Gambling On Organic


There’s more of an art form to farming
organically than there is farming conventionally you know there they both
require a certain amount of care to the soil but the tools and the speed at
which you can affect change organically is certainly slower than it is
conventionally and with that you have to more work with nature than command
nature to be what you need it to be. Normally you would see apples, cherries,
or pears grow in this area, but in the Yakima Valley this is very unique. We are the only organic raspberry farm
in Eastern Washington. If I were growing apples, there would
literally be hundreds of people I could consult with to get some guidance on how
to grow apples in the Yakima Valley. There’s nobody I can consult with on how
to grow raspberries in the Yakima Valley and that includes people who are experts
in growing raspberries because they have no knowledge of how to grow them here. Looking good. So that, you know, each time we turn on and off, we generate all the extra water
here in the most pot My first reaction was live very skeptical I’m not the
adventurous person that he is I felt it was a big big gamble we have an apple
orchard growing and as time has gone on the low farmers have kind of gone by the
wayside, why do these keep pushing to the south? Is it because of the way they’re
harvested each time? The harvester just pushes him over, they’re not real big and
strong attorneys there has been so much to try to learn about the nutritional
needs of the berries and all the other aspects of growing berries that Apple
farmers really don’t know like you’re getting more than 50% over
here. My dad to think I’m a little nuts yeah probably a little it’s certainly
something way outside of the norm for this area we’re dry and arid and that causes problems with heat and temperature
management on the plants but it also eliminates problems of moisture and
mildew which raspberry farmers face in other environments and so, you know, it’s
a trade-off and it’s one that has to be managed but we can farm organically here
successfully where are other people because of mildew and mold have much
greater challenges. We start picking as soon as the first
fruit ripens on a cane and will then drive over that same row or same pane up
to 18 times over the course of harvest and as you can see we are ripe berries
that are getting close to the harvest time but a lot of green fruit in in some
places, very green fruit that was just pollinated here recently so, the goal is
to make sure with the harvester we knock off only the fruit that’s ready to be
picked and leave the rest of the green fruit so we can come back another day
and pick it When you farm organically you have to
take a slower approach to correcting issues within the field
either on the pesticide or realization side it requires us to work with the
land a little differently you know we have to watch that the natural
environment developed as opposed to just jumping in and showering and hoping it
works out for the best We don’t have a go out and spray out
solution that takes care of all our insects for the whole year like many
crops do we have to work with the predator insects and and work with time
to see what’s gonna work out and who’s gonna play out and how it’s all gonna
gonna work in the field we’ve covered a lot of ground in the four years we’ve
been farming this and I think we have a couple more years of discovery but we’re
getting closer Yeah I’m confident if I want to keep
going that’s suppose you hope for in an AG venture Up until this year I felt very
uncomfortable but this year he’s turned the corner and
I feel very comfortable that what he thought is what’s gonna happen. I’m happy
and proud of him. That’s what I know.

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