Longtime Thorvin Enthusiast


Jack-BosticIt was a profound pleasure to visit Jack Bostic and see his homestead farm. It was immediately apparent that this man has a vast amount of experience in, and knowledge of, growing and caring for plants. He uses Thorvin for Plants – Foliar and Thorvin’s kelp meal very successfully on his four acres of organic gardens and orchards. Jack was happy to share how he does it, and his sense of humor really makes you feel at home. When asked how he applied foliar spray, his reply was priceless: “I use a sprayer, of course! …any time I spray anything, I throw some seaweed into it. I use surfactant to make it stick to the leaves. I started out using natural soaps or real mild detergent, but for several years now, I’ve been using a natural surfactant made from yucca.”

Jack has over 100 apple and pear trees and estimates that he grows between 50 and 75 different varieties of apples. He’s been adding seaweed to his soil mix before planting for over 40 years. When asked how often he sprays Thorvin for Plants – Foliar, Jack says it varies depending on crop, season and if the plants are stressed or not. Typically, he sprays 2 – 3 times per season.

It was a treat to have a tour of his orchard, gardens and root cellar and a pleasure to enjoy samples of many of his crops, including more varieties of apples than you’ll find in any supermarket.

Jack’s methods are pretty hard core. He explains his traditional ways: “I still garden the way we gardened here generations ago, I use a push plow primarily. I use a tiller to break the soil in the spring, and I use hand tools the rest of the year. You don’t get any compaction. If you use a tractor to break the ground, you develop a hard pan because of the compression of the weight of the tractor on the soil, and if you use a tiller repeatedly; [with] a rotor tiller you destroy all the structure in the soil and turn it into a fine powder. My first tilling, I do with the power tiller and then I’ve got a low wheel hoe that I cultivate with and a high wheel hoe both.”

His irrigation system is straightforward, “I have a spring high on the mountain… I had a fellow up here with a backhoe, and we dug the spring out completely down to where the water was coming out of the ground and filled it with gravel; put collector pipes in it and buried two reservoirs below it and then ran the water down here.”

On crop rotation, Jack has a simple outlook. “I try to avoid planting the same thing in the same place. Generally speaking, I’m trying to use up any residual nutrients in the soil with the following crop and have something to eat later in the season, too.”

Jack is a longtime friend of Bill Wolf and he was there for the beginning of Thorvin. He’s been gardening organically since the 70’s; “about 1973 or 74”, he says. “I started out when Bill had Necessary Trading Company. I was gardening then using chemicals fertilizers and pesticides. I used some of his products and liked the way they worked. I started out by doing part of the garden one way and part the other [organically with Bill’s products] and was satisfied with what I got.” The difference was noticeable and Jack converted entirely to organics and away from conventional pesticides.

He started out using Norwegian Kelp. It was the only kelp you could buy to foliar spray with back then. “I’ve been using Thorvin for the last several years. I’ve used the feed grade as a fertilizer in the rows and the finely ground powder as a spray.” The Water Soluble Kelp dissolves very quickly.

So, how does Jack employ Thorvin kelp in his gardens? To put it simply, he puts it on everything! Every garden bed; every plant. When Thorvin put out the water soluble brand, Jack jumped on it. It’s just so simple to use it everywhere.

Thorvin Water Soluble Kelp truly makes it easy for the little guy to get great results with organic gardening.