We finished applying organic herbicide to all the Johnson Grass in our orchards this week. The nice thing about this organic herbicide is that no weed has ever developed resistance to it. You can apply it anytime in any weather and it works just as well.
Another benefit is—since it’s organic—you don’t need a spray permit from the county and you won’t have to worry about wind carrying it over to your neighbor’s farm or adverse chemical effects to your employees. It’s so effective it’s caught on from coast to coast and around the world because it only kills the weed you apply it to. The best part is it’s available in any hardware store from 3 – 30 bucks; it’s called Shovel® and applicator training; while arduous is quite rapid. We’ve noticed that sweat makes it more effective.
If anything would make you question your commitment to organic agriculture it’s applying Shovel® to Johnson Grass on a hot day. It actually takes us a few weeks to get the fields cleaned-up every fall, but if you don’t stay at it, things get geometrically worse.
The conclusion of Shovel® application last Friday marks the fiscal end of 2015 production in our books, and the pruning that started Saturday gets charged to the 2016 crop, so this is a natural time to reflect back and plan forward.
This has been a year of major improvement projects for each area of our farm. As you farm tourers know, we raise organic chickens and each of our chicken houses were completely remodeled. We have never in my life been able to raise such uniformly healthy birds as now.
We also pack organic fruit for several dozen of our neighbors—you will find it in the Homegrown Organic Farms label anywhere the best organic produce is sold—and technology was added throughout the year to give the little facility incredible versatility.
Out in the orchards, you’ll see the new fantastically flavored French nectarine varieties coming along.
And for Abundant Harvest, the new kitchen is up and running better than we could have hoped. Each organic hand-made product makes my heart happy.
These four major projects have made for a long, intense, tiring year, but we can’t wait to show you what we’ve done with the place when you come out to visit.
Truthfully and without being gratuitous, this Abundant Harvest project we’re all figuring out together has been the most rewarding experience anyone could hope for. It has helped so many small organic farmers get started and make an honest living for their families.
It has helped so many families access fresh organic food at affordable prices while expanding everyone’s horizons to all the different types and colors and tastes. It’s a rare supper we don’t mention how fortunate we feel to get to eat such flavorful food.
And I guess that’s the bottom line; gratitude. Gratitude for the connectedness we all feel working together. Gratitude for the healthy food we get to share. Gratitude even for Shovel® organic herbicide on a hot day because the alternative would cancel all this good stuff.