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The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer defends maligned, misunderstood hornworm

By Marshall Hinsley

If it's your first time to grow tomatoes, you'll eventually walk out among your plants and find one or two of them stripped of their leaves. What may have been a robust tomato plant full of ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer closes out summer garden with an ode to the butterfly

By Marshall Hinsley

In the final few weeks of summer, little remains growing on the farm. Melons peaked at the end of July. Tomatoes have stopped setting fruit; eggplants and peppers look haggard. Everything has died ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer debunks idea of a fall garden

By Marshall Hinsley

With summer winding down, the gardening talk often turns to the idea of a fall garden. To me, the idea of a fall garden is misleading and has confused me since childhood. I can remember getting it ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer thwarts grasshoppers with magical nontoxic substance

By Marshall Hinsley

Of all the challenges I face in my attempt to grow my own food sustainably, grasshoppers have proven the most difficult. As the temperatures climb to three digits, the infestation sets in. Every ye ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer shucks the mysteries of growing corn

By Marshall Hinsley

When people envision a farmer tending crops in a field, it is almost always corn: tall, hardy stalks with long, narrow leaves and tassels on top. Corn is emblematic of farming. Cornstalks covering ...


The Farmer Diaries

Rainfall in thick of drought revives Texas farm

By Marshall Hinsley

A windfall of rain in the last half of June, including nearly three inches of rain in one week, has made gardens across North Texas come alive. My squash and zucchini plants — no bigger than ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer reaps life lessons from his tomato plants

By Marshall Hinsley

I enjoy growing my own food, not only for the harvest, but also for the things it teaches me about dealing with the challenges of life. With dreams of a perfect, bountiful crop of tomatoes, I b ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer calculates one of the best reasons of all to have a garden

By Marshall Hinsley

As June arrives, so does my harvest. Tassels stream forth like green rays from the top of corn stalks. I peer under the leaves of my squash plants and find fat, pale green scallop sq ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer proclaims 5 reasons why weeds can be good for your garden

By Marshall Hinsley

Each year by summertime, my field and raised bed garden become overgrown with weeds. The grasses and vines that seem to pop up everywhere after a good rain compete with my food crops, reducing the ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer improves amenities for wildlife friends with natural housing

By Marshall Hinsley

My appreciation for wildlife deepened after I witnessed how my crops thrived last year because of the meticulous pest control services provided by a family of skunks. A few hours before sunset, the ...


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