Our farming practices
There's a wide variety of farming systems, methods and standards out there which can be a bit confusing. We don't necessarily subscribe to any particular method or set of standards, but we do have the aim of producing tasty, nutrient dense and chemical free produce in a way that works with natural systems to improve the health of the land. This all starts with the soil so we're very much into building the quality of our soil.
So having said that, and for the sake of marketing we're going with "Organic principals" and "Regenerative" practices.
What do we mean by Organic principles?
This is a fancy way of saying that we're Organic, but we're not certified Organic. The certification process is time consuming and expensive and to be honest I moved out of a professional job to get away from paperwork.
But this doesn't mean that were not committed to following Organic methods and standards. Organic farming basically means farming in a way which cares for the environment, without relying upon synthetic chemicals and other unnatural interventionist approaches.
In our case this means;
No artificial pesticides are used - Rather than using synthetic pesticides, pests are controlled by planting a diverse range of crops, by rotating crops, using natural biological and environmentally friendly inputs, and conserving natural ecosystems.
No synthetic herbicides are used - In our case we use a combination of mechanical methods to deal with weeds. It takes time but it's worth it.
No synthetic fertilisers or amendments are used - We prefer to produce our fertilisers and amendments on site in the way of green manure crops, animal manures and compost. If we need to bring in materials from off-site we either use certified organic or make sure the source is well known.
Total focus on soil health - By focusing on soil health first, the health of the plant follows.
The organic certification is perhaps useful for larger producers that sell their produce out of a local area as it gives the customer assurance that certain standards have been met without needing to verify it for themselves. In our case, were only selling locally and anyone is welcome to drop in to see how we do things. In fact we will be encouraging our customers to come and see how we operate. There's also our integrity and local reputation to keep things in check.
What do we mean by Regenerative practices?
Regenerative agriculture is similar to the organic approach but slightly more trendy and perhaps takes on a wider scope of landscape restoration with a greater focus on mitigating the effects of climate change.
Regenerative agriculture on small farms and gardens is typically based on a variety of practices like Permaculture, Restoration Ecology, Keyline design and Holistic Management.
In our case this means;
Focus on increasing soil health and vitality by growing green manure crops, adding composted material, and use of "no-till" or "reduced till" practices.
Improving the water cycle on the farm by increasing soil carbon and small scale earthworks to slow the movement of water through the property.
Increasing biodiversity on the farm by fencing and re-vegetation of some areas and adding a variety of plants to attract beneficial insects and animals.