About Our Farm
Biological Stewardship Close to Home
Preserving biological diversity is important on our farm. In nature we see that diverse systems of plants and animals mutually benefit one another in a highly integrated synergistic whole. By creating habitat and forage for pollinators, beneficial insects, and birds on our farm we not only seek to add beauty to our surroundings, but also to strengthen the working relationships of a vibrant and healthy ecosystem.
This is an overhead drone photograph made late July 2018 by our photographer friend Chuck Whitman. The West fieldblocks in production represent 1/3 acre. 2019's 1/2 acre expansion is due South. The East field blocks were covercropped with Sudangrass and Sunn-Hemp to build soil for future expansions.
As it is above ground, so it is below, making the development of soil biodiversity of utmost importance to our growing practices. Soil is designed to be full of life. Plants forge below-ground economies in the root-zone with beneficial microbes, bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. These economies known as the soil food web, mutually benefit one another through biological exchange. The microbes receive carbon and sugars from the plants, and in return the plants receive increased accessibility to trace minerals and moisture content so that they can more easily build healthier plant immunities to both disease and pest vectors, as well as higher essential oils and brix contents. So what does that mean? Soil biodiversity leads in the longterm to increased soil fertility as well as produce with increased nutrient density. We implement practices which seek to nurture these biological systems.
One of our bees collecting nectar from a mid-summer cover-crop of Buckwheat which serves several functions in the ecosystem. Once incorporated into the top inch or two of soil, this crop helps to kickstart soil microbe activity.
We practice biological soil inoculation to increase soil biodiversity; semi-annual cover-cropping; on-site green manure amendments and bio-char production which provide food and shelter for the soil food web while simultaneously building soil tilth and fertility. Low-till procedures leave the “micro-herd”
relatively undisturbed, while human-scale cultivation practices (i.e. hand tools), intensive plant spacings and crop-successions and rotations enable us to farm our land efficiently, productively and sustainably on a relatively small footprint.
These are the West field blocks containing Gardens 1-3. Prior to the 2018 season they were amended with composted cow manure and wood shavings. These three 65x100’ gardens are capable of supporting a 46 member CSA. Once we reach full growing capacity in roughly 3 years, our total annual vegetable production will occupy 1.5 acres.
These are the same West field blocks in production early August 2018. Regular cultivation keeps our ground relatively weed free throughout the growing season.