We're in the midst of our winter season and our caterpillar tunnel is pumping out delicious lettuce, kale, arugula, spinach, and tatsoi. We are also growing the following microgreens: triton radish, broccoli, pea shoots, red cabbage, crimson clover, red Russian kale, purple kholarabi, cilantro and sun shoots. You can find the varieties we are currently growing below.
Red Russian Kale
We want you to be undoubtedly confident in your choice.
We aim to provide as much information as possible about our process.
If you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask.
We use a variety of cover crops to build and maintain soil health and fertility. We grow hairy vetch, a pea/oat mix, crimson clover, and tillage radish.
Long term, we also want to incorporate methods from the practice of Korean Natural Farming, to reduce outside inputs. This will lower our cost, improve the microbiological
diversity and health of our soil, and will reduce our dependency on bringing in manufactured fertilizers. In the short term as we build our soil, we only use organic approved amendments and products.
We currently use a blend of alfalfa meal, kelp meal, crab meal, and granular humic acid, to amend our beds between crops. These are all manufactured by the company Down to Earth Fertilizer.
We also use a beneficial microorganism product called EM-1, which is just water, molasses and the microorganisms.
We also occasionally supplement with a blend of water soluble liquid fish fertilizer, liquid kelp, and fulvic acid on an as need basis, or to help plants adjust after transplanting. This might be as a foliar feed sprayed onto leaves, or a soil drench applied directly to the soil.
Since we use cover crops, sometimes the old crop is a cover crop and sometimes the new crop is a cover crop but in general, the process is as follows.
First, the old crop comes out. It is either manually removed, or the bed is tarped to kill off any crop residue such as stems, leaves or vines. Then we broadfork the bed, add a good layer of compost made from pure leaf mold, and rake the bed clean for planting of the new crop. Depending on what that crop is, and what was in that bed previously, we might also amend with some nutrients before raking the bed.
We direct sow about 60% of our crops, while the other 40% are transplanted.
We use both hand sowing, and a Jang JP-1 precision seeder.
We mostly hand transplant, however, we do have a Paper Pot Transplanter. It's a fabulous tool, and we use it sometimes, we're just not 100% sure that it's right for us. We're still trying to figure out how to best utilize it. Check them out at paperpot.co (not .com)
We employ a comprehensive IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach.
We start with perennial herbs and flowers scattered throughout our fields to deter and confuse "bad bugs," and attract and nurture "good bugs."
We've also introduced a number of "good bugs," that manage and control specific "bad bug," populations.
The goal is to create an environment where a natural balanced ecosystem thrives, in which the good bugs (and birds) take care of the "bad bugs," for us. This includes beneficial nematodes, lady bugs, lacewings, praying mantids and more. We get our "good bugs" from Nature's Good Guys, and Arbico Organics.
We also interplant as much as possible so we avoid any monocultures which are more susceptible to "bad bugs."
We also use trap crops to attract and trap certain "bad bugs", to keep them away from your food while it's growing.
In addition, we use insect netting and row cover to physically keep pest off of crops.
As an absolute last resort, we do have a couple sprays that we use in really bad situations. First we have our essential oil and Dr, Bronners castile soap blend, and if that doesn't work, we have some organic neem oil that we add to that.
As always, everything is organic approved, however, the goal is to not spray anything; period.
We aim to provide you the highest quality produce by harvesting as close to delivery as possible.
Greens wash: Our loose greens are harvested and immediately rinsed in cold water, that is sanitized with an organic approved mix of hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid. Then they are spun dry in a plastic basket, and finished off on our drying rack to remove any residual moisture. This process improves the quality and shelf life of the greens.
We then store our greens in exclusive storage bins in our walk-in cooler until they are delivered to your door, or packed into a clamshell for delivery to a local grocer. If we're not in your local grocer, ask for us!
Some roots are rinsed of heavy dirt and debris so they are mostly clean when they get to your door, some roots like carrots, might have some dirt which helps extend their storage.
Most fruiting crops like peppers, eggplant, etc. are harvested as they mature and stored at ideal temperature and humidity until delivery. We generally don't wash these crops since they're up off the ground, and doing so often decreases their storage life.