Farmer Bobby Britt
What prepared you to be a farmer? I have lived in Decatur all of my life. My dad sold vegetables from the family garden off the back of his pickup truck for years. As kids we always helped dad. By 16, I started taking gardening more seriously. I was pretty excited about the new rototiller. Ever since then I grew the size of that family garden until it got to be 1/4 acre, then 1/2 acre, then 1 acre….and in 2011 it’s almost 3 acres. In 2005, BesMaid Garden Essentials became my full-time career. The name came from an ice cream business where my father worked for almost 20 years.
What is a unique feature and how many acres do you farm? With a special piece of equipment on the back of my tractor, I have been really happy with my raised beds which are now 285 to 300 foot long and is a benefit to the plant for water and to the soil. Most of my soil is leaf compote but can’t give away all my secrets[wink]. In early 2000 I decided to go completely organic and follow standard organic practices.. All the fertilizers used on the farm are Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) approved. I use certified organic fish emulsion and seaweed for fertilizer. In addition to the compost I make on the property, I also supplement with animal manure from local farms. I regularly use cover crops for “green manure” such as rye as a winter cover crop and Hairy Vetch, buckwheat, soy beans, and Sudan grass as summer cover crops.
Tell us about your main crops and how you chose the varieties. Like most small farmers are now planting, we bring you heirloom varieties of vegetables that have never been seen in grocery stores. These varieties have not been genetically modified and were in common use in the southeast prior to War.Fall/Winter vegetables you can expect: Broccoli (Green Magic, Pac Man, Arcadia, Blue Wind), Cauliflower (Cheddar, Purple Graffitti, Romanesca, White Cloud, Green Panther), Brussel Sprouts (Bubbles), Collard, Turnip, and Mustard Greens,Pac Choi (Black Summer, Joy Choi, Red Choi),Red Koma Suna, Hon Tsai Tai (Japanese Spinach),Carrots (Nelson),Onions (Yellow Granix, White, Red, Shallots),Arugula, All-Star Mix Lettuce,Romaine Lettuce,Rainbow Chard,Herbs (Cilantro, Rosemary, Basil, Garlic)
How much of food goes to farmers markets and or restaurants? It use to be 50 to 50 but now I’m selling more to restaurants
What challenges do you have as a farmer? Insects and weeds such kudzoo beetle. This beetle was just introduced to Georgia 2 years ago and it sucks the water out of my bean plants. I use pyganic insect spray.
Where would be your ideal location for your last supper, what would be your meal & music and who would join you ? Scallops and grouper with a medley rock and roll bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Green Day, Collective Soul and Lincoln park.
BesMaid Garden and Bobby Britt can be reached at www.BesMaidGarden.com or 404.288.6972