Our farmers use a variety of farming methods, all of which are designed to produce the most nutritious, delicious and sustainable products possible.
Biodynamic farming incorporates both specific methods and a philosophy. Biodynamic farmers view the soil and the farm as living organisms and regards maintenance of soil life as a basic necessity. The maintenance of soil life leads to the production of high-quality crops. This is done by the application of sufficient organic manure and compost in the best possible state of fermentation; by proper crop rotation; by proper working of the soil; by protective measures such as wind protection; cover crops, green manure, and diversified crops rather than monocultures; and by mixed cropping so that plants can aid and support each other.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated pest management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. For more information on Integrated Pest Management.
Nutrient Dense Farming
Nutrient Dense Farming (NDF) aims to grow crops that have a measurably greater quantity of minerals, vitamins, phyto-nutrients, and antioxidants than either conventional or many certified organic crops. These nutrient components also need to be in appropriate ratios to each other in order to maximize absorption and use by the body. Highly functional and robust soils translate into peak nutritive levels, peak yields, and peak pest, disease and extreme weather resistance.
Supporters of NDF beleive that fruits and vegetables grown with NDF have more complex and intense flavor and a longer shelf life. "Weeds" prefer different soil life communities than crop plants do so NDF reduces the need for field maintenance. NDF crops have a higher yield, are more resistant to natural challenges, require less maintenance and because of their flavor and richness, demand premium wholesale and retail prices.
Consumers are beginning to understand that they can discern the quality of the produce by its flavor, aroma, texture and vitality, as well as being able to measure its brix (a measurement of various sugars and starches present, indicating the presence of micronutrients) with an easy to use refractometer.
NDF practices include the use of minerals, biological inoculants, foliage sprays and nutrient drenches. The goal is to enrich the soil with optimal mineral levels for crop plants and their symbiotic soil microbes. If these minerals and their working partners are absent or in short supply, it is difficult for farmers and gardeners to raise high quality, nutrient dense crops. To enhance the availability of recommended rock minerals to soil microbes, —to nourish them and thereby the crops - growers coat them with humates, powdered fish, kelp, sugar or molasses, and biological inoculants. Source: Regional Farm and Food Network) For more information on NDF.