Certified Naturally Grown vegetables and fruit from the Red Cedar River Valley in western Wisconsin
The best way we can summarize our philosophy is with a principle we return to in our reading and in our own thoughts: There is always time for the right work.
(first encountered explicitly in adrienne marie brown's Emergent Strategy).
For us, this means it is worthwhile to spend time and energy discussing a question/problem with or getting to know our customers. It is worthwhile to build soil health and gradually build microbe population, even if it means occasional low yields initially.
Our farming practices include
- creating and maintaining conditions that allow mycorrhizal fungi and other microbes to thrive
- building and protecting habitat for a wide variety of insects, definitely including pollinators
- using only Certified Organic and Certified Naturally Grown seed
- on-farm creation of high quality compost
- minimizing tillage
- we use tarps to suppress weeds and improve tilth, then remove them for planting
- use of leaf and straw mulch
- allowing earthworms and certain cover crops to 'naturally' till the soil
- light surface tilling is only used when conditions get out of hand, which is rare
- increasing soil organic matter using compost and cover crops
- minimizing off-farm inputs
- focus on just a few natural substances that increase soil and plant health
- use organic-approved fertilizers/amendments when needed to produce nutrient dense food
- folks often don't realize that organic growers rely on regular applications of fertilizer (organic certified), often produced/mined far away
There is much more to the process of growing marketable produce than most people realize, and we are happy to share the challenges and rewards that are out there, as well as the ideas we are excited about (there are lots!).