Well here we are at the start of another season! We are very excited for the results of all our ideas, research and hard work implemented at the farm since we signed off last fall. We have added nearly a mile of deer fencing, 150 tons of organic matter and planted nearly 40 acres of winter rye and clover to build, improve, and invest in our soil. I went back to school and attended conferences for sustainable farming and have put nearly all of what I’ve learned into practice. Farmer Jeff and I have placed our “chips” on simple technologies of low tunnels and swing arm trellises, and organic approaches toward nutrient management to improve the environment for our plants and purge ourselves of the need for sprays and chemical fertilizers. We will be working closely with University of Maryland extension to help us with our Integrated Pest Management and have even begun offering a summer internship program for students interested in pursuing a career in agriculture. What we are hoping all of this “farm speak” means for our valued members is better quality produce and more of it; a connection and a sense of pride that your farm and food source is working hard to be both an asset to the environment as well as the community.
In addition to all the steps we are taking toward sustainability at the farm we are also pursuing measures toward being consistent with our messaging at the markets and CSA as well. It is not just our produce that is local. We are also a seasonal employer of approximately 40 Montgomery County high school students and graduates with interests in environmental science, food, and farming. We are passionate about reducing food waste and providing nutritious sustenance to those who lack the means by partnering with local charities, food banks, and individuals to ensure the produce that goes unsold and unpicked in the field can find its way to a good home. Last but not least we are planning on eliminating single-use plastics and working with our members and customers to educate ourselves on the impact of plastic toward the environment and global warming and how we can modify our behaviour to affect positive change. If we can improve our behaviour perhaps we can influence others to do the same.
So I hope you are as excited as we are to begin a new season and I look forward to seeing everyone soon!