An interview with Jason Kimm takes place in a truck, a field, and a piece of harvesting equipment I’d never heard of. (It’s called a potato windrower, and it digs potatoes.) Along the way, he describes how he has worked to reduce his farm’s dependence on pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers, not to mention electricity, often through what sound like ludicrously simple means. Using pipes instead of open ditches for irrigation all but eliminates the need for electric pumps. Using a water softener with an herbicide cuts the amount needed in half. And so forth.
Like most North Americans these days, the amount I know about farming might fill a small teacup. But last week I visited the Kimm seed potato farm, where Jason and Yvonne Kimm operate a small organic plot and help their extended family run a much larger conventional farm. You might say I got educated in a hurry.
On last week’s show, “No Small Potatoes,” Yvonne introduced me to the organic operation and to the farm machinery and buildings. This week, we take to the fields.