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The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer gets the itch out by tackling stealthy grass-dwelling pest

By Marshall Hinsley

Walking the long, weedy path to tend my field crops each day, I wind up with bites all over. I never see the bites happen, but the dime-sized welts that rise on my skin hours later are a sure givea ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer is obsessed with melons — and here's why

By Marshall Hinsley

A friend recently told me, “You have a passion for melons.” We had been talking about Israeli melons — that I grow them because they’re sweeter than all others, how many I h ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer grows scented tobacco to feed overpowering summer addiction

By Marshall Hinsley

Each night at dusk, white flowers fill the air in my backyard with a scent so intense that I'm reminded of a candle shop. The flowers glow in the twilight, appearing almost like stars in cluste ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer's ingenious greens machine keeps churning out bumper crop

By Marshall Hinsley

When I set up 11 Dutch buckets of kale, collard greens, broccoli and Swiss chard in my greenhouse last summer, I thought I might have a few greens to harvest for a couple of months in the winter. N ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer shares 5 strategies to control mosquitoes after heavy rains

By Marshall Hinsley

The downpour of rain, almost daily for the last two months, has submerged much of the land I farm south of Dallas. Anywhere there's the slightest depression in the ground, water has pooled up a ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer resorts to pot-grown crops to battle heavy rains

By Marshall Hinsley

In year seven of my attempt to opt out of industrial agriculture and grow more of my own food, I've come to learn there's no one, reliable way to grow anything. You can do something every y ...


The Farmer Diaries

Rains bust drought but prove catastrophic to Texas farmer

By Marshall Hinsley

Growing crops through several dry spells in Texas has given me a superstitious fear that wanting the rain to stop will make it go away for good. We're wet now, but it comes after a four-yea ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer perfects approach to managing garden pests

By Marshall Hinsley

The monarch butterflies are back. I spotted the first ones in between storms in early April, emerging from hibernation to lay eggs and undertake their annual migration through North America. By the ...


The Farmer Diaries

Welcome rain has unintended consequences on drought-ridden Texas farm

By Marshall Hinsley

With all the rain we've had since January, you might think the drought in the state has finally come to an end. But you'd be wrong. In fact, North Texas is still experiencing an extreme dro ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer finds hungry allies to combat army of June bugs

By Marshall Hinsley

On a warm night under a bright moon in April, I set out to find my cat, Maggie, who was missing from the yard. Her mates from the same litter were already indoors for the night, but she was hiding ...


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