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ATTRA Blog

Whether you’re a seasoned or beginning producer, a curious consumer, or simply someone who appreciates the bounty of the earth, you’ll find valuable insights and engaging stories here.

Written by ATTRA specialists on topics they are passionate and knowledgeable about, the ATTRA blog highlights techniques, how-tos, insight, success stories, and much more in support of sustainable agriculture.


avacados

Avocados: Fruit Set Challenges and Propagation

Like all plants, avocados have secrets to share; understanding the plants we grow can unlock their potential and bring a deeper understanding of the ecology in our own back yards. Here are a few considerations for your backyard avocados, as well as a propagation technique that can be used on a number of plants.
By Omar Rodriguez
NCAT Agriculture Specialist
Peach Rot

What the Brown Rot Hath Wrought

I don't grow peaches. That unhappy confession is despite the fact that I grow peach trees. And rot. I grow a lot of brown rot.
By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist
Cali, Alicia, Caraamel, and Rosie Petunia

Dairy Goats for the Farm

This week, I will be sending a young dairy goat named Caramel to a lovely family. The seven-year-old girl who will be in charge of the goat is so excited; she and her parents have planned for shelter, pasture, and feed.
Steve Thompson

NCAT Commits to Racial Justice

Layered upon the pandemic and a national economic freefall, the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans has sparked frustration, anger and sorrow across the country, not least here at NCAT.
intact tree borer

Battling Borers in Organic Apple Production

By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulturist Organic apple production…
Beyond Fresh co-authors Mike Morris and Sue Beckwith

Beyond Fresh: Exploring Value-Added Food Enterprises

Value-added enterprises are one way to increase the profitability of growing those vegetables. And, in fact, in a recent survey of 400 ATTRA clients, the number one topic they wanted to see covered in more detail on our website was value-added products.
By Mike Morris, Director of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office
roots

Root Propagation

I developed a love of plants as a young boy, helping my father in his yard-of-the-month winning front yard. I hated pruning roses, but everything else was so amazing to me. I think the thing that really hooked me was propagation, although I didn’t know the word for it back then. When I realized I could make a whole new plant from just a piece of another, it did something permanent to my little mind that is still with me today.
By Justin Duncan, NCAT Agriculture Specialist
homemade desktop hydro

How About Growing Your Own Food During the COVID-19 Restrictions?

We are all used to popping down to the local supermarket or garden center to buy potted plants or flowers to liven up the house, and to a certain degree, we still can. But as we are spending more time at home than we could have imagined a few months ago, why not also consider buying plant starts or seeds and growing your own food?
By Andrew Coggins, NCAT Rocky Mountain West Regional Director
winecap mushrooms

Wine Cap Mushroom Production: Getting Started

We have a livestock farm in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, but we’re always looking for ways to diversify our operation. Mushrooms seemed like a good fit. We manage over 100 acres of forest, a ready source of both material and shady land for mushroom production.
Photos and text by Nina Prater, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
greenhouse

Growing Vegetable Transplants in the Greenhouse

Earlier this spring, my wife and I got a 12x16 foot greenhouse for our small farm to use for starting vegetable and flower transplants for our garden. The greenhouse arrived just in time, before COVID-19 restrictions went into place in our state. We have been able to start our tomatoes, peppers, basil, zinnias, cosmos, and other garden transplants in the greenhouse and I wanted to share some of our techniques for growing quality plants at home or on a small farm.
By Luke Freeman, NCAT Horticulture Specialist