If you have ever driven through Lancaster, Pennsylvania you know what I mean when I say homemade and homegrown.
For centuries Amish farmers have paved the way for farming trends that feed the multitudes. I’ve often wondered whether Amish farmers use pesticides. It turns out it depends on the farmer.
John Kempf was eighteen when he founded his consulting firm Advancing Eco Agriculture. Kempf points out interesting truths on our modern day farming techniques. As it states on his website homepage:
“We have adopted a model of agriculture which directly antagonizes the core values that originally attracted us to the ethics of farming. We have adopted a warfare mentality instead of a nurturing empathy – a combat mindset in which we are fighting diseases, killing insects, and destroying weeds.”
America views chemicals as a necessary evil – but it isn’t!
As an eighth-grade educated young man, Kempf researched the immunity of plants. This led to developed methods of keeping plants nourished, active, fruitful, and pest-free with no added ingredients – just as it should be.
Just as human bodies require nutrient balance, so do plant systems. Neither humans or plants are independent of their ecosystem – this is a lesson Farmer Kempf learned when first trusting his plants to themselves for good health.
“I learned that if I sit back, things will often take care of themselves. That first summer for instance, we saw a lot of horn worms. Before that, I would have sprayed them right away, but this time I waited and a bunch of wasps came along and killed them. Once I saw that, I started getting really excited. (Roc Morin, The Atlantic)”
The entire ecosystem was designed to take care of us. Kempf’s proven method of farming is simple: know your plants and give them what they need. Here are a couple things Kempf notes for maximum protection against diseases and infestation:
1. Placement – Certain plants thrive when close to others, while others will die. Research, test, and trust time to tell which plants will harm and help when placed next to one another.
2. Minerals – Each plant is unique in its needs. Know the best pH level and the proper composition needed for each seed bearing plant.
3. Let predators live – Pests are not the problem. Don’t be quick to spray – find out what predators get the pests and wait for nature to answer its call. The food chain is a key factor in eco-conscious farming. Pests eat pests!
It is interesting to see how far gone we’ve come with our farming. It’s nice to see John Kempf returning back to traditional proven methods. In time the government will honor ethical farming methods above greedy quick-farm tactics.
Just another reason to love the Amish.