Manuals/Guides

Showing 1-20 of 50 results

Supporting Relationships for Farm Success

It is not uncommon that the barriers to implementing changes on the farm are not related to production or marketing but rather interpersonal or "non-technical" issues like effective communication, decision-making, goal setting and time management. This toolkit was created by Dr. Leslie Forstadt, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Abby Sadauckas, Apple Creek Farm, as […]

Farming with Soil Life

This handbook, created by The Xerces Society, dives into soil biology. It provides a connection between healthy soils and healthy invertebrates found in temperate agricultural soils. The publication starts with a review of soil basics, including the functions, classifications and properties (physical, biological and chemical) of soil. It provides detailed methods on how observe soil […]

Implementing a Food Safety System for Small-Scale and Raw Milk Cheese Plants

The purpose of this guide is to assist small-scale and raw milk cheesemakers in conducting Hazard Analyses of their processes to ensure they are producing the safest product possible and to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The author, Dr. Kerry E. Kaylegian of the Pennsylvania State University, created this resource […]

Considerations and Recommendations When Establishing Custom Grazing Relationships

This guide and set of recommendations are intended for organic dairy farmers and other livestock graziers interested in starting a custom grazing relationship with a neighboring farmer or landowner. Successful custom grazing can provide or increase grazing acreage for those farmers who need it and can also provide opportunities for smaller, beginning, leased, and diversified […]

Cornell Soil Health Assessment

The Cornell soil health assessment was created to help farmers develop appropriate management solutions to build healthy soils. Focusing on soil health helps improve productivity, reduces the need for external inputs, and increases a farm's resilience to extreme weather events.

Agricultural Conservation Leasing Guide

This bulletin, authored by Sarah Everhart of the University of Maryland Francis K. Carey School of Law, provides guidance to farmers, landowners and agricultural service providers interested in lease agreements to help implement stewardship planning and conservation practices on leased land. The publication describes many popular conservation programs and considerations for how they might be […]

Reversing the Downward Trend

Farmers across the Northeast have reported decreases in consumer participation at farmers' markets and reduced sales. This toolkit was developed as a result of survey research that looked at consumer perceptions of shopping at farmers' markets. The publication provides information on marketing strategies and services aimed to help farmers' market managers and farmers understand what […]

Guide to Financing Community Supported Farms

Since it is not always easy to obtain loans from traditional financing sources, farmers are exploring alternative funding opportunities to meet their needs. Unconventional financial arrangements, which are new to the agricultural sector, include a variety of mechanisms where financial transactions take place between the community and farmers. Community financing, represented by both monetary and […]

A Practical Guide to No-Till and Cover Crops in the Mid-Atlantic

No-till and cover crops are among the most cost effective tools to reverse soil and carbon loss and improve soil health; the economic, agronomic and environmental benefits of these practices are well known within the farming community. Transitioning from conventional farming to no-till, and incorporating the use of cover crops, requires a higher level of […]

Northeast Dry Bean Production Guide

This guide provides guidance on growing dry beans based on field-based research conducted in 2015 and 2016 on two Northern Vermont farms that trialed 19 varieties of dry beans. The publication includes considerations for the following. Sourcing quality seed. Production and management: Soil and fertility, Seeding rates, and Planting timing. Pest Management: Weeds, Diseases, and […]

Canola Production for On-Farm Energy

The following production guides, cost calculator and research reports are on canola production, including weed management. They were developed as part of a multi-year research project by University of Vermont Extension on growing sunflowers and canola for on-farm energy. Find research reports on sunflowers here. Production guides Northeast Oilseed Production Manual.pdf 10.18 MB VT Oilseed […]

Sunflower Production for On-Farm Energy

The following production guides, cost calculator and research reports are on sunflower production, including weed management. They were developed as part of a multi-year research project by University of Vermont Extension on growing sunflowers and canola for on-farm energy. Find research reports on canola here. Production guides Northeast Oilseed Production Manual.pdf 10.18 MB VT Oilseed […]

Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Farm and Food Safety Management Guide

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and the New England Small Farm Institute prepared this guide for small-scale poultry producers and processors using a Massachusetts-inspected mobile poultry processing unit or stationary on-farm facility. It includes information and sample documentation to help producer-processors with: Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOPs) Hazard Analysis Critical Control […]

Getting Work Done Series

The legal classification of farm workers has many implications, including whether farmers must pay minimum wage, carry workers’ compensation, withhold and pay taxes, and more. A series of guides--one for each state in New England--are designed to help farmers better understand the legal definitions and criteria for classifying their workers. The guides walk readers through […]

Problem Solving and Innovation on the Farm

This manual is designed to help farmers improve operations by combining problem-solving and experimentation with day-to-day farm management. The step-by-step process outlined is based on the know-how of experienced farmers who have developed innovative approaches for adapting their farms to changes. By explaining the techniques these farmer innovators use, the manual provides information on how […]

Good Food Farmers Network Guide

The guide, written by farmer Henry Corsun of Dog Wood Farm in Old Chatham NY, documents the work to develop Good Food Farmers Network as a replicable model of farmer-owned joint marketing and sales. The model was designed to require little start-up capital and utilizes nationally available resources to make it more readily available to […]

Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation in the Northeast United States

The guide, developed by farmer Willie Crosby of Fungi Ally, outlines the process of indoor and outdoor shiitake mushroom cultivation. It also includes results from strain research conducted through a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant. Table of Contents Introduction Strains and Spawn Sources Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Logs Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Supplemented Sawdust Getting Started […]

A Guide to Sharing Farm Equipment

Hudson Valley New York farmer Faith Gilbert of Letterbox Farm Collective wrote this guide for farmers, service providers, cooperators, and organizers of shared equipment pools. The guide covers an array of practical concerns for equipment sharing. Contents include case studies, a review of different ownership and management arrangements, financial considerations, annotated budgets, sample fee structures, […]