Member Priority: Horticulture

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Field day will explore garlic production and marketing – May 31, in JohnstonFor Release: May 10, 2018 Contacts: Jordan Clasen | Grade A Gardens | (515) 554-4306 | Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | JOHNSTON, Iowa — Jordan Clasen and Whitney Brewer, of [...]

May 10, 2018 


Four diversified vegetable farms planted strips of an annual flower mix. Farms assessed flower establishment and attractiveness to insects. Buckwheat dominated the mix, providing early blooms but perhaps to the detriment of other flowering species. After buckwheat bloomed, there was a gap before the cosmos began to bloom. Basil, dill and cilantro did not fare well in the mix; farmers would prefer to transplant or plant these species in monoculture blocks.

April 12, 2018 


“What is entrusted to us, we should care for.”  This stewardship ethic seeped into each unit of Shane LaBrake’s 2-day tractor workshops. Being good stewards of the land, our bodies, our workers’ health, and yes, the machines themselves, he argued, builds an environment where fewer resources and time are needlessly wasted. He also reminded workshop […]

April 4, 2018 


Beginning livestock farmers Caleb and Jacqueline Shinn have struggled to find affordable insurance coverage for their farm business. The Shinns will share details about their farm and the process they’ve gone through as they evaluate their risk-management options. Rodney Sebastian, with USDA Risk Management Agency, will discuss current insurance programs and risk assessment tools the Shinns could consider.

February 27, 2018 


Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and insects are critical to crop production and play a crucial role in our nation’s food supply. This farminar will provide a guide to restoring native prairie by offering recommendations for research & planning, site preparation, planting, and management. This information is applicable if you’re restoring many acres or considering a backyard project. Jessi and Dennis from Shooting Star Native Seeds will talk about how to choose a seed mix, how to eliminate weeds before you plant, what equipment is needed, and the management practices needed for continued growth of your pollinator habitat.

February 13, 2018 


Beginning farmers face a whole range of barriers to overcome when starting a successful farm business. Accessing startup capital and land, building a market, finding a balance between farm work and family life, and overcoming production challenges are among the many issues beginners have to navigate. Beginning vegetable farmer Jenny Quiner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens, and beginning livestock farmers Bill and Stacey Borrenpohl will discuss the challenges they’ve faced as well as their strategies for overcoming them.

January 30, 2018 


At Blue Sky Flower Farm near Elko-New Market, MN, Jon and Rachael Ackerman specialize in growing standard and unique varieties of woody ornamental plants. The Ackerman’s launched their farm in 2010 and grow approximately 2 acres of cut flowers and woodies for wholesale to local garden centers, landscape companies, florists & at the Twin Cities Flower Exchange (a local, wholesale flower market). Hear tips and techniques from Rachael on how to add woodies to your farm including information on propagation, varieties, growing, challenges, investment, social media and more.

January 16, 2018 


As farmers wrap up their season and plan for next, PFI’s farmer-cooperators have an additional responsibility: submit the data they collected from this year’s research trials and plan next year’s projects. The first week in December marks the annual two-day Cooperators’ Meeting where farmer members meet to discuss these research results with each other and […]

December 6, 2017 


Carmen Black and Mark Quee raise sheep on their diversified vegetable farms. They were curious if grazing a cover crop prior to a fall crop, rather than simply terminating the cover crop by mowing and tillage, would have an impact on the yield of the next crop. For this trial each farmer measured the yield […]



After completing two years of cucumber enterprise budgets, Ann Franzenburg and Emma Johnson looked at their farms and decided: “Let’s do cherry tomatoes.” For this enterprise budget, both farmers did a careful accounting of the revenue, costs, and labor for their 2017 cherry tomato crops. The analysis of their data, and their comments on varieties, […]