The state of Virginia & local government sponsored a vegetable production workshop last week. An added bonus was the ability to get your market scale certified.  All this for free including lunch. I was ecstatic and excited to be attending. Some of the topics, such as worker safety,  were irrelevant to my operation. I’m a one-man army so I don’t need to concern myself with such things.

Then there was a long informative talk on nematodes. The gentleman was quite knowledgeable but then he gave us a myriad of ways to use chemicals to destroy nematodes in the soil. Fumigation, injection into soil and the like. I’d never heard of most of these chemicals. I thought the whole idea was disgusting.

Another gentleman spoke about vegetable varieties that are good for Virginia. I never got clarification but I’m pretty sure many of the things he was promoting are GMO. I thought that was so disappointing. I have nothing against a good old F1 hybrid.

Then he went into a lengthy informative discourse on all the chemicals you can spray on vegetable crops to control pests. There must have been at least an hundred chemicals unfamiliar to me.   I thought it was a shame that so many of our tax dollars are being spent on research and dissemination of information encouraging the use of chemicals in the farm. Apparently we have a long way to go toward truly embracing the idea of sustainable farming using organic practices.

I had an interesting conversation with a well-established large acreage farmer in the area the other day. He was admiring my field of cereal rye and hairy vetch that I intend to use as a cover crop and possibly even cut and dry, then drag off and windrow for mulch. He waxed nostalgic about the days when he employed such methods but then mentioned that the county and state are pushing a production system using a no-till approach along with chemicals. The idea is that by reducing tillage we are reducing runoff and “saving the bay”. What about all the chemicals that are running off into the bay? He asserted that there was less erosion under the old model using cover crops and tillage. This is another example of misguided government interference into farming practice and suggests possible collusion between our elected officials and the ag industry chemical giants.

Yesterday I was driving into town to get some supplies. On my left I saw a large field that I’m sure will to be planted with a monocrop of either corn or soybeans. Probably GMO. A large tractor trailer tank and spray tractor were parked in the field. Then came the disgusting odor of chemicals into the cab of my truck. It was a windy day. An extremely windy day. Any fool knows that you don’t spray on a windy day. You’re supposed to spray at dawn or dusk if possible because the winds are typically lesson. I was a certified pesticide applicator when I had my landscape company so I know about this. How ridiculous that anyone must breathe some nasty vapor just driving down the road minding their own business. This was careless and irresponsible. Disgusting!

Dominic Carpin
delli Carpini Farm
Raising pure, clean food in accordance with organic sustainable principles