We believe in farming responsibly; we live on the land we farm, and eat what we grow. We strive to grow a quality product while taking care of the land we grow it on. We plan to leave the land in better condition when we leave than when we came, preserving it for the next generation. We are very conservative in the use of herbicides and pesticides. Some of the ways we have achieved this has been to increase the use of predatory insects to control damaging pests. We also practice integrated pest management. This means we scout plants in the field to see what needs to be treated, rather than just following a spraying schedule. Although we are not an organic farm, we utilize many of the same practices.
We consider the environment in all aspects of the operation.Some of the practices we have in place are to use pine bark mix for potting soil because there are natural properies with in it to derease disease in our plants. We use root shield that builds disease resistance in the plants. This year we will now be using biodegradable plastic mulch made from corn starch in order to reduce the amount of petroleum based products going into landfill.
The livestock we raise are grown to be healthy. We feed our animals with what we grow on the farm. We have developed a nutrient management program that tracks everything we add to the soil. Every year we soil test, so we can add nutrients as necessary. We use compost, manure, as well as man-made fertilizers, so that we can achieve optimum soil conditions. We work hand-in-hand with Soil Conservation Services to develop practices to prevent soil erosion and to hold nutrients in soil. Changes have included waterways, filter strips, livestock waters, cover crops and no-till planting.
Yes, we recycle re use reclaim recycle as much as possible. In the greenhouse we reuse pots trays. Sometimes the things we save are just a little silly. We reuse old baler twine to tie up lima beans. Often we reclaim product from other buildings machines that would have been destroyed. Recently we moved an old building from the 1920’s, modified it, and now it is the turkey’s home. Tom has piles of things he saves or collects, because he knows he will make use of it.
We are not perfect, and everything is almost always a work in progress. There are practices we would like to implement to improve on things, and we are doing the best we can within limits of time and money. Karen learned being married to a farmer means that you are always two weeks behind, and getting ahead is always three months in the future. Farmer time is also at least 30 minutes later than other people time.