The History of Farmer Al
Frog Hollow Farms is a shining example of entrepreneurial spirit in organic growing.
Farmer Al and his wife, Chef Becky, proprietors of this 138-acre orchard, specialize in growing unusual and tasty varieties of stone fruit. Not only do they supply high-end markets with their succulent fruits, they personally sell at local markets and online, operate a CSA and their own local Cafe, offer educational farm tours, and use social media to attract more customers and create their brand.
Utilizing traditional organic farming principles coupled with science and modern technologies is a winning combination that Farmer Al has put to work.
Knowing that to be successful, you need to create demand for your produce by standing out amongst other growers, they continually look at ways to improve their growing program. They understand the importance of taste, nutritional density, and using BRIX testing to watch their progress.
And so it was that one day back in the Spring of 2012 Farmer Al invited Hendrikus to his orchards to assess his program on his newest round of peach tree transplants that were suffering from that year’s heat wave. Although there were other suggestions from one modern day old school farmer to another, the biggest change was putting these saplings on Hendrikus Organics Triad program for the year, in addition to Al’s ongoing composting program.
The results, to quote Farmer Al, “were immediate and measurable” in his trees’ vitality, health and growth. The new trees not only responded quickly, their production in the first year was the best first leaf growth in his 40 years as a farmer. When asked about the additional cost, Farmer Al reported that he had no additional cost because his savings in the decreased bio-pesticide use totally covered the expense.
Since 2012 Farmer Al uses only Hendrikus Organics Triad program for all new trees, and has added our Liquid HuMagic to his fertigation program for all established trees.
So why is Farmer Al so happy? Here are the results on his young trees that warrant that wholehearted thumbs up!
His trees are healthier and stronger. Their production has not only increased, it is a full year ahead of schedule, reaching full growth in their 4th year instead of the 5th, when they move to the “maintenance” program, increasing mature trees by 20% and lowering costs. That, coupled with:
Increased production – more fruit per tree with longer shelf life
Demand for his fruit increased over 10%
100% of his fruit gets sold and he has more demand than supply
Fruit is hardier and can stay on tree longer, developing more sugars and taste.
Brix reading (sugar content = nutritional density and flavor) has increased and continues to increase
Increased profits with no increase in costs
Orchard is basically disease-free
In fact, the demand has increased so much, he just bought another 70 acres!
Congratulations Farmer Al!