Organic 101

Organic farmers work with nature instead of fighting against it. We're masters of ecology and soil science, using techniques that build healthy soil and incorporate environmentally friendly alternatives to the toxic synthetic chemicals used in conventional agriculture. 

Organic farming avoids serious long-term issues like groundwater pollution, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and health problems caused by exposure to chemical residues.

Building Healthy Soil

Creating rich, healthy soil is the cornerstone of organic farming. It’s what makes it possible to grow crops without relying on the many chemicals used in conventional farming. In addition, building healthy soil full of microorganisms can prevent disease by preying upon other, disease-causing organisms.

Every time crops are harvested or weeds pulled, nutrients and organic matter are withdrawn from the soil. If they're not replaced, the soil is eventually depleted of the resources plants need to flourish. So we have to think about how our crops will be nourished well in advance of planting time. The tools and strategies we use include:

"A number of studies show that when nitrates, a common element of artificial fertilizers, are converted to nitrosamines, they may be carcinogenic. The nitrate content of organically grown crops is significantly lower than conventionally grown products." - UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Controlling Weeds

Controlling weeds without synthetic herbicides takes a lot of time and money. Where conventional farmers spend about $50 an acre on herbicides that knock out every weed in sight, organic farmers may have to spend up to $1,000 an acre to keep weeds under control. We try to prevent weeds from growing in the first place by limiting the germination of weed seeds; then, we do all of our weeding by tractor or by hand. Other ways we control weeds include:

Controlling Pests

Organic farmers use fewer, less-toxic pesticides than those used by conventional farmers, and we rely on a variety of other methods to keep pests in check. 

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