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The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer rebounds from bum summer crop with well laid game plan for fall

By Marshall Hinsley

In March, I predicted that 2015 would be a good year for gardens; I was wrong. I thought the snow and rain earlier in the year would recharge the soil in Texas with moisture. I didn't know ...


The Farmer Diaries

In war against grasshoppers, Texas farmer gets help from 8-legged allies, not pesticides

By Marshall Hinsley

In my ninth grade biology class at Waxahachie High School, we learned about how living organisms can adapt to adverse conditions and survive. The grasshopper was the example we studied. Prone t ...


The Farmer Diaries

Saving the good bugs, Texas farmer uses surprisingly simple method to knock back aphids

By Marshall Hinsley

For several weeks I've noticed a glistening on the leaves of weeds, trees and wildflowers as I walk in the field. It's not everywhere — just here and there, on one plant or another, e ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer tackles summer "to-do" list to make sure crops thrive when it gets cooler

By Marshall Hinsley

Ironweed has begun blooming in the fields near my late melon crop. It grows up tall and columnar, with clusters of dark purple flowers on top, standing out from the rest of the grass in the field. ...


The Farmer Diaries

A crop with real art appeal makes Texas farmer's list of favorites: Ornamental gourds can last forever

By Marshall Hinsley

I never would have thought to grow ornamental gourds if not for my wife, Allee Brand. Browsing through the seed catalogs with me each winter, she'd pause at the descriptions of birdhouse gourds ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer comes up with perfect — and cheap — solution to keep itchy pests away for good

By Marshall Hinsley

Walking the long, weedy path to tend my field crops each day, I wind up with bites all over. I never see the bites happen, but the dime-sized welts that rise on my skin hours later are a sure givea ...


The Farmer Diaries

Heavy rains and searing heat don't deter Texas farmer in quest to grow the perfect melon

By Marshall Hinsley

A friend recently told me, “You have a passion for melons.” We had been talking about Israeli melons — that I grow them because they’re sweeter than all others, how many I h ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer discovers easy-to-grow scented tobacco feeds overpowering summer addiction

By Marshall Hinsley

Each night at dusk, white flowers fill the air in my backyard with a scent so intense that I'm reminded of a candle shop. The flowers glow in the twilight, appearing almost like stars in cluste ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer's ingenious greens machine churns out bumper crop of cost-saving fresh produce

By Marshall Hinsley

When I set up 11 Dutch buckets of kale, collard greens, broccoli and Swiss chard in my greenhouse last summer, I thought I might have a few greens to harvest for a couple of months in the winter. N ...


The Farmer Diaries

Texas farmer deploys 5 strategies to control mosquitoes after heavy rains

By Marshall Hinsley

The downpour of rain, almost daily for the last two months, has submerged much of the land I farm south of Dallas. Anywhere there's the slightest depression in the ground, water has pooled up a ...


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