Thanks for your help and other comments

Marlin Burkholder glenecofarm at planetcomm.net
Sun Apr 21 02:32:42 EDT 2002


I wish to express my thanks to those of you who responded to my query about
cross pollinating tomatos.  The information you supplied has been most
helpful.  Though I have been interested in the idea of seed saving for some
time, I've never gone much farther than harvesting a few dried bean and
squash seed and keeping seeds from my favorite tomatos. I've always taken
the "no brainer" approach and stuck to the easier ones that require the
simpler techniques for gathering and handling the seed after harvest.  Even
so I have screwed up a few times but never anything serious.

However, recently I have communicated with Johnny's Select Seed about
getting them some Blosser tomato seed for their testing program and they
have expressed interest. I intend to follow through on my commitment to save
some of this seed for them so the information you shared will help me a lot
to do the job a little closer to right.

I was also pleased with the positive responses many of you gave to the
person who posted several days ago as a "newbe farmer" seeking basic
information and encouragement about getting started in farming.  Here are a
few comments of my own:

I was born on a farm in 1948 and grew up following my dad around the farm
and learning to do farm chores.  I carried my first 100 lb sack of feed at
10 years of age and picked it up off the ground at 11 years of age.  I also
started driving tractors around that age.

I took vocational agriculture classes in high school and was active in FFA
(Future Farmers of America).

I went on to get a BS degree in Dairy Science and Agronomy at Va Polytechnic
Institute and State University, supposedly one of the better land grant and
agricultural universities in the country.

Following graduation from college, I spent over two years in eastern Bolivia
under the sponsorship of Mennonite Central Committee supervising that part
of the Heifer Project International program under MCC's management.  My work
consisted of establishing ongoing relationships with impoverished Bolivian
campesino farmers and "Old Colony" Mennonite settlers, helping them to
establish pastures and facilities necessary to qualify for recieving HPI
livestock donations, and arranging for animal placements.  I then followed
up with the teaching of basic livestock care short courses in the villages
and colonies and helped them to organize their own HPI committees to carry
on the work after I left.

I returned to the home farm following my overseas experience and took over
the management of the 40-50 cow dairy, buying into the operation as I raised
my family and my dad moved into retirement.  This continued for 16 years.

Then I experienced a break in my health and I had to liquidate the family
dairy in late 1991.  In 1992 I began Glen Eco Farm, growing a mix of market
garden vegetables and easing into pasture based meat livestock and egg
production.  I started out doing a local farmers' market, plying the upscale
restaurant trade, and finally CSA by 1998.  It was when I began my present
farming operation that one of my more profound realizations came home to me:
HOW LITTLE I REALLY KNEW ABOUT AGRICULTURE.

Still learning
Marlin Burkholder







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