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Tips from Farmer Mentor, Jim Leap

Jim Leap is a long-time passionate farmer and educator. With a variety of experiences in agriculture from researcher and activist, to educator, and then farmer, Jim lives and breathes farming.

Wed, Jul 01, 2015

Beginning Farmer Asks:

I looked at some property to possibly lease for some apple trees but the lady who owned the land couldn't tell me much. It has a well and I am thinking it may not be up to the challenge of irrigating 2.5 acres of apples. The owner said the...Read more

Wed, May 20, 2015

Beginning Farmer Asks:

What are the best 3-4 tractor implements for a 15-25 acre vegetable farm? In my mind, the best equipment to have would be a 35-45 Horsepower Kubota with the following attachments: a rolling cultivator, offset disk, flail mower, and then the...Read more

Thu, Mar 05, 2015

Beginning Farmer Asks:

We are in the process of setting up permanent beds for small scale CSA production (about 2 acres) and were wondering if you had any experience or suggestions related to using a spader for tillage in this type of system. We would like to...Read more

Wed, Dec 31, 2014

Beginning Farmer Asks:
Our new Kubota tractor is arriving tomorrow. I'll be doing a walk-through with the dealers then getting started on mowing. I'm going to make a daily checklist form for checking the tractor before every use. I'm mostly concerned about using it under heavier...Read more

Wed, Sep 10, 2014

Beginning Farmer Asks: I had a quick question for you regarding plant spacing on cauliflower. I have read some material that suggests row spacing anywhere from 12-24 inches. It is looking like I will be planting into 60-inch beds, so I am curious what you think the...Read more

Fri, Aug 15, 2014

Beginning Farmer: Our field managers want to overhead water our direct sown/transplanted CSA blocks (carrots, beets, salad mix, broccoli, etc.) as we've had poor germination & loss of transplants (most to slugs). — but here are my concerns: we aren't set up for...Read more

Wed, May 07, 2014
Beginning Farmer: I am looking for a short list of equipment for the beginning row crop farmer. Could you do a quick one for me off the top of your head?
Farmer Mentor: This is a pretty common question and a
...Read more
Fri, Apr 18, 2014

Beginning Farmer: I was thinking about trying some dry farmed tomatoes this year and am wondering if you could share some knowledge about your world famous UCSC dry farmed tomato system?

Farmer Mentor: I think the most important take...Read more

Thu, Dec 05, 2013

Beginning Farmer: We will be setting up our 2” drip irrigation headers this week and I need to make a decision about which type of header to use. What is the difference between “lay flat tubing” and “oval hose” and are there special tools for installing the drip...Read more