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Oregon Christmas Tree Farm

Image used with permission by Real Christmas Trees Direct. It’s mid-December, but the Christmas season has been well underway for several weeks already here in Oregon. With about 530 licensed growers, our state is the #1 producer of Christmas trees with tree farmers expecting to harvest and sell just over 7 million trees in 2015….

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Slug Management

Slugs have always thrived in the cool, damp weather of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Yet in recent years, slugs have been eating their way through wider swaths of valuable crops. It’s a problem that continues to get worse—and one that can’t be solved with chemicals. (Even chemicals seem to lose their effectiveness rather quickly, as slugs…

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Central Oregon Basalt Products recently donated several hundred pounds of its all-natural Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster to a minimum security facility operated by Oregon’s Department of Corrections. Inmates who participated in the facility’s Master Gardener Program conducted a greenhouse study using common houseplants and a variety of soil combinations to grow indoor botanicals. The…

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You might say that it takes true “grit” to be a farmer—or a backyard gardener, for that matter. It takes resolve and strength of character to deal with all the things that Mother Nature throws at you. The word “grit” can also mean small, loose particles of stone or sand. When it comes to rock…

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It’s no surprise that some of the richest, most fertile soil on the planet can be found near active volcanoes. Volcanic deposits release essential minerals and nutrients that are essential to plant growth and can result in increased agricultural yields. This helps explain why people throughout civilization have been willing to settle near active and…

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The benefits of silicon (Si) have been observed in a variety of crops and plants. But what about silicon’s ability to help crops resist environmental stress? Environmental stress limits crop yields and farmer livelihoods around the world. The stress that causes pests, disease, and decreases plant health and vitality, comes in a variety of different…

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While the causes of iron chlorosis are complex, the general yellowing of leaves due to iron deficiency is hard to miss. In some cases, the leaves of a tree or plant turn yellow while its veins remain green (this is called interveinal chlorosis). In more severe cases, entire leaves turn yellow or white while their…

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Located in the middle of the Willamette Valley in Western Oregon, Sunset Valley Organics is a family farm owned and operated by Bob Wilt and Wilt Farms. The farm’s roots date back to the early 1900’s, but it wasn’t until several years ago that Bob Wilt switched over to organic production after recognizing the link…

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It’s easy to become overwhelmed by looking at a newspaper or watching a report on the state of our planet’s essential ecosystems. Soil erosion, soil depletion, diminishing soil fertility and declining crop nutrition. It’s enough to make a person want to stick his or her head into the sand—as long as drought hasn’t turned it…

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Oh, weeds…how we love to hate them! Admittedly, their resilience is impressive. We smother them, douse them in vinegar, lop off their heads, and torch them with flames. Sounds like something straight out of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ doesn’t it? One might argue that aggressive tactics are the only way to deal with these sneaky…

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