On a farm nestled between two volcanoes near Otavalo, Jose Talatorro tells the Ag Peer Group the family farms differently than others. “We use fertilizer and pesticides,” he explains. “Some people don’t believe in that.” The group climbs a hill to find a field of maize and below that, tree tomatoes. Jose’s brother, Luiz, explains the tree tomatoes are used for food consumption. They’re sold at local market. Their biggest advantage is the family can grow more than one crop each year. However, it can be expensive to farm. Wendell, Minnesota farmer Kendra Brutlag says it’s labor intensive. “There’s a high input to their cost, but they get a high output when they start producing for the tree tomatoes.” Talatorro and his family would also be considered innovative as they’re testing inputs and different maize varieties in on-farm trials. View more photos from the tour.
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