Featured Farmer – Orv’s Acres

Orv Morrow is a third generation farmer on his farm named Orv’s Acres. After farming for around forty years starting on this childhood farm and building up to his own farm, Orv has developed quite the green thumb. Orv’s Acres proudly produces strawberries, asparagus, potatoes, peas, kohlrabi, cabbage, sweet corn, beans, squash, sweet corn, watermelon, muskmelon, and garlic among many other products. Orv has always gardened organically, but the farm had to transition to be certified organic.

Orv’s Acres’ produce definitely provides competition for common grocery store products. The product tends to be cleaner since it does not have any residues as there has been nothing put on it. For example, strawberries and potatoes are named as a few of the top five of the most contaminated produce by the Environmental Working Group. Most grocery store produce is contaminated due to the residues in the soil, whereas organic produce is clean.

One thing Orv emphasizes is soil health and how crucial it is to the health of the plant. Orv’s Acres is unique as it is a no till type of farming, which is unusual since most organic farmers till. Orv is unaware of any other people practicing no till in Nebraska except for one Wildflour Grocer employee who is just beginning. The soil is never tilled to even start a garden as he just starts planting. The benefits of no till is the soil health because of the undisturbed soil structure. For example, if a giant bomb plowed New York City over, it would take a long time for the city to rebuild. The soil is no different as there are as many things living in a tablespoon of soil as there are on the Earth. Orv does not know if there will be a shift from till to no till as time progresses. Conventional farmers are the ones doing most of it, but nobody is doing enough. The importance of it can be displayed when looking at blowing snow in the winter time. When snow is blowing over the road, the snow from a tilled field will be black from dirt while a no till field will keep the snow clean.

On a typical day, Orv wakes up in the morning and works Orv’s Acres until the sun goes down, averaging a fourteen hour day. He gardens as well as caring for cattle, goats, chickens, and ducks. The grass-fed cattle can eventually be made into meat, the meat goats are for weed control but can be butchered for meat, the laying hens lay eggs that are not sold, and the ducks are layers whose eggs will eventually be sold to Wildflour Grocer’s bakery as their eggs are good for baking. Orv’s Acres has one hired hand, but still seeks a high demand for workers in the near future.

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