Farm Focus: Biological Control of Codling Moth

At Frog Hollow we strive to employ Integrated Pest Management or IPM to reduce pest pressure before any major damage can be done. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of controls. Controls typically fall under three categories:

 1. Cultural Control - these are physical controls like weed whacking the understory of the orchard to bring down problematic mite populations (more on that next week).

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Farm Focus: Food Safety at Frog Hollow Farm

You might have noticed we haven't heard much lately from Rachel, Farm Assistant extraordinaire. That's because she has been knee deep in preparing for a major farm audit. We recently caught up with her to find out the why and how of food safety on Frog Hollow Farm.

Since the early 2000s, there has been a lot of focus on Food Safety policy because of dangerous and expensive food recalls from pathogens like E-coli and salmonella. This focus resulted in the Food Safety Modernization Act which was passed in 2011. Although most of the food safety problems have been from large conventional monoculture farms, many produce wholesalers are asking farms like us to have Food Safety Audits by a third party so this year we've made the leap.

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Farm Focus: Fire Blight in the Apples

As we are all rejoicing over the arrival of our cherries, and though slim, apricots, we are at the same time lamenting about the discovery of extensive damage to our apple trees from fire blight.  

Fire blight is the result of an infection caused by the bacterium, Erwinia amylovora which can overwinter on a trees woody portions.  If conditions in the spring are warm and moist, as they were in the early spring this year when we were experienced a week of dewy mornings which turned into 80 degree days, the bacterium becomes highly activated and multiplies. 

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Farm Focus: Partnership For A Healthier America

Farmer Al recently made a whirlwind trip to Washington DC to attend a conference hosted by Partnership for a Healthier America. This organization brings together "public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity". They work with the "big guys" like fast food companies and politicians to get major systemic changes around the food industry and the policies governing it.

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