How Tom Wadson found greener pastures
“A country that doesn't have agriculture is a lost country,” said Tom Wadson.
Wadson's farm is named after the illustrious Tom Wadson, a man, a farmer and a lover of agriculture. The farm was started in 1976 after Mr Wadson came back from Ontario Agricultural College.
The economic geography class from CedarBridge Academy went on a field trip to Wadson's farm.
Wadson's farm is located on Lukes Pond Road, Southampton, with 40 acres of farm land, and is turning 40 years old next year. The farm has been leased over and over again for the past 40 years, with hopes to give it over to his daughter when the time is right.
Mr Wadson owns a couple of acres next to the Wadson's Farm Greenhouse. There are seven full-time workers and one who has been with Mr Wadson for more than a decade.
Wadson's farm is two-thirds plant production and one-third animal farming. The farm has been practising sustainable organic farming, as well as adding pasture poultry, sheep, pigs, the original Bermuda hogs and recently a pony!
Wadson's uses non-genetically modified products in their soil. They use organic materials like manure. Additionally, a variety of more than 50 crops are grown at Wadson's farm, such as sweet potato (which Mr Wadson is most proud of), carrots, paw paw, bananas, beetroots, tomatoes, lettuce, various herbs and celery seedlings.
Mr Wadson and his crew have been perfecting their sweet potato crops for a long while. They sell 60-80 bags of sweet potato to stores, along with their other produce.
Wadson's farm additionally has a wonderful greenhouse, which is used to grow hydroponic lettuce and seedlings. It also uses drip irrigation, which doubles its yield of water, which, in turn, saves the amount of water needed to grow the lettuce and seedlings.
The greenhouse allows lettuce and seedlings to be grown year-round and allows the seedlings to be sprouted for field planting.
Another farming method used at Wadson's farm is plasticulture, the use of plastics to make agriculture more productive and efficient by cutting costs and saving time.
The plastics used are made for farming and they conserve the important natural resources, such as water, nutrients, manure, and especially sunlight. In some cases, plastic can be used to limit sunlight and retain moisture, especially.
Black plastic is used to retain the sun's heat, which is imperative for certain crops. Plasticulture also reduces competition from invasive weeds and insects which can damage the crops.
Mr Wadson and his workers work hard to maintain the high standard of Wadson's farm.
Mr Wadson loves what he does. “I've been doing what I love since the age of 12,” he said.
He is dedicated, hard-working and is running Wadson's farm very well. Wadson's farm is a testament to how important agriculture is to Bermuda and to the rest of the world.