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PrairiErth Farm Prepares to Plant Vegetables
The snow has melted away and the temperature is finally starting to rise, but there's plenty of work to be done first.
It's just before lunch and Hans Bishop is watering his vegetable transplants.
"We gotta do what we can now to prepare for summer," Bishop said.
That's when Bishop will sell more than 35 different vegetables throughout Central Illinois.
"We have parsley, we have broccoli, a whole bunch of kohlrabis and everyone's favorite growing here is kale," Bishop.
Which will all eventually be transplanted to the field making up nearly ten acres of vegetables.
"We all do it certified organically so we don't use any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers or synthetic pesticides," Bishop said.
Bishop manages the vegetable operation of PrairiErth Farm in Atlanta, Illinois.
A job he's been doing for five years.
"I wanted to come back to the farm and i wanted to do it in a good way that my kids might have an opportunity to still have fertile soil in our area and be more sustainable," Bishop said.
Even though it requires tremendous amounts of hard work.
"We do everything mainly by hand. We have some equipment to help out with the big transplanting in the spring," Bishop said.
Like this water wheel transplanter, which the farms' apprentices are using now to plant onions...one of the few vegetables that can be planted this early due to their hardiness.
"It's kind of hard to hold back sometimes because you're really excited in the spring, but i think you have to be patient because if you push things too much, you get transplants that are too big and they've lost of their vigor, or the ground might freeze again," Bishop said.
But patience is important, because Bishop says every year, there's more people catching onto the locally grown food movement.
"They want to have that relationship with their farmer and i think that's one of the biggest things that we provide is that relationship and they can see the struggles or the successes that we have and they can see the fluctuations of the season from week one of the farmers market to week 26," Bishop said.
Which makes all the time and effort that goes into organic farming worth it.
"What i enjoy most about the type of farming that i do is being able to talk to my customers and being able to see that the food that i'm growing is making a difference directly in my community," Bishop said.
In Atlanta, Lindsey Hess, ABC News Channel 20.