Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pulling Tomatoes...

This time of year is both happy and sad on the farm. We are sad that the season is coming to an end, but happy that the prospects for next year seem so bright. Today was a perfect example of the dichotomy of this time of the season.

I was pulling tomatoes plants from the garden. We could wait until the frost we are expecting next week, but the plants are basically done, so now is as good a time as any to do it. As I pulled them out of the ground I picked some of the better ripe tomatoes and bigger green ones for this week's pickup. But mainly it is a destructive act, pulling them out by the roots and throwing them in the pile to be added to our compost heaps. Sad, admitting the end of the summer tomatoes and the end of summer.

At the same time Eric was mowing close the new ground (about an another acre) we plan on planting next year. In the next couple weeks it will be plowed, disced, and tilled. Happy and hopeful of what next year will bring.

It is that time of year!

((Oh, and in case you wonder why we pull the tomato plants instead of tilling them under in place, it is part of our Integrated Pest Management practices. By pulling them and any associated diseases, bugs, or fungi they are no longer in the garden to crop their heads up next year. The composting process will kill any pathogens, and we will have the benefit of their biomass in compost next year without the risk of perpetuating any problems.))


Stephen Tvedten said...

How to kill pests without killing yourself or the earth......

There are about 50 to 60 million insect species on earth - we have named only about 1 million and there are only about 1 thousand pest species - already over 50% of these thousand pests are already resistant to our volatile, dangerous, synthetic pesticide POISONS. We accidentally lose about 25,000 to 100,000 species of insects, plants and animals every year due to "man's footprint". But, after poisoning the entire world and contaminating every living thing for over 60 years with these dangerous and ineffective pesticide POISONS we have not even controlled much less eliminated even one pest species and every year we use/misuse more and more pesticide POISONS to try to "keep up"! Even with all of this expensive and unnecessary pollution - we lose more and more crops and lives to these thousand pests every year.

We are losing the war against these thousand pests mainly because we insist on using only synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers There has been a severe "knowledge drought" - a worldwide decline in agricultural R&D, especially in production research and safe, more effective pest control since the advent of synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers. Today we are like lemmings running to the sea insisting that is the "right way". The greatest challenge facing humanity this century is the necessity for us to double our global food production with less land, less water, less nutrients, less science, frequent droughts, more and more contamination and ever-increasing pest damage.

National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24,2007 was created to highlight the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent it. One study shows that about 70,000 children in the USA were involved in common household pesticide-related (acute) poisonings or exposures in 2004. At least two peer-reviewed studies have described associations between autism rates and pesticides (D'Amelio et al 2005; Roberts EM et al 2007 in EHP). It is estimated that 300,000 farm workers suffer acute pesticide poisoning each year just in the United States - No one is checking chronic contamination.
In order to try to help "stem the tide", I have just finished re-writing my IPM encyclopedia entitled: THE BEST CONTROL II, that contains over 2,800 safe and far more effective alternatives to pesticide POISONS. This latest copyrighted work is about 1,800 pages in length and is now being updated at my new website at .

This new website at has been basically updated; all we have left to update is Chapter 39 and to renumber the pages. All of these copyrighted items are free for you to read and/or download. There is simply no need to POISON yourself or your family or to have any pest problems.

Stephen L. Tvedten
2530 Hayes Street
Marne, Michigan 49435
"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." --Victor Hugo

CSA farmer girl said...

Thanks for you comments. We use very little in the way of chemical controls for pests. Very occassionally we may use a certified organic product or a natural product like hot pepper spray. Most often we use an IPM system including planting lure crops, interplanting, heavy rotation, not planting to much of one thing right next to each other, and feild hygine(pulling the plants at the end of the season.) If we spray we risk also harming all our helpful insects, like preying mantises and lady bugs, so we do it as seldom as possible (for example we did not spray for pests at all in 2007).

Thanks for your comments