Volume 4, Number 12                                             April 20, 2001

The Farmer

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"City Cousins" get taste of farming

by Dr. Ridgely A. Mu’min Muhammad

Visitors from the Southern Region of the Nation of Islam came to Muhammad Farms on Saturday, April 14, 2001. Represented was Muhammad Mosque No. 15, the Columbus Ga. Study Group, Augusta, Ga. Study Group and Huntsville, Al. Study Group. They were given a tour of our 1600 acre farm AFTER they did some farm work so that they would fully appreciate the tour.

Unfortunately, many of our "city cousins" think that food grows in the grocery store. Now that ‘mad cows’, hoof and mouth disease, and "StarLink" corn have awakened the need for safe food, many want "organically" grown food but have no idea of difference between "gardening" a 100’ by 50’ plot and 1600 acres. An acre is 3/4ths of a football field.

The visitors picked spinach and cabbage and some had the experience of picking cotton buds left over from the previous year. Even though our two acres of cabbage had been severely stunted by a cold snap on December of last year, there was more cabbage than the visitors could take home with them.

They also pulled weeds out of our organically grown wheat, which we intend to mill into whole wheat flour, and they also hoed weeds in our carrots. It was quite humorous to watch our novices struggle to determine the weeds from the carrot plants, because of the weeds’ ability to mimic the carrot tops. The carrots should be ready by the beginning of May along with wheat from last year that we milled into flour.

After weeks of continuous rain, the ground is beginning to dry enough to plant our spring and summer crops of navy beans, okra, tomatoes, bell peppers, egg plants, zucchini and yellow squash, sweet corn, green beans and watermelons. These are the vegetable crops that will be grown at Muhammad Farms. However, we are working with other Black farmers in both Georgia and Alabama which will allow us to expand the variety of crops that we can offer our customers.

Information on the crops and pictures as they grow will be available on our web site, www.MuhammadFarms.com .

See Pictures at: Visitors to Muhammad Farms for 2001