Category Archives: Seed & Planting

More Crops Per Drop: No-Till Farming Combats Drought


This week’s feature comes from Civil Eats and discusses no-till farming. For those who don’t already know, no-till is the practice of planting crops directly into the soil without overturning the earth beforehand. It’s biggest benefits are increased soil organic matter and water storage capacity. As California and other parts of the US continue to deal with drought pressure, this form of soil management could be an important tool during adaptation.

Read on to learn more from Northern California’s Singing Frogs Farm and a number of experts on how this type of soil management can greatly benefit your soil’s productivity. Nothing happens overnight, so if you’re able, the sooner you test these practices, the better!

Written by Olivia Maki on August 26th, 2014.

Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser of Northern California’s Singing Frogs Farm grows fruit and vegetables completely without machinery, a system Paul refers to as “non-mechanized, no-till.” He said goodbye to his tractor and tiller seven years ago after he felt he was unnecessarily harming wildlife, saw too many machines break down, and watched his soil quality decrease. Now, his eight-acre farm has a robust community supported agriculture (CSA) program, and his soil is full of life.

“I wanted greater productivity and healthier soils with less reliance on machinery,” Kaiser says.

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Optimize Your Crops with Variety Trials! ~ Upcoming Field Day and Q&A with OSA’s Jared Zystro


Comparing different carrot seed varieties

This week we spoke with Jared Zystro, California Research and Education Specialist for the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), about the usefulness, ease and importance of on-farm seed variety trials. Although the variety trial process might seem intimidating, the benefits of better crop performance and new market opportunities make it worth every farmer’s time.

If you want to find out which vegetable seeds performed the best, learn variety trial techniques, and meet Jared, this weekend, Dec. 7th, OSA is hosting a Variety Trial Field Day at Riverdog Farm in Guinda, CA, to evaluate an ongoing organic vegetable trial. This is a great way to learn the basics, talk with an expert, and see what the folks at Riverdog are up to. See you there!

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Optimizing the Seed Supply Chain ~ According to Stanford Engineers

This past Wednesday, Masters students in the School of Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University presented their final report with solutions to optimize the sustainable seed supply chain.

FarmsReach, MS&E 262 Project, Stanfordphoto

Stanford Graduate Students Present Ideas to
Optimize Seed Supply Chain

A mere three months ago, they accepted FarmsReach’s submission to an RFP from their professor.  His request: Seeking companies with “real world supply chain challenges” for which students will “perform a systematic assessment of an area within the supply chain and identify ways to improve performance”.  Excellent!

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