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Veganically Grown: Our Journey to Certified and Beyond

Byron Smith

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There are plenty of opinions about organic and veganic growing methods. In this class we will candidly explore both the science and our personal experience in this field. 

Presenter

Byron Smith

Byron Smith speaks with experience from over 25 years of growing.

Conference

Recorded

  • November 12, 2015
    4:00 PM
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Father in heaven I want to invite your Holy Spirit to be here. As we share our experience. Want to ask that. We will be benefited. And understanding your will ask this and see this name Amen. But I imagine probably everybody knows who I am I are and Smith and. My wife Janice. And I'm going to share just a brief history of our farm. And. And as it says that the journey that we have taken our farm to where we are particularly as it relates to growing practices like organic and began it. We are. Sunny's on a family farms and nine hundred ninety six. We moved to Arizona from Northern British Columbia Canada. And we were. We were doing some farming up there but I was connected with. A self-supporting school in Canada. Fairhaven Academy and. We bought three hundred twenty acres a bare farmland there was nothing there were so flying chicken. You could. Calibrate a level on it. It was just flat land. Had had anything grown on it for some years. And we've started putting together. Our farm there. And. All told me been growing for about thirty years. And I think it's important because it's a family farm that's my excuse any way to introduce the rest of our family. My youngest daughter is here. She likes. Similar to picture. Him and I was taken a few years ago. And at that point we had only one granddaughter. Now we have five granddaughters and a grandson. Now. My children and two spouses. And it wouldn't be appropriate to have a farm without also putting a picture on the tractor in their right. We began as a conventional hydroponic growing. Operation. Back then we were growing hot ass cucumbers and. We were not growing in those beds. We were growing cucumbers. And the the series of events that happen to us led us eventually to switch to tomatoes. We grew tomatoes. Starting in two thousand and two. And tell currently. But in two thousand and three. We began transitioning to local marketing. We believe that was that was more interesting to us I guess. We had been doing wholesale up to that exclusively and. We just didn't find it very fulfilling to only call up brokers. This faceless entities that. Even though they were nice people. You know it's kind of a crass business. That they deal with. And so we started meeting with some local chefs and started selling to Whole Foods and. That's my wife and I had there and one of the stores. And they began promoting our product. Whole Foods is our largest customer. By a long. Large amount. And I was just looking at this picture as I was putting this slide show together and I was looking at those prices and I was like on those were the days. We had a preferred relationship with them that meant they gave us. Preferential pricing and. So it was a very very good financial arrangement for us. It's much more competitive now. And they don't sell tomatoes for that much and they don't give us the same percentage either. But. We also developed relationships with a number of high end chefs. These are a team of chefs from Four Seasons Resort. Scottsdale and they drove four hours. Out to the farm to meet with us and we entertain some of including them. We entertained. Some of our customers. On our farm with dinners and. We started getting into more diverse products. You can see here we did. We develop an heirloom cherry. Medley and. We started selling it to some wholesalers and it wasn't long before that idea caught on and everybody else. And Mexico was doing the same thing. We specialize for several years. Heirloom tomatoes. We did. We did very very well with heirloom tomatoes. Until two thousand and eight. I believe it was when they got to made a mosaic virus. The newer varieties of tomatoes were totally resistant to minimize the virus and. There is no way. At that point. Preventing to minimise that virus once it's there. It's basically a death sentence for that crop because the production drops remarkably. And there's no treatment we work with a specialist from University of Arizona. And you spray milk on the plants if you touch them that such spreads. Where you can grow a tomato crop without touching it right. And so we we have. We had to change that. But we also developed about the same time as part of our effort in doing. Local we started. Doing micrograms. Good to be a pretty good player in that business and. A specialized heirloom lettuce makes an amazing. Eating quality and. I'm going to kind of introduce this part even though it actually in our story to organic we didn't actually do the field crops until after we had become organic but just in terms of giving the history of our farm. I'm going to put that in there with began growing outdoor field crops in two thousand and nine that was after we became organic. That's when we bought our own my tractor and. In order to control weeds. We use. Poly Moltz and transplanting the the. Squash plants in the field and. There's a there's a mature crop. I'm going to guess. Acorn squash there. That a lot of went to squash and pumpkins and watermelon. We do exceptional I find watermelon. Not so much because of our growing practices. Although I would like to say that was the case. But the climate that we live in is absolutely perfect for watermelon. Hot days. Cool nights. From the high elevation and a lot of sugar in the in the fruit. And it's just amazing. One of the. One of the things that was influential in our decision to become organic was right there in that picture. We had. I hadn't as the farmer. A great deal of discomfort with the impact of pesticides on our family health. And of course even a few years back that information has a place maybe it's because I'm more directly connected with it. But the. Studies show that farmer families have three times the rate and don't quote me on that figure. Because I'm pulling it off the top of my head I'd have to go back and find out what it actually is but it's significantly higher rate of Parkinson's Disease for example. And many other diseases that are associated statistically with farmers. Applying pesticides. So I was very troubled by the idea that. By my vocational choice. I was going to be impacting my children my grandchildren. And particularly my ability to enjoy them. Because of might impact my health and health has always been a very important thing to me. So. So about the same time. We had three things that happened one was. My concern about pesticides. Secondly we decided that we were going to start burning. Bio mass feel. Pick on shelves in particular and. Even though we're in Arizona. We actually use more natural gas per acre. Than they do on and southern British Columbia and. That's because the nights are so cold because of the elevation we're at. And the. And the big temperature swings that we get as a result of that and. So we had actually. We had actually decided to to do this and. We thought that we needed to actually pelletised to pick on shell in order to burn. And so we actually set up a much looking back on it now it's kind of a. An interesting decision. But when vested hundreds of thousands of dollars into putting a polling operation together and. When the recession hit in two thousand and eight. That came to an end because our source of wood fiber. Was no longer available. So we had this operation. And my wife suggested that we make fertilizer for for plants. Now. That was. That was happening. My wife always something important to say. So. So we had the situation where the tomato said and it got in the virus. And that led us to to really think this is the really the time to to explore this more more and more carefully. So. In two thousand and nine. We became certified organic and. I'd like to know that. There's a lot of people particular in the farming community that argue. Controversial thing about certified organic. I just like to highlight some of the things that you can see here. The market for. Sort of fire again and produce is growing three times the rate. Even during the Great Recession of two thousand and eight two thousand and ten. Organic produce grew at double digits. Their market share or not no market share but their growth rate. Ten percent or more. It's now a twenty nine billion dollars market and becoming organic is not as expensive as many people think. And it's also. I think the battery died on the on the wireless mike. OK. So the the record keeping is difficult but it's not as onerous. As many people think it is. So when it comes to the benefit for the farmer. I dislike to point this out here. This is from the U.S.D.A.. The wholesale price premium for our Gannett broccoli and carrots. There the prices is essentially double in organic production. From what it is with conventional. And not makes a a significant difference. For the for the farmer and. But. One of the big problems that I had with becoming certified organic was my concern about this right here. Food borne illnesses. I had a great concern that if I became organic that if somehow my produce was contaminated and got into the marketplace and. And what my liability personally would be I'm really have a great phobia for courts and and tourney's and things like that. So I don't really want to have anything to do with out and so that was a Nischelle lay my primary interest in vig Anik was to eliminate the food borne illness risk. Then as I began to research and more. I began to discover other things by like to point out that e-coli seminal. Wisteria. And etc This whole range of food borne illnesses are essentially by definition. The call pathogens that means they are essentially exclusively associated with with feces. And that's primarily an animal and I have to careful because just because you began it doesn't mean there's no no risk. If people are not careful with their personal hygiene. You know you can still have problems but it is it is essentially a a problem of of manure and other animal products. And you notice that there are seventy six million cases of food borne disease in the United States each year. And it causes. Three hundred twenty five thousand hospitalizations and five thousand deaths. So what is began a growing. We decided do that so that we would not use animal products and. My daughter and her graphic design class in college designed a logo for us which I can have a put up their feet again a click ground. Now. As I began to research. As I said. I discovered that there were a lot of other things hidden in the animal products that I didn't know about. For example. Arsenic. Is mixed in the diet of about seventy percent of the broiler chickens and not actually comes out to be about two million pounds of arsenic is fed to the chickens. Poultry waste primarily chicken is the primary source of nutrient that they put in the in the organic fertilizers if you go down to the big box stores and I you buy have container of organic fertilizer. If you read the ingredients. There's a pretty good chance. A majority chance that that's going to be poultry. Derived fertilizer. And in there is arsenic and very likely not extend not for sure but very likely. And. Arsenic is certainly very deleterious. And there are other. In all forms of animal products. There are higher levels of heavy metals. It's just it's just inherent. As you move up the food chain. Toxins are going to be accumulated there's no way around that. And you can see there often frequent contaminants and fertilizers if I told you some of the information that I have uncovered. And not from not from conspiracy type sources we're talking about the only places I go. Are essentially peer reviewed science and the. There are loopholes. There are loopholes in the in the systems out there that unable. Heavy metals. To get into the food chain. Very readily and it really is a much more problem and people are aware of but I want to focus even though it's a not the only thing I want to focus a lot on this part right here. Seventy percent of all the antibiotics. Used in the United States. Are fed to animals. Primarily in the concentrated animal feeding operations the Kate photos. And that's where most of your meat and dairy come from this particular study. There was a groundbreaking study from the University of Minnesota in two thousand and five. And what they did is they said you know we're feeding the. We're feeding the enemy Audix to the Danimal and words to go from there. And nobody knew so University of Minnesota did the study. And they took them a newer that was being spread on the fields. And they they actually grew products. And this case it was cabbage and green onions and corn. And then they measured. Tested the corn cabbage and green onions. To see whether there was actually any an A-B. audit being taken up by the plant and shock. It was so even though you think you are buying a beautiful healthy. Piece of fresh produce. That should be good for you. Hidden inside of there without your knowledge of it is very likely to be. Annabel addicts. Now. One two. I want to point out two particular problems with that number one. We have the issue of antibiotic resistance everybody is talking about that. And now more people are dying as the result of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections than from AIDS or HIV or any of these other related things. It's estimated that from from particularly from Clostridium that. There are as you can see here fourteen thousand deaths a year that can be attributed to infections from that. Pretty pretty serious this is from. This is from the C.D.C.. The United States and about it resistance adds twenty billion dollars in excess healthcare costs and additional costs to society of thirty five billion. The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to an about a Kristen's Now that's that's data right. And look at this twenty eight million pounds of antibiotics use which is the equivalent of every man woman and child taking a prescription of as a mice and every two days. There's a lot of an About extent fed to animals. And that is creating a widespread issue of not a so and resistant Staphylococcus aureus resistance. Merson. But this is where it really starts getting interesting now. I'm going to bring this back around to to the vague and equate grown issue. Maybe in a way that might surprise you but I'm first off. I don't think it's fair or just for me as a farmer. To be contributing to this. Unhealthy situation. I want to make sure that my customers to buy my food. That I'm giving them the best product that I possibly can that they don't have to worry that hidden behind that beautiful green or red or whatever color skin that they see. Might be talks and that could be negatively affecting their health and noticed this. This right here. Was one of the. One of the clues or keys. That have changed the way science is looking at human health. They believe that antibiotics This is from Environmental Health News. May have contributed to the explosive rise in asthma and allergies and children over the last twenty years. And you can find this in Scientific American you can find it in many many sources it's becoming widely accepted actually and. This is from Scientific American recently the inadvertent destruction of what. Beneficial microbes. By the use of antibiotics. May be leading to an increase in auto immune disorders. Think rheumatoid arthritis think M.S. think a whole range of diseases. As well as obesity and. I can't I can't avoid telling this particular story because this was A.S.U. Arizona State University and. From my home state. And two thousand and twelve. They did a joint project the Johns Hopkins. And what they did. Is and this whole problem that we're dealing with antibiotic resistance. There was a particular. Ana biotic that that. That the health community. Had decided to keep as a last line of resistance against these infected bacterias that were resistant. And that was Flora queen alone. And so they were noticing. So they have banned its use to animal feed. So they noticed that resistance was beginning to crop up. So they began to question are the farmers being honest and complying with the law and not using this product. And of course they couldn't go to the farmers and asked them if they were using it or not because if they were willing to break the law to use that they'd be willing to say no they did. So they decided to take feathers from chickens. Around the country and and see if it was present in the feathers. Because if it was. That means that it was fed to the animal. So they sent out. The they sent out. The samples to the lab and the loud came back and said you know what. In that same test. We offer a panel of other tests as well and I just floor queen alone. But we will let you test for a bunch of other things to. No additional cost you want that. And the researchers from Johns Hopkins and asked you said Sure why not. So what they did is they found out that all the samples had between two and ten and to biotics in the feathers. OK. Eight of the twelve samples contain the band antibiotic. Floor queen alone. But this is what's really interesting. It was so high that it was able to induce an about it resistance in Tass and ten of the twelve samples. Had caffeine. So they're asking the question. Why is there caffeine in the chicken feathers. Well the farmers are feeding caffeine to the chickens why would they be doing that. Well. Because they needed the chickens to gain weight. And so they fed them. Caffeine. In order to keep them awake. So they would eat more makes you ask the question of that's what happens to humans to our snow study is looked at that that I know of. But. With all that caffeine they were feeding. They discovered that there was also Tylenol. Benadryl and why were they feeding Benadryl. Because they had to calm the chickens down from the jittery nerves that they were getting from you know they're packing each other and. And so on so for this rather feeding time on on Benadryl and noticed that one. Pose that they were fab in to feed the chickens. Antidepressants. Because you know you start with one thing and then you've got to kind of just keep adding It's kind of what happens to humans as well start having doubt a bunch of other things. So. I I've gotten. I've gotten a. A lot of thought over. That particular study because I think it opens the question. What is in your food that you don't know what are things what is in there that you know we can focus on nutrient dense food. And I think that's great but what might be writing along with that. If our nutrient program is farmers. Includes animal products like maneuvers that say. You would not expect that there would be Prozac and Benadryl and Tylenol and caffeine and and. You know some of these other things in there as well this is one of my favorite pictures of my number two granddaughter. She's very happy baby she spent a lot of time she lived in Arizona. And she spent a lot of time playing in the dirt and Discover magazine. Few years back ran a feature article is dirt the new Prozac. And what they discovered is that there is a bacteria in soil. Mycobacterium boquet. That has the same effect on the human brain. As Prozac. Anti-depressant mood altering mood improving. Substance. As a result of that it. It's very interesting and I don't have the time to go into it. But the reason that I'm putting the sin here is because that is closely allied with the human microbiome. I don't know how many of you familiar with the human microbiome. But recently. We discovered and fact I think it was one of the science magazines actually came out with headlines you are ninety percent. Bacteria and on a ten percent human. And that's because you have ten times as many bacteria cells that are associated with you. Intimately associated with your body as there are human cells and initially. You know the theory was for many many years ever since Louis Pasture. Discovered the whole the whole germ thing. We just associated. We just assumed that they were there for the ride. And we assume that the best thing you could do was to get rid of them. And sterilize everything and use. Anti-bacterial soap and. And all kinds of things like that. And now we have discovered that that is absolutely not the fact there is a huge impact. In fact we have discovered that RIM and I'll say. Scientists are are just beginning to unlock the. The impact of the bacteria on your body. Notice this one here. It's a style bas that I got floor is essential in maintaining a strong immune system and protecting us against disease. We thought the bacteria was contributing to our disease. But we've now discovered that the bacteria the good bacteria. Protect us against disease. But notice this by looking at the bacteria in your gut. They can determine with ninety percent accuracy. Whether the individual is obese. Orleans. Now you think about the ramifications of that. OK. By looking at the bacteria that are union tough time. They can tell by the composition of those. And the number of them. Whether you are fat or skinny. And the question is why. And I'll get to that a minute. Got bacteria directly stimulate afferent neurons. Of the enter Ignore of a system to send signals to the brain via the nervous system in other words. Bacteria are communicating directly with your brain. Through these varied mechanisms got microbes. Shape. The architecture of one. Sleep. So. Have you noticed that in some the is becoming a much bigger problem today. You know obesity is becoming a bigger problem. Auto immune disorders are becoming a bigger problem when I was a kid I knew of only one person in my entire growing up years. Who had asked Mom I never met anybody that I had that had an allergy. And today it's like everybody's got either an allergy asthma or something and. So we're beginning to zero in on the possibility that a big factor involved in that is the composition of the human micro biome that is the. That is the bacterial ecosystem. That's a that's a part of you. They influence memory mood cognition that's you thinking processes and are clinically and therapeutically relevant to a range of disorders including alcoholism. Chronic fatigue. Teague syndrome. Fibre mile G.-A and Russell's leg syndrome. And I cut the article off there because it continued on. But you notice. It affects your thinking and effects addictions. Like and. We saw that it is associated with obesity and things like that. Now. One of the things that is really interesting in animal studies. They have found that by changing the bacteria in the GOT of animals. They can affect their risk taking ability. So you can take a a a mouse for example. And and grow it in a sterile environment. And then introduce one type of bacteria. And you'll get the mouse doing things that a mouse would consider. Absolutely crazy. Now I want. I want to dwell on this for just a moment because I know we don't have much time as anybody noticed that young people today are participating in high risk behaviors. Why would somebody do some of the extreme sports they call it. The some of the risky things that people do I mean course I'm old so I say why would I. Why would you want to do something risky but when I was young maybe I did but. But I want to bring this around to something really really important. And that is at the end of time. Revelation fourteen tells us that every human being without exception. God is going to ensure that every human being comes to a point where they are going to decide. Personally. Individually and in tensional a. Whether to be saved or lost. Revelation fourteen the third angel's message says that that every person is going to hear this message that if they receive the mark of the beast. They are going to want. Twenty drink of the wine of the wrath of God's plan anyway. Because displeasure and. You're going to receive the plagues and so on. Now. If you choose to do that. That is a high risk activity. Choosing to receive the mark of the beast with an intelligent. Intentional and clear understanding of the consequences being willing to do that is risky and. I think that there is an intentional part of the intentional action on the part of the devil. To so alter the human organism that we are going to be willing to engage in high risk activities. And we are discovering that. What we eat. Doesn't just affect our health through the simplistic mechanisms that we've been believing for decades. But what we eat is changing the composition of our got bacteria which communicate with the human brain. And consequently result in many different things happening including your belly to think clearly including your ability to engage in high risk activities. Now. This one here. Researchers from the University of California Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico. Found that the microbes living in our digestive tracts. Rather than passively living off whatever we happen to consume. In other words. This was in specific to sugar cravings. You crave sugar not because you like the taste of sugar but because you have microbes in your gut. Need sugar. And they stimulates and a nervous system of you to to feel like you crave sugar. Because they need. And then says while the exact mechanism is still unknown. They believe that they signal that now. This goes on and and explains that more fully. But I would like to I'd like to route that back around to the whole began to click grown thing. By bringing these several pieces together. Connecting the dots. OK. Antibiotics. By definition. Are bacteria killing. Chemicals. Sub lethal doses of antibiotics. Will change the composition of you've got bacteria. And I have studies that I have time to put up there to show that. So you eat food that contains antibiotics. And you're going to have a different composition of bacteria and you've got now we just looked at several ramifications of that obesity are minda sorters asthma allergies and cetera. As well as changes to thinking and changes to your cravings and changes to your risk taking levels. So to me this is not just interesting. This is really important to particularly the Seventh Day Adventists who understand what time in earth's history we're living in. And so you say you know what if I am using substances. In my farming practices. If I'm introducing. And just as a side note they're glad for say the active ingredient and Roundup is patented recently. As an antibiotic. It is effective as an antibiotic. Out one hundred parts per million. The U.S.D.A. allow those levels two or three times that. In the food and the the tests that they've done. Show. Levels. Several times. What is allowed in the food that you eat. Yes. Life a saint. Life A saint is the active ingredient in Round up there beside roundup. OK. So one of the things that we didn't know until very recently. Is that many crops that are not. Roundup Ready and that they actually apply. Now to for we control. They actually spray with round up in order to desiccate the crop. So that it can be ready to harvest. Much of you. We need another small grains and lagoons bins lentils garbanzos etc are often sprayed especially in northern climates. With life to say that in order to speed the drying of the crops they can harvest it and get off the field. Before the fall rains come. So there are reasons to be consuming organic food. There are reasons to be consuming. Began to click grown food to make sure that you are not using these. These are not getting these these unwanted toxins in and I've only looked at A and A. Yes I did. I did mention that but since my wife brought that up again our reinforce the fact that the cheapest and most plentiful. Fertilizers on the market are often poultry base and. And any of them are in the same boat but. So just watch out for that you can be thinking that you're growing your own healthy food. Yourself. And you have a Trojan horse you know you're bringing the anime in through the gate. And this. And this thing that you're worshipping your own homegrown food so make sure that you know what you're putting on your food. I'd like to I'd like to kind of cover. To question the elephant in the room. Can you successfully grow. The Gannett clay and get good results. And I would like to just look at nature. If you go into these beautiful. Rain forests. And you look here this is a lot of picture I took from in a forest in Michigan. The colors not very good because of the projector. But the you you see anywhere there's a rain forest. You'll see. Losh undergrowth coming up every year. What is a growing on in nature. The Roots. First of the trees. And then of course than your plants they go down into the soil and trees go down many feet. And they bring up the minerals that the that the cycle of water has as leads down deeper. And they put it into the leaves. Along with the carbon that comes from the photosynthesis process. And the end of the year. Those leaves fall down and form a a pad of rich. Organic matter. At the surface of the soil. Microbes break that down and. There are free living many free living. Nitrifying bacteria. And if there's enough. Organic matter. They are able to produce nitrogen. Without being associated with the goons. And that's what happens in nature. You don't see. Truckloads of chemical fertilizers or are maneuvers being put out in the forest. And yet you see an abundance of. Fertility. So what we started doing is using that mill that we had. But we don't have to we can you can use. Alfalfa pellets that you buy is long as makeshift You know what's in it. We started. Processing. We started by by pelletised ing our waste mater leaves. And that's kind of what got us into it. And as we began to research in March we put that on there. And it breaks down from the irrigation that we apply. And. You can see there's a crop of tomatoes. We get we get to reflect. Growth Yes. That's a good question the question is how is the alfalfa grown as an organic the national again and program does not require us to use organic organic feedstocks which is one of the reasons of course why the whole. When you were thinking be a problem even Or again it farms. But. But we check with our sources of alfalfa. To make sure that the that the alfalfa is non G.M.O. and. They don't spray. Alfalfa with much. By the time the only time this Braille self is that the first. When they're getting a style that's nice before they cut it. So by the time it gets into the bad time it gets into regular production they don't need to to spray it. Yes. It is usually not. They released here. Well it's been a controversy for several years but they find the released in the last two years a G.M.O. a version of alfalfa but it has not taken off at this point. Excessively very limited usage particular in California where. And that's because the see to so expensive. And I hope to keep it that way. If you are a farmer you have to check with the organic certifier with everything you put on so. Some organic certifying agencies do not allow non-organic alfalfa ours ours does allow that. And our. And we use. These other things as well. Another picture of of our tomato crop and just before I say anything more about that which is a little bit off of the Gannett topic. Are there any other questions about the whole things that I've said about began actually growing yes. We could grow tomatoes right away we just couldn't grow. Heirloom tomatoes. So what we did. Actually. It's a little known fact and that's because we developed that we figured out a way to organically treat. The to Manama's expires. And cure. And we've used it to treat other viruses plant viruses as well successfully so. We are now growing. Heirloom tomatoes again but before than we. We had to stop for several years growing the heirloom varieties. Yes. On camera. Yeah but I'd be happy to share with you after the. After the meeting I'd be happy to is totally legitimate. I just don't want to. It's proprietary so I don't want to just get it all over the place. But we've had good success in more than one place. As well. So the any other questions. These are. Tomatoes on the vine cluster tomatoes. The variety of this one is probably. Might be succession. One of the main varieties that I grow. I'm not sure that when actually looks more like Korans from the writer. Anyway. The protests make a difference. That particular variety by the looks of it I think it's probably a writer they call clearance. It's from derived are seeds. But that's not one that you can build a fine very readily because the tomato. Fridays that are grown and and hard for house production. Are all European varieties. Generally and the seed is very expensive like anywhere from fifty cents to a dollar a seed. And so it's not generally available today. To home gardeners because most people aren't interested in paying that you can find them online but. But it's. It is very expensive C.D.'s. What we what we grow in is. Compost of pecan shell compost and pick on shall we have a lot of pecans and I really I'm very fond of the physical properties. Pick on Shell. It. It stays. It keeps its physical structure from for several years. As opposed to other organic substrates like wood based things for example that to break down fairly quickly. Yeah then we have. We have the soil underneath it and. And the other questions. The. Yes. Yes. We have a a wire cable that's out about the twelve foot fourteen foot level and. You can see here. There's a string. And there's a specially made. Wire hook that holds on to that wire that you can still move freely. That that holds and you can wind that up on it. Yes. And it's has. It's a very efficient method of doing it but there's a lot of weight and regular way how wires break during the times of year one. When the load on the plants gets high. Unfortunately. Yes. That's a very good question. Question is are there any types that you can save the seed that you grow in and high tunnels. I mean and hothouse and. When I was taking AG in college. They made it very clear to us that you can't save hybrid seat. Because F one. First generation. Hybrid seed will not breed true. When you take the seed so that's why there's a big interest an open pollinated varieties. Now. Hi Brad. Hybridization is not a particularly. No particular rocket science. All they're doing is controlling the parent lines that's all it is hybridisation happens in nature every day. It's just you don't know what. What parent line it was in hybrids they control the Parent Line. And so they take parent and join with parent baby and. And they offspring as parents see with these expensive seeds. The reason they can charge that in the reason they do charge that is because they have. They have bred for a very wide range of plant characterization. Characteristics. For example. On the tomato. This part right here is called the Calix. OK. And tomatoes on the vine. That Calix needs to be as as thick as possible so that when you when you harvest at you you're cutting off the whole this whole cluster of tomatoes this whole cluster of committed to cutting it off there. And you're sending it to the store. That way and it gives the consumer the impression that it's a fresher tomato. But in order to have that impression that Calix asked to stay green for it to stay green it needs to be thick. So that it doesn't dry out very quickly. So they breed for that they breed for the angle of the leaf on the plant. They breed for the shape of the truss. The way the the. The way the fruit. Sit on it. They breed for so many things so in order to get those. Many many characterised characteristics. There. They have to have very clean parent lines. Because of those very clean parent lines. Guess what when you take and save the seed from that it breeds pretty true. Because they've got clean parent lines. It's not because that's hybridized or not hybridized it's because of how they're bred the parent lines. And so we use almost exclusively save seeds for our crops. Yes. Yeah we do we try to keep at least four clusters exposed. On the summertime we lot more leaves stay on because we're trying to keep the crop a school as possible in the in the winter time we try to expose them more to get more uniform right printing. And to reduce incident of the try to send other other fungal diseases. So the plants are generally tend to twelve feet tall so it looks like there's a lot exposed. But if you're to see the entire plant. There's a lot of leaves there still yes. How far do I plan the them apart. I put it this way. We have a rose. Six feet on center and we train them into two into two under two wires. Kate to create whiter row. We are targeting. About three point three square feet per plant in the conditions that we have. So that's three had said three plants. Per square metre so about three point three square feet per plant. And so you can. You can adjusted our Rosa six feet wide and so that means that they're going to be. We put our plants at about eight ten inches. Ten inches apart from like that and they're OK. I think that where we grow we grow. A wide range of things. I just want to show you here this is our farm box program these are some of the things that we grow. This is some of the produce we just took a picture of here. That we grow. Began to Clay. And we get fantastic results. Great looking produce healthy produce high yielding produce growing and began to clean fact one of the big problems that we had I believe or not is that is that we started having some problems with our crop. And so I sent off. Soil tests and the nutrient levels are so high in the soil that's beginning to cause problems. So we've had to cut back on on our fertility program. So there's a. There are many benefits. Many benefits. And I think that of people use. I'd be happy. Yes. Well we were having. We were having high E.C. problems. OK. E.C.. Now means the salt levels are getting so high in the soil because of fertility. And so we had to. We had to cut back on on our fertility. Yes. We make. We have tried a number of different things peanut meal. Beings. Tomato leaves and alfalfa. And. We have found that as long as it's a plant in fact. I wish that I had time to take splaying some of that to people who were interested in knowing it but most were not when I was that at Cal State. I actually came across a book that had one of these things I mean somebody was a real mad scientist I mean they went through and talk and dead tissue samples on about every plant that they could find. And I mean they didn't just do your basic ag chemicals. They want and looked at gold and silver and strontium and every one of the elements on the chart and put them in this book. And what I discovered that was interesting is that most plants have a very similar nutrient profile. Very similar levels of nitrogen potassium phosphorus calcium anger nice boy are on at such a very similar. So when you feed plants to plants this way God designed it. And so you actually have generally a family balance nutrient profile as long as you are feeding plants the plants where you can use grass clippings. You know. Bury your compost and strips in your garden. And then breaks down over the next several months. And the next year you plant there. And you've got a lot of nutrients that you've put in there there's a lot of things you can do yes. If you're out the meeting that I was out this morning. We grow very intensively and. And I'll maintain my numbers it's two and a half acres. And we're getting a half million pounds of product off of two and a half. Makers and. And I think it's actually probably higher than that but we push. Then we push the nutrition. In order to get to get where we're going. Six crops a year on many things are just just bang bang bang and yes we do rotate and so on like said this morning. But because of that. I was more worried than I should have been that we would run out of nutrients because we're pushing it. So you know it's not that hard to gauge specially if you do a tissue test and so I'll test and stuff like that. It's not that hard to gauge and. Periodic play. Some good. Irrigation that flushes out whatever might be accumulating and there's probably a good thing to do just flush it out. Goes in there and then deep rooted plants are going to pull him back up and put a dent in their lives. All right. I've gone I think a few minutes beyond what I was supposed to. But thank you again. And bless you gardening efforts. This media was brought to you by audio. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio. To listen to more sermon. Leave or.

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