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Farmer to Farmer with Chris Blanchard

The organic and sustainable farming movement has its roots in sharing information about production techniques, marketing, and the rewards and challenges of the farming life. Join veteran farmer, consultant, and farm educator Chris Blanchard for down-to-earth conversations with experienced farmers - and the occasional non-farmer - about everything from soil fertility and record-keeping to getting your crops to market without making yourself crazy. Whether his guests are discussing employment philosophy or the best techniques for cultivating carrots, Chris draws on over 25 years of experience to get at the big ideas and practical details that make a difference on their farms and in their lives. If you've been farming for a lifetime, are just getting started, or are still dreaming about your farm of the future, the Farmer to Farmer podcast provides a fresh and honest look at what it takes to make your farm work.
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May 4, 2017

Jason Weston is a co-owner of Joe’s Gardens in Bellingham, Washington, a five-acre urban farm started in the 1890s. One of the last of the original truck farms in the Bellingham area, Joe’s Gardens sells almost all of its produce retail on site.

Jason has become well-known for his innovations with the Planet Junior two-wheeled cultivating tractors that he uses for weed control on his farm, and he provides an introductory tutorial into their features and uses, and how they changed everything for Joe’s Gardens. We dig into how the two-wheeled tractors support his intensive, no-bed production, and into the modern weed-control tools that he has used to almost eliminate hand weeding on his farm.

We discuss how Joe’s Garden is laid out to maximize space utilization, and the tillage and production practices that support that layout. Jason also shares how he and his forbears have maintained fertility in a continuous vegetable rotation for 120 years, and the long-term approach he takes to managing soil health.

We also discuss the changes in Joe’s Gardens’ marketing over the years as the wholesale and retail marketplaces have shifted in product demand and consumer attitudes. Joe talks about the challenges they faced in shifting to a retail operation, and the family dynamics that helped make that shift successful.

Perennial support for the Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously provided by Vermont Compost Company and BCS America.

Pictures, show links, and more at farmertofarmerpodcast.com/episodes/weston.

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