Our farming practices
What we don't use?
We never use any chemicals (pesticides or herbicides) that will kill any form of living organism, even if it is accepted as organic. (Yes, there are pesticides that Certified Organic farms can use!) We strongly disagree with that practice, therefore we utilize other methods to keep our produce healthy.
What do we use and do to protect our crop?
- We cover some of our crops for a period of time with row covers or insect netting to protect them from insect pests when they are the most vulnerable. Once they are stronger, the protection can be removed.
- Since we keep our farm pesticide free, we have a healthy amount of predatory insects, birds, toads and frogs (we call them the 'pest control crew') to keep the unwanted insects in check. Sure they will do some damage, but it is not sever enough to lower our yield or make the crop unappealing.
- To provide our pest control crew shelter and breeding ground, we keep part of our grass field untouched. We also have 7 acres of woods, about an acre of wetland and a pond, all of them very close to our field.
- Some insects taste so bad that no one wants to eat them; these we have to remove by hand. It is more work for sure, but it's worth the effort.
- To prevent bacterial and viral infections we grow the vegetables in an ideal environment, by rotating crops, providing them with optimal amount of nutrients and water. This way they are in good health and able to resist diseases better. We also try to pick varieties that are naturally more resistant to the most common diseases. From time to time we still lose crops, but it typically happens at the end of their productive period, so we just cut our losses at that point. To counter-act that loss we do multiple seeding for most vegetables, staggered over a longer period of time.
We chose not to seek certification for the following reasons:
- Since we both have a degree in a field of Biology and educated ourselves in organic farming we know very well and understand what it means to be organic and we go beyond and above the certification requirements with our production practices.
- In our view, certification only means that the farm owners understand the requirements and, at the time of inspection, adhere to them. Customers still have to trust any certified farm that they do grow their crops organically, even when no-one is looking. We hope that all certified organic farms observe all the rules, but recognize that a certificate does not sufficiently prove this. For this reason we feel that the amount of paper work and money required to be certified is not justified.
- We are willing to answer any questions or address any concerns regarding our growing methods.