Women Who Farm Tag

This International Women's Day, we honor Jill Forrester at Whitton Farms. She generates much more than your traditional flower power as the New South Board Chair, mother, and business owner X2. Jill lives the flower power mantra every day. Over the last 16 years, their farm has grown from a sprinkling of zinnia seeds to a solid agri-business that beautifies and feeds their community (and the New South CSA)! During her time as chair, Jill has stewarded New South through several big milestones: We've opened up Wholesale business to include all local small growers, welcomed 13 Certified Naturally Grown and Certified Organic farms into membership, and we're opening a Memphis hub this April. We sat down with Jill to talk about her farm and the meaning of flower power. Read the full interview below:   How did you start farming? Jill: My husband Keith asked me what I wanted for my birthday. For nearly a year we'd been...

Growing without harmful herbicides and pesticides is not an easy feat, but Debra Lockard and her family see it as tradition at Lockard's Produce farm. For 100 years, Lockard's Produce in Glimp, Tennesse, has supplied the Memphis area with southern delicacies from purple hull peas to Ripley tomatoes using natural growing methods like companion planting. (Watch the video below for an example of companion planting.) In 2014, Debra made her growing practices official by obtaining her Naturally Grown certification. And she's still growing strong.  Her practices earned her recognition from Tennessee State University in 2018 as Tennessee's Small Farm of the Year in the Best Management Practices category. Congratulations, Debra! ...

We had a question last week from a spring CSA customer, asking how our farmers deal with squash bugs while growing organically. Tara Stainton from Rattle's Garden was kind enough to supply us with her answer: "I have not found a great organic biological control for squash bugs, so we rely completely on timing and understanding that I can't grow squash through the entire summer like a conventional grower. We plant our summer crop as early as possible, giving them a good jump in our greenhouse. We plant a LOT of them to makeup for what we are going to start losing already in the first few weeks. And the key for me has been making the decision to pull all cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, etc.) from the field on July 1, at which time we are overrun by squash bugs. We go for the next 45 days without having any of these plants in...

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