We caught up with Farmer Carter today watching over the maple syrup evaporator, just long enough to squeeze in a quick interview. Read on to find out more about your CSA farmer for this year.
1) Hello Farmer Carter! What are you up to today?
-Today, there are A LOT of things to do. I'm running around like crazy, just trying to get some of them started. I am boiling down maple sap for syrup and everything that goes along with that task. I'm organizing the grounds to get ready for the garden season. Of course, there is a lot of work to be done in the greenhouse - making soil and planting seeds. If I have time today, I will change the oil in the tractor. In general, I am waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to dry up a bit so I can do some tractor work in the fields. Is that enough for today? :)
2) When did you know you wanted to be a farmer?
-Well, I have always wanted to be a farmer. I grew up on a farm and that is just what I was used to. I have taken breaks and done other things, but I always seem to come back to farming of some kind.
3) What kind of farm did you grow up on?
I grew up on a beef farm, but we did a little bit of everything. We had sheep, chickens, goats and horses.
4) How would you describe your farming style?
Well, I am a biodynamic farmer, so in that sense, I see the whole farm as an organism. The different parts of the farm - the animals, the plants, etc. - all act as organs of this organism. In a general sense, its best to keep all parts of this organism healthy and 'feeling well'. Because we grow organically, we don't use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. So it is important to have healthy soil, in order to have healthy and strong plants that can withstand nature's challenges. That is why I work so hard to use good compost and a cover crop rotation.
5) What do you believe are the most important issues with farming today?
GMOs are right up there. Also, with that, is the over-reliance on the industrialization of agriculture. In other words, having all of our 'eggs in just a couple baskets' instead of paving the way for diversity and lots of different types of farming.
6) What are you most excited about this CSA season?
I am most excited to be back on this property (the farm in Osceola). It is such a rich and beautiful environment and ecosystem to work within. I am also excited to have people to work with and good equipment.
7) What can our members expect from you this season?
A LOT of hours!! Oh yeah, and a promise to do my very best to grow their vegetables in a healthy, sustainable manner. And to take care of this piece of land.