Tag Archives: agriculture

Weed-Chopping Cousins (plus losing the battle with wind)

Charlie in his oats.
(photo by Sam Hurst for

The Madville Times reports (Mrs. Madville Times too) that the Johnsons from Orland Township are featured in a new story on 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 »

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Posted by on July 12, 2008 in garden, going green, Weather


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