Our soils on the farm are classified as a light “Burford loam”. This soil type is a natural for vegetable production. We feel it is one of the reasons why our customers comment that our vegetables taste so good.
We are not a certified organic operation, so what do we do ?
It is important to understand that vegetable crops deplete the soils significantly through-out each growing season. It is necessary to replace the nutrients and organic matter depleted by plant growth. To address soil depletion we adopt an approach to our vegetable production which protects the soil for present and future production. The worms thrive in our soil, a good indicator for soil health !
In our gardens we apply natural pre-plant fall fertilizers, like manure. To supplement the plants during the growing season we apply molasses, liquid seaweed/kelp and simple calcium. To replace organic matter we rotate vegetable crops with field crops such as alfalfa, soybeans, wheat. This practice provides natural forms of nitrogen, water retention and weed control for the benefit of our vegetables throughout future growing seasons.
Mechanical and hand weeding minimize the use of conventional herbicides during the growing season.
Our biggest challenge is to control the many insects that attack our crops. We practice the following methods to eliminate/reduce the application of conventional insecticides.
- Companion planting (some plants repel specific insects)
- Timing of plantings (outside of insects normal breeding cycles)
- Beneficial insects (good bugs controlling bad bugs)
- When control is deemed necessary, investigate organic materials first