Jesse Bolton lives and works in Erin, and is involved in the Back To The Land store located there. He will speak at the Gardening Partners of Dickson County monthly meeting Tuesday July 9 at 7 p.m. at the Tennessee Technology Center at Dickson.
Jesse was born in and raised in South Georgia, near Albany. He was a fourth generation farmer on a 298 acre farm in Terrell County. He grew peanuts, grain sorghum, rye, and cracker cows – long horns for roping. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He had the privilege of working for the Peanut Team for 2 years at UGA and with a large farmer and private research (South East Ag), learning about “big Ag” from 60 acres of watermelons and cucumbers to 2500 acres of Delta Pine 555 cotton. After that, he worked at the USDA National Peanut Research Lab in Terrell County. For 12 years he researched peanut-corn-cotton rotations with irrigation strategies, extensive soil testing, no-till verses all other tillage’s, and pesticide efficacy trials.
In 2011 he and his wife found out their prayers were answered with a plus sign on a pregnancy test. This started one of the fires he had on GMO and other “inventions” of food. He found himself questioning the honey buns he loved so much and the peanut butter that had more corn syrup than peanuts. He had spent 12 years of his life spraying chemicals and he began to realize that his body couldn’t handle it. He now believes there is a better way to do this, through community involvement in farming and gardening and people learning to care about what they eat and how it’s grown.
He believes that older style farming techniques and ideas can be gleaned and combined with newer knowledge to create an ideal way to grow food in a much safer and more natural way. That is why the Back To The Land store provides open pollinated seeds, hand powered equipment that most anyone can handle, ways to extract better and cleaner water via windmills and water pumps, family milk cows and goats that can produce both meat and milk for a large or small family, and small implements both for tractors and horse teams. It helps to keep lives in balance in this modern day world to be able to wake up and know exactly what you’re putting into your body and onto your families’ plates, to know you have grown food or raised meat on your own and that it didn’t have to come from a box or can at the store. It’s about taking back the ability to do for one’s self. That is what the “Back to the Land” store is all about, going back to our heritage and back to the land.