We believe the way we farm matters. We believe we need to nourish the earth that nourishes us. To those ends, we:
- Grow vegetables that are certified organic by the Real Organic Project and MOFGA
- Use biointensive and permaculture farming practices.
- Use mostly electric farm equipment, partially powered by solar panels.
- Amend our soil with carbon-sequestering biochar.
Why do we farm this way?
The vast majority of climate experts say:
- The climate is changing.
- These changes are largely due to human activity.
- Humans can slow down or reverse these changes.
Even many of those who remain skeptical about the claims of these experts are now reaching the conclusion that the potential risks of climate change are now so large that much more action is needed.
Many experts estimate as much as 15% of the climate change problem is caused by farming. To help address this problem, we use organic, biointensive and permaculture practices, which are far better for the climate than typical farming practices, but we also focus on two other specific actions. First, although we haven’t completely succeeded, we work hard at reducing the routine use of fossil fuels. To help meet this goal, we use lots of tools that are very efficient but are “powered” only by people, and we use lots of equipment powered by electricity. And second, we’re big fans of the soil amendment called biochar.
Biochar is charcoal-like substance that was made and used in large quantities thousands of years ago by people in South America. More recently, research at Cornell University and many other places is indicating that widespread production and use of biochar now could be hugely beneficial – and surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be much of a dispute about this. Doing this would sequester large amounts of carbon in the soil for at least hundreds of years, significantly improve soil health and crop yields, and significantly reduce the need for crop irrigation. Unfortunately, public awareness about biochar continues to be very low, so we’re trying to help increase awareness by using biochar ourselves and sharing our results. Starting in 2021, we will begin collecting data from a new round of biochar trials on 11 “virgin” plots; each of the four beds (rows) in each plot has received a different rate of “ground biochar” application. Also, in response to many requests, starting in 2020 we ordered more biochar “granules” (concentrated biochar) than we needed for our own operation, so we have enough to offer granules for resale to other farmers and gardeners. Please contact us if you may be interested in buying some biochar granules! For more information on biochar please see the biochar resources below.