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Author: Kevin Morton

Turnips

Turnips have been a food staple for humans since hunters and gatherers started harvesting food. They are similar to rutabagas and parsnips, but sweeter than parsnips and hardier than rutabagas. Growing turnips is easy, so long as they are planted at the appropriate time for the climate. Turnips reach maturity in 7 – 9 weeks and should be planted so that the 7 week mark does not occur during particularly hot temperatures. April, August, and October are ideal months for turnip planting. For more details, read on to see our full guide on how to grow turnips. Cultivation: Turnip seeds...

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the most commonly grown garden plant in the United States. Growing tomatoes is not a difficult task, and several plants can yield enough tomatoes for juice, fresh eating, and canning. The flavor of fresh picked tomatoes is much better than tomatoes available for purchase that some fans of this vegetable/fruit grow at least a few plants each summer, even if they grow nothing else. Tomatoes are a perennial, but are grown as an annual. In addition to the traditional red tomato, there are also black, yellow and green varieties. Some heirloom varieties are striped and many heirlooms have...

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Starting A Family Farm

In all the years I’ve been representing the agricultural industry at farm shows, fairs, agricultural conferences and the like, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been approached by folks wanting to raise a few sheep to keep their place cleaned up or who’ve just bought a little place and are going to start farming, so they’ve come to the event to find out all what they need to do to get started. Oh, if they only knew. Starting an agricultural venture (a farm) from scratch isn’t impossible, but there is much to consider before doing so. Many...

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Pole Barn Construction

Thеrе аrе mаnу builders thаt specialize іn construction оf pole barns (post-frame buildings), аnd еvеn thоugh dіffеrеnt builders uѕе dіffеrеnt techniques, thе idea оf а pole barn іѕ basically thе same. Thе typical pole barn іѕ constructed wіth pressure treated posts рlасеd іn thе ground (approximately 48″ bеlоw ground level). Posts оf mоѕt оf thе pole bans аrе uѕuаllу spaced 8′ оn center. On the оutѕіdе оf thеѕе posts you’ll find 2×4 girts thаt аrе fastened 24″ o.c. (the siding іѕ fastened іntо thеѕе 2×4 girts), double 2×12 headers tо support trusses, аnd 2×4 purlins (or plywood) оn top оf...

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Horseradish

Horseradish is a perennial and was named ‘2011 Herb of the Year’ by the International Herb Association. People who love the kick of this interesting root may want to consider growing horseradish in their own garden. Horseradish roots are ground and used to make horseradish sauce. Slivered or shaved roots are also used, primarily in Eastern European cuisine. Horseradish has been used medicinally since the early Greek civilizations and has been used as a condiment or food since the Middle Ages. It is also one of the traditional Seder foods used in the Jewish culture. Read on for our...

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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable that require a long warm season to grow. Sweet potatoes are sometimes referred to as yams in the Unites States, but are actually a different vegetable. They are best known in the United States as a traditional food for winter holiday dinners. Growing sweet potatoes is relatively straightforward, requiring only a few steps. Read on to learn the details of how to grow sweet potatoes in your garden. Cultivation: Growing sweet potatoes is always done from transplants. Transplants can be purchased from nurseries, from seed companies that ship the transplants by mail, and sometimes small...

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Drought and Its Effects on Farming and Agriculture

A severe drought, such as the one that has affected the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and the Southern and Central Plains regions of the United States last year, can have lasting effects on both the local and national agricultural and farming industry. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in September that 24 percent of the United States was suffering from severe to extreme drought conditions and 28 percent of the country classified as experiencing moderate to extreme drought conditions. A lack of rainfall can cause entire crops to fail or result in a very small crop, even for farmers...

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Starting Seeds In A Greenhouse

Starting seeds in a greenhouse is accomplished by germinating seeds in flats of approximately 1000 plants. The flats are filled with Pro-Mix and a special tool is used to make 10 rows approximately 1/2 inch deep. Seeds are carefully spread out down each row (about 120 seeds per row) and covered with play sand. The flats are then soaked with water and placed on the germination table. Plastic is laid over the flats to keep the soil moist because a heater is placed under the germination table and it could dry out the flats. The temperature on the germination...

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Owning a Greenhouse: The Ins and Outs and Dos and Don’ts

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t have some sort of unfinished project stuffed in a drawer or in the back of their closet or workshop. Hey, it happens. And the ‘danger’ is there for this unfinished status to creep into owning a greenhouse if you don’t have a good experience. That’s why you need to keep reading. The following tips and information will allow you to get the most out of your greenhouse; both operationally and personally. Your greenhouse should be placed in a location where it will get the most possible sunlight. This will almost...

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Parsnips

The parsnip is a root vegetable and is related to the carrot. Parsnips look similar to carrots, but are generally paler and sweeter tasting, especially after cooking. They have a buttery and spicy taste that is released during cooking. They can be mashed like potatoes and serve as unique substitute for mashed potatoes at holiday dinners. Growing parsnips is done in cold weather because its flavor will not mature unless the plants are exposed to temperatures in the 32° – 38°F range for 2 – 4 weeks. The type of starch in a parsnip root turns into sugar, resulting in a...

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