Organic- What’s different?
Since 2004 our farm has set aside a portion of our land to farm organically. The unique challenge of growing crops in an unconventional way has pushed us to try many new farming techniques, as well as old ones that haven’t been used in many years such as mechanical weeding.
Long forgotten pests like the Colorado potato beetle have become a serious threat again. Organically certified sprays are available to use and we do use them, but sparingly and only when necessary. We look for ways to feed our crops with composts and organic fertilizers as opposed to traditional fertilizers used on conventional crops.
Even with all our best efforts, sometimes the risk is too great and we lose a portion of our crop. At times you will see increased blemishes from trying to separate the potatoes from weeds or damage from other pests which we have no organic line of defence.
Our commitment to relearning organic techniques has also given us the opportunity to expand these techniques to our conventional acres as well. Even on our non-organic farmland, we grow rotational plow down crops such as yellow mustard bio fumigant to fight pests like scab and wireworm. We have also increased mechanical tillage to reduce pest populations.