University of Vermont Extension Professor Vern Grubinger does not fit the conventional extension agent mode. For twenty-five years, Vern has worked to develop a co-learning community among the professional vegetable- and berry-growers of Vermont. In this episode, we talk about the challenges facing Vermont vegetable farmers, from soil fertility basics and phytophthora to human resources, food safety certification, and costs of production – and about how a healthy food system, from marketing to education, is all about relationships.
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Vern also authored With an Ear to the Ground: Essays on Sustainable Agriculture, essays that he originally as part of a public radio series.
You can sign up for Vern’s amazing Vermont Vegetable and Berry Newsletter, and read back issues, at http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/newsletter/welcomemain.htm - this is the newsletter Vern publishes to share news from growers in Vermont with other growers.
Vegetable Insect Management: With Emphasis on the Midwest is a practical guide to integrated pest management (IPM) that Vern recommends for its specific information about pest scouting techniques.
Vern talked about the Vermont Community Accreditation for Produce Safety program as a way to proactively manage customer expectations for food safety verification.
Vern also sent along a link to a list of slideshows that he’s given recently. http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/GrubingerSlideShows.html
The 1938 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, Soils and Men, is available as a free download here. http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND50000140/PDF
Vern recently read Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community by Tom Lyson, about the history of the transformation of the food system and the re-localization of the food production system.