Commercial Fruit & Vegetable Grower Praises Benefit of Thorvin


“While at the farmers market yesterday I was selling produce and plants, I am always promoting the benefits of Thorvin kelp. Customers tell me how sweet my carrots and lettuce are. I attribute that sweetness to kelp. People do not understand the need for the full spectrum of nutrients. By the way, I am now adding it to the soil when I transplant tomatoes and summer squash. The more nutrients the better.” –Gary Scott, Twin Springs Farm, VA

Thorvin is an important part of Gary Scott’s crop nutrition program. care. He’s been a loyal user of Thorvin’s organic kelp for 15 years. At Twin Springs Farm in Virginia, he grows commercial vegetables for sale year-round without any heat in high tunnels. He puts Thorvin in everything he grows, from starts to transplants, to topdressing at every rotation. Even potting: organic potting soil, a little compost and some kelp. “A lot of what I’m doing is because I wanna eat it,” Gary explained with a chuckle. “I walk outside right now, and I’ve got kale and lettuce and turnips and beets that are better than anything you can buy in a store.”

Scott, at 63, can still out perform men half his age. He attributes this to good nutrition from the vegetables he grew using kelp. He has three main reasons why he thinks Thorvin’s kelp is awesome – It contains a full mineral spectrum the plants can get to quickly, vegetables grown with it are sweeter and have a longer shelf-life, and last but not least, the plants’ health and vigor. His view is that if you can get vigorous, healthy plants, then you’ve got the most profitable plants and he believes kelp is the best way to get there.

“I’m so high on Thorvin’s kelp, and I’ve tried other kelp, not much. First of all, as you know, you get the full mineral spectrum. I also think, because of the way it’s broken down, it releases those minerals faster.” Scott explains that he has no scientific background and no data to qualify what he’s saying, “… but I do know the results, and I do know what I’ve experimented with. I’m so convinced of how beneficial kelp is …” He uses kelp every time he transplants or makes a compost. Basically, every time he interacts with the plants. “… I always use some kelp in whatever I’m mixing.”

Scott grows amazing carrots and greens in his high tunnels. He sells them for a premium and people usually buy two. “… if I’ve got 50 bunches, I can sell 50 bunches… If they’ve had them, they go, ‘I’ve never eaten anything like it.’ … If they see me with carrots at the market, they suck’em off the table. When it comes to greens: lettuce, spinach, certain asian greens … I am absolutely convinced that Thorvin’s kelp is a differentiator for me. People are always telling me: ‘Your lettuce keeps so much longer.’ ‘It’s so much sweeter.’” This is compared to other growers, not what you would get in a Whole Foods or another grocery store. “So, that’s shelf-life, too.”

His extensive use of kelp can add up and some wonder if the expense is worth it. When topdressing 160-foot rows, he says he probably used a five-gallon bucket on one row. “It’s funny. Some people say, ‘Well, that stuff’s expensive.’ and I say, no. Disease and dead plants are expensive.” Scott talks kelp up to his farming friends, reasoning that if plants get weak and begin to die, something else gets to eat it instead of you. “I mean, it’s just Mother Nature … It’s just like when you’ve got a decomposing body, right? Whether it’s a deer, a skunk or a human. Mother Nature goes, ‘Oh, it’s dying or it’s dead. It’s time to eat.’ Well, plants do the same thing. They put off a signal; I’m totally convinced of that … It’s just Mother Nature working.” So, keep those plants heathy with kelp.

Healthy plants can fend off disease, but what about when aphids rise up? “I have [three varieties of] early kale… I let the aphids get away from me … but I know that soil is healthy. They really started tearing those plants up. So, I killed’em back… with a combination of neem oil and paraganic, paraganic will kill beneficials, but it’s organically approved. It’s a pyrethrum, but once aphids get ahead of you, you gotta do something. So, those plants, I was just out there today picking through them and those plants have completely recovered. Those plants got hit hard … Once I got control of those aphids, those plants came roaring back, and I believe it’s how healthy they are.” Gary uses compost and alfalfa meal, too. He’s not saying kelp is the end all to everything, “…but I think augmenting everything with kelp is a huge advantage.”

Gary Scott began ramping down production in 2016 when his wife contracted cancer. She has since recovered and is doing very well. She will continue to have plenty of yummy vegetables to eat. Gary says they’re going to slow things down, “But I will continue to grow. I will always use kelp.”

For more info about Twin Springs Farm and its beautiful 76 acres located in Nelson County Virginia, check out their website.