The Madville Times reports (Mrs. Madville Times too) that the Johnsons from Orland Township are featured in a new story on Gourmet.com about their 30-year experiment with totally organic farming. Not your quaint little vegetable farm either. Charlie and Alan farm 2,400 acres (divided into 60-plus fields) in Lake County, SD, planting and harvesting 5 different crops on a 6-year rotation.
The Johnsons are my cousins. Mary (Bartmann) Johnson, Charlie and Alan’s Mom, came to America from Essentho, Germany (where my great-grandpa was born) as a teenager with the help of my grandparents. Charlie and my Dad are friends, cousins and successful farmers–and their passions for the work are carried through in very different ways. I remember “walking beans” to chop those sunflowers, thistles and cockleburrs in the dawn hours of July mornings as a kids, though. That was before “Round-up Ready” was for real. Or… Maybe, just maybe, it was another way Read the rest of this entry »