Home on the Farm

text and photos by Josh Kanagy 

October 5th, 2011
This evening about 9 students visited Radell Schrocks’ Season’s Bounty farm a few miles outside of Harrisonburg.  Radell operates a small CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and sells much of his produce at the Farmers Market and local restaurants, including the EMU cafeteria.  We explored rows of sweet potatoes, carrots, and fall greens like spinach and kale.  I was shocked by the amount of food that could be grown in such a small area.  The entire farm, including three large hot-houses, bee hives, several fields, and a plot of asparagus is operated out of only five acres.  These five acres provide more than enough sustenance for two to three rotations of crops throughout the growing season.  Radell’s vegetables are essentially organically grown, and he avoids using any pesticides on his farm at all, which is practically unheard of in today’s mainstream farming.  Even organic farmers often use some USDA Organic approved pesticides.  Schrock reflected that his restraint in pesticide use has allowed “good bugs” to flourish there as well, and naturally kill off some of the insects that are harmful to plants.  It was exciting to hear about these careful and sustainable methods Radell uses on his farm, and deeply encouraging to learn that through education, these same practices could be applied to more conventional farms as well.

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