheat are preferred to minimize spring cleanup and the need for tillage since the majority of work on the farm is done by hand. Foot paths are dug down to raise beds for improved

Roots Farm A19

Kelli and Mike Roberts lead tours of their movable greenhouse.


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While the extended periods of hot, dry weather parts of the country have experienced in recent weeks may mean that weeds aren’t growing as

fast as they would in more moist conditions, the weather can still have an adverse effect on weed management for growers, an Ohio State

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University Extension expert said. Not only does the extended hot, dry weather and drought-like conditions impact the germination, growth, hardiness and competitive ability of weeds, but the dry weather conditions also complicate weed control efforts, said Mark Loux, an OSU Extension weed specialist. “The biggest thing that happens to weeds when the weather conditions continue to be hot and dry is that the weeds get tougher to control,” he said. “Under good moisture, weeds tend to be more sensitive to herbicides. “Under extended dry conditions, weeds grow more slowly and also develop thicker cuticles on the leaf surfaces, which has the overall effect of reducing herbicide movement into and throughout the plant.” While growers often times wonder if they should wait for rain to treat weeds with herbicides or apply treat-

ments now, Loux said, the most important thing to consider is to make sure they select the right herbicide treatment for the weeds they are trying to control. “Growers should go ahead and spray when the weeds are small,” he said. “With the continued forecasts for little to no rain, you’re better off at this point to just pull the trigger. “And if you spray now and it does rain and bring on the next growth of weeds, go ahead and spray again.” Loux said that growers who wait too long could end up losing control of the weeds they currently have and may also have to spray again for the next batch of weeds that emerge in their fields. “And if you wait to spray and then are forced to use a more aggressive herbicide mix, it can increase the level of crop injury,” he said. Following are some tips for growers to consider: • Apply herbicide when weeds are small.

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Large and old plants become even more difficult to control when subject to extended dry conditions. Prolonged dry conditions also suppress additional weed-seed germination, so the risk of many weeds emerging after an early post-treatment is reduced. • Optimize adjuvants. Labels for some POST herbicides provide suggestions for revised adjuvant rates or types under dry conditions. • Dry weather does not usually increase the severity of injury to the crop from herbicides, unless coupled with very hot conditions. But continued dry conditions after the crop has been injured can reduce its ability to recover from injury, or extend the time

needed for recovery. • Applying herbicides when weeds are small minimizes the need for more aggressive herbicide mixtures. • If you are finding that you can’t control glyphosate-resistant marestail with glyphosate plus either Classic or FirstRate, then adding other herbicides won’t help. Instead, walking the fields to remove plants by hand, or at least cutting the tops off later in the season to prevent seed production, is likely the best option. • Continuation of dry weather throughout the summer will reduce the rate of dissipation in soil of certain herbicides, possibly increasing the risk of carryover into next year’s crop.

Roots Farm from A18 drainage in wetter soils. Mike advises growers to spread straw in paths in the greenhouses each fall to minimize early spring flooding during heavy rains as soils struggle to thaw and drain. Roots Farm’s sustainable farming techniques do not include tractors or any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Soil is loosened with a 30”-wide broad fork to provide aeration while minimizing compaction and soil microbe disruption. Farm Shares Roots Farm’s Seasonal Farm Shares regularly sell out. Winter Shares offer delicious and nutritious fresh organic greens and produce all winter long. The flexible and affordable program is designed for member convenience; members receive a credit on their account to be spent through the season for greens and produce of their choice, as available and at the shopper’s convenience. Share members who

organize a Buying Club or group of buyers receive a 10% discount and can request their greens and produce be delivered. A limited number of Work Shares are available as a trade of harvest labor for food. Summer Farm Shares offer an extended 30week growing season. For more information see, email or call (401) 816-5590. To learn more about Eliot Coleman and Four Season Farm, see . The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (MOFGA) offers a Farm Apprenticeship program training the next generation of farmers. Generally labor is offered in exchange for room, board, a stipend and informal, intensive training and experience in farming. For more information, see

Page 19 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Hot, dry weather could make it harder for growers to control weeds

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 20

‘Glean NY’ partnership rallying growers to help those in need ITHACA, NY — Produce growers with good food that can’t be harvested are encouraged to donate fruits and vegetables to food banks throughout the state under a new initiative called “Glean NY.” The Glean NY project hopes to increase the donation of nutritious fresh food that might not otherwise be harvested due to weather damage, crops fruiting at unusual times, irregular sizes, cosmetic damage or other reasons. “There is no firm estimate of how much food does not get harvested each year, although we know the amount varies with each year’s conditions,” said Rebecca Schuelke Staehr, a project coordinator with Cornell University. “Even a small percentage of the produce grown in this state could equal tens of thousands of pounds of nutritious food.” Glean NY is a collaboration among the state’s farmers, the Food Bank Association of New York state, the New York Farm Bureau, and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Produce does not have to be washed or graded. In some instances, food banks can supply field crates, pickup food at the farm and reimburse farm-

ers for their harvesting costs. Many food banks own refrigerated trucks and can arrange pickup of donations within a day or two of receiving a call. Donations may be tax deductible, and Glean NY is interested in donations of all varieties of produce, in quantities large and small. “Partnerships with New York farmers have enabled the food banks to feed millions of people in need,” said John Evers, executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York State. “Our latest partnership in the area of gleaning would benefit both farmers and the hungry. By working with farmers to harvest crops that otherwise will not be picked, farmers and food banks will be able to tap into a new source of fresh produce for the hungry.” The Food Bank Association of New York State feeds more than 3 million people annually through its affiliation with eight regional food banks and 5,000 local food pantries, soup kitchens, senior nutrition programs and more. “The gleaning partnership with food banks, Cornell, New York Farm Bureau and others, will prevent food waste, provide farmers with an outlet for unmarketable and un-har-

vested crops, and provide healthy meals to the millions of hungry people,” Evers said.

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For information about donating, call the Food Bank Association of New York at 518-433-4505.

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According to an old country song, the only two things money can’t buy are true love and homegrown tomatoes. How true — those perfect, red tomatoes from the store just can’t match ones plucked from the garden. Now, researchers have identified the gene that controls their ripening, according to a study published in the June 29 issue of Science. Co-author Cuong Nguyen, a Cornell graduate student in the field of plant breeding, with colleagues at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI — where Nguyen works) on the Cornell campus and at the University of California-Davis, among others, translated the gene

that controls the level of sugars, carbohydrates and carotenoids in tomatoes. This gene also influences how tomato fruit ripen, the reason commercial tomatoes develop into perfectly red, storeready fruit. “Practically, it is a very important trait,” says James Giovannoni, a plant molecular biologist with BTI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service and one of the senior authors of the paper. “It’s a mutation that most tomatoes have.” However, this same trait reduces sugars and nutrients in the fruit. Naturally, tomatoes unevenly ripen, showing darker green patches when unripe and variable

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redness when ripe — traits that still show up in garden-variety and heirloom breeds. However, in the late 1920s, commercial breeders stumbled across a natural mutation that caused tomatoes to ripen uniformly — from an even shade of light green to an even shade of red. This “uniform ripening” mutation has become indispensable to the $2 billion a year U.S. commercial tomato market, showing up in almost all tomatoes produced for grocery stores. The uniform redness makes it ideal for groceries, where customers expect evenly colored, red fruit. Nguyen conducted positional cloning and, with access to, an online, public database

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hosted at BTI, determined that the uniform ripening gene was located at a specific location on chromosome 10. With this location now known, the team could decipher the gene coding for the protein that controls photosynthesis levels in tomatoes and the genetic lesion resulting in the mutation. While leaves are the primary photosynthesis factories in a plant, developing tomato fruit can contribute up to 20 percent of their own photosynthesis, yielding high sugar and nutrient levels in fully ripe fruit. The uniform ripening mutation, which commercial breeders select for, eliminates this protein in the fruit, therefore reducing sugar levels.

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“This is an unintended consequence,” says Giovannoni, explaining why commercial growers continue to select for the trait. “Producers currently don’t get a penny more for (flavor) quality.” This discovery has practical applications. Commercial producers (who still have incentives to produce uniform, red fruit over multicolored, flavorful ones) can now test early on seedling DNA for the uniform ripening mutation, rather than waiting to observe mature fruit. Conversely, those who care less about appearances can ensure that their plants are uniform ripening mutation-free and, thus, may have better-tasting fruit.

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Ann Powell, a research biochemist who led the UC-Davis team on the research, says that the study “is a rare chance to translate scientific findings to the real world … it provides a strategy to recapture quality characteristics that had been unknowingly bred out of modern cultivated tomatoes.” The study also included researchers at USDA, Universidad Politecénica de Valencia (Spain), Universidad de Málaga (Spain) and University of Suleyman Demiral (Turkey).

Page 21 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Researchers discover link between tomato ripening, color and taste

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 22

The 2012 Country Folks Grower Buyers Guide will reach businesses active in these industries: Greenhouse Garden Center

Vegetable Grower Landscaper

Nursery Farm Market

Fruit Grower Christmas

2012 Buyers Guide

The October 2012 issue of Country Folks Grower will feature a buyer’s guide section. This form must be completed and returned by 8/31/12. Questions? Call Dan Wren at 800-218-5586, ext 117. Fill out form and fax back to 518-673-2381. FREE BASIC LISTING Includes: Company Name City, State, Zip Phone Number (2) Categories Maximum

Company Name:

DETAILED LISTING ($30/YEAR) Includes Basic Listing plus: Contact Person (Sales Manager?) Complete Address Telephone, Fax, Email & Website Description (40 words or less) All Appropriate Category Listings Online E-mail & Website Links are Live!!!

ENHANCED DETAILED LISTING ($95/YEAR) Includes Detailed Listing plus: Logo appears with your listings in Black & White (print) and color (online) 1, 2 or 3 ONE P Zone, Your logo can be E-mailed RICE! to


Contact Person: __________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ City:

____________________________________________________State: ____________________ Zip: ________________

Telephone: __________________________________________ Fax: ______________________________________________ Website: ____________________________________________ E-mail: ____________________________________________ Description (40 words or less): ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________





Run your ad for added emphasis on your equipment and service! Display ads can run in black & white, spot color or 4-color process. Call your Sales Rep or Dan Wren at 800-218-5586 ext 117, or e-mail Ad deadline is 9/23/12.  Agtourism-Agritainment  Alternative Energy  Apparel/Promotional Items  Associations  Auctions  Barns and buildings  Berries  Carts and wagons  Christmas items, other  Christmas trees  Education  Employment/Human Resources  Equipment-fruit & vegetable

 Equipment-greenhouse  Equipment-nursery & landscape  Farm market items  Fencing and trellising  Fertilizer  Fruit trees  Generators  Greenhouse plants-finished  Greenhouse plants-young plants  Greenhouses and supplies  Ground Covers  Heating


Hydroponics Hydroseeding Insurance Irrigation Landscape products Leasing Mulch plastic Mulch-landscape Native plants Nursery young plants Nursery stock-finished Nursery supplies Orchard supplies Organics Packaging

Which editions would you like to appear in


Peat moss and growing mixes Perennials Pest control Plows and cultivators Pots - containers Produce Pruning Pumpkins and Halloween Refrigeration Seed-flower Seed-vegetable Skid steer Snow plows Software Soil and compost



 Soil Mixers and baggers  Specialty foods  Sprayers  Stakes  Tags, Labels & Signs  Technology  Tractors  Trade Shows  Trailers  Transportation  Trucks  Vineyard Equipment & Supplies  Weed control

 Mid West




Product Managers: ________________________________________________________________________________ Sales Managers: __________________________________________________________________________________ PR Contact:______________________________________________________________________________________ If this is not something that interests your company, check here

 and fax back to 518-673-2381

Company Name: ________________________________________________________ Fax# ______________________________________________ Published by Lee Publications P.O. Box 121, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 • 518-673-3237 • Fax 518-673-3245

Page 23 - Section A • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Do you sell wholesale? Do you sell to commercial horticulture? Do you want free advertising?

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section A - Page 24


Section B

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National Christmas Tree Association Convention & Trade Show 2012 Sacramento, CA ~ Aug. 8-11 California Here We Come! Schedule of events (subject to change) Tuesday, Aug. 7 7:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Pre-Tour #1 – Sampling the Best of California (Tickets Required) Wednesday, Aug. 8 7–9 a.m. Wreath Contest Setup 7:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Pre-Tour #2 – Learn,

Laugh & Shop (Tickets Required) 8–11 a.m. Tree Contest Setup 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Gallery of Trees Setup 3–5 p.m. Opening General Session Thursday, Aug. 9 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Trade Show Open 8–9:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions - Water Issues: Coming

Soon to Your State – Mike Wade - Legislative Issues Affecting Your Business – Craig Regelbrugge - Decorating and Merchandising Trends for 2012 9:15-10:30 a.m. Break in Trade Show 10:30–11:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions - Pest Management Strategies for Your Farm – Lynn Wunderlich

- Major Grower/Wholesaler Meeting - Trees for Troops: Lessons for Success 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. Lunch in Trade Show 1–2:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions - Weed Identification and Control* - Credit or Debit? What Credit Card Merchants Need to Know – Ed Moore - Creating Award-winning Wreaths & Greens 2:15–3:30 p.m. Break in Trade Show 3:30–4:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions - Developing a Real Tree Certification Program – Sam Minturn - Choose & Cut/Commercial Retailer Meeting 5–10 p.m. Theme Night: California State Railroad Museum (Tickets Required) Friday, Aug. 10 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Trade Show Open 8–9:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions - Techniques for Effective Leader Control* – Chal Landgren - Insurance: Is Your Farm Covered? – Tom Wilkins - Social Media Best Practices – Karen Rice 9:15–10:30 a.m. Break in Trade Show 10:30–11:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions - Farm Safety Practices to Protect Your Business* - From ICC to NFPA – What You Need to Know about Holiday Safety - Grow Your Business with Email Marketing – Karen Rice 11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Lunch in Trade Show 1:30–2:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions - Tree Keepability 101 – Ways to Improve the Postharvest Quality and Safety of Cut Trees* – Gary Chastagner - Accounting & Employment Practices for Christmas Tree Growers* – Shelly Sorem


Page 1 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Country Folks

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 2

NCTA from B1 - Steal This! Marketing Ideas from the Mouths of Members 3–4:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions - Wildlife Control* – Roger Baldwin - State Executive/Leader Meeting - Idea Exchange 5:30–8 p.m. Awards Banquet (Tickets Required) Saturday, Aug. 11 7:45 a.m.–6 p.m. Farm Tours (Tickets Required) `In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to make the most of professional development opportunities to grow your business. Whether you’re a grower, retailer, wholesaler or Choose & Cut operator, you’ll find speakers and sessions tailored to your business needs. Tree Keepability 101 – Ways to Improve the Postharvest Quality and Safety of Cut Trees Gary Chastagner, Washington State University This session will help growers and retailers understand basic concepts about the physiology of moisture and needle retention to improve tree keepability and safety. Dr. Chastagner will share information on the moisture status of cut trees, the effects of harvest date on postharvest quality and discuss some of the facts and myths associated with water-holding tree stands, water uptake, tree additives, antitranspirants and fire retardants. Accounting and Employment Practices for Christmas Tree Growers – Shelly Sorem, Spectrum CPA Group As business owners, growers have to do much more than simply plant and harvest trees. They also have to hire and manage workers, maintain proper financial and labor records, pay taxes, develop business plans and financial statements — all while ensuring they are compliant with local, state and federal regulations. This session will address topics every owner and manager needs to understand — from employment forms and record-keeping to accounts receivable and payroll – all from a Certified Public Accountant familiar with the Christmas Tree industry. Wildlife Control – Roger Baldwin, University of California – Kearney Agricultural Research

McGee Christmas Tree Farm & Carson Ridge Evergreens and Extension Center While a great deal of attention is placed on insects and disease, Christmas Tree growers also face ongoing challenges in effectively managing the wildlife on their farms. Deer, moles, gophers, voles and other vertebrates can pose a risk to developing trees and field quality. This presentation will highlight the steps necessary to develop an effective management program for controlling wildlife pests. Special attention will be focused on tools and techniques for controlling these pests including habitat modification, exclusion, trapping, burrow fumigation, and rodenticides. Credit or Debit? What Credit Card Merchants Need to Know – Edwin Moore, Capital Q What’s the difference between credit and debit? How can you avoid excessive chargebacks? What are the proper recordkeeping procedures? How are changing credit regulations affecting retailers? Edwin Moore from Capital Q will answer all of these questions and more in this session to make sure you, as a merchant, are protected. Legislative Issues Affecting Your Business – Craig Regelbrugge, American Nursery & Landscape Association This year, NCTA has enacted a renewed focus on protection and advocacy — and this session will bring you up to speed on those issues impacting the industry and your business. NCTA’s legislative expert will review what’s happening in this election year and what’s looming on the horizon. Attend this session to learn how you can be an advocate for the industry and make your voice heard in Washington. Grow Your Business with E-mail Marketing – Karen Rice, Constant Contact Looking for ways to expand your marketing on a limited budget? Consider the power of e-mail! A former small business owner

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Davis Ranch wine education. Then we’ll head to the beautiful Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Here, we will have a delicious catered lunch and be able to take a self-guided tour to see the Sequoia sempervirens, (Coast Redwoods), the tallest living things in the world. These remarkable trees can live up to 1,000 years and grow to a

diameter of 16 feet! Our next stop is Goat Rock on the Sonoma Coast near the mouth of the Russian River. Here you will have a chance to dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean and see a colony of harbor seals during pupping season. And we’ll cap off the day with a visit to the Korbel Champagne Cellar,

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Indian Rock Tree Farm herself, this speaker understands both how easy it is for marketing activities to fall to the bottom of the to-do list and how important it is to make time for the things that work. She’ll share her practical approach to e-mail and social media marketing, designed with the busy entrepreneur in mind. Pre-Tours Pre-Convention Tour: Sampling the Best of California Hosted by the California Christmas Tree Association Tuesday, Aug. 7 - Departs at 7:45 a.m. and returns around 5:30 p.m This tour will take you through the beautiful Napa Valley as we travel to Sonoma County. We

will begin our trip with a visit to the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center. Here we will take a guided garden tour followed by wine tasting. Kendall-Jackson is set on 2.5 acres, and with seven distinct garden areas offering a veritable cornucopia of beauty and flavor, these gardens are a core component of Kendall-Jackson’s commitment to food and

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where we’ll enjoy an extended tour through the historic champagne cellars and museum, followed by a tasting of their finest products. Note: There is a minimum and maximum set for this tour – please reserve your spot early. The bus will pick up and drop off at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. Tour participants are encouraged to bring a sweater or jacket, as coastal weather patterns can be unpredictable.

Cost (includes transportation, wine tastings, lunch and all admission fees): $100 Pre-Convention Tour: Learn, Laugh and Shop Hosted by the California Christmas Tree Association Wednesday, Aug. 8 - Departs at 7:15 a.m. and returns around 2:30 p.m. This tour has a little something for everyone, from learning unique ways to grow and market your farm and products to doing some shopping

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of your own. First up is a stop at Sciabica’s, a third-generation awardwinning olive oil company, for a sampling of several flavored oils (otherwise known as “California Sunshine in a Bottle.”) Then it’s on to Hilmar Cheese Company, the world’s largest one-site cheese plant, taking in more than 2 million gallons of milk every 24 hours. You’ll have a chance to tour, taste and shop, after enjoying a delicious healthy lunch. Throughout this tour, you’ll explore why California is the leading agricultural state in the nation and hear about some of the unique challenges and opportunities facing the state’s tree growers.

Note: There is a minimum and maximum set for this tour – please reserve your spot early. The bus will pick up and drop off at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. Cost (includes transportation, lunch and all admission fees): $72 Special Events Theme Night California State Railroad Museum Hosted by the California Christmas Tree Association Thursday Aug. 9 Buses will begin shuttling at 5 p.m. and return around 10 p.m. Get on board for a great Theme Night at the California State Railroad Museum, widely regarded as North America’s finest and most popular inter-

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pretive railroad museum. Catch one of the early shuttles for the chance to explore Old Sacramento, a piece of living history right on the waterfront and a bustling commercial district with shops, dining and more. In addition to checking out these must-see attractions, attendees will enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner and entertainment at the museum. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch up with old and new friends at Theme Night! Note: Buses will pick up and drop off at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. Cost (includes transportation, admission, dinner and entertainment): $55 National Tree and Wreath Contests View the best of the best in the National Christmas Tree and Wreath Contests! Don’t miss your chance to help select the winning trees; the grower of the Grand Champion tree will represent the industry in presenting a Real Christmas Tree to the White House in 2012. Contest rules and entry forms have been sent to all state associations; they can also be downloaded at . Even if you’re not a winner at the state level, you can still get involved by helping to decorate a tree for your state/regional association.

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Voting for the Grand and Reserve Champion trees will be open from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9. Ballots will be supplied to all primary registrants. Awards Banquet Friday, Aug. 10- Reception opens at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m. Hyatt Regency Sacramento Join us for the closing reception and dinner on Friday night to recognize some of the leaders in the industry. During the banquet, the Christmas Tree and Wreath contest winners will be announced, along with other special awards and recognitions. Don’t forget to order your tickets on your registration form. Cost: $60 Farm Tours All farm tours will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11 FARM TOUR #1: The Eastern Foothills – McGee Christmas Tree Farm, Carson Ridge Evergreens, Indian Rock Tree Farm & Madrona Vineyard • McGee Christmas Tree Farm & Carson Ridge Evergreens – Pioneer tree growers Omer and Elinor McGee first began planting trees in 1950. A past president of the California Christmas Tree Association, Omer was instrumental in the promotion of Choose & Cut Christmas Tree farms. Today, the McGee traditions continue with their children — son Mike and his wife Phyllis operate McGee Christmas Tree Farm, and daughter Cathy and her husband Gene run the adjoining Carson Ridge Evergreens. Mike McGee will share the farm’s history and extensive knowledge of Christmas Trees, particularly Canaan firs. In addition, you’ll see how they use stump culturing as part of their production strategy. Next up is Carson Ridge Evergreens, which was voted Readers Choice Best Tree Farm in 2011 and is situated in the beautiful Apple Hill area, where agritourism on tree farms, fruit orchards and wineries abound. This stop will also include hands-on presentations from some of the Christmas Tree industry’s leading researchers and educators. For more information, visit www. mcgeechristmastreefarm.c om and


Page 3 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

NCTA from B2

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 4

NCTA from B3 • Indian Rock Tree Farm – Named for the numerous grinding rocks found on the property, Indian Rock Tree Farm has been welcoming families for more than 45 years. Owners Larry and Geri Hyder first began managing the native trees and planting silver tip, white fir, and Douglas-fir seedlings in the 1960s and have since “branched out,” experimenting with species and varieties from other regions. In addition to wholesale and Choose & Cut tree sales, the farm offers silver tip wreaths and a gift shop filled with local crafts. In 2004, the farm was named “Outstanding Tree Farm in California” by the National Tree Farms Systems in recognition for their forest management practices. Larry will discuss their development and shearing practices for cedars, which have helped to make them one of the best sellers. The Hyders enjoy sharing some of the Native American and gold mining history of the land, and fly fishers will be drawn to the beautiful stream, full of native rainbow trout. For more information, visit • Madrona Vineyard – This tour includes a stop at the beautiful Madrona Vineyards for lunch and a tour of the winery and tasting. Situated at 3,000 feet, the exceptional mountain elevation vineyards offer the perfect growing conditions for the wide range of Rhône and Bordeaux varietals grown there. For more information, visit Farm Tour #2: The Sacramento

Delta: Billy’s Farm, Davis Ranch, Silveyville Pumpkin and Tree Farm • Billy’s Farm – This tour will kick off with a visit to a natural Certified Organic Christmas Tree Farm. The farm features rolling hills, blackberry creek, private park, a 375-year-old California Heritage Oak, plus 10 varieties of Christmas Trees. The tour will begin with a traditional hayride, which is a focal point, plus a visit with the farm animals. While not for everyone, many California consumers are increasingly interested in organic products, and you’ll hear how this grower is tapping into this unique market. Customers come from as far away as Los Angeles to experience a truly natural Christmas. For more information, visit • Davis Ranch – The tour will head to Sloughhouse, CA, to visit Davis Ranch. In addition to a large Choose & Cut operation, the farm has a thriving roadside produce stand business, stretching their selling season out over several months. Throughout the year, Davis Ranch plays host to a variety of small and large-scale events and festivals. During this stop, you’ll hear their unique approach to marketing and selling trees, with minimal labor, and learn more about the “growing business” of hydroponic farming. For more information, visit • Silveyville Pumpkin and Tree Farm – Wrap up the day with lunch and learning at Ted and Jeri Lynn Seifert’s

operation. You’ll enjoy a “locavore lunch,” savoring some of the best the north valley of California produces, under the shade of the redwoods. In the afternoon, California growers will discuss their state’s Tree Fresh Certification program, storage and display options for precut trees and a unique watering system that helps to increase tree growth by as much as 25 percent. Over the past 30 years, Silveyville Farm has grown to be one of the largest in Northern California and you’ll hear how the farm has changed over the years, while still keeping the traditional experience. For the marketers out there, you’ll see how automated rides, a horse-drawn grain wagon and a sleigh pulled by Rudolph help to create memories for families, as well as additional revenues. Check out the life-size nativity and take part in a live educational class presentation, or tour the gift shop and wreathmaking operation. For more information, visit The official hotel for the 2012 Convention is the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, conveniently located adjacent to the Sacramento Convention Center. Fresh from a top-to-bottom renovation, the Hyatt includes stylish guest rooms, re-

sort-style pool, fitness center, and onsite restaurant, lounge and Starbucks. Reserve your room now by calling 888/421-1442 and asking for the NCTA group rate of $112/night for a single/double. Or, book online by visiting When you’re not taking advantage of all the networking and educational opportunities the Convention has to offer, there’s also plenty to see and do in Sacramento! Sacramento is consistently rated as one of the best visitor values in California, with lots to do for little or no cost, including tours of the California State Capitol building or sightseeing in historic Old Sacramento. Or venture out a bit — it’s easy to do with Napa just 50 miles away and San Francisco and Lake Tahoe just 90 miles away. Start planning your trip now at

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White Spruce Picea glauca (Moench) Voss Description: White spruce is a medium-sized conifer found in northeastern United States and throughout Canada. It is the state tree of South Dakota. White spruce has a cone-shaped crown, and when grown in the open develops a conical crown which extends nearly to the ground. This habit along with the spreading branches give it a nice appearance for use as an ornamental. Trees often reach 80-140 feet in height and 1.5 to 3 feet in diameter. The oldest white spruce may reach 300 years of age. Leaves (needles) are needle-shaped, and are often somewhat crowded on the upper half of the branchlets. Needles are usually 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, blunt at the tip and green to bluish-green in color.

Typically, needles are 4 angled (4-sided) and are present on short twig-like structures on the stem (sterigmata). When crushed, needles have a disagreeable odor, thus, the common name of “skunk spruce” or “cat spruce” is often used by those familiar with the species. The bark is thin, light grayish-brown and is produced in irregular, thin, scaly plates. The species is monecious, meaning both male and female flowers (strobili) are found on the same tree. Pollination occurs in the spring and cones mature in one season. Cones are slender about 1 1/4 to 2 inches long and ripen in early fall. Cones are pale brown at maturity with scales that are thin, flexible, and rounded. Cones usually fall from the tree shortly after seeds are shed. White spruce is tolerant of a considerable amount of shade. Its best growth is



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on moist, acidic, loamy soils and is often found on stream banks, lake shores and adjacent slopes. The species seldom occurs in pure stands but grows in association with balsam fir, black spruce, eastern hemlock, trembling aspen, and other northern hardwoods. Leaves of white spruce are often infected by rust diseases resulting in premature shedding of needles. The two most important insect pests are spruce budworm and spruce sawfly. As a Christmas tree, white spruce has excellent foliage color, short stiff needles and a good natural shape. Needle retention is better than some of other spruce species. Range: White spruce has one of the largest ranges of any North American conifer. It can be found from Newfoundland to Alaska and southward to the United States in New England and the Lake States. It occurs from sea level to 5600 ft. in elevation. A taxonomic variety of white spruce, densata, can be found in the Black Hills of South Dakota and is often sold commercially as “Black Hills spruce”. The variety albertiana is sold as “western white spruce” or “Alberta white spruce”, although some experts believe it may be a form of densata. A total of over 30 cultivated varieties of white spruce have been identified. Propagation: Most propagation is by seed, although both rooting and grafting has been successful. Vegetative propagation by rooting or grafting has been used to increase the number of plants of rarer forms. Uses: The wood of white spruce is light, soft, and straight grained. Its primary uses have been for pulpwood, lumber, furniture, and boxes and crates. More elegant

uses include sounding boards for pianos and violins. The tough, pliable roots were once used by Indians to lace birchbark canoes and to make woven baskets. White spruce is important as a source of food for grouse and seed eating birds. Red squirrels often cut cones as they mature and eat the seeds. Porcupines are considered destructive pests as they often eat the bark, particularly of young trees. Black bears may also strip white spruce bark for the sweet sapwood. Fraser Fir Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir. Description: In many respects, Fraser fir and balsam fir are quite similar, although the geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. Some scientists even suggest that because of the many similarities, the two species were once a single species which has since evolved into the present-day forms. Fraser fir was named for John Fraser (1750-1811), a Scot botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains in the late 18th century. The species is sometimes called Southern balsam or Southern balsam fir. Locally Fraser fir is known as “She balsam” because of the resin filled blisters on the tree’s trunk. Red spruce, often associated with Fraser fir, is called “He balsam” and lacks the distinctive blisters. Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramidshaped tree which reaches a maximum height of about 80 feet and a diameter of 1-1.5 feet. Strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance. Leaves (needles) are flattened, darkgreen with a medial groove on the upper side and two broad silvery-white bands

Varieties B6

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Page 5 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Varieties of trees

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 6

Varieties from B5 on the lower surface. These bands consist of several rows of stomata (pores). Leaves are 1/2 to one inch long, have a broad circular base, and are usually dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the lower surface. On lower branches, leaves are two-ranked (occurring in two opposite rows). On upper twigs, leaves tend to curl upward forming a more “Ushaped” appearance. Fraser fir is monecious meaning that both male and female flowers (strobili) occur on the same tree. Flowers are receptive in May to June depending on elevation and other environmental conditions. The species is wind pollinated, and cones mature in a single season. At maturity,

cones are 2-2 1/2 inches long with bracts longer than the scales and appearing reflexed (bent over). The presence of these visible cone bracts is a distinguishing feature of Fraser fir as compared to balsam fir. Upon ripening in September to November, cones fall apart leaving an erect central core. Red squirrels are the primary consumers of seeds. Bark is usually gray or gray-brown, thin, smooth with numerous resin blisters on young trees. As trees become older, the bark tends to develop into thin, papery scales. Fraser fir is intermediate in shade tolerance and is usually found on fertile, rocky to sandy soils which are acidic. Natural associates are

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red spruce, beech and yellow birch. Rhododendrons also are found in this ecosystem, and add significant beauty during their flowering season. The most damaging natural enemy is the balsam woolly adelgid (formerly called an aphid) which is an imported, wingless insect. Phytophthora root disease attacks Fraser fir, but is most harmful at lower elevations. Some scientists also point to air pollution as a contributor to the de-

cline of many natural red spruce-Fraser fir stands. The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species. North Carolina produces the majority of Fraser fir Christmas trees. It requires from 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 feet tree. Range: Fraser fir has a some-

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what restricted range. It grows naturally only at elevations above 4,500 feet in the Southern Appalachian Mountains from southwest Virginia, through western North Carolina, and into eastern Tennessee. A number of stands occur in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its highest native habitat is Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina (6,684 feet) which is the highest U.S. point east of the Mississippi River. A variety of balsam fir,

phanerolepis, occurs in the Northeast United States and Canada and as far south as West Virginia and Virginia (38 degees north latitude). This variety is best described as an intermediate form between balsam fir and Fraser fir and may represent a remnant of a once continuous range of the two species. Propagation: Most propagation is by seeds although propagation by cuttings, and

Varieties B7

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grafting has also been used for special purposes. Propagation via tissue culture has been attempted but not on a large scale. Uses: Principal uses are generally the same as for balsam fir, although Fraser fir has been used less for timber because of the difficult terrain on which it grows. The wood is soft and brittle and may be used for

pulpwood, light frame construction, interior knotty paneling, and crates. Fraser fir boughs have often been used for “pine pillows” and bed stuffing. Balsam Fir Abies balsamea (L.) Miller Description: First described in 1768, balsam fir is a mediumsized tree generally reaching 40-60 feet in height and 1-1 1/2 feet in diameter. It exhibits a rel-

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atively dense, dark-green, pyramidal crown with a slender spire-like tip. The scientific name “balsamea” is an ancient word for the balsam tree, so named because of the many resinous blisters found in the bark. Balsam fir and Fraser fir have many similar characteristics, although geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. On lower branches needles generally occur as two-ranked (two rows along sides of the branch), 3/4 - 1 1/2 inches long, spreading and not crowd-

ed. On older branches, the needles tend to be shorter and curved upward so as to cover the upper sides of the twigs. Individual needles are somewhat flat and may be blunt or notched at the end. Needles have a broad circular base and are usually dark green on the upper surface, lighter on the lower surface. Two silvery bands of stomata (pores) are found on the lower surface. Balsam fir has both male and female flowers (or strobili) on the same tree. Flowers are receptive in late May to early

June. The species is wind pollinated, and cones mature in a single season. At maturity, cones are 2 to 3 1/2 inches long with bracts shorter than scales. The presence of these short cone bracts is a distinguishing feature when balsam fir is compared Fraser fir. Upon ripening in September to November, cones fall apart leaving an erect central core. Balsam fir bark is thin, ash-gray, and smooth except for numerous blisters on young trees. These blisters contain a

sticky, fragrant, liquid resin. Thus, the species has been sometimes referred to as “blister pine”. Upon maturity, bark may become up to 1/2 inch thick, red-brown and broken into thin scales. The species thrives in cooler climates and demands abundant soil moisture and a humid atmosphere. It is generally found in the Canadian and Hudsonian zones from sea level to about 5,000 feet in elevation. Growth is best on well-



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Page 7 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Varieties from B6

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 8

The Christmas tree compost experiment by Kelly Gates Composting is a common practice in the growing industry. Businesses that produce sod, nursery plants, fruits, vegetables and a multitude of other products have been using compost for years. But until now, virtually no one has tried using compost on crops of Christmas trees. Fred Salo, owner of Salomaa Tree Plantation of Stannard, VT, has been working with compost for decades-long before most others used the organic matter. Having experienced great success with all previous applications, Salo proposed a formal experiment that he anticipates will show the viability of a core injection compost application with Christmas trees. “Soil health has become an issue on Christmas tree plantations in the Northeast,” said Salo. “Some of the soil where trees are grown is poor quality or has become unhealthy because the organic quality of the soil was damaged during land clearing and by ‘rotational problems’ caused by continued planting of trees on the same acre of land depleting the “working” organic content of the soil. Soil health is defined by Cornell University as having three components, physical, chemical and biological. Compost is a very healthy way to

amend these soil issues.” “Poor soil health causes unhealthy trees and results in the overuse of chemical fertilizer as compensation. Slow growth is typically evident in these conditions and soil borne diseases like Armillaria root rot often run rampant, killing more trees than normal. The end result of these issues shows up in the profitability of the grower,” added Salo. With such ongoing concerns plaguing Christmas tree growers, Salo set out to find a solution. After attaining a grant from USDA, SARE (Sustainable Fred Salo owner of Salomaa Tree Plantation explains that trees will be checked for bud set for next year, color and lenght of needles, the caliper will be measured 1” off the ground, shoot growth and leader length. Finally the trees will be checked for Armillaria fungus.

Experiment B9

Compost was applied to 3,000 trees. Photos courtesy of Debra Heleba, University of Vermont



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Agriculture Research and Education), he set up several test plots on his farm. “I proposed a core injection method of applying compost to existing Christmas trees of varying ages,” explained Salo.

“Applying compost to soils to grow other crops has become a common cultural practice. Costs have been reduced, fungus problems have been minimized and on some farms, chemical use has been

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Experiment from B8 completely eliminated.” With the possibility of solving a multitude of problems, the biggest issue remaining was the lack of a viable, efficient method of applying compost to existing Christmas trees. Most Christmas tree growers interplant existing blocks with new transplants two years prior to the harvest to accelerate the next crop rotation. If the grower waited for the field to be completely harvested to add compost, three years would be added to each rotation. This, said Salo, would significantly decrease farm profits and would therefore, not be cost effective. It would also be ineffective to mix compost between rows using a Fred Salo and Carol Delaney, Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Specialist, look over the project. rototiller since tree roots would be tangled and damaged. “This project is unique because of the way I’m proposing that growers apply the compost, injecting it into the soil,” said Salo. “I used a turf core aerator to create holes in the soil first. Then, I applied the compost to the ground and raked it into the holes where it could begin working immediately.” “In comparison, a top application-spreading the compost without infusing it into the soil-could take three to four years for the


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compost to take effect,” he said. Salo and crew lugged in a total of 50 yards of one type of compost and 50 yards of the other in fivegallon buckets. In all, he applied compost for 3,000 trees. Salo has already begun the experiment. Earlier this year, he set up three replications to test different types of compost against control groups. In each replication, there are five rows of Compost A and Compost B-different manure based compost blends acquired from different suppliersand a control area, with six rows of Christmas trees without compost and no coring. The trial measurements were taken in July 2012. The first set of results will be collected in 2013, one year after the compost was applied. Salo will share his findings with others in the industry, another of the key

elements of the project that helped him win the SARE grant. “The outreach I have planned is a very important part of this project,” Salo said. “The results of this experiment will be made available to any and all members of the industry who wish to view it online and through SARE’s resources.” Information regarding the experiment, frequently asked questions and meeting information is currently available for viewing at Salo will also invite Christmas tree growers and any interested parties to Salomaa Tree Plantation in 2013 to hear about the first year’s preliminary results. In 2015, the final results of the three-year study will be revealed online. Salo hopes people outside the industry will also

Experiment B10

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August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 10

Varieties from B7 drained, sandy loam soils that are somewhat acid. The species is tolerant of shade and may reach 150-200 years of age. Pure stands may be found in swamps, but balsam fir often occurs with white spruce, black spruce and aspen on upland sites. Chief enemies are the spruce budworm and balsam woolly adelgid (formerly called an aphid), heart-rot fungi, and fire. A

shallow root system also renders the trees vulnerable to high winds and heavy spring snow storms. As a Christmas tree, balsam fir has several desirable properties. It has a dark-green appearance, long-lasting needles, and attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance. Nine to ten years in the field are required to produce a 6-7 foot tree. Range: Abies balsamea occurs

naturally from northern Alberta to Labrador, southward to Pennsylvania. This geographical distribution is larger than for any other North American fir species. A variety of balsam fir, phanerolepis, occurs as far south as West Virginia and Virginia (38 degrees north latitude). This variety is best described as an intermediate form between balsam fir and Fraser fir although classi-

fied with balsam fir. Propagation: Most propagation is by seeds, although natural layering may occur from lower branches in contact with moist soil. A few selected cultivated forms are commercially propagated by cuttings, and grafting has also been used for special purposes. Propagation via tissue culture has been attempted but not on a large scale.

pects of the environment when using chemicals,” he said. “Certain chemicals used such as phosphorous are conceived as a threat because of runoff that could leach into streams and lakes and we want our customers to know that we are being good stewards of the earth. This certainly can be a marketing tool.” While the experiment may or may not have a significant impact on the

way Christmas tree growers operate in the future, Salo’s aim is simple. He hopes that his trials will have enough positive results to encourage other growers to consider costeffective, eco-friendly methods of amending soils, whatever the method may be. If a grower chooses to use yard waste-based

compost or compost from landfills, rather than the high end, manure-based compost he swears by, that’s fine with him. “I just want growers to know that composting through injection methods is an option for them,” he said. “I want them to understand that it is viable, if it fits their growing operations.”

Experiment from B9 take note of this unique experiment and its outcome. He believes consumers will have an interest in which Christmas tree farms use compost, as it is a more environmentally friendly way to grow trees. “Reducing the amount of chemical fertilizers used lowers overhead for the grower, but as growers, we also worry about impacting wildlife, flora and fauna and other as-

Uses: The wood is soft and brittle and has been used primarily for pulpwood. The wood is also used for light frame construction, interior knotty paneling, and crates. Wood resin in the bark blisters is the source of Canada balsam used for making of microscope slides. Resin was sold in stores as a confection prior to the advent of chewing gum, and resinous fir knots were once used as torches. A balm of balsam fir resin was used in Civil

War as an external application to the injuries of combat. Balsam fir boughs are often used for stuffing “pine pillows”, with the aromatic foliage serving as a deodorant. Moose and whitetail deer browse the foliage, while chickadees, nutcrackers, squirrels and porcupines eat the seeds. The spruce grouse uses fir forests for cover and obtains food from the needles. Source:

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Through a new agreement between the New York State Berry Growers Association (NYSBGA) and the Cornell berry breeding program, raspberry and strawberry growers across the state will evaluate elite selections from the university in their own fields. Strawberries are the third leading fruit crop in New York by value, and each year Cornell berry breeder

Courtney Weber evaluates thousands of potential new varieties looking for improved disease resistance, flavor and growth. Less than one-tenth of 1 percent become elite selections, which then require rigorous testing to determine if they outperform existing varieties. “The industry was looking for a way to provide stable support for Cornell

USDA declares largest natural disaster area ever The blistering summer and ongoing drought conditions have the prompted the U.S. Agriculture Department to declare a federal disaster area in more than 1,000 counties covering 26 states. That’s almost one-third of all the counties in the United States, making it the largest disaster declaration ever made by the USDA. The declaration covers almost every state in the southern half of the continental U.S., from South Carolina in the East to California in the West. It’s also includes Colorado and Wyoming (which have been hit by devastating wildfires) and Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska in the Midwest. However, it does not include Iowa, which is the largest grain and corn producer in the U.S. The USDA’s latest crop report is projecting a 12 percent decrease in the corn harvest this year, which would still

be the third-largest haul on record. Despite the negative outlook, grain prices remains quite low, according to CNBC. The ruling allows farmers in those affected counties to apply for low-interest loans and face reduced penalties for grazing on protected lands. The USDA says the loans will only amount to around $4 million, but is one of the few “limited tools” the department has available to help farmers. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has asked for a complete re-authorization of all existing agriculture programs, including crop insurance, that can be used to support struggling farms. About 53 percent of the country is facing “moderate to extreme drought” so far this summer. Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture Blog

berry research and variety development,” said Dale Ila Riggs, NYSBGA president and co-owner of The Berry Patch in Stephentown, NY. “When we learned that hands in the field are one of the biggest limiting factors in evaluating new berry varieties, we offered to be those hands.” The arrangement, she said, “could also be a blueprint for other industry groups who want to directly support the research that benefits agriculture in New York state.” As part of the agreement, participating members of NYSBGA will plant test selections in their fields and provide evaluation data collected from their trials to Cornell. “Growers will give us feedback on how the flavor, yield, color and disease resistance compare to other varieties they are growing,” said Weber, associate professor of horticulture based at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. “The most important question for me is whether they’d want to plant more.” The collaboration will also lead to more thorough testing because the large-scale, commercial plots result in a statewide planting that is 200-fold larger than Weber’s evaluation plots. “Strawberries are unique among fruits because they are grown across New York state, from the tip of Long Island to the Pennsylvania border, which represents many different mi-

croclimates,” said Paul Baker, NYSBGA executive director. “This partnership will provide crucial data on how a new variety performs in different soil types and under different climatic zones, something an individual researcher would never be able to afford to collect.” Growers will benefit from the opportunity to test-drive new varieties before their release and having direct input on new releases in the breeding program. And, according to Baker, growers want to maintain the steady stream of new varieties that is key to whetting consumers’ appetites for farm fresh fruit. “The berry growers are a unique group of individual farms who pool their resources for the collective good of the industry,” said Baker. “Our agreement is a clear signal to Cornell that if they will do the breeding and research, we are willing not only to invest, we want to work directly with them.” Once a strawberry or raspberry plant is chosen by Cornell for commercial release, growers will be able to obtain licenses to sell and distribute the new variety for commercialization purposes by contacting Jessica Lyga, plant varieties and germplasm licensing associate for the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization. The first berry to be tested through this program will be a strawberry variety ready for evaluation next spring.

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Page 11 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Berry growers partner with Cornell to evaluate new varieties

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 12

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Saturday, August 4 • 10:00 AM: 1507 Pre-Emption Rd., Penn Yan, NY (Yates Co.). Real Estate Absolute Auction. 103 acre DeWick farm w/100 acres tillable, farmhouse, shop 2 machine sheds. Thomas P. Wamp/Pirrung Auctioneers, Inc., 585-728-2520

Wednesday, August 8 • 2:00 PM: Gehan Rd., off Rts. 5-20, 5 mi. E. of Canandaigua, NY. NY Steam Engine Assoc. 4th Annual Consignment Auction. 1st day of pageant of Steam Show Aug. 8-11. Dann Auctioneers, Delos Dann, 585-396-1676

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COBLESKILL, NY — SUNY Cobleskill Agricultural Business faculty and students visited California’s San Joaquin Valley in May as part of the two-credit travel course Agricultural Business Field Studies, which provides realworld exposure to theories and concepts dis-

cussed in the classroom. Four professors and 36 students traveled the region between Los Angeles and San Francisco during an eight-day period. At 220 miles in length and 60 miles wide, the San Joaquin Valley includes land resources that are among the most productive in

the world. With a growing season from early March to mid-November, the valley produces more than 250 different crops, along with accompanying complementary livestock. Field Studies participants visited over 20 agricultural businesses, including Grimmway

Farms, the world’s largest grower, processor and shipper of carrots, managing approximately 100,000 acres; Paramount Farms, the world’s biggest grower and processor of almonds and pistachios; and Mohr-Fry Ranches, which produces 12 million gallons of wine from

5,000 acres of grapes for bottling by other companies under various California brands. As the nation’s leading dairy state, California presented the students with several educational experiences. The state is home to Land O’Lakes, which processes 9-11 million pounds of milk dairy, and Hilmar Cheese, a company that receives 150 tanker loads of milk each day. Golden State Feed and Grain Company, operating 365 days per year and 24 hours per day, specializes in providing concentrate feed to dairy farms. Golden State Feed and Grain receives 1,100 rail cars of feed ingredients each month, yielding approximately 60 trailer loads of finished product to be delivered to dairy farms daily. Students also visited with owners of smaller, diversified businesses very similar to many of the agricultural enterprises common in the Northeast, such as Murray Family Farms, which maintains 300 acres with a retail farm store and accompanying farm stands in neighboring towns. Wiebe Farms manages 700 acres of tree fruits, which are

packaged, shipped and sold directly to retailers. Despite its impressive scale, California’s agricultural industry faces numerous challenges. Water scarcity and uncertainty over government regulation were common themes throughout the trip. Unlike Northeast farms, California growers must purchase water allocations, which is a significant component of the cost of business operations. Other site visits include: Ayala Farms, Burroughs Family Farms Organic Dairy, California Polytechnic Institute, Curtimade Dairy, Inc., Silveira Brothers’ Angus Cattle Company, SunMaid Raisins, Tejon Ranch, and Virtus Nutrition. Among the traditional tourist destinations, the students enjoyed stops at Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park, a walk along Hollywood Boulevard, and shopping at the Boot Barn western clothing outlet. For more information about the Agricultural Business Field Studies course, contact SUNY Cobleskill professors Dr. Jason Evans (evansjr@ or Dayton Maxwell (maxweldt@

Page 13 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

SUNY Cobleskill Agricultural Business faculty and students visit California’s San Joaquin Valley

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 14

ANLA and OFA announce first joint event OFA — the Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) have announced the development of a new, joint event. The new event, named “Next Level,” will be held Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN.

According to OFA CEO Michael Geary, “Every individual, every organization has a next level, the next dimension of performance and results to realize. The Next Level event is designed to help participants clarify their own next level, expose them to the ideas and insights to help bridge that

gap and connect them to like-minded colleagues who can support their journey.” The Next Level event will be unique in its focus on education that focuses attendees on working on their business, not just in their business. ANLA and OFA have retained the services of na-

SNA announces 2013 event

ATLANTA — The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced preliminary plans for an event in 2013. Scheduled for Aug. 5-7 at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), this event will combine the SNA Research Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA State Officer’s Conference, and the Annual SNA Business Meeting to deliver one unparalleled event — all under one roof. The GICC, conveniently located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and minutes from downtown Atlanta, is Georgia’s newest and second largest convention center featuring more than 400,000 square feet of meeting space — all on one level. The ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train linking the GICC to the airport, the rental car

center and the GICC station, as well as a wide array of affordable nearby hotels (including two new Marriott properties on the GICC campus), and restaurants, coupled with excellent transportation connections from across the U.S., will offer participants added convenience. This new regional event will bring together the most forward thinking leaders, researchers, growers, manufacturers, distributors, landscapers and retailers from across the southeast to share ideas, learn new techniques, address key industry issues, and locate new products. Meister Media/Today’s Garden Center will be the official media sponsor of the event and will offer an educational program geared specifically to retail garden centers. In addition to the educational and networking opportunities another component of the event

will provide industry growers and suppliers an opportunity to promote and showcase their products through various levels of sponsorship including a variety of channels of advertising, product presentations and display space. If you are interested in gaining exposure to a regional audience through sponsorship, contact the SNA office at 678-809-9992. Already, a number of industry members have committed to participation and expectations are high. “The response to this long-awaited event has received widespread positive reaction,” said Karen Summers, executive vice president of SNA. “This clearly indicates a strong industry need and a high level of confidence. SNA has a long history of producing successful events, and I am confident this will be another formula for success. We

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tionally-recognized educational event designer Jeffrey Cufaude to help plan this meeting. He will work with a planning committee made up of members from both organizations. With direction from volunteer leaders, an initial meeting with the staffs of OFA and ANLA, held in June, defined the goals for the

conference. Bob Dolibois, ANLA’s executive vice president stated, “Our industry faces a new normal in terms of the economy, our customers and our competitors. The top industry firms of the next 20 years need to identify how their businesses have to change in order to enjoy continued success. This meeting is the place

where that will happen.” The educational program is currently under development. Further details will be available at the end of September. For more information on the partnership between OFA and ANLA and the Next Level event, visit

are excited about working with Today’s Garden Center to bring this event to the industry,” she added. The Southern Nursery Association is a nonprofit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. Established in 1899, the SNA strives to provide educational, marketing and networking opportunities essen-

tial to the survival of the horticultural industry. More details will be released in the weeks to come. For further information, contact the Southern Nursery Asso-

ciation, Inc., P.O. Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678-809-9992,, or visit the SNA website at

BioSafe Systems has released a new activated peroxide product, SaniDate® Sanitizing Wipes. SaniDate Wipes are an EPA registered sanitizer effective against 99.9 percent of bacteria, including, staphylococcus

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Farwest Show announces New Varieties Showcase for 2012 PORTLAND, OR — Officials from the 2012 Farwest Show announced this year’s New Varieties Showcase,

which will highlight more than 40 new plant varieties from 20 growers and breeders, according to Farwest Show Direc-

tor Allan Niemi. “This year’s New Varieties Showcase will feature new colors and color combinations as well as

plants that are progressively more floriferous, increasingly compact, less water-dependent and more disease resist-

ant,” Niemi said. “These plants are hand-selected to capture the attention of home gardeners, retailers and landscapers.” The New Varieties Showcase selection committee—comprises growers, retailers, plant buyers, garden writers and designers—reviewed submissions looking for plants new to the trade or are in large-scale production for the first time, making them more readily available for purchase. They also looked for plants that are different from what’s currently on the market and those that will both perform well in the landscape and work well for the retailer.

All plants that appear in the New Varieties Showcase are available from Farwest Show exhibitors to order for fall or the coming spring. The New Varieties Showcase also offers retailers creative cost-effective ideas for merchandising plants in a garden center setting for increased sales. And more new 2013 plants from eight exhibitors will be highlighted on the show floor’s Demo Stage at 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24.

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For more information on the 2012 Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase visit http:// html The 2012 Farwest Show will take place Aug. 23-25 at the Oregon Convention Center, in Portland, OR. For registration and more information about the 2012 Farwest Show seminar schedule, nursery tours, show hours and other features, visit or call 503-682-5089.

Page 15 - Section B • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

BioSafe Systems introduces the SaniDate sanitizing wipes

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section B - Page 16


Section C


Produce ~ keeping it fresh and clean Harvest sanitation is an important component of a GAPs program. It includes both harvest practices and sanitation of equipment that is used in the field. Workers involved in the harvest and field packing of produce should be

trained to pick intact, undamaged fruits and vegetables. They should not harvest drops or pieces of produce obviously contaminated with animal or human feces. Harvest standards for your operations should be discussed during

worker training. Dirty equipment can contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables, so it is very important to implement sanitation programs that effectively reduce this risk. Obviously it is impossible to keep field soil off harvest con-

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tainers, but steps can be taken to remove soil from harvest containers prior to arrival in the packing house. It is also important to clean and sanitize harvest containers on a routine schedule to reduce the risk of transmitting human pathogens as well as plant pathogens to newly harvested fruits and vegetables. Single-use containers used for field packing will not require a scheduled sanitation program since they are used only once, but these containers should be stored in a clean place where they will not be contaminated with rodent, bird, or other pest feces. Harvest aids such as knives and aprons should also be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis and special attention should be given to gloves worn by workers in the field. If workers wear non-disposable gloves they should also be washed and sanitized daily. As with any glove use, hands should be washed prior to wearing the gloves and whenever the

Damaged or cut fruit can harbor pathogens and decay organisms. Effective training that encourages good communication and worker participation is a valuable postharvest tool.

gloves are taken off such as at lunch, for breaks, or to use the bathroom. Many field harvest containers may present a challenge when establishing a sanitation program either due to size or material from which they are constructed. Developing a program may require some onfarm ingenuity, but there are many options

to consider such as high power washers or commercially available bin washers. Postharvest Handling and Packing Facilities Field equipment sanitation should be a consideration in future purchases of field harvest equipment and containers so that it will be easier to establish an effec-

Produce C4

Page 1 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Country Folks

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 2

Vegetables for fall harvest — a time for Thanksgiving Sweet corn and tomatoes are nice in summer, but fall is my favorite time to visit a roadside market. Supermarkets have all the staples, but the atmosphere at the farmers market has more of that “green grocer” feeling. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables is stunning, and it is fun to walk through the markets and see what’s for sale — but it is even more fun to find something that is a little unusual. Knobby celeriac, bright leeks, red cipolini onions, yellow and purple carrots, fennel, radicchio, some oddly shaped cabbages, and so on. For the farm market operator who is looking to give their customers more than the supermarket experience, here are some of the vegetables that I think make a farm market special. Romanesco. “What is that?”, we heard our customers say a few years ago. Now, Romanesco is becoming more and more common and customers are looking for it. Ro-

manesco is really an early form of cauliflower — this type was common before we had the white cauliflower that we know today. Consumers re-

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spond well to the term “Italian Cauliflower” — most people know what to do with cauliflower, and if it is Italian it must be good, right? Romanesco has a drier

texture than white cauliflower, and a nuttier taste. It works well boiled, but can also be roasted. Kids (of all ages) can plant the little florets in their mashed potatoes

and build their own little Christmas Tree Plantation (a nice change from the Broccoli Forest). Romanesco also makes a nice addition to any vegetable tray.

Try the variety Veronica for best results with Romanesco. Veronica matures in mid-September through mid-October

Vegetables C3

from an early July transplant. Like most cauliflowers, Romanesco does not like intense heat — you can plant a little later to avoid the worst heat stress. Romanesco will be grateful for some irrigation during the drier periods of the growing season, and reward you with nice, lime green heads that will make a beautiful center piece at any table — not to mention a very tasty and out-of-the-ordinary treat! Sweetheart Cabbage. This type of cabbage is easy to recognize — the pointed head really stands out among the round-headed members of the cabbage family. The term Sweetheart

comes from the Irish — cut the head from top to bottom, and hold it upside down to see the shape of the Irish heart. The leaves of this type of cabbage are nice and thin, and have a pleasing and soft texture. Sweetheart cabbage is tender and sweet (hence the name!), and is a delight as a summer salad. Just tear or cut the leaves into small chunks, dress with some olive oil and cider vinegar, add some salt and pepper to taste, and you will have a fresh and ready-to-eat summer salad. Or, cut the head in half lengthwise and grill it. Sweetheart cabbage cooks quickly — just a few minutes in a hot

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wok or over steam: very convenient! Sweetheart cabbage is easy to grow in summer — it will not get bitter, bolt, or have problems with tipburn like lettuce in the heat of summer. Try Caraflex for a nicely shaped Sweetheart cabbage with a medium head that will make just enough salad for a single meal. Caraflex can be grown from early spring (in tunnels, under row cover) until late fall — it even can be stored for up to 10 weeks. Typically, Caraflex will mature in the same time as a head of lettuce (about 60 days). Once you convince your customers to try one of these delectable Sweetheart cabbages they will be back for more — guaranteed! Red onion. Nothing better to add some flavor to the kitchen than to work a bit of onion into your dishes! The trick is to find a variety with nice color, good skin, and reliable production to add to your farm market. Red Sky is a new variety of red onion that I really like: it is well adapted to long-day growing areas (the northern states), it matures early (about 103 days), has nice color throughout, strong skin (no flaking), and nice flavor (with a little bite!). Red Sky works well from direct-seeding, or from transplants. Also, Red Sky makes a nicely round bulb that is neither too big or too small: a nice medium/large size that is perfect for a little onion when you want it, and a lot of onion when you need it. Red

Sky will be a very pretty onion to add to your farm market display, and is even pretty enough to fill up the Thanksgiving Cornucopia. High Tunnel Cucumbers. No, not the English cucumbers, but rather the American Slicer types. Traditionally, these types of cucumbers are grown outside, in the field, and often have “yellow bellies.” The parthenocarpic types, however, can be grown in High Tunnels. Because of the parthenocarpy, they set fruit without pollination, and then produce nice fruit without seed. The skin is thin, and the seed cavity is small, and the fruit is evenly smooth and dark green. High Quality Cucumbers that tell your customers that you know what you are doing! I like the variety Lisboa — I have seen some nice crops in High Tunnels after only 40 days of growing. Very productive, high quality fruit, and without a doubt a nice money-maker. The small seed cavity makes this variety perfect for freshly pickled cucumber slices, and deliciously refreshing when served cooled on a sandwich or in a salad. Lisboa can be grown in High Tunnels for an early spring crop or a later fall crop. Lisboa also works well on a trellis outdoors, or flat on the open ground (still nicely green fruit, without yellow bellies!). Just be sure to separate Lisboa from other cucumbers, or you will get cross pollination and you will get some irregularly shaped fruit. Have a great marketing season this fall, and a joyous Thanksgiving!




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Page 3 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Vegetables from C2

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 4

Produce from C1 tive field equipment sanitation program. Once produce has been harvested, care must be taken to prevent either direct or cross contamination of the crop during grading, washing, packing and shipping. Several foodborne illness outbreaks in fruits and vegetables have been traced back to packing operations. Implementing GAPs and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) during post harvest handling and packing can reduce microbial risks to fruits and vegetables. Adopting post harvest GAPs and GMPs are also good for produce quality since most practices that reduce growth of human microbial pathogens will also re-

duce post harvest decay. Cool produce quickly after it has been harvested. Target pulp temperatures should optimize produce quality and ideally will minimize microbial growth. Maintaining this “cold chain” from harvest to storage to shipping to retail display is essential to reduce microbial (and plant) pathogen growth. Water used for washing, cooling, or icing produce must be potable. Wash water and dump tanks can spread pathogens through cross contamination. Disinfection of this water can reduce these risks. Avoid cooling water bath temperatures that are more than 10°F cooler than the produce pulp tem-

perature, so that water is not drawn into produce. This concern is highest for tomatoes, peppers, apples, potatoes, mangoes and cantaloupes. The produce handling facilities, packing areas and trucks used for shipping must be kept clean through scheduled washing and sanitizing programs. Produce waste should be properly disposed of and runoff from produce fields should be prevented from entering packing areas. Birds, rodents, insects, and other pests should be excluded from the packing areas.

One of the most important practices to reduce post harvest microbial contamination of produce is worker education and training. Trained workers are important and valuable because they can identify factors that increase fruit damage during packing such as rough handling and sharp edges on packing lines. Damaged or cut fruit can harbor pathogens and

decay organisms. Effective training that encourages good communication and worker participation is a valuable postharvest tool. Finally, keep records so that each package leaving the farm can be traced to the field of origin and the date on which it was packed. Traceback information is essential for both third party auditing for food safety as well as for inspectors in the

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event of a foodborne illness outbreak. This article is an excerpt from the National GAPS Educational Material Farm Assessment. Visit for worksheets, self-assessments and educational information on the National GAPS Program.

Appropriate planning is essential if you want to present a positive image of your farm and of agriculture as a whole, and to be well prepared for a group visit. Farm tours should not, generally, be conducted in an ad hoc manner. It is important to think about what kinds of images you want your visitors to take with them when they leave (impres-

sions, experiences, knowledge, facts, products). Here are some considerations to take into account when assessing your state of readiness for a farm tour: • When is the best time of year for you to provide tours? Is the weather generally good at that time of year? Are unsightly chores like manure spreading or machinery cleaning occur-

ring during that time? • Will you charge a fee to offset the time and labor expended on the tour and to provide an economic return? If so, what will be your fee schedule? • Will you offer products to eat at the end of the tour? If so, check with your local health department regarding regulations concerning your ability to feed guests. • Can visitors safely

tour your facility? Remember, safety is your responsibility! • Is your farm relatively clean and in good repair? Do you practice good pest and waste management programs? Are you prepared to answer probing questions about your practices? • Will your tour present a positive image of agriculture as a whole? Are there opportunities

to demonstrate resource sensitivity, for example by providing habitat for wildlife such as hedgerows, ponds for waterfowl, etc. • Is your farm accessible to persons with disabilities? If not, you may need to make this clear before the tour. Preparation • Provide a site for commemorative photo opportunities. • Develop rules for photography. You need to decide whether visitors can take pictures of everything they see or only in certain areas. Consider providing a specific location for group/family commemorative photos where pictures can be taken beside a farm sign, farm product, or some other piece of memorabilia. • Be sure you have given adequate attention to hygiene. Assess the adequacy of your bathroom and hand washing arrangements, especially if visitors will be handling animals before they eat. • Provide for adequate amounts and locations of garbage cans in the eating areas. • Public Relations: Call your neighbors to let them know about the planned tour. • Esthetics: Ensure that dead and injured animals or discarded products will not be on display during the tour or visible to your guests. The tour schedule and presentation • Develop a tour program and a verbal presentation that can be modified to fit the interests and backgrounds of the audience. • Post signs that clearly outline safety requirements. • View your operation through the eyes of a visitor. Point out the obvious and explain the reasons behind specific operations. • Emphasize a theme throughout the tour (for example, recycling, sustainable agriculture, food quality, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment, and conservation). • Discuss your production systems, following the path of products from conception to con-

tomato sauce, from cow to milk and cheese, from lamb to wool. Talk about the diverse markets your products serve, including by-products. • Select three to five points of emphasis that you want to reinforce throughout the tour. What would you like guests to have learned by the end of your tour? Whenever possible, make it an interactive, hands-on, experience. For example: If you are touring an apple orchard, show pictures or point to trees in different stages of growth. Describe the production cycle. How much it will produce at peak yield (relate the yield to something your audience can understand, such as “as much as two children weigh”). Discuss why you grow apples here (soil, weather, and water). Describe the steps the product goes through before reaching the market. Explain the challenges and uncertainties you deal with when producing apples (pests, changing regulations, labor force issues, market). But don’t bore your audience with your pet peeves. They are there for recreation, relaxation, and education. • Have safe, organized, hands-on opportunities for children (touch the seeds, lambs, the warm pipelines in the milk barn and the cool milk tank, put feed samples in a bucket for touching, etc.). For younger children (pre-school to 3rd grade), use body language to accompany your verbal explanation to help them learn and keep them involved. • How many people can you comfortably accommodate in a group and still conduct an effective tour? Practice the tour with other staff who will also be leading groups. Organize the tour so different groups will not get mixed up. • Practice the tour program with a person who is not involved in your operation and get their feedback. • Walk your tour. Check off how long it takes. Is the terrain level and well drained?

Page 5 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Conducting farm and ranch tours

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 6

Tours from C5 Tour contact • Picnic facilities must be adequate if provided. • Ascertain the general age and abilities of the members of the tour in terms of the approximate number of adults and children and why the group wants to visit your farm. Establish a comfortable ratio of chaperones to children and youth if you feel it is necessary. • Discuss parking and provide directions to parking facilities. • Suggest clothing that enhances safety, for example closed-toe, low heel shoes and comfortable clothing. Suggest people bring hats and sunscreen in the summer, and warm clothing in other seasons. • Discuss meals. Will the group be eating on your property? What will meals cost? Are your picnicking facilities adequate, if that is an option? Briefing the group • Greet your visitors on the bus if they arrive by bus. Some tour buses have a PA system that you might use to address your audience. • Introduce yourself and firmly but politely establish expectations regarding conduct and behavior (appropriate for the age group). • Remind visitors that your farm is a working, production-oriented operation, not an amusement park. • Children should be advised to: walk, remember that rocks stay on the ground, stay with the group, be good listeners, and raise their hands when they have questions. • Prepare visitors for regular farm environmental hazards such as odors,

flies, dust or loud noises. However, to the extent that you can, take steps to mitigate these environmental irritants. Conducting the tour • Greet your guests when they arrive. If you are addressing a large group, consider using a microphone or the tour bus PA system • Walk at a pace appropriate to the group’s size and age. • Have a responsible person at the rear of the group to assist with keeping the group together. • Discuss what the group will see before entering a noisy area. • Children should be encouraged to repeat new words and concepts as you explain them. • Be sure to explain any agriculture terms that may be foreign to your guests. Think of ways to relate concepts and terms to everyday life, for example, feeder mixer wagons are blenders on wheels, etc.). • Answer only questions about what you know and limit your comments to your farm. Avoid ideological debates with guests or customers. Concluding the tour • Allow plenty of time for questions. • Review the main concepts you introduced and refer to the key theme(s). For children’s groups, use a fill-in-theblank method, encouraging the children to participate, thus reinforcing the information. • Samples of the product (empty containers, pictures, or actual products) provide a great ending. Provide

Tours C7

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Many benefits of market touted by officials during opening day visit WEST ORANGE, NJ — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and Jef Buehler of the Department of Community Affairs’ Main Street New Jersey program visited the West Orange Farmers Market on June 29 to

highlight the opening of most farmers markets in the state for Fourth of July week and the many benefits they bring to their host communities, its citizens and the farmers who sell at the markets. Secretary Fisher commended Main Street New Jersey for helping to develop the farmers market in West Orange and

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Jef Buehler (L-R), State Director, Office of Main Street NJ and Improvement District Programs, NJ Department of Community Affairs and Secretary Fisher. Photo courtesy of NJ Department of Agriculture many other towns that have gone through their program. “These markets give our state’s farmers a place to sell their just-picked fruits and vegetables directly to consumers, who have an opportunity to access this fresh produce through assistance programs for purchasing New Jersey agricultural products,” said Secretary Fisher. “It is a great time to visit a farmers market now because many of our summertime crops have arrived early this year, so look for all your favorites such as Jersey Fresh tomatoes, sweet corn, peaches and blueberries.” New Jersey has 148 farmers markets, with 10 new markets opening this season. Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) has assisted in the development of markets in 67 percent of its program communities. The West Orange Farmers Market is one such market and is run by the Downtown West Orange Alliance. A designated MSNJ community since 2004, the Downtown West Orange Alliance, Inc. is the non-profit organization that manages the town’s Special Improvement District (SID) encouraging economic revitalization of the neighborhoods known as Tory Corner, Eagle Rock, St. Mark’s and the Valley. “Farmer’s Markets are an important magnet for bringing people back into the downtown as well as providing affordable healthy produce to the community,” said Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable III.

“In several cases downtown farmer’s markets have also served as a micro business incubator with new entrepreneurs trying out products during a season and later being assisted by the local Main Street organization to find a downtown space to open a restaurant, food production facility or retail shop,” said Buehler, State Director, Office of Main Street New Jersey & Improvement District Programs. Special events and farmer’s markets are only part of the comprehensive revitalization program undertaken by communities operating as a designated or selected Main Street New Jersey Community with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Main Street organizations seek to return their historic downtown to the community gathering space they once were while restoring and promoting historic assets and recruiting and retaining businesses within the downtown district. Last year alone MSNJ’s 25 designated communities held 136 special events bringing close to 200,000 visitors to downtown and generating 19 million positive media impressions about their Main Street district. Additionally, net job growth in MSNJ designated communities topped 588 jobs with a net business growth of 155 new businesses in 2011. For more information, go to

Tours from C6 information on how/where they can purchase your product. • Escort the group to the bus or parking area, thanking them for their visit. Encourage them to return. Post-tour review • Ask for an evaluation from the tour contact. What did the visitors like? What would help the group to better assimi-

do they have for improving the tour? • Establish and update a file of these notes. Review this feedback information with other tour staff before the next scheduled tour. For more information visit actsheet1.html Source: California Small Farm Pro-

Page 7 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Agriculture, Main Street NJ partnership helps West Orange Farmers Market flourish

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 8

Boxwood blight found on pachysandra in a Connecticut landscape NEW HAVEN, CT — In October 2011, samples of boxwood, a popular ornamental plant, were confirmed by plant pathologists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) as infected by Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum, a fungus previously unknown in North America. It is not clear how this plant pathogen entered the United States, but several hundred thousand plants have

Larger necrotic lesions with yellow haloes caused by Boxwood Blight on the upper surface of Pachysandra leaves. Photo by S.M. Douglas since been found to be infected in nurseries and garden centers in 10 states and two Canadian provinces. The fungus can kill boxwood, and there are no currently labeled fungicides that will cure an infected plant. Diseased plants in Connecticut have been disposed of by burial or incineration pursuant to state guidelines. Experiments conducted under controlled conditions in 2011 and 2012 at CAES revealed that the boxwood blight fungus was capable of infecting pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), a common

groundcover plant. These results, published in Plant Disease (2012, 96:1069), provided evidence of a potentially broadened host range for this pathogen, although natural infections had not yet been documented. On June 29, CAES

plant pathologists confirmed that the boxwood blight fungus infected an established planting of pachysandra in a landscape setting in Fairfield County, CT. The diseased pachysandra was adjacent to infected boxwood plants.

“These new findings indicate a much greater potential for the spread of boxwood blight in nurseries and private properties,” said Dr. Louis A. Magnarelli, director of the CAES. “Pachysandra will now be regulated along with box-

wood under CAES statutory authority to prevent the movement of infected plants and further spread of the fungus.” Guidelines on best management practices concerning boxwood blight for landscapers, commercial plant pro-

ducers, and homeowners, plus other information on the fungus — including photographs of infected plants — are available on the “Boxwood Blight” page of the CAES website,

FloralStrategies has collaborated with the Society of American Florists to launch the Gary Buckwald Scholarship for Excellence in Floral Sales

and Service. The scholarship, sponsored by Syndicate Sales, will provide $10,000 worth of training, coaching and mentoring over the course of a



year for the winning shop from Tim Huckabee and the FloralStrategies team. The driver behind the scholarship is to “shine the light on the importance of great sales and service,” SAF PresidentElect Shirley Lyons, AAF, said, when she announced the award at SAF Retail Growth Solutions in Cherry Hill, June 19. “I hope that all of you, regardless of your shop’s size or age, start thinking about how critical good sales and service skills are to our industry’s continued growth.” Lyons, of Dandelions Flowers and Gifts in Eugene, OR, said the scholarship is open to any retailer who’s been in busi-

ness for at least 18 months. Interested retailers must fill out an application, which asks them, among other things, to explain their shop’s philosophy on sales and service and to detail how additional training would change the culture of their store. “Ideally, this will go to a retailer who genuinely wants and needs the training, and is willing to do the work to put what they learn into practice,” said Huckabee, who launched his sales and customer service training company in 1997. Huckabee developed the scholarship in honor of late florist Gary Buckwald, who co-

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owned Surroundings in New York City, where Huckabee got his start in the floral industry. “Gary was a great boss and great leader, who taught by example,” Huckabee said. “What I teach is so much of what I learned from Gary: having passion for the product, the industry, customers.” Huckabee told Retail Growth Solutions attendees he had been searching for a way to “honor Gary’s legacy and give back to the industry.” Buckwald died in 2003, leaving behind a wife and two children; his brother Steven took over the shop. Both Steven and his father, Sid Buckwald, were at Retail Growth Solutions to hear the announcement of the scholarship firsthand. FloralStrategies and SAF sought out a sponsor with a like-minded passion for helping florists improve, Lyons said, and found one in Syndicate Sales. “When we got this opportunity to help educate, train and grow

flower shops, we couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough,” Robin Dils, Syndicate Sales’ national account manager, told Retail Growth Solutions attendees during the scholarship announcement. “We know the landscape is changing, and we’re no longer just competing against flower shops, we’re competing against other options for discretionary spending. The more we can do to help make our industry the best choice, the better.” A panel that includes representatives from the SAF Retail Council and Board will review the applications, which will be accepted through the summer. SAF and FloralStrategies will announce the winner of the Gary Buckwald Scholarship at SAF Palm Beach 2012, Sept. 19-22. The progress the shop owners make as a result of their training will be detailed at SAF Retail Grower Solutions 2013, as well as in SAF’s Floral Management magazine. For information, e-mail

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Page 9 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

FloralStrategies and SAF announce $10,000 scholarship

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 10


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Acct. # Signature ___________________ Date _____________ Please fill out the optional questionnaire below. All information is confidential. A. Do you grow vegetables? Acres:  1-3  3-10  Over 10  Beets  Onions  Tomatoes  Broccoli  Cabbage  Celery  Cauliflower  Pumpkins  Beans  Potatoes  Sweet Corn  Cucumbers B. Do you grow fruit? Acres:  1-3  3-10  Over 10  Grapes  Cherries  Strawberries  Peaches  Apples  Pears  Cranberries  Blueberries  Melons  Brambles C. Do you operate a greenhouse? Sq. Ft.  Up to 5,000  5-10,000  over 10,000  Bedding Plants  Vegetables  Foliage Plants  Cut Flowers  Potted Flower Plants  Other D. Do you operate a nursery? Acres  1-3  3-10  Over 10  Wholesale  Retail  Christmas Trees  Shade Trees  Fruit Trees  Mums  Shrubs  Perennials  Herbs, Drieds, Cuts E. Other Crops F. Is there any aspect of horticulture that you would like to see more of in Country Folks Grower?

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it in - Just give Peggy 1.Phone a call at 1-800-836-2888 - For you MasterCard,Visa, 2.Fax it inAmerican Express or

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Use our forms on our web site, from Maine to North Carolina. forms will calculate your charges for you. All you have to do is fill out the form Signature_______________________Date________ and submit!

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Entries must be dated before December 30th, 2012. Employees & relatives of employees of Lee Publications Inc., Club Car, Satch Sales, Mid-State Supply and Clinton Tractor are not eligible. Must be 18 years of age. Mail to Country Folks Grower, PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge NY 13428

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Page 11 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Country Folks Grower Classifieds

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 12

Country Folks Grower Classifieds

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Services Offered

Ga lic Farm Alpha 19rYears “We grow great Garlic” Planting & Table Stock

German White 2.5” avg. German Red 2”+ Spanish Roja 2”+ Elephant Garlic Large Bulbs - Good Keeper Quantity Discount Available

Stan and Adeline Erkson 259 Salt Springville Road Fort Plain, NY 13339-4316




Skymeadow Garlic Farms

“Certified Organic” Garlic Seed Music German White German Red Ukranian Red Spanish Roja Bulk Discounts


Vegetable Supplies

NOW TAKING ORDERS for garlic seed. Sweden Center Garlic Farm, 585-747-0405

FOR SALE: NEST/STACK ROPAK HARVESTING LUGS. Herb Barber & Sons, 800-3885384 or 716-326-4692, email: w w w. h e r b - b a r b e r - s o n s . com/ropak.htm

( 800 ) 836-2888 PO Box 121, 6113 State Hwy. 5 ( ) Fax: 518 673-2381 Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 E-mail: Wood Waste Grinders

Wood Waste Grinders

2000 Duratech Tub Grinder 3406 Cat Motor, Pinal Hitch, Hydraulic Fold Out Tail Conveyor, Remote Control, Extra Hammers GC. $69,000

Call 814-762-5296 - PA

Calendar of Events E-mail announcements of your regional event(s) to: We must receive your information, plus a contact phone number, prior to the deadline that’s noted under the Announcements heading on the 1st page of these Grower Classifieds. *** AUG 1 102nd Plant Science Day Lockwood Farm, 890 Evergreen Ave. Hamden, CT 06518. The Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station. 10 am. through 4 pm. Contact New Haven, 203974-8500. On Internet at AUG 8-10 NCLA Summer Green Road Show Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory, NC. Call 919-816-9119. On Internet at AUG 8-11 National Christmas Tree Association Convention & Trade Show Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA. More than 350 Christmas Tree growers, wholesalers, retailers, Choose & Cut farmers and related industry members from around the world. On Internet at convention2012.cfm AUG 9 Twilight Meeting for Organic Vegetable Growers 2005 Largo Rd Upper Marlboro, MD 20774. Upper Marlboro Research & Education center. Dinner at 5:30 & the tour at 6:30 pm. No advance registration is needed.. Contact Jerry Brust, 301-627-8440. AUG 12 RINLA Summer Meeting Green Market Festival Farmer’s Daughter & Landscape Creations of RI, Wakefield, RI. On Internet at AUG 17-20 NAFDMA 2012 Advanced Learning Retreat Tanners Orchard, Speer, IL. On Internet at

AUG. 18 Pre-Harvest Tour & Picnic Braunius Hop Farm, 140 Quinlog Rd. Mt. Vision, NY 13810. 2-6 pm. $25 for NeHA members, $35 for non NeHA members Register online at http:// brauniushopfarm.eventbrite. com/. On Internet at http://brauniushopfarm.eve AUG 22-25 Virginia CTGA Summer Meeting Waynesboro Best Western Hotel, Waynesboro, VA. Contact Jeff Miller, 540-3827310 or e-mail On Internet at w w w . v i r g i n i a AUG 23 Green Works/VNLA Summer Meeting & Trade Show Horsford Gardens & Nursery, Charlotte, VT. Call 888518-6484. AUG 23-25 VA Christmas Tree Growers Assoc. Annual Conference & Trade Show Waynesboro Best Western Inn. Call 540-382-2716. On Internet at AUG 26-28 38th Annual FARWEST Show Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. On Internet at SEPT. 10-12 OFA Perennial Production & Retail Conference Amway Grang Hotel, Grand Rapids, Michigan. This unique event offers an intimate educational and networking experience focused on perennials. Through seminars, a tour, hands-on workshops for producers and retailers, and a trade show, learn everything you need to know about perenni-

al production and retailing. All registrations include breakfast, lunch, trade show admission, reception, and networking events. For more information visit http://perennial gistration/perennial/ registration.aspx. On Internet at http://perennial gistration/perennial/ registration.aspx SEP 13 NENA’s Centennial Celebration Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA . Call 508-6533112. On Internet at www.newenglandnursery SEP 22-23 Connecticut Florist Association’s exhibit Connecticut Women’s Expo, CT Convention Center, Hartford, CT. Call 800-352-6946. OCT 10-13 IPPS Eastern Region 62st Annual Meeting Brandywine Valley, PA. Contact Margot Bridgen, 631765-9638 or e-mail On I n t e r n e t a t NOV 2-6 2012 Irrigation Show & Education Conference Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. Call em a i l NOV 5 2012 Advanced Growers’ Fall Seminar: Profitable Year Round Farming & Marketing Stonehill College, The Martin Institute, 320 Washington St., Easton, MA. 8:30 am 5:30 pm. Contact Sarah Cogswell, e-mail NOV 7-8 Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo DCU Center, Worcester MA. Call 802-865-5202 or e-mail JAN 3-4 Tennessee Green Industry Expo Nashville Convention Center, Nashville, TN. Contact Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association, 931-473-3951 or e-mail JAN 9-11 MANTS Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD. Call 800431-0066 or e-mail On Internet at JAN 10 VNA Horticulture Research Foundation Research Gala / Auction Order tickets with MANTS r e g i s t r a t i o n For info email Call 800-476-0055. FEB 1-6 28th Annual NAFDMA Convention - Pacific Northwest 2013 Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Portland, OR. FEB 6-8 New England Grows! Boston Cenvention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA. Call 508-653-3009.


2. 3. 4. 5.

FAX IT IN For you MasterCard,Visa,American Express or Discover customers.. Fil out the form attached completely and fax to Peggy at (518) 673-2381 MAIL IT IN Fil out the attached form, calculate the cost,enclose your check or credit card information and mail to: Country Folks Grower Classifieds PO Box 121, Palatine Bridge,NY 13428


















E-MAIL IT IN $14.35 $14.65 $14.95 E-mail your ad to If you have used equipment for sale,ask about our group of weekly farm newspapers that cover from Maine to North Carolina. ON-LINE- Go to Name:(Print)______________________________________________________ and fol ow the Place a Classified Address:_________________________________________________________ Adbutton to place your ad 24/7! City:_____________________________________St.:_______Zip:___________

FOR BEST RESULTS, RUN Phone:_____________________________Fax:__________________________ YOUR AD FOR TWO ISSUES! Cell:_________________________E-mail:______________________________ Cost for each Issue per Zone: $9.25 for the first 14 words, 30¢ each additional word. (Phone #’s count as one word) # of issues to run______ Total Cost $________ Zone(s) to run in:  East  Midwest West

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Page 13 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Country Folks Grower Classifieds

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 14

Are You Involved In More Than One Industry? We Are Here to Help You. FREE E SUBSCRIPTIONS S BY Y REQUEST * Regional/National Solid Waste Recycling (monthly)

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Hard Hat News focuses on heavy equipment construction including excavating, construction/demolition, paving, bridge building, and utility construction in the northeastern third of the United States. TITLE 1 Ì President/CEO 2 Ì Manager/Supervisor 3 Ì Other NUMBER YOUR PRIMARY BUSINESS #1, SECONDARY #2, ETC. 1 Asphalt Paving _____________________ 7 Construction Demolition _________________ 2 Concrete Paving ___________________ 8 Landscaping __________________________ 3 Oil & Stone Paving__________________ 9 Land Clearing _________________________ 4 Bridge Construction ________________ 10 Logging _____________________________ 5 Excavating ________________________ 11 Other _______________________________ 6 Utility/Underground _________________

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North American Quarry News covers quarries, sand and gravel pits, HMA and ready mix concrete operations in the United States. NAQN provides a combination of strong editorial and advertising for industry professionals.

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Mane Stream is a monthly horse publication reaching Maine to Northern Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Not only does Mane Stream go to horse owners who request it, but it goes to all of our Affiliated Horse Association Members.....29 Associations Strong and Growing! In addition, issues of Mane Stream are shipped to tack shops, feed stores, stables, auction barns, and where horse people frequent.

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by Sharon Durham A fumigant called phosphine is more effective at controlling insects when it’s combined with oxygen, according to findings by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist. The oxygenphosphine combination could be an environmentally friendly alternative to methyl bromide for combating pests on harvested fruits and vegetables. Entomologist Yong-Biao Liu with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Salinas, CA, found that oxygenated phosphine fumigation effectively controlled several insect pests during laboratory studies. ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security. In the ARS Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit at Salinas, Liu tested phosphine fumigation under high levels of oxygen against four pests: western flower thrips adults and larvae, leafminer pupae, grape mealybug eggs, and Indianmeal moth eggs and pupae. The four species represent insect types and life stages for which quarantine treatments are needed. In 5-hour fumigations with 1,000 parts per million of phosphine at 41 degrees, control of western flower thrips on lettuce increased from 80 percent to 98 percent when oxygen

was increased from 21 percent to 40 percent. When the oxygen level was increased to 80 percent, 99 percent of the western flower thrips were killed. Western flower thrips are a common pest of fruits and vegetables in the United States and are often found on fresh products exported to Taiwan, where it is a quarantined pest. Currently, fresh fruits and vegetables exported to Taiwan are fumigated with methyl bromide to control western flower thrips, but use of methyl bromide is being phased out due to environmental concerns. Liu used varying concentrations of oxygen at 41 degrees and 50 degrees and found that oxygenated phosphine fumigation was also effective in controlling leafminer pupae, grape mealybug eggs, and Indianmeal moth eggs and pupae. Phosphine has been used for more than 80 years as a fumigant to control pests in stored products. It acts slowly against insects. Many insects, especially at egg and pupal stages, are very tolerant of phosphine, and it may take more than 10 days of fumigation treatment to control them. The new treatment would help speed up this process and control insects more quickly. Read more about this research in the July 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Page 15 - Section C • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • August 2012

Researchers use oxygenated phosphine fumigation to control insect pests

August 2012 • COUNTRY FOLKS GROWER • Section C - Page 16


NEW YORK (con’t)


MOOERS, NY 12958

NEW YORK (con’t) SYRACUSE, NY 13205



Route 371 • 585-534-5935

2507 Route 11 • 518-236-7110 NORTH JAVA, NY 14113


AYER, MA 01432





2700 Erie Blvd. East • 315-446-5656

4 Littleton Rd., Rt. 2A/110 • 978-772-6619

Rt. 652, 348 Bethel School Rd. • 570-729-7117

TROY, NY 12180






4120 Rt. 98 • 585-535-7671 • 800-724-0139



841 Rt. 9H • 518-828-1781

1175 Hoosick St. • 518-279-9709 • 800-888-3403

29 Goshen Rd. (Rte. 9) • 413-268-3620

22-26 Henry Ave. • 610-367-2169







638 Route 13 • 607-753-9656

5621 ST HWY 12 • 607-336-6816

1437 Route 318 • 315-539-7000





RANDALL IMPLEMENTS 2991 ST HWY 5S • 518-853-4500

SALEM, NY 12865

SALEM FARM SUPPLY 5109 State Rt. 22 • 518-854-7424 or 800-999-3276




5040 Rt. 81 West • 518-966-4346

SHARON SPRINGS GARAGE FARM & HOME CENTER 1375 Rte. 20 • 518-284-2346 • 800-887-1872

JOHNSON CITY, NY 13790-1093

GOODRICH IMPLEMENT, INC. 745 Harry L Drive • 607-729-6161


LAMB & WEBSTER, INC. Rt. 219 & 39 • 716-592-4923

WALLDROFF FARM EQUIPMENT, INC. 22537 Murrock Circle • 315-788-1115


MESSICK’S FARM EQUIPMENT, INC. 7481 Lincoln Hwy. East/Rt. 30 717-367-1319 • 800-222-3373



CANASTOTA, NY • 315-697-2214 WATERVILLE • 315-841-4181 LOWVILLE • 315-376-0300

TPC POWER CENTER 2605 Columbia Blvd. • 570-784-0250 ELIZABETHTOWN, PA 17022




Rt. 283, Rheems Exit 717-367-1319 • 800-222-3373

EAST DIXFIELD, ME 04227 1101 US Rt. 2 West • 207-645-4934 or 800-287-4934


ROCKBRIDGE FARMERS COOPERATIVE 645 Waddell Ave. • 540-463-7381 • 800-868-7336 STUARTS DRAFT, VA 24477

BEVERAGE TRACTOR 2085 Stuarts Draft Highway • 540-337-1090

Profile for Lee Publications

Grower East 8.12  

Grower East August 2012

Grower East 8.12  

Grower East August 2012