Beyond Organic

While we are not a certified organic farm – we find the USDA standards too low and the paperwork too onerous – we use strict organic methods: no chemical fertilizers or pesticides whatsoever. Growing organically is more than just about what is not being applied. It’s putting into play systems and habits that promote the healthy life of the farm’s soils. The original soil analysis of the farm told the story of essentially lifeless dirt with a very thin layer of topsoil that supported a meager pasture. Our goal continues to be improving the soil while working toward a system of rotation that builds its fertility and richness using only material from the farm.

This area is more suited to grazing than crops and the farm’s soils are sandy with little organic matter. The soils have needed, and will continue to require large amounts of compost. We are producing it now ourselves and supplement with fish emulsion, compost tea, and certified organic material from Gardenville, NaturesWay and San Jacinto Enviromental. We mulch our beds with grass clippings mowed from between and around the beds and bags of leaves we bring in from Houston and Edna. We irrigate with sweet water from 2 deep wells, using a system of low pressure drip hoses that do not waste our most precious resource.

As our soils have improved, so has the quality and quantity of our crops. Having come a long way, we realize we still have a way to go in this journey of building a sustainable farm.

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