How we grow Food & care for this land
The Earth comes first on our farm.
At heart, we are worried environmentalists who are desperate to do something for our planet and people. We know there are certain ways of producing food that really do work to feed people with delicious and nourishing food. Even more, these ways can produce food without fostering a legacy of environmental degradation that is all too common in agriculture.
As farmers, we are still worried environmentalists. But, now we have something to do.
We are reimagining the legacy and landscapes of farming on our planet.
Here is what we believe:
Farms should maximize and facilitate increased biodiversity, not decrease it.
Our farm maintains wild space for diverse species to exhibit natural behaviors & desires.
We interplant different species in our beds.
We rotate fields and beds throughout the season to host diversified soil biology.
Starting in 2023, we will begin to plant hedgerows in our fields to create more habitat for insects and animals.
Farms must restore soil health to achieve farm viability and a sustainable local food system.
We prioritize regenerating the health of the soil biome for our farm's longterm viability.
Compost, mulches, living roots, and soil balancing work to revitalize the soil food web.
We test our soil and water quality every year.
Farms should input as little fossil fuel and single-use plastic as possible.
We made a whole-hearted decision to be a human-powered farm.
We celebrate the human bodies that are able to perform this work with the skill and care
food production will always, always require.
Farms can and must sequester atmospheric carbon in the soil.
We keep the soil covered with living plants or mulches at all times.
We maximize living roots in the soil - plants pump carbon into the soil.
We practice minimal tillage to reduce the release of soil-bound carbon.
Farms must practice minimal tillage.
We minimize soil disturbance from tillage by tilling only once in a field's lifetime.
Tillage increases the breakdown of organic matter which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Tillage creates a plow-pan layer in the soil structure - reducing drainage and increasing compaction.
Tillage encourages a simplification of soil biology and eliminates essential diversity.
Tillage is disturbing and disruptive to the soil ecosystem and keeps soil organisms from releasing nutrients, aerating the soil, and storing carbon.
Ask your farmer about their tilling practices!
We know we can honor these beliefs and produce plenty of good food for our community.
Food that is good for the planet is good for us and good for our farm's future.
Living Pathways : Maximize living roots in our beds and aisle ways Reduce runoff Keep in moisture Lower ground temperature during peak summer Increase carbon dioxide at plant level
Working with Worms! : We raise a herd of composting worms year-round to produce our own nutrient-rich worm juice and castings.
Broadforking : Loosens & aerates soil Allows us to be tractor-free Keeps us strong Reduces compaction
Intercropping : Supports more diverse soil biology Creates micro-habitats in the same bed Increases farm efficiencies Reduces food waste
Soil Block Transplants : Healthier plants No root-binding = Less stressed Reduced plastic trays Fun to plant!
Make it friendly : We designed our farm to keep farmers, farmworkers, & visitors happy. There may not be a study yet examining farm bed length and employee morale, but we feel that farming is hard enough without 300 ft long beds. To make it a little easier and have some more fun, all of our fields are just 50 feet long. Aisles are human sized and spacious enough for totes, dancing, and buddying up when working together.
Pea & Oat Cover Crops : Build soil carbon Fix nitrogen Feed soil life during winter Reduce compaction Reduce erosion
Renewable Energy : All plants are solar powered! We should be too! We are working to power our whole farm with renewable energy by 2027.
Water & Soil Testing : We test our soils to understand how we can best support soil balancing and biology. We test our water supply to be sure it stays clean and safe to drink.
Less Plastic : We are always looking for ways to be less dependent on off-farm resources (like plastic and sand). We love when we can find a system or tool that reduces plastic and is more body friendly like these low tunnels that have eliminated the need for sandbags on our farm. We want as little plastic as possible to grow food! And our backs are happy too!
Wild Spaces : We allow the goldenrod and milkweed meadows to flourish on the edges of our farm. By re-wilding farming landscapes, we can increase the complexity of species living on the land. Complexity is ecosystem health and resilience!