Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I haven't accomplished anything around the house during these past few days. Andrea and I were both exhausted on Sunday, following the Field to Fork Festival, so used the day to recuperate. It rained on Monday, which prevented me from getting outside.

I worked in the office today, then attended the Gardening 101 class afterwards. For today's class we met at a local farm, where we were allowed to explore the fields and really see what a working farm looks like. Our instructor estimated the farm to cover approximately 30 acres, which is a large vegetable operation in our area. The gentleman who runs the farm is clearly ingenious, as shown by the processes he has developed and the efficiency with which he runs such a large operation.

As impressive as the operation was, however, I couldn't help but feel disappointed by the waste and overall unnatural field to the place. The majority of crops, with the exception of sweet corn, was being grown using plasticulture, which I am not a fan of. Yes, it helps to keep things looking orderly and relatively weed free, but I can't even imagine the amount of waste that the process generates on a large farm. While I make the effort to reduce my use, and waste, of plastic, it is unlikely that my efforts will even come close to offsetting the amount of plastic a farm like this uses in a single year. In addition to the use of plasticulture, the farmer also relies heavily on pesticides and chemical fertilizer, which was evident by looking at the soil. I have to admit that I was somewhat impressed with the juxtaposition of row after row of healthy-looking vegetables and the dead soil, which appeared to be entirely lacking organic material.

There has been mention of touring a local organic farm as part of the Gardening 101 class. I think I'll remind the instructor of this, in hopes that it can be fit into the schedule. I'd love to see how it compares to the farm we saw today.

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