Farm Uses Cheap Fertilizer for Best Long Term Investment in Soil

Alright! This is John Kohler at
today I have another exciting episode for you coming out here from Shelburne, Vermont,
and the reason why we’re here today is actually we’re at Shelburne Farms. And this is an
old-school estate, probably like, you know, founded in like, I don’t know, the 1800’s
or something crazy; and it was a private estate of like some rich people maybe the Vanderbilt’s
or something, and now it’s actually, the heirs of that whole clan, put this into a non-profit
so it’s kind of like a park but it’s, it’s a non-profit you could visit, check out. They
have an inn that you can stay at, they actually serve food at the inn that they grew here,
on site, they also have a working dairy; but the reason why I’m here today is to show you
guys the fruit and vegetable farm that they have here, the market farm, that they have
here at Shelburne Farms. And I’m going to show you guys, you know, how they add fertility,
and bring fertility, to their soil here in Vermont. So without further ado, we’re going
to go ahead and drive into this huge estate, and try to find the market farm. And so now I’ve found the market garden here
at Shelburne Farms and, here it is right here, and this is where they actually grow the food
for the inn, on site, and they have like, you know, high end restaurant where they actually
grow the food here and use it in the restaurant, that’s probably one of the main ways this
food is used. Another way is they have a C.S.A. program, so local people can actually get
a share and purchase, you know, a share and get the food that was grown here. And probably
they sell at the Shelburne Farmer’s Market, you know, and they sell the excess food here.
So what I want to do in this episode for you guys is actually show you guys, you know,
some of the things that are growing, the crops that are growing, and how they’re growing,
and how they’re doing it; and also more importantly, you know, their fertility programs, because
know that’s a big question for a lot of you guys is ‘What kind of fertilizer do you use
to grow your plants?’ So they’re using some of the best fertilizers that I think will
work the best for you guys, and they’re actually doing it successfully here on a large commercial
scale. So then I guess any case. Let’s go ahead and head into some of these hoop houses,
and show you guys what’s growing on inside. So they have about five hoop houses here,
and here is just one of them. They have a lot of, you know, flowers growing so these
are non-edible for cut flower arrangements, and if you’re in business, you know, and selling
fruits and veggies, I want to encourage you guys to grow some cut flowers because there’s
a lot of money in cut flowers and cut flowers one of the worst, things you could buy at
the store because they’re often imported and they use lots of chemicals and pesticides
to grow cut flowers that are imported and then they’re shipped all the way to America.
And you could easily grow them, you know, just in a hoop house or just out in the field.
And so here they have part of their market farm, and you can see they have some beautiful
basil, some beautiful sunflowers here growing, looks like they’ve got some maybe, cabbage,
over yonder. They’re using basically just a drift irrigation, and they’re enriching
the soil that they’re growing in. But what I want to show you guys is actually in this
hoop house here and, let me tell you guys, if you live in Vermont or North-eastern United
States, one of the things that you’ve got to put on your list is a hoop house. This
is a hoop house. Actually this is on a track so this is pretty smart, they could actually
roll it down to this side or that side, and this allows you to extend your short growing
season here in the Northeast. Luckily I have a nice long growing season, but the growing
season here is really short and by using a hoop house you can grow crops, even in the
wintertime when it’s snowing outside, when you otherwise couldn’t. Now I wouldn’t be
growing tomatoes in the winter, but you could still grow things like some of the brassicas,
and leeks, cabbage, kale, that are, you know, more cool tolerant. And uh, check out inside
this greenhouse here. Look at this. They got rows in row of nice large tomatoes here. And
we could just walk down one of these aisles. Look all these tomatoes here, I mean, just
totally red, ripe, juicy. Nice large tomatoes. And no doubt this is due to, partly, the variety
which they are growing, a hybrid variety that’s really large but also, it’s the fertility
in the soil, and they basically also have this, mulched, to retain the water. So let
me see if we could go ahead and get a nice large tomato, yeah, some of these things are
huge. I think actually want to go over like one more aisle to the Cherry tomatoes and
show you guys those, I mean, look at this, I mean, they’re just tomatoes for days. And
one of the things the manager here told me is that, he’s growing these hybrid tomatoes
that produce like, I don’t know, fifty pounds per plant per season, versus like, certain
heirlooms might only grow ten pounds so he’s really, you know, as much as he believes in
growing heirlooms, and he likes eating heirlooms, and it tastes better, he’s really growing
for quantity, and this is what happens in commercial agriculture sometimes unfortunately.
This is a business, and they’ve got to make a business out of it, and they’ve got to be
able to grow enough food to meet the demand. And if you’re growing, you know, heirlooms,
you might not be able to do that. So over here you could see we got, you know,
just, they’ve really single stemmed up very nicely, different cherry tomatoes and, you
know, up at the top growth, that’s where we’re really going to see a lot of tomatoes coming
on because, kind of down lower, it’s kind of been picked through, and that what I want
to do next for you guys actually do a Brix test. So I’ve done Brix testing before on
my show, some you guys may be familiar, some you guys may not be familiar. But this is
a Brix meter, or refractometer, and what the brix meter does is, it measures the total
brix, and people think of brix as sugar content but it’s a lot more than just the sugar content.
It’s the sugar content combined with the protein, and also the minerals that are very important.
So things with the higher brix will taste better, they’re going to have better storage
attributes, and just be better for you. So let’s go ahead and -unfortunately, you know,
if you get, -you’ve all tasted tomatoes out of the store, and they’re picked too early,
they’re still pink, they’re not deep red, they don’t taste good; they’re going to have
a lower brix. So, there’s a standardized chart here that is put out by International Agri-labs.
And on this chart, it goes over the refractive index of crop juices, and they have different
vegetables and fruits on here. And we’re going to go ahead and go down to the tomatoes over
here. You know, tomatoes, a poor tomato will read four on the brix, an average tomato read
six on the brix, and a good tomato will read eight on the brix, and an excellent tomato
will read twelve on the brix. So let’s go ahead and check out, this specific cherry
tomato. Now I do want to let you guys know that although there are standardized numbers
on the brix chart, you know, obviously some cherry tomatoes that are sweeter are going
to have a different range and higher than a standard large sized tomato. The other thing,
you want to make sure you try to get like a nice deep red tomato, so we’re gonna maybe
try to reach up here and get a nice red one. And we’re just going to go ahead and pierce
the skin and get a little bit of a juice on there, and close our little lid. And we’re
going to look at this through the light. All right so that’s reading about at ten. So a
ten on the list here, that’s actually right between good and excellent. So these are actually
quite good tomatoes. No doubt having to do with the growing practices, but also the variety.
So what I really want to share with you guys in this episode is, how they’re fertilizing,
and how they’re making high quality tomatoes here because, they have several different
inputs, you know, a lot of them, some of them they actually produce on site, and some of
them they actually import from local resources. So maybe let’s go ahead over to the shed to
see if we could find the bag fertilizers that they might be using. All right so here in the shed they have bag
fertilizers still hanging out here, I guess over there they’ve got some sulfur, some Epsom
salt, and actually some other kind of, 464 nutrients made out of different, organic plant
materials and animal products. They also have, this stuff right here, the bone char and,
some NOFA VT custom blend organic fertilizer with no Chilean nitrate. I was also told by
the farm manager they use things like, peanut meal, to enrich the farm here. And now they
all use these, like the bag fertilizers, in smaller quantities. They’re not like, putting
a ton of this stuff out because some of these bags of fertilizer can be quite expensive,
and that’s what I encourage you guys to do. Use some of the different bag products you
may think you may need, and that’s actually what I do, but the majority of the nutrition
shouldn’t come from a bag, it should actually come from you know local resources. So that’s
what I want to do, and show you guys next, you know, they’re creating their own compost
and using other local resources, to even make their compost better. So let’s go ahead and
check that out. So we’re walking on our way to check out the
compost and we’ve basically come across these rows and rows of different berries and berry-like
crops and check this out man, this is really cool. Many of you guys may never have seen
this. We got some raspberries here. You’re saying “John wait a second, those aren’t raspberries!
Those aren’t red!” Well, these are yellow raspberries. Raspberries come in all colors,
actually I’m growing ones that are actually like a black myself, these are yellow, let’s
see how they taste. Mmm, wow. That’s a good raspberry. Now I always want to encourage
you guys to grow diversity. That’s what they’re doing here, they don’t just have red raspberries
here, they also have yellow ones, they also have different kinds of berries. So this prevents
against crop failure – maybe something won’t produce this year, but another color will,
and they have all different kinds of different vegetables and fruiting summer crops here
growing at the same time to find out which ones will do the best, and also be able to
serve them, you know, to the customers here at the inn, and the CSA customers as well
as at the local farmer’s market. Let’s go ahead and head out and check out the compost. And now we’re in the area that they do all
the composting here at the farm. And you guys can see they have like, just a large pile
of the woodchips. Now, it’s quite unfortunate that they usually add the woodchips to the
food waste so they got the carbons and the nitrogens, that break down and form the compost,
and that they actually don’t really use the compost of the woodchips directly. So what
I would recommend is actually composting woodchips, since they have so much space is to just lay
him down and let them rot for a couple three years, and then after about three years you’re
going to want to, you know, take out the rich black soil that it creates. Of course you’re
going to want to add some rock dust and some mycorrhizal spores, maybe some mushrooms in
with the woodchips, to help it break down further and, that in my opinion is some of
the best, compost you can get which is the, you know, cold sourced, or cold processed,
without heat, fungal dominant and rich, wood chip compost. But what they’re doing here
is they take some of the wood chips from different tree trimmings, on site because, this property
is huge, and they mix it with some of the food scraps and evidently some of the foods
scraps still have some foods in there, because you can see all the seagulls there. So let’s
go ahead and go over to the compost and show you guys what they’re composting. So this is their compost and for the most
part, what they’re composting is all the waste from the inn that is preparing the food here.
So they’ve got not only the vegetable and fruit wastes, and whatnot, but they also have
things like, pieces of bone, and other stuff, so they’re composting, you know, animal products,
and vegetable products. I’m not a big fan of composting animal products myself, but
they add it in with the wood chips, and they turn it every once in a while. Now, this is
like normal composting procedure, but the thing they’re doing special is actually over
in their fish pile. It’s over there let me go ahead and show you guys the finished pile,
and show you the difference, and also, let you guys know what they’re adding, to make
their compost, much much better. Than just simply making compost. So this is the finished compost pile, and
this was already finished earlier in the season, they got it covered so it doesn’t all blow
away. And on the bottom here you can see the finished compost. And this stuff is pretty
good quality but you’ll notice this is a lot lighter in color than the compost that’s still
working, that I just showed you guys, and that’s because they’re adding a special ingredient
that I encourage all my viewers and all you guys that make compost to add this ingredient
your compost because it will make your compost work better, and what that is, that’s the
rock dust. So you want to add about twenty pounds of rock dust per one cubic yard of
composted material. And you want to do this before it actually starts heating up so do
it as you’re making your compost, add the rock just in, because the rock dust will actually
give a food source for the microbes, and they’re going to go crazy and digest your compost
quicker. Plus, in the end, you’re going to have the minerals of the rock dust, more available
for the plants when you put it in, and your compost is already going to be pre-inoculated
with the rock dust. So they get a lot of rock dust, half of it goes into the compost, and
half it just gets spread directly into the fields, to grow some healthy crops. So I guess
the next thing I want to do is I actually want to take you
up to one of the fields to show you guys how beautiful the vegetables look here. So now I want to share with you guys another
area of the garden and because they have so much space they could just, grow in certain
areas and leave certain areas fallow and actually, up top here they planted cover crops, which
is another way they add fertility to the soil. And surely if I had a lot of land I would
grow cover crops but because I live in a standard American tract home, I don’t have a lot of
space so I just want to have the most nutrient rich soil, and I don’t tend to do any cover
crops, because if I’m growing cover crops, that’s space that I’m now taking away from
food crops. So as you guys can see, this is just amazing, there’s rows and rows of different
kinds of vegetables, and even flowers. So let’s actually go up in there, and I’ll
show you guys my favourite vegetables to grow in the summer. So two of my favorite crops they’re growing
here that you don’t often see are: number one, these guys, these are known as the ground
cherries, and it might look like a tomatillo to you because it’s in a little wrapper but
it’s not a tomatillo, it’s related, and to get these right guys, you’re not going to
look on the plant, you’re going to actually look down on the ground. They actually fall
down when they’re completely ripe, and the husk usually turns like a little bit, you
know, brown or tan instead of green and then you could reveal the little fruit inside and
optimally this should be a little more yellow. So let me see if I can get one of these guys
that’s like, more yellow in here. All right here we go. So there’s one that’s halfway
decent. They remind you a little bit of a tomatillo but they’re actually quite sweet,
and I recommend these guys because just look at this, there’s so many different fruits
on here, this is so bountiful and productive, and they’re quite good. This I consider Nature’s
candy, you know, pre-wrapped for you. Another thing I like is just right next door here.
They’re getting some ‘PM’ or powdery mildew on it. And these are the lemon cucumbers.
So it looks like sometimes they let him get a little bit too big. I wouldn’t actually
eat these when they’re this big, what I would do is juice them because they’re quite good
juiced. So they’ve just been putting them aside, and they’re just kind of wasting them.
I think they should, I don’t know, give them away to somebody for juice or something.
But what you want to do is you want to harvest them when they’re young and baby, like this.
So here’s a mature one with better juice, here’s one really good for eating. It’s
a little bit dirty, so I’m gonna go ahead and wipe it off on my shirt. But the reason
why I like these lemon cucumbers is because, -a lot of you guys maybe never heard of them
before, unlike the regular standard Marketmore or large cucumbers with the green skin that
taste kind of bitter, these guys have no bitter flavour on the skin, and I really like that
a lot because I love to eat my cucumber skin. Crunchy like an apple, not quite as sweet
an apple, but definitely better than other cucumbers.
So another summer crop that I personally like to grow a lot is actually these guys right
here, peppers, and they have lots of peppers growing, different varieties, and I like peppers,
more than I like tomatoes, and it looks like they’re doing quite well here. Now, in my
opinion peppers are more nutritionally dense than tomatoes, as well as, especially if you’re
growing your own food, peppers, in general, cost more than tomatoes if you had to buy
them. So I want to always encourage you guys to grow what is expensive to buy. You know
I’ve seen organic peppers sometimes as much as like $8.99, $9.00 a pound, and tomatoes
are usually hovering around $3 a pound. So yet another reason to buy the peppers also
is, I find that the peppers store better for longer into the winter, whereas tomatoes tend
to rot a lot quicker. Plus, I love my dried peppers. Now besides the peppers I want to
show you guys over this side, you know, they’ve got a whole row of flowers. And these are
for cut flowers right, so they’re pretty, you know, and they’re not edible but, I want
to show you guys this right down here. This is how they’re keeping their flowers erect.
Now if you have problems with keeping your flowers erect, you might want to use something
like this, this is basically just the plastic fencing, that they put some stakes up, and
this basically allows the flowers to stand up and out of the way instead of fall over.
This could also be a very useful technique for growing something like peppers that you
want to stand up, instead of them having to fall over. Really cheap, inexpensive simple
solution to a common problem. Now the other thing they’re doing here is, you can see,
they’ve got this black plastic down on the ground, and they do that because this allows
them to lengthen their growing season. So, because it gets cool here, and doesn’t warm
up too quickly in the springtime, putting the black plastic down will allow them to
heat the soil up a little bit sooner, so that they could be growing, that much sooner. Also
it helps with moisture retention because the drip irrigation is actually below the plastic
so that it’s going to hold more water. So yes, I think this can work in a system like
this, especially with the row crops. Looks like it’s doing great. I guess the last thing
I’d like to do is actually go over to one more area of the garden, where they’re growing,
mostly, leafy greens All right so now we’re in another area of
the farm and if you guys can check this out, they’ve got like little hoops over their beds,
over the rows, and this will keep the bugs out. So a lot of times I get e-mails – ‘John
how do I keep the bugs out?’ Well, just put like some remade fabric, with some steel
support structures, and just enclose everything so that the bugs can’t get your stuff. Behind
that they have other crops actually, that are growing really nicely, and I really like
here that they’re just growing more than just the standard green lettuce or green vegetables.
They’ve got, red lettuces, and different kinds of red beets that are red stemmed, and chard;
and they have a whole spectrum of different kinds of leafy green vegetables growing. And
I want to encourage you guys to grow a variety of the leafy green vegetables. Now, one of
the coolest plants that are growing is actually, -you can’t see but it’s way back there,
it’s actually known as brussel sprouts, and those they’ll be harvesting actually,
through December, through Christmas Day, even if there is snow because it is an established
plant and if it doesn’t get too cold, the plant will survive and actually, with the
cool temperatures, the brussel sprouts and as well as the leaves which are edible, get
a lot sweeter and they are a lot more delicious to eat. So, no matter what time of year it
is, depending where you live, you always want to have something growing for the next season,
and for things coming up. So they have even new plant starts in their greenhouse, they’re
starting now to plant out here, within the next few weeks. The next thing I want to do
is actually I want to go ahead and interview Josh, the farm manager here, to talk about
more about his fertility program and some of the benefits he’s had from using the stuff
like the rock dust. So now we’re here with Josh Carter, the
market garden manager here at Shelburne Farms, and we’re just going to go ahead and ask
him some questions regarding his fertility program because as you guys saw, you know,
he uses the rock dust, the compost, and you know some small amounts of bag products, to
add fertility to the garden and, one of the main things about this episode is, he’s
using the rock dust, and it’s not a lot of commercial, large scale operations like this
that are using the rock dust yet, and I believe that needs to change. So we’re going to ask
him, and talk to him about this. John: So, Josh, why did you decide to start
using the rock dust, and, getting that into the soil? Josh: Sure. Well our fertility plan here is,
it’s twofold; it’s one: that I want to grow crops this year, so I want to make sure that
the plants have all the nutrients they need, right now, so that I can harvest lots of potatoes
and tomatoes, and do a really good job, this season. We’re also thinking, five seasons
down the road, ten seasons down the road, and every time that you grow those crops you
just have to buy fertilizer every year to make sure that you’re feeding the plants,
or you’re feeding the soil to grow the plants. But with rock dust you kind of -you’re playing
the long range game, so that you’re, you know, bringing in more material, this ground find
rock dust and, it’s not available right away to the plants and so that’s why I think a
lot of commercial farmers are, apprehensive about spending money on things that aren’t
going to grow plants right away. It’s plants that I want to grow in five years, and ten
years, that I’m building the soil fertility, I’m filling this gas tank up so that when
I want to plant vegetables ten years from now, that I don’t maybe have to buy as much
fertilizer, in these bags, from who knows where, you know, of miscellaneous quality;
by using rock dust and adding that, every year to the soil, that I’m really thinking
that in five, ten years from now, I won’t have to spend as much in fertilizer. John: Right. So he’s putting literally money
in the bank by banking on the rocks and putting it in the ground. Let’s talk about actually
the soil fertility here on the property, as you got it, because I mean this was used for,
you know, farm and, how is the soil here? And is it nutritious or not? And did that
play a factor in choosing to use the rock dust? Josh: Certainly. So we took soil tests to
get an idea of, what sort of minerals do we have in the soil and, some things like calcium,
we have lots of, it’s a limestone soil here, but things like potassium and magnesium, we’re
short on. So yeah I have to fertilize with potassium and magnesium every year. But I’m
buying these rock dusts that have potassium, magnesium, a lot of micronutrients in it too
that we kind of, overlook, in commercial agriculture, that are helping build the soil. So yeah,
I’m paying attention to specific nutrients in my soil that these rock dusts can add,
so that, you know like I said, five, ten years down the road, I don’t have to input the fertility,
that it’s right there in the soil, the microbes are going to do the work for me, and I can
just put the plants in the ground and hopefully they’ll grow. John: Yeah, they look like they’re growing
great, as you guys saw; and so I want to talk about how you apply, the rock dust. So you
guys saw in the video that he actually applies the rock dust actually, to the compost that
he makes, and then he also adds it into the soil as he plants, or before he plants. So
do you want to talk about why you do each of those different ones? And why not just
one or the other? Josh: Certainly. It’s mostly logistics, that
I want to get lots of material on the ground. I’m dealing with, you know, we did a calculation,
fifty four tons of material. Which is a huge amount of material. So, it’s hard to get all
the material on the ground this time of year, so we usually spread it in the fall. We add
about half of it, to our compost that’s ready to go into the fields, for next year’s fertility.
Some of the compost isn’t quite ready to go at the end of the year so we add that rocked
dust right into the compost and basically inoculate that compost, where all those microbes
are, that are breaking down all that organic matter. We throw in some rock dust and they’re
going to be super happy to get that too because they’re going to be digesting that. We’ll
spread that, the following year, and, so all those microbes in the rock dust, well some
of them at least, are going to be more available to the plants. So we need to get some out
on the field, and then we want to add some to our compost so that next year we spread
that, it’s more available to the plants. John: That’s awesome. So, let’s talk about,
you know, you bought fifty four tons of the rock dust? Is that right? Josh: That’s about right, yeah. John: Wow So, I mean, the thing is, luckily
where we are here, he has actually local sources of rock dust, -well actually he sourced it
from, and literally it’s like what? Pennies a pound, for the rock dust?
So is this a much better, you know, dollar spent for fertilizer than other bag products
that may cost, you know, $1.50, 30 cents a pound? Josh: Yeah if you’re doing your economics
over a longer period of time then certainly the payback is, it’s gonna be there, because
you’re spending so little per weight of material, compared to a fifty pound bag of fertilizer.
What you really need though, is to pay attention to the soil, because you need that biology
in the soil, you need those microbes in the soil, so you need to take care of the soil,
because that rock dust will just sit there, unless you have the microbes to digest it.
So we have to make sure that we’re fostering those microbes too. But certainly, it’s cost
effective, in the long term. John: Yes I mean this is on a large scale
obviously, for home gardeners you’re going to buy a fifty pound bag or thirty five pounds
through the mail, it definitely could get a lot more than pennies a pound. Usually if
you’ve got a mail order, it’s maybe around a dollar a pound, maybe a bit less. So Josh,
another factor you talked about was the microbes. Besides rocked dust, you know, microbes are
essential to plant life and, how do you encourage the microbial growth in your soil so that
the rock dust works efficiently, and your plants are able to absorb and get all the
nutrients they need? Josh: So we’re trying to build organic matter
in our soil. So the organic matter is the living, decaying, part of the soil, that the
microbes are feeding on. So you always need to make sure that the microbes are getting
fed. We’re feeding them our compost, and then we’re also keeping the soil covered with cover
crops. So we just see that our fall cover crops -peas and oats, and vetch and rye will
go in soon. So that’s going to cover the soil, and as the plants grow about the ground and
photosynthesize, the roots, below the ground, are sloughing off into the soil, feeding the
microbes with sugars so that they have something to eat, and it’s also covering them. You
don’t want your microbes in your soil, bare and exposed, you know, because nothing in
life wants to be so exposed like a desert, you want it to be nice and covered so you
want something green on there all the time. John: Awesome. So you talked a little bit
earlier about rock dust as a long term investment, and I know now you’ve been doing this for
about what? Five years, with the rock dust? So, what have you seen as some of the improvements
that you’ve seen just within these five years, even maybe before five years, maybe even after
a year or two, have you seen any improvements in the crops and the yield and whatever you’re
growing and, -what is it? What’s happening? Josh: Certainly. Our yields have gone up,
the quality of produce has gone up too so, we’re not just harvesting, you know, like
a big head of cabbage, we’re harvesting a cabbage that you can put into storage and
go back, three weeks, four weeks later, and pull it out, and it’s still a nice head of
cabbage. So it’s increasing, not only the quantity of the yield, but it’s the quality
of the produce too that’s increasing, by making sure that that plant has the food that it
needs. John: Awesome. Yeah I mean, this is what I
recommend to you guys whether you guys are a big market garden, or commercial farm, or
just home gardener, I think we all got to get on the rock dust. So Josh, any last comments
you’d like to share with my viewers today regarding the farm here, and the mission of
the farm, how to get more information if they want to come visit you, or anything like that. Josh: So yeah we’re at Shelburne Farms, in
Shelburne, Vermont. We have a website: We are a destination for people to come and
visit, to walk around the farm, to take tours of the farm, and we have a lot of educational
programs for kids primarily, to get them exposed to a natural environment, an agricultural
environment, so they know where their food comes from and they care about that. John: Yeah I mean, I definitely encourage
you guys, and recommend visiting Shelburne farms here. It’s been really fun for me and
especially if you’ve got kids, or you live in the area, you want to get involved in some
of the summer classes and programs because, above all else, as much as I teach adults
these topics, the kids really need to learn where food comes from, it comes from Mother
Earth, you know, it comes from the ground, it doesn’t come from the grocery store, it
doesn’t come in packages right? And we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. So anyways
I really hope you guys enjoy this episode, if you did please give me a thumbs up to let
me know. Maybe I’ll try to come back to Shelburne Farms next time I’m actually in
town visiting. Also be sure to click on subscribe button right down below, I have over 1,100
videos, and I’m coming out with new videos all the time on topics so that you guys can
grow food more effectively, and grow higher quality food for you and your family. And
be sure to check my past episodes, I have and wealth of knowledge contained in all my
episodes, and I like to visit farms and show you guys different ways of doing things, and
hopefully, after watching this video you’ve learned a lot of new ways to improve the health
of you and your family as well as the crops, by using the rock dust. Once again, my name
is John Kohler with, we’ll see next time and until then, remember
– Keep on growing.

29 thoughts on “Farm Uses Cheap Fertilizer for Best Long Term Investment in Soil

  1. That's a great looking farm. Beautiful crops. thanks for showing us small-timers that there are some larger scale operations doing things the right way.

  2. video quality is grainy and low res… the tomato that read brix of 10… how did it taste relative to the 10 rating ?

  3. 5 STARS!
    Will be moving to Ontario, Canada soon so I enjoyed the hoop house segment.
    So you add 20 lbs. of rock dust to approx. 600 lbs of un-composted material, correct?
    What is a good source of the microbes to add and where to get them

  4. A good analogy for to dust is that it's a structured settlement where you get it little by little over time v. fertilizer is a payday loan where you get it quick but have to pay it back on payday and end up having to take out another one to pay that off and get stuck in a loop of payday loans

  5. I use organic material to build the soil and include a few bagged ingredients resulting into better quality produce. For a home gardener, I buy the bagged Garden Soil from the store; there are different brands available, some organic with chicken litter and others with chemical fertilizer. Neptunes Harvest Crab Shell is loaded with calcium, Magnisum and other micro nutrients to build the soil and defeat nematodes. I tried Azomite for the first time and people are amazed at both the quality and quantity of fresh produce that was growing in a small garden spot that was previously grass.

  6. Interesting video, but the audio is annoying – it's very loud when he comes closer to the camera and very quiet when he turns his head or goes away a little bit so you have to turn the volume up and down all the time.

  7. Many thanks for the video John!
    It always cheers me right up to listen to your commentary )
    I thought this farms approach was really cool and well considered … it would be interesting to know how often they monitor their soil quality, in particular the diversity and activity of the microbiology – adjusting for seasonal variation.

  8. Low res and grainy vid? Sorry I don't see it. I guess I'm one of those crazy people that watch these vids for info and not Sundance movie type quality. That said, feel free to donate money for a high end camera or clam up.

  9. John's vids are great no matter the quality.. Who is paying VirtualLife to try to ruin his channel? They got these 20 somethings who don't know what implications are.. Unfortunately our tax dollars are funding this kind of crap.

  10. You just WASTED one of those Ground Cherries, feller! Why?! It's a waste! You look so bad doing that! I can defend you when your garden is vandalized, but I won't defend you when you toss a perfectly edible fruit on the ground. You need to get your priorities straight. Either you are for preserving food or you are not. Get with the image you are trying to preserve, fella.

  11. Something else – if you can't post videos in the season that we all are in, why post them? Timeliness is of the moment!

  12. Some of the leaves on those hybrid tomatoes in the hoop house looks like there is some type of nutrient deficiency or something going on.

  13. Great video like always. I don't buy so many things but I try to put a good compost. I usually do it and put it in the plant, Epsom Salt and a fertilizer that was given to me. But during this 3 yrs. I have learn a lot.

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