Growing Practices

SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE:

For us, our working goals and achievements are focused on: First, good land, air and water stewardship for our communities and the environment based on science and research, common sense and ecologically friendly farming practices. Secondly, a fair quality of life for the farmers and our families in terms of finances and our health and wellness.  We work hard to bring the harvest to the table - our produce is local, healthy, nutritious and delicious!  We are grateful for our customers support as you help keep our small family business in business and therefore sustainable. 

  • ARE YOU ORGANIC? Consumers and farmers are faced with challenges that require making tough decisions. Although we have dropped the National Organic Program’s certified organic label; we continue to grow using organic practices which have worked for us and employ new strategies (including INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT).  Our focus remains up keeping the quality of our farm and reducing the record keeping and other related costs involved with the certified organic label. Our transition considers the demands of a diversified vegetable farm in terms of finances, health and wellness of staff, community and environment.  Our farms’ best management plan follows good soil management, crop rotations to break up pest and disease cycles, adequate irrigation, cover cropping and supplies of organic matter (like green manures). 
  • WHAT ABOUT FERTILIZER? The key to our fertility program is good field records of crop rotation, cover cropping and soil testing, which help to avoid over/under fertilizing and possible pollution. For example, cover cropping returns organic matter to the soil to maintain and improve soil properties, provide winter cover to reduce soil erosion and can add nitrogen to the proceeding crops to reduce fertilizer.  We use fertilizer as recommended by RUTGERS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION and use soil testing to match the timing of crop intake for most efficient use.
  • DO YOU SPRAY?  Many people think organic means no spray. That is absolutely not true! Our first line of defense are cultural practices that can prevent pest and disease issues such as crops rotations and careful selection of our seeds and plants.With the help of RUTGERS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION and IPM programs, we can apply a broad range of strategies to protect crops using a combination of methods, both organic and conventional. An IPM approach is safe, allows us to reduce our spraying and avoid crop loss, helps keep costs down and protects beneficial insects. Also we keep informed of current pest and disease problems and control methods by attending Rutgers meetings and receive their weekly PLANT AND PEST ADVISORY bulletins.
  • WHAT ABOUT WEEDS? Effective weed control is a must otherwise weeds encourage pests and diseases, compete with crops and interfere with the pick-your-own experience.  It requires prevention by combining crop rotation and cover cropping paired with cultivation using tractors, hand pulling and hoeing. As the farm grows, these practices that help prevent and suppress weeds are important for us, and we will use little or no herbicide where appropriate. Crop rotations reduce the proliferation of a species that prefer certain conditions, cover cropping smothers weeds by competition, and stale seed bed practices allow the weeds to germinate prior to planting and then are killed without disturbing the soil and bringing up new weed seeds.

IN CLOSING: We have addressed the ecological and economic issues facing our farm future. Our farm is an open book and we are willing to discuss how we grow it and why we do it. We eat this food too! People join a CSA for many reasons: to eat healthier, have been affected by an illness and seek food for healing; lessen the use of processed/packaged foods; teach their family about food and where it comes from; save money on groceries; know their farmer and connect to the land and community. Through our CSA program, we invite you to join our farm and create a stronger community and localize the economy. Thank you for your interest in our farm and helping to keep our family farm a success.