Our Growing Practices
Labels aside, here's the nitty gritty on how we manage our farm and why it matters.
We follow organic practices and are increasingly going beyond those standards. We are dedicated to soil health as the basis of a thriving farm. Without the use of tillers, we keep soil disturbance to a minimum. By using cover crops, compost, compost tea and mulch, we feed and protect the microbial life.
Effect on Plants
Healthier soils mean healthier plants. Healthier plants can defend themselves against plant eating bugs and disease, thus reducing our need for pesticides (we use only organic approved). More vigorous plants have increased yields and better flavor.
Effects on the Environment
Tilling the Earth releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Conversely, in a no-till system, plants draw carbon out of the atmosphere and into the soil. While constant tilling destroys the fertility in the soil and increases the need for fertilizers and amendments, no-till practices build organic matter in the soil and make more nutrients accessible to plants without manufactured inputs.
We’ve seen improved drainage in our fields during heavy rains. No-till systems also retain moisture in times of drought, and allow roots to search deeper for water.
Effects on Labor
Though the initial investment of hard labor is much higher without a tiller, in the long run some time-consuming tasks have gotten easier and faster. Our need for the broad-fork is wanning. We have significantly less weed sprouts each year. We are becoming less dependent on organic sprays. It’s not a quick process and it definitely takes patience. But the results are a win win win win!