We use mostly trap cropping and predator attractant planting to deter bad bugs from gobbling up our plants. Our pest control looks like rows of beautiful flowers instead of tanks full of questionable chemicals. Our long term strategy involves many perennial plantings to serve as beetle banks and natural predator habitat and regular cover cropping as our main strategy to maintain soil nutrition. We aren't certified organic because it takes a lot of time, paperwork and money. As of now, we've just demonstrated our practices directly to our customers by inviting them out for farm tours and giving them a detailed description of everything that goes into the food we produce. Honestly, we think that says a lot more than one certified word.
Many crops are direct seeded and others are grown in flats in our greenhouse and then transplanted into the field. We grow mostly outside but have added one high tunnel for season extension and hope to add more as time progresses. Eventually we hope to grow some great crops like ginger and hibiscus on a larger scale in greenhouses.
In 2015, before crazy crop production season, we converted the interior of our main barn into a produce washing station which meets restaurant standards of cleanliness and we built a walk in cooler which brings cold-loving veggies down to temp rapidly. Since then we've improved our washing and packing by adding a larger cool room with a cool bot , a handy little device that makes an air conditioner capable of cooling almost as well as a refrigerator compressor! Soon we'll expand the space more to increase capacity as our business is growing!
In the winters we rent fridge space from our neighbors at High Grove Farm and store our winter veggies in their giant apple walk in during their off season.
We use horses mainly because we love them, but they also cause less soil compaction than tractors and are actually equally or more efficient for certain tasks.
- When a field has been in cover crop and needs to be turned over before tillage, we use an old fashioned horse drawn plow.
- Weeding between the rows with a single horse cultivator has proven to be an excellent way to keep weeds at bay.
- Our culti-mulcher, a big iron secondary tillage tool made for us by Marvin Brisk in Halfway, Oregon creates great fluffy soil when it follows our Italian primary tillage tractor implement, the spader.
- We spread cover crops and fertilizers with an Italian ground driven cone spreader originally designed to be drawn by an ATV which we converted to horse drawn.
- We plant potatoes in furrows made by a horse drawn middle buster (trench digger) and we harvest them with a horse drawn potato plow.
- We spread manure and compost with an old rickety horse drawn manure spreader.
- We also plan to build a harvest cart that will get the horses involved year round.
We raise several breeds of heritage turkey as well as broad breasted bronze and whites. We do all the processing here on the farm with our own plucker and scalder. It's a lot of work, but we enjoy knowing exactly what our turkey's lives involved so we can guarantee their quality and that they lived the best life a turkey can. They eat lots of pasture and bugs and healthy, local non GMO turkey feed from Buxton Feed. This year we may experiment with supplementing a bit of their feed with spent grain from a local brewery.