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Growing Transparency

Over the past few years, we have always had one reoccurring question from customers and social media followers? How do we grow our products and what labels do they bear (organic, grass fed etc.)? In this post we will break down various parts of our growing practices. This is only going to scratch the surface of how we do what we do so please feel free to reach out with any questions!

-Strawberries are almost in season! -

The short answer is no we are not certified organic although I cannot rule out that we may work towards that in the near future. Our produce currently bears no kind of marketing or growing label. We have received food safety certifications in years past but that varies year to year depending on wholesale customer demands.

So, let's talk fertilizer...

We have started moving towards the use of compost to help build up our soil's fertility and organic matter content but that being said we are still supplementing with small amounts of pre-mixed synthetic fertilizer to help our crops reach their full potential. We hope to increase the amounts of organic fertilizer and reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer used on our crops in the years to come.

Moving on to pesticides....

We definitely don’t think pesticides are the devil, but we have been EXTREMELY LIMITED in our use of them is the last 2 years. Our yields and crops have suffered because of it so understanding how to balance moral pesticide use and profit margins can be a fine a balance. I’m a firm believer in just because they say it’s safe doesn’t mean it is (especially when it comes to big name pesticide companies). There are definitely certain pesticides that we avoid, but when our tomato crop for example becomes infested with stink bugs or horn worms it is very hard to not treat them with something in order to save our yield. And while there are some good organic pesticides on the market (yes, you heard me right you can still spray pesticides and be organic but that's a story for another time) the price point and the effectiveness of those products is too high and too low respectively when we are not yet able to market our product as such for us to make a switch. While we could go on and on about agricultural chemical use we will stop there for now.

-a few of our most recent feeder pigs-

So, let’s move on from produce and talk about livestock.

The biggest difference between our pork and what you find on the grocery store shelf is that our pigs are raised on “pasture” “forest” or as old timers would just say “the ground”. Product you buy in the grocery store is raised in barns on concrete or metal floors for the entirety of their lives. However, just because ours are raised on the ground does not mean they are not feed a well-balanced diet of grain. Pigs would perish without these nutrients as they are omnivores and need a well-balanced diet of nutrients. Yes, our pigs and livestock help us with leftover tomatoes and pumpkins, but they are never solely given this for their diet. All our pigs are fed daily if not allowed to free feed. Now cattle are different, because they are herbivores they can live solely on grass with proper management. As for our cows, we have supplemented them with a very small amount of grain and hay through winter but have already switched to strictly grass on much of our herd. We hope to be able to finish on 100% grass. I’ve not raised enough cattle to say that I stand behind 100% grass fed beef, I’m just saying right now that’s the plan!

We want to provide healthy nutritious food for our family and community. We are also connecting with other farms that want to do the same and have similar goals in mind to help bridge the gaps. I could go on and on about this subject but what I can tell you is the biggest difference between us, and these other big names is if you call our phone, Emily or I will be the one to answer. We are always open to answering any questions you may have about our products and how we produce them. You don’t have to call a 1 800 number or go through 8 layers of the internet to get in contact with us and find out how we are raising the food we sell. We stand behind it and we are willing to tell you what we and other farmers are doing to provide the best products we can and in return you help support family farms! Call us today or check us out online!

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