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Hamptons Life

Oct 16, 2011 1:32 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Chef Tries Hand At Organic Farming, And Succeeds

Oct 20, 2011 2:11 PM

“I don’t really feel that organic farming is harder than conventional farming,” Ms. Gentry said. “Farming is challenging, whatever you do. But to me, it’s easier to not have to touch chemicals where there’s a skull and crossbones on it. It seems counterintuitive to put chemicals in your body.”

Instead, she treats the soil with the minerals it needs, she said, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, boron, magnesium, iron and copper. She uses seaweed emulsion, which stimulates root growth; worm castings for nitrogen; Greensand, which comes from a fossilized layer of the earth loaded with sea minerals, as it was once under water; and blood meal, oyster meal and peanut meal.

Compost made from manure courtesy of three Kunekune pigs—Henry, Sadie and Cynthia—and a flock of resident chickens kept by landlord Sue Drake is thrown back onto the fields. The natural fertilizer builds up the field’s humus, microorganisms and water-retaining abilities, making it easier to work with, Ms. Gentry explained.

“Organic is really about feeding the soil so the vegetables are healthy and are better for the people who are eating them,” she said. “Every time you plant a seed, you have a chance to grow something healthy that will help sustain people and fill them, but with something more than just something to fill their stomachs when they’re hungry. This kind of food feeds people on a very deep level.”

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Ms. Gentry grows some of the yummiest veggies over at Early Girl farm. And where did she get that great head-scarf?? Keep up the great work!!
By nsea93 (39), Southampton on Oct 19, 11 9:25 PM