Part 2 of our farm changes:
We will also be kicking Monsanto and the chemical companies off the property. We will no longer be using chemical fertilizers or chemical sprays of any type on our sweet corn or vegetables. We will, however be employing mother nature to help us out. If it does not fall from the sky, emerge from the ground, or come out of the back end our animals, it will not see our crops! While we transition, it may be a little rocky. I hope to see the results this year, but am hesitant to say we will not have our share of fails.
Instead of applying chemicals to feed and weed our sweet corn, we will be planting multiple crops that will accomplish the same thing. Clovers and Vetch will be seeded between the rows of corn smothering out the weeds. Clovers are also legumes which will develop long tap roots that will scavenge nutrients that are below the corn's reach and make it available for the corn to use. This will be most widely utilized the year after the clover is terminated. We will also be experimenting with when to seed the covers. We will seed some covers immediately, but others later on. With the late seed, we will be going back to the old cultivator. A tool that has all but fallen out of the ag industry. I happened to stumble on a dandy that was too good to pass up. We will cultivate the weeds, then cover crop. It will be trial and error, but in the end we will have a chemical free system! Maybe you are one that have asked about that word....organic....we will not be certified organic. I refuse to pay the government money to come out here and say I am using their "organic" practices. For those who choose to, they may. I would give the option to the consumer. Come out and see how we operate. It is a natural process. The field sprayer is going away. The fertilizer hoppers are gone. The soil will support our means if we allow it to. After the sweet corn is done for the year, the pigs take over tilling the stalks in. After the pigs, we will plant other covers....turnips, clovers, rye....to scavenge more nutrients, aerate the soil, and provide feed for the cattle in the winter, when they are still on pasture. So to summarize, our fields will be fertilized with our animal's manure only, and the vegetables we sell to you on our cart will NEVER see a drop of any kind of herbicide/pesticide.
Last year our vegetable fields were ravaged by deer. We ourselves did not get enough vegetables frozen for the whole winter. When you count all the time, money, and dedication to providing ourselves and our customers with our quality products, it was very discouraging. We have decided to be done with this losing battle and are putting up a deer fence to control this growing problem. Each year it only gets worse. So this year will be a year we can offer you the other fresh vegetables we grow along with our sweet corn on the cart...and remember it is WITHOUT any chemicals!