Our Farming Philosophy
As we begin a new year in farming, we have realized that we need to communicate with you our philosophy and core values that we hold to as husbandmen of God’s Creation. There are two key Bible passages that we go to time and again as we face each year’s challenges. They lie in Genesis chapter 3 and Romans chapter 8. These two chapters explain why we fight literal weeds, insects and diseases to produce a crop each year. As you will read, as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin and now our sin, creation is affected and “groans” under the curse.
With this in mind, we realize that each year will have its challenges, and we strive to be good stewards of the resources and leave them better than when we started. When I started farming this land back in 1980, we had little organic matter, and low fertility which resulted in very clotty soil that was hard to cultivate. Over the years we have implemented crop rotation and green manure crops, which have vastly improved our soil tilth. For the last 15 years we have received the leaves from our local town and composted them and added them to the soil. These practices, while no silver bullets, have made our soil much more productive.
Implementing, these practices doesn’t eliminate our struggles with diseases, pest, insects ,and weeds--but it certainly helps. We get heavy disease pressure when we have lots of rain and high humidity, so we do have to spray fungicides as needed. Each crop has its own pest insect that affects the marketability of the crop, so we do have to rely on insecticides at times. We spray no more than what is necessary and we always follow labels and precautions. Fruits are more susceptible to rot and insects, therefore we have to spray them more often. However, our vegetables that we grow are sprayed very rarely and sometimes they are never sprayed at all.
All that being said, you can go on the certified organic site and find that we do much of what is required to be called organic. However we have chosen not to go that route since we do find crop protection chemicals to be necessary at times. If you garden in your yard, you realize some of the same challenges that I have addressed here because that is the nature of the world we live in. We hope this helps you understand a little about Bush-N-Vine Farm and who we are and the basis for decisions we make on the farm.
Bob Hall (Farmer/Owner, Bush-N-Vine Farm)