Providing fresh, organic produce for our community to promote nutritious, local food choices.
Our family farm is set in the rolling hills of Felton, PA. We are USDA certified organic through PCO (Pennsylvania Certified Organic). We make an effort to provide a wide array of high quality vegetables.
To us, growing and eating organic makes sense for several reasons. The first is to avoid eating chemicals that are infused in genetically modified food or left on crops from pesticides and herbicides. Yes, many claim that the chemicals are perfectly safe to eat, but most studies that investigate these claims are funded by the companies that sell the chemicals. Meanwhile, at least one study funded by an outside source found that some of these chemicals can cause tumors in rats which have similar physiologies to humans. Knowing that, why take the chance on your health if you don’t have to?
Another reason we grow organically is to help maintain the health of the land. We want this small farm to provide a variety of food for people for decades to come, so keeping it healthy is essential. One of the main organic methods we use is multi-year crop rotations. We try not to plant a crop in one spot more than once in five year (preferably seven) so that the soil has a chance to replenish the nutrients that a particular species used (for that matter, we try not to plant related species there either because they have similar needs). This system also helps disrupt pest and disease problems as it takes time for them to find their desired hosts each year and they may not even be a problem if they find the plants late enough.
Another organic method we use to maintain soil health is cover crops. Cover crops are ones which are not eaten but are instead planted when a field is not in use (i.e. winter season). These plants help manage weeds, prevent good soil from eroding away and, in many cases, actually help restore nutrients to the soil.
The main reason to grow and eat organic, however, is the taste! Perhaps this is a matter of opinion, but we think produce tastes better when not tainted with chemicals and even more so when fresh off the farm. And we don’t seem to be the only ones who think so. Our four young kids will pluck beans, blueberries, peas, cherry tomatoes and peppers straight off the plants and eat them in the field. It is very satisfying to see the blissful expressions on their faces as they munch their way through these tasty treats. Even if we can’t offer our vegetables straight off the plant to everyone, we hope to make it as close as possible so that everybody has a chance to experience what really good, nutritious food tastes like, just like we and our children do.