My wife and her mother were hard at it, planting new potatoes on our old school, drag setter.
Since we don't use herbicides, we use old fashioned plows, but we have one of these on the way as well. Known as a finger weeder, they were developed in Europe and are a great tool for organic farming weed control.
This is how it will look on our old Farmall 140 when installed.
Last, but not least, we have a lot of these. Anytime you want your produce free for a few weeks, you are welcome to man one with me.
Having a conversation with a certified organic farmer I know and respect today, I learned something interesting. His POV on main difference between regular farms and organic is the use of herbicides. That was interesting as we use no form of herbicides including no pre-emergents. One of us, usually me, gets on a tractor or picks up a hoe and gets the weeds or grass out the old fashioned way. We don't pollute our soil with herbicides and we never will, not today or next year or 20 years from now.
I just wanted to pass that on so you know how seriously we take our quality and your health.
We don't use GMO seed, we don't use herbicides and only nominal amounts of conventional fertilize, since we found an outstanding source for large quantities of safe, sterilized compost at Monterey Mushrooms and Texas Organic Enterprises in Tyler.
So while not being certified organic, we are following those practices.
First and foremost, this is not a treatise on how I feel about GMO seed. We just don't use it.
There is a lot of misinformation out there though about GMO seed, so we wanted to let you know what we are doing, how and why.
Seedless watermelons are not a GMO product. They've been around for along time. The science of it says,
“A seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. This is similar to the mule, produced by naturally crossing a horse with a donkey. This process does not involve genetic modification.” whataboutwatermelon.com
The same pretty much holds true with most hybrid seed. We plant a fair amount of hybrid seed, but we also plant heirlooms as well, particularly with watermelons. Our heirlooms are Charleston Greys, Desert Kings, Crimson Sweets, Sugar Babies & some Georgia Rattlesnakes (though not a lot). If you prefer one of these to the hybrid Delta we also raise, please note so in your CSA order.
We raise several heirloom tomatoes as well, Cherokee Purple & Brandywine. If you prefer those over the Mountain Spring hybrid, let us know, but if you make that choice, please know the production of those is sporadic by comparison and you could run out of tomatoes in your CSA. The hybrid Mountain Spring is a great tomato (NOT GMO) and produces like a champ, so having it in your CSA box will give you tomatoes from June through September at a minimum.
We only use non-GMO corn as well. Our options are fewer there, but it exists and that is what we grow.
Thoughts or questions are welcome.
We grew a lot of extra plants this year so we are at White Rock Local Market with them starting April 5th. We'll have tomato, squash, pepper, bean, watermelon, cantaloupe and corn plants for anyone interested.
We started pulling up what is known as T-Tape this week, and tomato stakes on the fall crop that the freeze in late November killed. That last one hurt me and working in this freeze burned field of plants breaks my heart. We only got to pick hem once.
The green things; cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards and mustard greens are doing okay, but there is just enough for us to eat at the moment, rather than take to market.
We'll get there though.
I have a great family. We work hard, play as much as we can and love to grow great watermelons, among other things.