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The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer says to hell with freeze and rekindles romance with hydroponics

By Marshall Hinsley

Now entering my eighth year of trying to grow my own food sustainably, I think I'll focus my efforts on a better approach to food production that will free me from the things that make me hate ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer takes steps to prepare for Arctic blast

By Marshall Hinsley

The forecast of a potential Arctic blast headed for Texas this week calls for a decision: let frost take its course, or cover warm-season crops in hopes of extending their yields for another month. ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer rethinks the merits of pesticides

By Marshall Hinsley

By no means have I been a big user of pesticides. And when I did resort to a bottle of insect killer, I always used something approved for organic food production, such as neem oil, pyrethrin or&nb ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer harvests the power of coconuts to remedy poor soil

By Marshall Hinsley

One of the best ways to grow crops is in a raised bed garden, because you can create your own nearly perfect growing environment. You can add amendments to the native soil that correct its deficien ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer plows all his efforts into saving monarch butterflies

By Marshall Hinsley

When I was child back in the early '80s, monarch butterflies were so numerous south of Waxahachie during their annual fall migration that they seemed like the common, ordinary butterfly. With a ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer shares list of essential products for successful organic garden

By Marshall Hinsley

If not for my garden failure of 2011, when most of Texas was gripped by a record-breaking heat wave, this year's garden would have been my worst yet. Several setbacks left me overextended ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer debunks old wives' tales and scams for organic gardeners

By Marshall Hinsley

Organic gardens are cropping up in more and more backyards, with tomatoes, okra and squash all grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Organic gardening allows anyone to grow safe, delici ...


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 ...


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