Our Voices - Tour de Plants
- Mark Coe: Having had the oppertunity to present at a local school with Meghan and Leanna, supporting the work Food Corps does is a wonderful thing. They provide a learning oppertunity to our children in agricu...
- Linda Hutchinson: Great! Having been raised on a farm, near Arcadia, I wish my dad who was a Farmer's Market regular in the 60's, 70's and 80's, was here to be involved in the "farm to table" and "local food" initiati...
- Dale Scheiern: It is easy to store and enjoy all winter long too!! Take 1 qt. freezer bags, fill to the point they will lay fairly flat ( not rounded) so they stack easily in the freezer. Local fruit all winter lo...
- Sharron May, The May Farm: You are correct if you are referring to industrial monocultures of animal or plant agriculture which are extractive, organic or not. Fortunately there are small farms pioneering more regenerative prac...
- LillyM: I've been fortunate enough to meet and work with Lianna and hope to meet Meghan. Every FoodCorps volunteer I have met over the years has been incredible. A phenomenal organization with dedicated and...
There is simply nothing like a farm tour as a learning tool for growers. I don’t really care if you are a farmer wannabe, a beginner, or a veteran with years of experience. There is always something to learn.
And the best people to learn from are others in the same business with plenty of practical knowledge.
And something else I have discovered: No matter how many farms you visit, there is always something more to learn, always a new idea.
But here’s a vexing problem: The best time to visit a farm is during your-and the host farmer’s-busiest time: right in the middle of the growing season.
My early experiences with farm tours included one that I did not want to go to, for exactly that reason. A colleague in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) conducted it; she coaxed a bunch of us to get together to talk things over and visit each other’s farms.
I was quite busy with my own operation, and very reluctant to take time out to make the trips. But I did, anyway, and I was really glad I did.
You see, every trip yields new information, or a solution to a puzzling problem, or sometimes a way around a snag I haven’t even gotten to yet. Over the years, farm tours have taught me things I need to know about pest control, plant disease, farm animals, marketing strategies, and much more.
It isn’t all about problem solving, either. Sometimes you learn a new technique or get a good, or bad, tool or equipment review.
And a farm tour is a great way to meet fellow farmers, or get to know them better. Besides, they are usually just plain fun!
So why am I trying so hard to talk you into going on farm tours? Because Get Farming! has two more of them scheduled this season and we have plenty of room for more participants.
Jim Sluyter, who worked the land at Five Springs Farm for 15, manages the Michigan Land Use Institute’s Get Farming! program.