Farm Life

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Growing Medicine: This Nurse-Turned-Farmer Found Balance Farming Herbs, Not Food

Annie Tomlin • October 31, 2017

In a former iteration, Barefoot Botanicals grew all kids of produce and operated a CSA. It was exhausting. But a shift in focus helped reduce stress and diversify clientele. A few years ago, Linda Shanahan and Eric Vander Hyde appeared to be living the agricultural dream. Their organic CSA farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, called Barefoot Gardens, employed eight people and was grossing
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7 Medicinal Plants You Can Grow at Home

Brian Barth • September 14, 2017

Why make a trip to the pharmacy when you can just visit your backyard? From St. John’s Wart to chamomile, here’s your zone-by-zone guide to botanical remedies. Herbal remedies have become nearly as ubiquitous as aspirin. What drugstore these days doesn’t carry echinacea and gingko alongside Tums and Tylenol? But rather than buy all your medicinal herbs, try growing a few in your garden, where you
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Why We Need to Revitalize Organic Seed Farming

Adapted from The Outsize Importance of the Tiny Organic Seed by Rachel Levin • September 14, 2017

As agriculture has become more and more industrialized during the past century, genetic diversity has been sacrificed in favor of efficiency and yield. The result, says Cornell University professor and plant breeder Michael Mazourek, is the bland, “one-size-fits-most crops” that dominate today’s landscape. But the outlook may be improving. Here’s an overview. The Root of the Issue Over the y
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Family Farms

Get Involved! 4 Ways to Support Small Family Farms

Krista Holobar • July 28, 2017

These non-profits devoted to helping independent American farmers are a great place to start. It may seem like our country’s farmers have been struggling forever, but you can trace many of their current misfortunes back to the early 1980s, when the USDA’s lending arm, the Farmers Home Administration, began aggressively collecting on loans it had pushed when land values were high. Adding insult to
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No Land? No Problem. You Can Still Get Growing with Containers!

Dan Nosowitz • July 27, 2017

Don’t let a lack of acreage stop you from flexing your green thumb. Our potted-plant primer makes it possible to garden just about anywhere. Containers offer lots of advantages to the space-challenged urban gardener: It’s easier to control soil quality, water levels—even the weather, by moving pots inside when temperatures drop. But there are special considerations. Meredith Sheperd, founde
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