Our farming practices center on the idea that by creating healthy soil, healthy and vibrant plants will grow. We cultivate 7 of our 40 acres, with 2-3 acres in vegetables each year: our operation is small. We believe that small-scale agriculture is a viable and sustainable way to bring the highest quality produce to local markets.
We grow our plants from certified organic or untreated seed that is non-GMO. We seek out many unique varieties of each crop and choose our favorites for flavor and adaptability to our growing conditions. We start our seeds in our heated potting house in potting soil mixed with compost. Our compost is made locally and tested for quality. We follow a crop-specific nutrient management plan, and use only only OMRI-listed fertilizers and mineral soil amendments to supplement the natural fertility created by our cover crop rotation. We use our tractor to prepare the field for planting, and beyond that most work is done by hand. We water from our deep well, using mainly drip irrigation.
We grow a diversity of crops and have permanent farmscaping rows where we grow perennial herbs and flowers that attract pollinators and beneficial insects. Growing diversity is one of the keys to our operation. It allows us to maintain balance and health in the soil by rotating crops of different families through the field instead of growing the same crop in the same area year after year.
We grow year-round in unheated high tunnels and extend the seasons outdoors by using row covers to protect from frost. Row cover and netting protects our plants from insects, wind, and heavy rain as well.
In the areas where we are not growing annual crops we grow cover crops to protect and enhance the soil structure and fertility. Annually we grow crops on about 40-50% of our tillable land; the rest is in cover crops.
We harvest our crops at the peak of readiness so that their flavor is exceptional. We wash, pack, and cool our produce so that it will keep well for our customers after they take it home.
We do not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemical fertilizers on our land. Pesticides destroy the natural balance of insects by indiscriminately killing both beneficial and pest insects. We want the food we grow to be safe to eat, and do not want our land tainted with chemicals. In extreme circumstances where weather conditions have created conditions that allow pests to thrive and stress our plants to very high levels, we may use use biologically based sprays that are approved for organic-certified operations as a last resort to protect the crops.