A Visit With Scott Osteen

I went to Osteen Farms today and bought a ham plus a dozen eggs. The animals on Osteen Farms are humanely treated. They were allowed to graze and their supplemental feed was non-GMO. That’s very important to me and most of Scott’s customers.

Scott Osteen gave me a tour and filled me in on his agricultural practices. He’s located in the Bronson area but visits the Farmer’s Market in Gainesville, FL very regularly: Wednesday afternoon downtown and Saturday morning at Haile Plantation. If you are interested in buying something from him, click here.

He practices regenerative agriculture. Scott does not use chemical fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides on his land. We talked a little bit about the organic label. He says it’s hard to acquire, easy to lose and just not worth it but his stuff fits the bill. Scott is like a salmon swimming up stream in our part of the world. He’s using animals and animal manure to enrich the soil before planting. Also, shunning monoculture and is a big fan of cover crops. Most area farmers are use chemicals and synthetic fertilizers to get results. That’s the accepted practice but something I shun when looking for food.

I’ve got some nice videos of him talking about his work. They are on my Facebook page. Click here to view.

Below is a chicken tractor. It’s moved everyday so the chickens (or turkeys) can peck and poop to their heart’s content. After months of this treatment the land is then planted with a crop. All the nitrogen is in the soil, courtesy of the chickens. Scott’s really into building up the organic matter in his soil. It’s hard to do in Florida because so much of our land is sand. Takes a lot of work.

An empty chicken tractor

An empty chicken tractor

Here’s fowl in the front and the chicken tractor in the background.

I saw lots of interesting things on his farm. Below is a picture of solar panels powering a pump. Going solar doesn’t have to mean huge banks of solar panels. Everyone should have a solar hot water heater. They are relatively inexpensive and can save you a bundle. Hot water heaters are a big power draw. Getting hot water using solar energy makes a ton of sense.

Water pump in the foreground and solar panels in the back. A great way to use free energy.

Water pump in the foreground and solar panels in the back. A great way to use free energy.

God is Green!

Sara Nussel