Our Growing Practices

all natural…

It is important to us that the food we grow is healthy and nutritious for our customers.  We use no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides on our crops.  We do amend the soil with organic compost and minerals to ensure that our plants thrive and produce nutrient-dense vegetables.  We use physical barriers, hand-picking, trap crops and, if necessary, organic sprays for insect control.  We’ve also planted 1/4 acre next to our field in native flowering species to attract beneficial and predatory insects.  We manage weeds with the use of hand tools and a small flame weeder.  To minimize the damage done by fungal diseases, we select varieties of vegetables that offer natural disease resistance, plant crops with spacing that allows good air circulation, and encourage a healthy soil ecology to help keep things in balance.  Rest assured, we never use GMOs in our production.

with the help of the soil…

our winter rye got its roots down before the cold set in

Though overlooked by many, soil is alive – or should be.  A healthy soil ecology is a boon to farmers.  Macro- and micro-organisms are responsible for building soil structure, cycling nutrients into plant-available forms, and keeping disease-causing fungus in check.  At Meadowsweet, we help fuel the ecology of the soil by making large additions of composted organic matter, using cover crops when beds are not in use, and trying to minimize tillage.  We even go so far as to take a look at the soil under the microscope from time to time to see what effect our practices are having on all of those great bacteria, nematodes, fungi, and the likes.  Healthy soil means much healthier plants.

simple, space saving technologies…

Nearly all of our practices make use of very simple technologies.  Instead of a riding tractor for working the soil, we use a walk-behind tractor – like a garden roto-tiller (but more of a beast) with different attachment options.  Because of this, we are able to make better use of our small field, with narrow pathways and no need for turn-around spaces.

IMG_0235

My great-grandfather bought this Earthway seeder decades ago to plant his sweet corn patch. My dad recently dug it out of the barn, cleaned it up, and passed it onto me as a Christmas gift. It’ll help me put all sorts of things in the ground this year. Good old simple technologies.

 

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