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Farmer John: Author and farmer looks back at the legacy of black farmers — and ahead toward a better future

BY J.D. WILSON RICHMOND — Leah Penniman is a bright light with lots to say, and we need to hear her messages about farming, society, justice and our future. I recently met her in Richmond during the Virginia Association for Biological… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Hard-working honeybees need a helping hand

BY J.D. WILSON VIRGINIA BEACH — All hail the mighty, tiny, flying teddy bear of the insect world – the honey bee. I love them because, well, I have to admit I really love honey. I have a sweet tooth a… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: On awareness and becoming Jefferson’s people

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Don’t worry, political junkies, the space between elections seems to be getting shorter. Those who live for this should just take a deep breath and dive right back in. I’m just glad the ugly ads on… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: An agriculture economy on our scale

BY J.D. WILSON VIRGINIA BEACH — Pop quiz: Which of the following terms does not fit with the others? GDP, trade wars, tariffs, short-term profit calculations, quarterly reports, soil stewardship, derivatives, the Gaussian copula formula. The what? That last one is real,… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Benefits of a beloved fowl mean it might just be time for a chicken in every Virginia Beach yard

BY J.D. WILSON VIRGINIA BEACH — Why did the chicken cross the road?  To rule the world, of course.  There are some 20 billion chickens in the world, plus or minus a few. This dwarfs any other bird species. Next in… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: I learned to love the land, what it gives us — and sustaining it

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I can still remember the smells of my first garden back home in small town Indiana. I walked into the garden, saltshaker in hand. I was heading to the big boy tomatoes. My bare feet remember the… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Sustainable farming practices help prevent erosion

“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself” — Franklin D. Roosevelt “Civilization itself rests upon the soil” — Thomas Jefferson. BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Providence Canyon State Park near Lumpkin, Ga., is called Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon. It takes… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: With biochar, looking at past practices for better soil today

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Imagine being in the paradise state, inside a condo on a beautiful day. I was there, in Hawaii, back when I was blond-haired. Now I still have three or four blond hairs left. My dermatologist told… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Waste not, want not by growing a recycling mindset

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — The first law of thermodynamics, also called the law of conservation of energy, says energy cannot be created or destroyed in isolated systems. We can think about this in terms of soil. As I’ve written here… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Here’s the dirt about soil, a key to sustainable agriculture

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Please don’t call the soil “dirt.” Dirt is what you sweep off the kitchen floor. Soil is a glorious life-filled layer that sustains us. Soil is, as the subtitle of a great book by William Bryant… Continue Reading