Just moved back to WNC after time in Hawaii doing new farmer training with GoFarm Hawaii and seed work with Hawaii Seed Growers Network. Joined the board of The Utopian Seed Project!
As ongoing students and educators of agro-ecological practices, we are able to put into practice what we have learned through our experiences and those of other farmers and researchers. When we think of our farming practices, they encompass the entire farm as a whole – from the steep hills all the way down into the tiny streams and riparian area surrounding them. We are working to restore the forested areas by planting tree successions and forest medicinals. We are setting up our cropping areas with erosion control in mind by creating mini gardens in flattish (“Boone flat!”) areas, utilizing terracing and wide buffer areas for pollinators to reside.
To build and maintain the organic matter in our soil, we practice a low-till and no-till system with deep attention to cover cropping with diverse species throughout the various seasons. We use soil tests to help guide us in any soil amendments we may need to add depending on the crop nutrient needs. We practice integrated pest management, which includes experimenting with varieties of crops that are least susceptible to pest and disease challenges, scouting consistently for the presence of pests and disease, removing badly affected plants and utilizing certified organic pesticides as needed. We feel passionate about on-farm breeding that allows us to select and create varieties that are well adapted to our farm site, are unique and tasty, and make novel combinations of genetic materials from friends, seed banks, travels, and fellow breeders/seed savers.
Corn, squash, tomato, pepper