Lakeview Farms

Do You Spray Pesticides

Click here for information about our "Green" efforts to reduce used container refuse at Lakeview Farms.

Lakeview Farms has always used Sustainable Farming Practices minimizing harm to the environment and living organisms (like ourselves).  You will notice that our farm is extensively terraced and tiled with  6" to 12" corrugated underground drainage pipes and grass collection basins that channel excess rainfall into our pond and reduce soil erosion and silting from heavy rainstorms.  We also make extensive use of drip irrigation in our raspberries which makes more efficient use of precious city water and reduces leaf and berry fungal problems versus overhead sprinkler irrigation.  While almost all the Strawberry farms in California (where 90% of our store purchased berries come from in April thru September) and Florida (December-March) plant their strawberries into plastic covered beds, Lakeview Farms uses the "old fashioned" straw covered bed method which saves considerable plastic use and eliminates a major sanitary landfill component when this plastic must be disposed of each year.  At the end of each strawberry season we simply roto till the straw into the soil where it naturally decomposes and adds vital organic mater to the soil.

Unless I tell you differently when you visit the farm, you should assume that all crops have been sprayed.  All chemical applications are made by me personally, and careful records kept to insure that we meet with  government regulations.  While each pesticide that we use has gone through extensive toxicology testing and secured government approval for its use, there is always a potential risk involved (just like there would be for unanticipated side effects from any prescription or over-the-counter drug ).

It would be nice and save me lots of money  if I could avoid all use of chemicals and grow  things organically.  If we lived in a semi-desert climate (like eastern Washington State) where it never rained and  few insects around, this might be possible.  Unfortunately, Missouri summers are usually hot, humid and rainy -- in other words an ideal climate for insects,  weeds, fungus and other assorted pests.  If you are interested in just one consequence of NOT spraying strawberries click here.

As a general rule,  we very seldom spray fruit that is ripe or even close to being ripe. My experience has been that weed, fungus, and insect problems are more easily cured at an early stage -- the old adage about an "ounce of prevention" is certainly true when applied to controlling pests!  In addition, it would be almost impossible to keep people from "sampling" as they pick even if I were to post "ABSOLUTELY NO EATING"   signs throughout our patch and try to enforce it so our ability to spray ripened fruit is pretty limited.   I personally recommend eating  berries right out of the patch but if you are uncomfortable with that approach I would suggest washing them before you eat or freeze them.  DO NOT wash berries and THEN  try to refrigerate them as the refrigerator life of washed berries is very short.