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Posts tagged ‘local food’

Does organic mean pesticide- free?

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Labels can be so confusing these days. Just take a trip to your local supermarket like I recently did, and you too will start to wonder, what does it mean to be “organic”, “pesticide-free”? I have to admit I am still confused on the terms and many times have to just trust the label and wash my produce thoroughly. Read more

Successful Farmers Market Tips Part 1: Getting Started

FarmstandAs farmers market season descends upon us, plenty of people are anticipating the vibrant colors of fresh produce, the enticing aromas of homemade goods, and the social atmosphere of a busy market. While people all over the country ponder these romantic notions, if you’re considering becoming a vendor or currently are a vendor there is a thought that probably repeatedly pushes itself to the front lines of your mind: cash.  How you can make it, reinvest it into next season’s harvest, and –hopefully – how you can save some for yourself. Read more

Spotlight on the John Bosco House and their Hydroponic Program

John Bosco hydroponics

The John Bosco House is a New York State-certified transitional residence that serves homeless and runaway young men, ages 16 to 21. John Bosco House residents receive care and case management in a home-like setting, while working towards finishing their education and securing stable employment. About four years ago, the John Bosco House was gifted a building that sat empty until May of 2012. After considerable research, Deacon Gilbert Nadeau, executive director and founder of John Bosco House, saw an opportunity to turn the unused space into an organic greenhouse enterprise.

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High Tunnel Growing: An Easy Way to Extend Your Season

CS Woodside Raspberries 1

As a grower, you’ve probably felt the anxiety of the growing season quickly coming to an end. You’ve probably also wished for a few more weeks, even another month, to get more out of your crops and a few more dollars in your wallet! As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and the same is true of the growing season. However, there is good news for some growers who may not have the luxury of a greenhouse, but who want just a little more time at the beginning and end of their growing season.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Tips for Frost Prevention

winter frost photo

While you may be able to handle the temperatures dipping down into the lower half of the thermometer lately, you may not be quite ready to give up on your plants and vegetables that can catch a chill and wither up for good once the cold weather arrives. Frost season is coming fast and despite the last few warm days of summer holding on, the nights across much of the country have begun to cool down significantly. This can be bad news for gardens and crops that you’d like to have around for just a bit longer. But with a little effort and the right protection, this is certainly possible.

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Spotlight on Cherry Creek Farm and their key to season extension

Cherry Creek High Tunnel

Small business owners and growers are faced with risky ventures all the time that can make or break their success. As many growers have seen, the purchase of a high tunnel (or a few) can mean the difference between profitability and downfall of their business. Read on to discover how Susan Hall of Cherry Creek Farm was able to extend her growing seasons and maximize profits with the purchase of ClearSpan High Tunnels.

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2013 Photo Contest Honorable Mentions

Photo Contest Honorable Mentions
After receiving hundreds of submissions to our photo contest, we wanted to share with you some of our favorites. These photos may not have won a prize, but they still stood out and we felt that we needed to recognize them. We smiled, we laughed and we were awed by some of these great pictures and the stories we received with them. There are seven superlative categories and we selected a winner for each. These customers will each receive a dozen pair of our Growers Supply Dot Grip Gloves! We hope you enjoy these photos as much as we did!

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And The Winners Are….Announcing Our 2013 Fall Photo Contest Winners!

Photo Contest Winners

It’s that time of year again! The photos came pouring in for our 2013 Fall Photo Contest and we’re here to announce the winners! As always, the quality and quantity of photos we received was large, but we were finally able to narrow it down to a top winner and runners-up. We loved seeing the submissions from our customers—from chickens and cows, to high tunnels and greenhouses, you all sent us some great photos and we love seeing our products in action. If you didn’t submit photos this time around, be sure to do so during our next photo contest. We’d love to see what you have to share! But for now, read on and see how our top finishers are using our products!

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Market Review: Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market – August 25, 2013

CRFM Review

I want to preface this blog by giving a huge THANK YOU to Liss Flint, the photographer of the great pictures you will see below. Stop by her facebook page and check it out, if you have a chance!

There are few things I love more than attending local farmers’ markets during the summer, especially on days when the weather is as fantastic as it was this weekend here in Connecticut. In our part of the state, we are proud to host the largest farmers’ market in New England—the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market, located on the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. I am fortunate enough to live very close to this market and more Sundays than not, I can be found wandering the countless vendors and farm stands who display their goods at this destination market, which draws crowds well into the hundreds every weekend. When we discussed posting a blog about a local farmers market review, I was more than happy to offer to write it and naturally, the Coventry market was my top pick (as if I needed another excuse to visit!).

Colorful tomatoes

 

Heirloom tomatoes

As it happens, this past Sunday was a very special market day and I did more than just attend. Once a month, the market hosts a swap, which is an opportunity for market-goers to bring a homemade item and swap with other participants. It’s a great way to show off your weekend kitchen creations and try some delicious goods from other swappers! This was my first time and I made a peach salsa from the peaches from my tree at home. I swapped my salsa for some shepherd’s pie, a few varieties of jam and jellies, lavender sugar mix, plums and more. It was a great, fun experience and I’m anxious to try out everything I brought home!

Tomato samples

Prepping tomatoes

In addition to the swap, each Sunday market has a theme that the majority of vendors and farm stands try to work into their goods for that day. Sunday’s market featured a theme of heirloom vegetables. As some of you may know, these are vegetable varieties that have been maintained over a period of sometimes hundreds of years, and whose seeds have been harvested and replanted to maintain the variety over time. These vegetables are hardy, nutritious, delicious and many times, absolutely beautiful. The colors of certain types of heirloom vegetables are usually not what you’d see in the grocery store. Heirloom tomatoes can be purple, green, yellow, orange, spotted—pretty much anything goes! Amongst all the farmers selling these beautiful fruits and veggies were countless samples, which I fully took advantage of! Most of my heirloom sampling was of watermelons and tomatoes, all of which was amazing. One of the largest attractions at yesterday’s market was the long table of heirloom tomatoes for market-goers to sample. The line was extremely long and by the time I made my way to the sample tables, I’d had my fill, but I got a good look at some of the fantastic varieties that were displayed and couldn’t get over the colors of the tomatoes on the tables. As you can see from these photos, taken by extremely talented market photographer, Liss Flint, the colors truly are incredible!

Fresh tomatoes

Squash

But vegetables aren’t the only thing market-goers can purchase while exploring what farmers and vendors bring. In addition to enjoying live music while browsing, you will find goods like cheeses, yarns, meats, various soaps and other gift items. There really is something for everyone!  After my samples and an initial loop around the market grounds to see what I wanted to buy, I decided on some yellow summer squash and zucchini, as well some sweet and tangy apple marinade from a vendor called Dragon’s Blood Elixir. Definitely my favorite market vendor and this particular marinade has become a staple for grilling chicken in my kitchen. Towards the end of my visit, it was getting on towards lunch time and I grabbed a pear and blue cheese scone to snack on as I made my way home—definitely a good choice!

Farmers' Market Goods

Line for tomatoes

Growing up in the country and being raised on local produce has given me an appreciation for the hard work that farmers put into their products, and while it is a lot of fun to visit these markets, it’s also a great way to show them support for what they do. This particular market is, in my opinion, an excellent example of how important it is to support local farmers and how successful markets can be! It certainly is a favorite stop on my list of summer activities and is always worth checking out if you’re ever in the area!

Do you visit any farmers’ markets in your neck of the woods? Tell us about your favorite!

Photos are worth 1,000 words—or $500!

High Tunnel

Do you love taking pictures as much as you love your Growers Supply products? Well, it’s time to get inspired and take some great photos of your favorite Growers Supply items in action because our 2013 Photo Contest starts June 18th! We love our loyal readers so much, we wanted to give you a couple days head start to find (or take) the perfect photo!

Get ready for your ten seconds of fame, because if you win, you’ll be featured on our website and this very blog. Anyone can enter and we’re looking for photos showcasing how you use our products, so get snapping.

The grand prize winner will receive a $500 Growers Supply gift certificate and five lucky runners-up will each receive a $200 FarmTek gift certificate. How’s that for motivation?

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