Growing practices

We are working to improve the health of the soil.

A cover crop of crimson clover preceded the planting of early spring greens in this field.

We grow cover crops and amend the soil with leaf mulch and compost.  This helps to boost the organic matter content of the soil and helps the soil to retain nutrients and water.

Our beds are built across the slope to reduce erosion.

Fertility is added to the soil through cover crops, local compost, and organic fertilizers when needed.

We do not use synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.

We do not use any chemicals that are not approved for organic use. We also try to use any pesticide, even natural ones, as little as possible. Instead we hope to build a healthy ecosystem where beneficial insects, birds, bats, and other predators of pests, can thrive.

We use crop rotation and crop diversity.

A clover and rye cover crop is used to build our soils. They also provide important habitat and food for beneficial insects. In the background a pen is being set up for some piglets. As those hogs grow up they help fertilize our fields.

Rather than growing the same crop in the same place year after year, we grow a succession of different crops throughout the fields, and always include cover crops in our rotation. Crop rotation is our biggest insurance against plant diseases and pests.

Cover crops are crops that are grown specifically to improve the fertility, drainage, and microbial health of the soil. Cover crops such as clovers, rye, vetch, wheat, and winter peas can be planted throughout the year, allowed to mature, and then tilled into the soil.