Dave discusses organic growing techniques with Lookout Farm manager John Burns.
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David Epstein: Alright, today we are here at Lookout Farm and Natick, Massachusetts. Actually one of the oldest continually operated farms in the entire country, we were going to be talking about organic gardening and we are going to bring in John Burns and John ensure the farms. We are going to ask him some questions today about just how they do organic gardening and what is organic protose? So John is here and we are staying in the tomatoes, so tell me when you say that these are organic, I am going to be buying these on August. What is that mean that they are organic?
John Burns: Everything that you see out here is free of any fertilizers or any pesticides.
David Epstein: You have got a tomato horn worm or aphids, what do you do?
John Burns: We just let it go. We do not use any kind of treatment on these plants either out here on the outside fields or in our 17 green houses. We just have from out in the ground if they sited to affect the other plants.
David Epstein: Any suggestion of your home owner and you want to do organic gardening are there—because if I had ten plants and I few get affect and I start ripping them out, I have no tomatoes.
John Burns: Well, there are certainly products available that is certified organic that you could use on these plants if you wanted too and you would still remain completely organic.
David Epstein: So you are just choosing not to use any pesticides or chemicals or anything like that?
John Burns: Exactly, once you use will bring our own organic compost in, we will treat the soil, we never treat any of the plants.
David Epstein: And what do you do during the course of the year as these plants maturing, any suggestions for folks if they have for example tomatoes or other vegetables that they are going.
John Burns: What we have done here is we have the raise beds.
David Epstein: Okay.
John Burns: We cover with plastic to keep the weeds down so the nutrients from the soil really hit the plant and you know just keep it regularly watered. We have the irrigation on every plant here on the farm.
David Epstein: To see if the plastic down first and then the tomatoes.
John Burns: Once the beds are raise, we will put down the plastic and as we put in the plants, we have this little hand digger we have just pop it into the plastic, pop the plant in and there you go.
David Epstein: Why raise the beds? What is the advantage there?
John Burns: We like to rise to beds so that it gets to prop room out of rain and you know you do not have pounding here.
David Epstein: Great, thanks a lot John.
John: My pleasure.
David Epstein: You can just absolutely use nothing and call yourself organic but there are products available that you are still able to use that allow you to call yourself organic. Come back often here at growingwisdom.com for our latest tips.