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Hobby Farms

Hobby Farms

January/February 2020

Hobby Farms magazine helps readers realize their farming goals with expert articles on subjects such as livestock husbandry, sustainable agriculture, equipment purchasing, irrigation, pest control, new technologies, and more.

United States
EG Media
Les mer
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6 Utgaver

I denne utgaven

1 min.
always keep growing

Winter is a great time for planning, especially for next spring’s garden. Without a plan, you’re liable to have way too much of what you know you can grow versus not enough of what you need to try. That’s a trap some hobby farmers fall into. You may be growing the best sweet corn in the county but you’re not growing as a farmer. Are you planting different crops each year, in addition to your regular standbys? Last summer, I tried growing spaghetti squash for the first time, a vegetable that I was unfamiliar with. In the past, I had stayed with the tried-and-true summer squash, because that is what I knew and liked. But then I saw spaghetti squash as was intrigued, so I planted it instead. It grew easily,…

5 min.
growing mushrooms on logs & stumps

The oldest method of mushroom cultivation has stood the test of time and is still the first method many cultivators attempt. However, some people try and fail, or give up hope before their logs have had a chance to fruit. Success with log culture depends on timing, wood selection, spawn quality, and maintaining good conditions for mycelial growth and mushroom development. Begin by selecting and harvesting good wood. As with sawdust, most wood-loving mushrooms prefer hardwoods without strong antifungal properties. Cut logs from live trees in winter to early spring when the sap has begun to flow and before the leaves unfurl; this is when the wood has the highest level of sugars and bark is tightest. Wood cut at other times will work but will yield fewer mushrooms. The ideal size…

1 min.
pleasant pheasants

MacFarlane Pheasants will host its 12th biannual International Pheasant Management Seminar this year from March 8 to 11. The seminar will be located in Janesville, Wisconsin, the home of MacFarlane Pheasants. Seminar topics will be pertinent to anyone working in the pheasant industry. Industry leaders and people who are experts in their fields will lead sessions on topics that will include, but won’t be limited to, understanding mycoplasma, biosecurity updates and how to assess day-old chick quality. This seminar will provide an opportunity for participants to meet and discuss pheasant production with representatives from production farms from across the United States, the United Kingdom and France. In past seminars, attendees have come from Canada, Russia, China and Portugal. MacFarlane Pheasants will offer time for participants to network during breaks, meal times and…

4 min.
winter rations

It’s winter. It’s cold and unforgiving. You’re a little bored, feeling cooped up inside and start to get hunger pangs. Do you head to the fridge or cupboard like I do? It’s common to turn to food to combat the cold, seclusion and boredom of the winter months. Chickens feel that way, too. Luckily for the chickens in our charge, winter treats — always in moderation, of course — can be healthy and nutritious, and their boredom-busting properties can actually benefit your birds in multiple ways. 1. SCRATCH Scratch, a blended mix of cracked corn and other whole grains, is the quintessential winter chicken treat. The energy required to digest the scratch grains increases the bird’s body heat, helping to keep it warmer just when needed it most. Toss some on the…

6 min.
learning from mistakes

When the most recent Census of Agriculture was released in April 2019, it contained some disquieting information. The total number of farms is down, as a small number of large agricultural operations now produce two-thirds of farm output and medium-sized farms continue to disappear. Also, the average age of America’s farmers crept upward to 59.4, with one-third of the total being past 65. But there were some bright spots in the numbers. Twenty-seven percent of responders fell into the “new farmer” category, with 10 or less years of farming experience and an average age of 46.3 years old. Nine percent of farmers are 35 and younger, and small farms (120 acres or less) make up a decent proportion of the total number of the nation’s agricultural operations. Figuring It Out Along the…

5 min.
say “yes!” to free press

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve operated your farm business for a while, generating “earned” media can net new customers, more sales and increased attention. Unlike paid advertising, earned media is free, editorial content. Some examples include newspaper or magazine articles and radio or television stories. These media types have a wide reach, and they’re often considered to be more credible than paid messaging. But just how do you get on the radar of reporters, editors or producers? Soapy Soap Co. co-founders Anthony Duncan and brothers Mohammed A. and Mohammed M. Mahdi figured it out as they went along with their personal-care manufacturing business located in Bloomington, Indiana. “When we first started and we were doing local farmers markets and craft shows, we weren’t really focusing on [earned] media,” Duncan…