Jim Crawford raises thirty acres of vegetables at New Morning Farm in Hustontown, Pennsylvania. Jim started New Morning Farm in 1972, and has gained a reputation for an excellent operation with great employee engagement. In this episode, we talk about New Morning Farm’s marketing strategy (including the Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, which Jim founded with neighboring organic farms), investment and debt, the H2A guest-worker program, irrigation, and controlling pests in sweet corn. The value Jim places on knowledge sharing and collaboration shines through in this episode.
Fertrell: A friend of nature since 1946, Fertrell has the products and knowledge to help you grow healthy, natural plants and animals, no matter your level of experience or the size of your operation.
Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative
For control of various worms in sweet corn, Jim mentioned two resources. IPM Laboratories, in New York, offers a European Corn Borer parasite, Trichogramma ostriniae. The IPM Laboratories website has very thorough information about using this biological control agent. The Zea-Later, which used to be sold by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, doesn’t seem to be available any more – if you know where to find one, please say so in the comments and we’ll update the show notes here.
In our discussion about irrigation, Jim mentioned that he uses a probe for making observations of soil moisture. I’ve read dozens of extension guides to observing soil moisture, and they mostly just repeat the same bland and relatively un-useful information. “Irrigation Scheduling Made Easy”, from Louisiana State University, takes a very complete and accessible approach.
Jim has been very involved in the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) for many years. As Jim discussed, PASA has done some really great work around the new food safety regulations – combined with the efforts of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), they have made some tremendous inroads into making the new rules work for small-scale, organic and sustainable growers.
We didn’t get into brands for the greenhouse tray seeder that Jim cited as one of his favorite tools, but I had a really great experience with the Speedy Seeder from Carolina Greenhouses. (26 July - Just found out that New Morning Farm is using a Berry Precision Seeder in their greenhouse.)