Friday, June 14, 2013

Local Harvest

Robb King from Mt. Orab sent me this good link.  It is called Local Harvest and lists many local farms who are trying to make a living providing food and food products to us locally.  I see that as so much better than shopping at my Kroger store.  Kroger has the advantage, they are nearby and have everything I need.  Is it really what I want?

The best local harvest is our own garden.  LuAnn has done a super job trying to get our garden going in this wet year.  She added raised beds this year but all we've had from it is a little onion and lettuce.  Is it really worth the effort?

You have to be dedicated to your garden or your farm.  It must almost always take precedence over other things you have or want to do.  How to seed, fertilize and control weeds is critical to your success of course, that is why gardening and farming are sciences and art and can be down on a low level or a very high level of production.

I had a friend call last night and ask about organic hay production.  He has a neighbor who wants him to help him seed one by doing the tillage and planting.  He said the fellow wants to plant now but my friend suggested they moldboard plow it now and seed it late summer or early fall.  I agree.

I said "'don't guess, soil test," and plow under the lime and manure or any acceptable organic practice of feeding the hay crop.  That can get intense, too.  Do any of you raise any organic crops?

Raising non GMO soybeans for a premium is enough of a challenge for me.  The company I deal with wants all records and maps so they can have them inspected by someone certified like myself during flower and/or at harvest.  We make sure the variety stated is in the field and it has been properly tended to.  No, I can't certify my own so another scout I train with each year would have to inspect my production.

Most GMO companies have abandoned third party inspection and I think that is a problem in the industry.  They say it isn't.  A company rep is going to do everything possible to get the grower's seed production into the system if needed where as third party simply reports what they see by the rule.  I don't disqualify many fields unless they are totally out of compliance but we do often eliminate overlapping borders and note heavy pest problems.  Borders can require and Affadavit that makes the grower and seed producer acknowledge they agree to not put the seed in question into the seed system.

I hope you enjoy and use Local Harvest.  It's a great way to get fresh food and buy local instead of the grocery store.

Ed Winkle

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