An Essential Boost for Intensive Farming
Stan Jackson of Posh Nosh Farm, just northwest of Lake Ontario in Canada – doesn’t have the longest growing season or the most predictable weather, but that doesn’t stop him from having incredible success on the twenty acres he cultivates. An advocate of sustainable agriculture and intensive farming, Stan gets more than twice the yield per acre – sometimes quadruple the yield – of nearby farmers.
Stan’s life-long interest in plant and soil biology helped him hone the practices he uses for abundant yields. His philosophy is to build good soil and to build bigger plants. Careful rotation of plants each year, encouraging beneficial soil bacteria in the rhizosphere, avoiding chemical herbicides, applying abundant plant nutrients, and using Growth Products’ Essential Organic 1-0-1 Soil Amendment and Biostimulant are all key components of his success.
For his tomatoes – he grew 120 varieties of heirloom, hybrid and cherry tomatoes this past season – Stan uses 8” x 20” wide raised beds covered with black plastic mulch. He concentrates bands of fertilizer 12” wide in the bed area, rototills the fertilizer in, and is careful about his plant spacing. This spring, he plans to plant his beefsteak tomatoes 20” to 24” apart, in three close rows, and then leave a 4’ to 4.5’ aisle way (roadway) before repeating the pattern.
He grows all his transplants in his greenhouse, using Essential to get them “plumped and pumped” (see propagation program) before they hit the field. At planting time, he uses a waterwheel transplanter to place the plugs into holes in the black plastic, and adds 7.5-10 ounces (US) per planting hole of an Essential mixture, at a ratio of 1 gallon of Essential to 200 or 250 gallons of water.
Stan first used Growth Products’ Essential in 2007. He had tried other, supposedly similar products with little success, but when he saw the results that Essential gave he was so impressed that he has used it ever since. “The plants took hold more quickly, they developed stronger and stockier stems, and they quickly created a good canopy, which increased our yield because it allowed us to put more plants underneath.” “I’m very interested in soil,” he explains. “If we have good soil, we will have good crops. Essential is very beneficial in building and maintaining large colonies of soil bacteria, and it creates a soil environment that works really well.”
Stan always takes care to place the vegetable rows in a different pattern than he used in the previous year. This type of crop rotation is a huge benefit, since over time the entire farm gets the benefit of better soil health, better microbial activity, and better earthworm populations because of the applications of Essential. In addition, Stan protects his soil by avoiding the use of chemical herbicides: he has not used glyphosphate on the farm in 15 to 20 years.
"Essential is part of the whole picture of how I farm. Used consistently over the long-term, Essential produces an ideal environment for plant growth. It provides the carbon, humates, and other materials that soil bacteria need to thrive. With Essential , you can farm like a shepherd: that is, you can keep an eye on things and only take action when needed.” Plus, Stan notes, Essential is very cost effective and – because it is a liquid – very easy to apply.
“Farming is changing very rapidly, in the sense that what I’ve been doing for years is now becoming standard,” Stan adds. “I applaud the newer organic technology. The industry is giving us more natural products than 10 or 15 years ago. My fields are healthy and rich, and they produce an abundance of marvelous, safe, clean fruits and vegetables.”