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The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer reveals 3 strategies to ensure a strong fall crop

By Marshall Hinsley

In March, I predicted that 2015 would be a good year for gardens; I was wrong. I thought the snow and rain earlier in the year would recharge the soil in Texas with moisture. I didn't know ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer discovers 8-legged ally in the war against grasshoppers

By Marshall Hinsley

In my ninth grade biology class at Waxahachie High School, we learned about how living organisms can adapt to adverse conditions and survive. The grasshopper was the example we studied. Prone t ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer uses super-simple method to knock back aphids

By Marshall Hinsley

For several weeks I've noticed a glistening on the leaves of weeds, trees and wildflowers as I walk in the field. It's not everywhere — just here and there, on one plant or another, e ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer tackles summer to-do list for cool-season crop prosperity

By Marshall Hinsley

Ironweed has begun blooming in the fields near my late melon crop. It grows up tall and columnar, with clusters of dark purple flowers on top, standing out from the rest of the grass in the field. ...


The Farmer Diaries

Ornamental gourds make the list of Texas farmer's favorite crops

By Marshall Hinsley

I never would have thought to grow ornamental gourds if not for my wife, Allee Brand. Browsing through the seed catalogs with me each winter, she'd pause at the descriptions of birdhouse gourds ...


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 ...


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