First, and foremost, we use no synthetic inputs on our farm at all. We believe that chemicals disrupt the natural processes that occur in a healthy soil and choose not to use them, at all, period. We accept that we will lose some of our produce to certain pests, and that we will have to weed our beds mechanically, often by hand.
We grow in a “bed” system in our garden. Each bed is approximately 30 inches wide by approximately 50 feet long. After we till the bed, we never walk in it, or move any machinery over it. This prevents unwanted soil compaction and allows for more root growth of the crops we cultivate.
We currently have only about one acre in cultivation. As soon as one crop is harvested, it is either replaced with new transplants waiting to go in the garden, or it is direct seeded to another vegetable crop. This succession planting, combined with high density planting of certain crops, result in a surprising yield from such small square footage.
All weeding is done by hand, using colinear or stirrup hoes. We grow all our transplants from seed here on site, as this gives us control of how they are grown and also what varieties we plant. We put in all of our transplants by hand, and we harvest and wash all of our crops by hand.
During midsummer, when the heat prevents many of our salad crops from growing (and tasting) well, we will plant some of our beds into a summer green manure, such as Sorghum or cowpeas, to add organic matter to the soil. As the cooler days of late summer and early fall approach, these cover crops are turned under, and the salad crops will be planted again.
At the end of each growing season, we try to put a grain/legume cover crop mix into as many beds as possible. Our most common cover crop mix is annual ryegrass mixed with hairy vetch. Both are winter annuals, which when planted in fall, will overwinter, and produce a large amount of green manure the following spring.
We also make our own compost, which consists of grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and shredded fall leaves.
Even with the green manuring and composting, certain crops will occasionally need additional fertilizer. We supply this extra boost of nutrients by using a liquid fish emulsion / seaweed extract solution. These fertilizers are allowable in USDA organic production.
We are a small farm, committed to the quality and freshness of our produce. We stand behind what we grow and how we grow it. Our small-scale limits the amount of produce we can bring to market each week, but we have complete and total control over the quality of produce we do bring. If, for any reason, our produce is not up to your standards, let us know, and we will gladly refund the purchase price AND replace the item, no questions asked. If we are unable to replace the item (due to being sold out) we will refund twice the purchase price.