Our Farming practices
To watch a variety of videos of various NH agriculture click on the following link. It is from the UNH horticulture site: http://www.nhptv.org/outlook/tuttle.htm
Also, the "Growing a Green Generation" is great for parents and young children, the website is in the http://horticulture.unh.edu/ website. It is filled with activities that encourage a love of science and nature. To directly acces this site go to: http://horticulture.unh.edu/ggg.html
I will continue to write more as I find the time and welcome any constructive conversations.
Now a word or two about organics. Foods grown organically does not mean it was grown without pesticides. Organic pesticides must be used on certified organic farms which means they are carbon based pesticides, not synthetic. Organic does not mean non-toxic or safe. Please educate yourself on what organic means. Foods grown organically in California and shipped to New Hampshire must be sprayed before being packaged as we can not take the chance of California insects getting into New Hampshire. Organic does not mean grown without pesticides. If you purchase local foods you will be doing away with most pesticides whether organic or synthetic. Such is the case when you hear about the "dirty dozen" list of most highly sprayed fruits and vegetables. These Fruits and vegetables have been tested after recieving post harvest treatments. In other words they were sprayed after they left the farmer's field, not before. This post harvest spray would not be required on food grown and purchased locally. However you never hear that mentioned when you hear or read the hype about the dirty dozen list. This is a form of lying by omission and only aids in the confusion of non farmers. Please get to know your local farmers and ask questions.
Our goal is to leave this land in a more improved health than when we started farming. We have been using sustainable farming practices long before they were called sustainable faming practices and long before the tem "organic" was coined. We deem it our responsibility to the land, our community and you, to remain open to new and sensible faming practices. We are not a certified organic farm, nor do we desire this certification for various reasons. The most important reason being the lack of non toxic organic fungicides and viable controls for our berry crops. The 2 main organic fungicides available are copper (cu) based and the 2nd one is Sulfur based. Cu is a heavy metal resulting in its potential to accumulate in soil. Some studies suggest a negative impact on soil biota as a result of this accumulation. This can have a negative impact on earthworm biomass. We refuse to use a sulfur based fungicide as many people have a degree of sulfite sensitivity. Sulfur is a widely used fungicide, especially on grapes (both table and wine grapes). It is one of the main pesticides used in organic farming.
In order to maintain an organic certification a farmer must use and document the use of cover crops. This is a good idea. We have been using rotation and cover crops for many years, however there is always more to learn. I know we can become even better cover crop farmers and blend with nature into a more balanced farming system.
We are very different from a traditional farm in our farming practices. We use extensive cover cropping and crop rotation along with minimal fertilization. We believe most farmers over fertilize. At this time our applications consist of either nitrogen based, fish emulsion or organic matter. We have not found it necessary to spray any synthetic or organic pesticides on our vegetables except for our corn. I don't like worms in my corn and neither do our customers. The organic method of control is too labor intensive for a farm of our size and not reliable enough. It is good for a backyard farmer. There are also many synthetic pesticides we refuse to use. Unlike many farmers we do not use herbicides in our Christmas tree fields. This lack of herbicide encourages native wildflower populations which encourages bees, birds and insects.