As the fruit and vegetable plants grow and mature, so do the weeds! Weeding is a very important task at Jones Family Farms, and one that we have done frequently over the past few weeks. Jones Family Farms practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This is a sustainable way to control pests such as insects, disease, and weeds, by using such things as crop rotation, improved sanitation, use of beneficial organisms, and hand weeding to manage the pests. Over the past few weeks, our crews have been weeding strawberry fields daily. Now that strawberries are about over and the pumpkin plants are getting larger, we are turning our attention to the pumpkin fields.
Hand weeding is very labor intensive, but is effective. It also allows you to be “closer to the soil,” allowing you to observe the crop that you are weeding around, identify the weeds that you are pulling out, and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. It is a wonderful feeling to look out over a field of newly planted strawberries that you have just weeded around and know that you have helped these plants in their way to providing a wonderful crop of strawberries for next year!