Adam and I just came in from the fields, we've have been weeding most of the morning and as all farmers know weeding is a time of contemplation. We have been discussing the drive/pressure we feel to make the CSA all that it can be, but at the same time through there are a lot of differences between us and other farmers that do CSAs .
The way we run the farm is a lot like a large personal garden that happens to take up 4 acres. All of crops depend on mother natures mercy but we do our part to work with her. Our irrigation system consist of one 100 gallon tank that we fill on the back of our pick up truck . All our weeding is done by hand due to the strong belief that the more you are in and around the plants the more you are aware of how they are doing in the fields e.g health or pest.
Also the manner in which we weed is quite different - a weed isn't just a weed, it has a purpose. Depending on the make up of your soil will determine what weeds gather there and the beauty in that is those weeds were constructed by mother nature to grow in that specific soil and often have the ability to harvest/produce nutrients in that soil that it lacks. Amazing huh!
Our pest management is also all done by hand. We have thought of the idea of using "organic" sprays but lets be honest they can be just as harmful to the ecosystem, although the majority of them do not accumulate in the ecosystem and break down quite quickly we just can see the point of using them as long as we are dedicated to removing pest by hand. There is also row cover which would be lovely we just haven't had the extra income to make that happen yet.
Adam & I are the only full time employees on the farm this yea.r We can only afford to hire our friend Stephaine on CSA days and Adam's brother Aaron on Market Fridays, other then that Adam and I do the other three markets and the CSA . We do everything we can to make the markets and CSA wonderful but this year has been especially trying. The season started slow with the cold weather hanging around that delayed our ability to transplant out when we wanted to. Our greenhouses we damaged and had to find time to fix them between our other job at the time at Valley Mushroom. Not to mention some of our first plantings taking weeks to actually germinate.
Our main goal is to keep the land healthy, the ecosystem happy, and keep quality vegetables for conscious customers available. In order to do this we intend to stay a small - to not sacrifice quality for quantity or sacrifice the delicate ecosystem for profit.