organic farming

Community guide to organizing small farms: Stories from Atrisco

Farmers in New Mexico’s South Valley share the lessons they learned from creating a broad-based, community-driven, and collaborative community farming project. 

On returning to organic methods

Lucy Duncan (LD): At some point you were using pesticides, and you stopped.

Don Bustos (DB): That's how our farm moved from conventional growing to certified organic. In the 1960s I was still a young lad, we were still farming naturally.

Then in 1967 an agricultural agent came by and gave my dad a bottle of liquid. I learned later that it was DDT. He mixed it with water. That year we had perfect corn, none of our corn had worms, we had a great crop. So my dad started to use it. That was the late 1960s until I started to take over in the late 70s and mid 80s. There was a period where my dad would use chemical fertilizers and insecticides, all approved by USDA and encouraged to be used. 

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