Healthy people have healthy spirits, minds, and bodies. We believe our bodies are made of … dirt!
"Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7 (NIV)
Life is a gift that only comes from God, but He made us from the ground. We look at that relationship seriously and think if we want healthy bodies, it should come from healthy food which comes from … healthy soil! It's a moisture-locking composition that's brimming with worms and beneficial bacteria. Roots are released to bore deep, releasing exudates and interacting with soil biology to absorb all the minerals that make the plant healthy. Once a healthy soil structure is established, plants begin to thrive and provide nutrimental vegetation which becomes wholesome food!
It only takes a second, even for an amateur, to scoop up a handful of soil and visibly assess the content of organic matter, soil aggregates and moisture levels. Modern practices of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, heavy tillage and compaction by increasingly larger machinery all too often produce acres of dry, bare fields void of beneficial microbes, fungi, nematodes, carbon and organic matter. We Americans have valued cheap food. We have chosen highest yield and least amount of labor, bigger machines and less farmers , chemistry instead of creation biology. And we reap what we sow and we are what we eat. We have chosen enormous, bloated grain bins full of cheap, genetically modified crops grown by hazardous chemicals and larger machines operated by fewer and fewer farmers, instead of higher quality, nutrient dense foods grown by higher numbers of farmers working with the soil.
How is food grown on Papa's farm?
Focus on the soil Because we prioritize our soil, we are constantly making adjustments to our growing practices that strive for healthier soil composition. We use compost either purchased certified organic or decomposed right here on Papa's farm. Our seedlings begin with seed starter we blend ourselves using a ratio of organic cow manure compost, peat moss, and sand (as an alternative to perlite/vermiculite).
covering and feeding instead of tilling
Seedlings are transplanted to our garden beds which are kept aerated and weeded WITHOUT TILLING. We use a no-till method of planting by keeping our soil covered with hay/mulch. By not tilling, our soil retains more water, helps keep weeds down, and feeds rather than destroys microbes and fungi. Many organic farms rely on tillage instead of herbicides to kill weeds. Unfortunately heavy tillage destroys the life in the soil. While it is great that their produce doesn't contain chemicals we think there is a better way that produces more nutrient dense foods.
creation's biological processes instead of synthetic fertilizers
Soil was created as a medium where minerals, microbes, fungi, carbon, moisture, etc. all live and work together. A growing number of gardeners believe that when soil is healthy, plants respond better than they do under synthetic fertilizers and without the side effects. We choose not to use any synthetic fertilizers on our seedlings or plants. Our produce is grown with plenty of sunshine, water, organic compost, and the nitrogen boost that our hay cover provides.
organic approaches instead of pesticides
Pests here are controlled using totally organic methods, such as intercropping with plants that repel pests, intercropping with plants that attract beneficial insects, non chemical traps, hot pepper spray deterrent, and hand picking. I am excited to try experimenting with aerated, biologically active compost tea.
hay not herbicides
Instead of week killers, we use a suppression method that involves covering the soil with layers of locally sourced and organically grown hay. The hay keeps the weeds down and soil moisture levels high, and feeds the microbes and worms!
What does Papa's farm grow?
In our 5,400 square feet of beds, we grow a colorful and nutrient dense variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are tasteful to both palate and eye.