FSMA for Farmers: Do the New Food Safety Laws Apply to You?

The Food Safety Modernization Act, aka FSMA [pronounced fizz-ma], is a large piece of legislation aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the U.S. food supply. Most of FSMA focuses on companies that run food processing facilities, like Kraft Heinz and Hershey’s. But some of the rules do affect farmers — in particular, farming operations over a particular size. …

3 Must-Have Tools for a Profitable Small Farm

A lack of profitability is one of the biggest challenges facing small farming operations. Jaclyn Moyer illustrated the problem well in her 2015 Salon article (which was named one of the best essays of the year), “What Nobody Told Me About Small Farming: I Can’t Make a Living.” But farmers don’t have to subsist on next to nothing. With the …

How to Select a Commercial Walk-in Cooler for Your Business

Are you a farmer or a florist? Do you run a restaurant or a brewery? If you fall into any of these groups, then you know the value of reliable cold storage. Without it, your business could very well fail. The most common type of cold storage found on farms and in florist shops, restaurants, and breweries is a walk-in …

Slow Tools for Fast Farming: Advice from Adam Lemieux of Johnny’s Seeds

Imagine this: You have 500 seedlings to transplant. How long would it take? Do you have the right tools? Does your back start to hurt just thinking about it? In the past, you might have needed to plant by hand or try and customize large farming equipment — if you could afford it. But, today, with tools like the Paperpot …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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