SEGMENT: FARMING METHODS & HIRED HELP
Wayne "Ren" Sirles>ISM Interviews M-Z>ISM Interviews M-Z, Segment 10
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- FARMING METHODS
- Farm started out as truck crops, rhubarb, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. Started growing fruit in 1900 on advice of father-in-law, a horticulturist. Apples, peaches, strawberries, raspberries. Now apples and peaches. Raise squash, zucchini, cucumbers. Terrain or soil determines crop areas. Rotate vegetables for several years when take an orchard out, or plant soil with cover crop and turn it under to rebuild the soil. Good farmers conserve their soil. Studied soil science, biology, and insect biology. Modeled curriculum to fit his farm, to which he planned to return. A good farmer is a good businessperson, has to love the land, has to have an even temper to weather the highs and lows. He can see the bloom in the spring, and help it to raise fruit someone enjoys.
- HIRED HELP
- Have a packing facility, tractors, to go into vegetables. Labor intensive business is the hardest part. Migrant workers want to stay now for 8-9 months now. Tides the workers over March to December with the orchards. Some workers winter down south or take training. Some live on the farm, but others have bought houses. Most are Hispanic. Story of a worker he has had for 25 years and his family.