At Belvedere Plantation, everyone’s name tag has the title “farmer” but Farmer Donnie is the real deal. As president of Belvedere Plantation, he’s the third generation to run the farm and the one who oversees operations. With that in mind, we did a quick Q and A with him.
Q: Why did you choose to continue the family farming tradition?
A: I don’t know anything else. Plus, in personality and aptitude testing, I’m in the 5 percent that likes intellectual pursuits and working with my hands. Farming requires a mixture of science, problem-solving, mechanical aptitude and lots of hands-on work. Most people I know went to college to get a job; I went to college to learn how to learn and get away from a job for a while.
Q: What crops do you grow at Belvedere?
A: We plant cover crops in between pumpkin seasons, including rye. We also plant mustards to control certain diseases and grow flowers for people to cut.
Q: Weather is a critical issue for farming and the Fall Festival. How do you monitor it?
I use three weather apps. The key is when the models are in agreement. That’s when you have the higher level of confidence.
Q: What do you do when Belvedere closes for the season?
We’re getting ready for the next year!