As a certified organic farm
(our land has been certified for 38 years!), we grow in a way that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological
cycles and soil activity. We farm in a way that minimizes off farm
inputs and we implement a management system that restores maintains
and enhances ecological harmony. We farm in a way that not only
avoids harmful chemicals to people, plants, the air and the water,
but we also implement other growing strategies which enhance the
land and help keep the natural fertility of the soil. Organic
farmers use these types of practices to achieve their goals:
They improve soil biology with compost, properly
applied manure, crop residues or other organic matter.
They do not use synthetic, petroleum based
pesticides and fertilizers or products that have been irradiated,
genetically modified, or that contains sewage sludge.
They rotate crops to maximize soil health and to
minimize pest problems.
They keep records to document these practices
and are inspected by a third party yearly to make sure they are
compliant to USDA organic standards. This third party inspection
allows us the ability to market our products as “certified organic”
in the marketplace. This designation is a tool for consumers who are
seeking confidence in the way the food product has been grown.
We work hard
and pay extra money each year to retain our organic certification.
Often times we would save a lot of money and time in our growing
choices by not growing organically. Organic farming is so much more
than just “not spraying”, and many of these choices come with added
expense and labor. But we truly believe that each choice and input
has a cumulative effect on the environment and if we truly want a
healthy, productive soil and world for future generations that these
choices are vitally important. The cheap solution often has hidden
costs to people, the environment, and our health as a planet and
people. Our goal has never been what we can extract from the soil
and profit from, but rather to make an honest living and leave
behind a legacy of vibrant, productive soil for generations to come.
While the organic
standards and the regulatory body for
organic foods in this country is not perfect, we still believe that
staying certified organic is a way to promote confidence in our
products and our growing practices here at the farm. We think it’s
really important for farmers and consumers to communicate about food
choices, their impact of the local and global environments, and
about our farming methods. We welcome questions and dialogue about
our farming methods, and believe that openness and honesty is the
best way to achieve customer confidence.
Many farms that advertise as "no spray" use conventional seed to grow
without sprays. But using certified organic seed is important for
many reasons. First of all, most crops grown for seed have a much
longer life cycle and they take much longer to mature than food
crops. Often, these conventional seed plants are sprayed with
pesticides and fungicides at a much higher rate than food crops are.
The environmental effects of such production are magnified, and
plants, animals, and people in these seed communities are affected.
When we buy organic seed we also support the changes we want to
see, and support the organic seed producers who are dedicated to
growing these plants in a way that doesn't harm people, the plants,
or the waterways. When we buy organic seed we also support the
funding for increased organic research and development which in turn
we believe will help the earth and eco systems into the future.
Organic seed is more expensive, but we feel it is money well
spent and carrying on the organic method from start to finish gives
our customers peace of mind about the process, and the finished
is also important to us on the farm. We believe that the more varied
plant life we can add to the
farm, the more our community here on the land is strengthened. In
that vein, there has been a concentrated effort in the last ten
years to plant fruit, nut and native trees on the farm, and to
create windbreaks with native bushes and shrubs.
On the farm, each plant and animal interacts
to create a community
web of life here that adds to the personality
of the farm. Eva, our farm dog,
is an Australian Cattle Dog (also
known as a Blue Heeler) and takes her responsibilities here on the
farm very seriously. Her barking is the first sound visitors hear as
they pull up. While she takes her job as watch dog and alerts us to
all sorts of nuances and abnormalities happening, she also loves to
herd Dennis' shoes, get treats (she loves carrots!) and when she is
naughty she likes to troll the compost pile for forbidden leftover
food. In leui of cattle to herd, she chases squirrels, deer and
rabbits, and is obsessed with all farm wheels. She's the namesake
for the farm.
We also have a flock of chickens
around in a chicken tractor, feasting on spent greens or pasture
grasses giving us in turn, delicious orange yolked eggs. We have
limited amounts of eggs for sale at the market and at our CSA pick
ups. Making sure the chickens roam on fresh grass and salad greens
provides us with high quality eggs and gives them a natural and
diverse life, out in the sunshine and rain, content to be scratching
for seeds and bugs.
Our three farm cats
appear when the need arises. We have Olive, our highly dramatic 2
year old grey cat who is always looking for the next exciting place
to hide and explore. Garfield, who is quite a bit more laid back,
orange with a big stomach, and a tendency to lick you repeatedly as
a sign of his hunger, and Minnow, our wild and independent cat, who
often times seems more like a shadow darting in the tree line than