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BD Now! Hurricane warning
Lester L'Hoste is an organic citrus farmer living
south of New Orleans, in Plaquemines Parish.
This is the strip of land where the Mississippi River
finally runs into the Gulf of Mexico.
There is a series of citrus orchards and sugar cane
farms that run through the parish. You can also
see abandonded, overgrown plantations with massive
trees along this stretch of land. The area also
hosted a population of poor people living in shanty towns.
Lester had about 10-15 acres in production, using
lots of cover crops, poultry manure, and rock dusts.
He really liked keeping the ground covered in
a sequence of cover cropping. He obtained dramatic
soil organic matter improvements in his orchard.
A neighboring citrus orchard was also organic. The
second guy ran poultry through his orchard for
weed control. The birds did keep the orchard floor
clean, but the soil organic matter declined.
Lester said that alligators crawling up from the
bordering swamplands provided occassional
excitement for teenagers hired as fruit pickers.
The Plaquemines Parish government put out this
message and photos.
Here is a simple map of the Parish
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