Good Questions to Ask Your Local Grower About Your Food
(From Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's web site)
Good questions to ask your farmer: (See our answers below!)
1. Why do you farm?
2. Do you grow all the products that you sell?
3. How do you decide which products to grow?
4. What kind of fertilizers do you use?
5. How do you deal with your weeds? insects? diseases?
6. Do you have any recipe recommendations/suggestions?
Beausol Gardens' answers to these questions:
1. We farm:
- to feed our family and you with the healthiest food we can provide;
- to provide our family and you with as safe and wholesome an environment as we can;
- to leave our small piece of the planet better than we found it and improve the world by example.
2. YES! We ONLY sell what WE grow.
3. We choose what to grow based on:
- our preference to use open-pollinated heirloom varieties which are generally healthier and tastier;
- mostly, what we like to eat;
- we don't use genetically engineered varieties because we do not trust the health and environmental repercussions of this technology, therefore any hybrids we do use are natural (non-GMO);
- requests from our customers;
- we are limited to some extent by the availability of organically produced and non-treated seed.
4. We fertilize with cover crops, biodynamic preparations, compost, compost teas, worm castings, fish emulsions, manures, mined minerals and feather meal.
5. We DO NOT use broad spectrum chemical herbicides.
- We weed using hands, hand tools, tilling and flame weeder. We use no herbicides.
- We handle insect pests by hand picking, beneficial insects (both naturally occurring, enticed to the farm by habitat management, and introduced), species-specific or narrow-spectrum organically allowed pesticides (like Bt, insecticidal soaps, Spinosad, pyrethums and diatomaceous earth) and physical barriers like row covers and inert fine kaolin coatings.
- We deal with disease by growing resistant varieties, removing diseased materials and treating with organically allowed anti-fungal bacteria or peroxide and bicarbonate fungicides.
6. Yes, we have a portfolio of our favorite recipes, and are happy to share them along with references to preferred cookbook or Internet web sites.