SEGMENT: FARM EQUIPMENT, SPECIALTY CROPS, & LAND

Edward Van Drunen>ISM Interviews M-Z>ISM Interviews M-Z, Segment 15

SEGMENT: FARM EQUIPMENT, SPECIALTY CROPS, & LAND,

duration 11:23
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LAND
Some land is rented, but most of the land was purchased. Most of it is irrigated - some out of the Kankakee River and some out of wells.
FAMILY FARM
Father passed away before the real start in the herb business but he was encouraging. Older brother was involved as a child but later became a dentist, no family pressure to go into farming.
FARM EQUIPMENT
Some special equipment to harvest the crops all by machine. At the start it was all hand harvested. Cutting machine will cut chives. A cycle machine will cut herbs off just above the ground, then the herbs go up a belt and loaded into a wagon. They are then chopped up and then freeze dried or frozen. The frozen goes into wet mixes & dried products go to the spice companies.
SPECIALTY CROPS
Crops are rotated. Some are annuals and some are perennials. Perennials rotate every 4 to 5 years, but annuals are rotated every year. Herbs need a lot nitrogen. Weeds are always a problem & do a lot of hand weeding. Use some herbicides but a lot is restricted because it is a minor crop. Minor crops are more labor intense. Sell wholesale to large manufacturers. Customers are Kraft, McCormick Uncle Bens bakeries and Cereal Companies.