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Farmers Test Benefits of Using Hemp Stalks to Produce Mushrooms
When optimists are buried in proverbial lemons, they make lemonade. When the women who own Intentional Growth Farm in Utah had too many hemp stalks, they produced exceptionally large, tasty mushrooms. “We used the hemp stalks as the nutrient source for our oyster mushrooms, and customers said they were the best mushrooms they ever tasted,” […]
Heritage Grain Guidebook
From 2016 through 2021, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA) worked with a grassroots network of nearly 200 grain growers in varying climates, initially across the Western United States and eventually growing nationally and globally, in trialing over 250 varieties of ancient and heritage grains including Indigenous and alternative (pseudo) grains to determine varieties that can thrive in the changing climate conditions of the 21st century. Through this effort, 20 of the most adaptive and resilient varieties of cereal grains, including wheat, barley, and rye, of which there was enough seed stock, were selected for formal replicated research trials at four locations in the Mountain West. Results of both the participatory grassroots trials and the research trials, including grower and grain profiles, are documented in this manual in an effort to inform and inspire others to grow these unique varieties of grains, and to support regionalized grain networks and localized food systems.
Farmers Test Whether Cardboard Can Keep Bindweed at Bay
Bindweed can be the bane of farmers’ existence. The climbing vine spreads easily by seed and rigorous root system, choking off crops and other plants along the way. “Even when we till in the spring, we spend a huge amount of time hand weeding throughout the season to manage bindweed,” explained Jonah Sloven, who grows […]
Reasons to Like Wine
Reasons to like wine Number 462: It can be good for New Mexico’s native bees and other pollinators. Even though grapevines are largely self pollinating and don’t need insects like bees or butterflies to produce fruit, vineyards themselves can provide habitat for native pollinators and other insect species, benefiting both the grower and the environment. […]
Video: Testing Cover Crops in New Mexico Vineyards
Watch our newest video describing this Western SARE funded work - Miranda Kersten, IPM Program and Gill Giese, Viticulture of New Mexico State University describe their work promoting putting cover crops in vineyards. The research will demonstrate how to ensure the cover crops successfully grow and flower so that they attract pollinators and provide additional […]
Wildfires in the West are inevitable and part of a natural, necessary ecological cycle, but invasive grasses like cheatgrass can make fires burn hotter, spread farther and cause more destruction. So, across the West, researchers, range managers, cattle ranchers and others are looking for ways to economically control cheatgrass and other invasive grasses on millions […]
Economist Seeks to Quantify Impact of Wolf, Cattle Interactions
Native gray wolves are returning to rugged rangelands throughout the west, raising risk for the millions of cattle who graze there. In the California counties of Lassen, Plumas and Siskiyou, many ranchers say their cattle are being stalked by wolves and show signs of stress, such as fewer pregnancies and lower birth and weaning weights. […]
Growing Mushrooms to Remediate Contaminated Soil
Mushrooms can bio-remediate certain contaminated soils, although it's not a simple or foolproof process. But for someone interested in mushrooms or already growing them, it can be work the effort.
Utah Vegetable Production & Pest Management Guide
Partially funded by Western SARE, the Utah Vegetable Production and Pest Management Guide is inclusive to all growers, whether commercial or hobbyist. Although content is specific to Utah, most content applies to the Intermountain West states. The book includes twelve chapters of specific production methods and comprehensive pest and treatment recommendations for crops representing brassicas, […]
Growing Vegetables in Non-Circulating Hydroponic Beds
Growing vegetables hydroponically, such as bok choy or lettuce, can improve access to fresh produce in remote communities dependent on imported food. Additionally, the quality of locally grown produce can be higher than imported produce that can wilt during shipping. Download PDF
WSARE Quick Guide: Choosing Between Two Good Chicken Housing Systems
Quick guide to choosing between chicken caging systems.
WSARE Quick Guide: Selecting Cattle to Improve Grazing Distribution
Quick guide summarizing what you can do to select cattle to improve grazing distribution.
Photosynthesis & Hydroponics Lesson & Demonstration
Mt. Lata Farm in America Samoa created a Teachers' Resource Tool Kit with lesson plans on growing vegetables using hydroponics. This is one sample. For more information, contact the Project Leader .
Estimating Plant-Available Nitrogen Release from Cover Crops
This Oregon State University fact sheet explains the basics of plant-available nitrogen (PAN); when to kill cover crops for the maximum PAN benefit; step-by-step instructions on how to perform site-specific measurements to predict PAN from your cover crop; and case studies from the Willamette Valley.
Pasture Calendars Help Preserve Rangeland
Forages – a diverse group of plants providing both livestock feed and important bio-products – are critical for the success of Western agriculture. That’s why Washington State University’s Dr. Steve Fransen helps develop best pasture management practices to benefit the land, environment, animals, and producers’ bottom lines. “I love going out to the field, pulling […]
Can Cover-cropping and Grazing Work with Dryland Grain Farming?
Farmers know that planting one crop year after year is asking for trouble. It depletes the soil and leads to increased insect, weed and disease pressures. But in certain places, it’s also been the major agricultural system for decades. In north-central Washington, along the Canadian border, dryland wheat production has been the dominate production system […]
Wireworms in Western Washington
Christine Langley has successfully run Lopez Harvest organic farm on Lopez Island in Washington state’s famed San Juan Islands for more than two decades. But for most of that, she wasn’t fighting wireworms. Those showed up about a dozen years ago, and have made her job a lot harder. “I grow a lot of lettuce […]
Specialty Crop Production in High Tunnels
A three-year, SARE-funded project focused on developing fruit and vegetable systems suited to high tunnel production in the high-elevation arid Intermountain West. Successful systems were developed for lettuce, tomato, squash and strawberry production. Work with brambles showed that methods suited to other regions were not locally appropriate. The following Utah State University Cooperative Extension fact […]
A Sunn Hemp Cover Crop for Soil Health and Nematode Management
These University of Hawaii fact sheets and virtual field day explain how to use sunn hemp as a cover crop to control weeds, nematodes and other pests, add soil nutrients, prevent erosion, and contribute to a more robust and complex community of beneficial nematodes. Available fact sheets include: Using Sunn Hemp as a Cover Crop […]
Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems Project
Public concerns regarding pesticide misuse, food safety, water use and contamination, and depletion of non-renewable resources have motivated the reevaluation of some of the practices of conventional agriculture and the exploration of alternative, more sustainable approaches to growing food. In 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project was established at the University of California’s […]