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North Star Farms
P.O. Box 164
Carpio, N.D. 58725
(701) 720-2635

gardendwellers FARM

Marv's Blog
It's what we believe in
Written by Marv Baker   
Sunday, 09 May 2010

One of my friends stopped by the other day for a visit and when I showed him our new, expanded field that had just been tilled, the first thing he said was, "You're going to have problems with quackgrass so you're going to have to spray it with Roundup."

This is the same guy who I worked with more than a year writing my book "Dakota Doughboy, the Otto Ihringer Story." This is the same guy who I spent countless weekends in the woods over the past 30 years doing National Guard missions and this is a guy who Ilene and I both consider a good friend.

But the first thing out of his mouth is Roundup. It's a mentality here in North Dakota that needs to change. Every farmer is so spray happy it's ridiculous. I've been seeing commercials on TV that advertise herbicide, fungicide, insecticide and pesticide. 

My goodness, not only is that dangerous to human health, but imagine the cost involved?

Someone asked me recently why Ilene and I grow certified organic crops. The first thing I said was "it's what we believe in and secondly, there is so much demand we will continue to grow as long as we want."

Having said that, there must be something to this as far as consumers are concerned. People out here think we are the oddballs, but yet, we are the only ones who can't keep up with the demand. Organic is growing at 20 percent annually, yet farmers here continue to push chemicals. Or, is it the other way around, maybe Du Pont, Monsanto and Mosaic are pushing their products to naive customers.

Back in the day when I was working in a grain elevator (early '80s) I saw a coyote run through a sunflower field that had just been sprayed. That animal, about the size of a mid-sized dog, was dead before it got to the other end. That made me think that many years ago. If this chemical will kill a coyote on impact, what is it going to do to the human body?

This is why we're organic and this is why we are going to stay organic. As long as I live, I want healthy food, not stuff laced with pesticide that's going to have some sort of effect on my body. 

I would prefer aggressive tillage as opposed to spraying Roundup any day. When Ilene and I were in the field yesterday planting potatoes, we could just smell how rich the soil is. That's just the way we like it and we know the vegetables are going to like it too. 

 
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