Growing Practices at Earthkeeper Farm
Earthkeeper Farm is USDA Stellar Certified Organic. Meaning we comply with the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). Our “Stellar” certification denotes that we operate by stricter standard then other organic farms and also use biodynamic growing practices. Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to growing. It looks at the physical aspects of the earth and plants, as well as studying the spirit and unseen forces that are constantly moving in nature.
Balanced Farm Ecosystem
In the natural world, disease and pests are held in balance naturally. For this reason, we work to mimic the natural world when possible. Encouraging good bugs to live in the fields and soil, strengthening the soil with compost, and including livestock animals all lead to a more full circle farm ecosystem.
Reject the Use of Chemicals
If we used toxic chemicals on the farm, it would kill the very communities of soil microbes and beneficial insects we are working so hard to support. We farm from an environmentally conscious perspective not for marketing purposes, but so that we have a truly vital and healthy farm and food supply. It seems insane for a farm to poison and degrade its very means of production; the soil, water, and air. Yet this is what we are finding so often in factory farming.
Focus on Building Soil Health
The soil is the foundation for the farm ecosystem. By building healthy, vibrant soil filled with life, we are able to grow strong plant and higher quality produce. To do this, we depend on compost, cover crops, a custom blended soil amendment, and biodynamic preparations. And we say thank you all the earthworms working in the fields.
We like to grow a wide variety of crops. This encourages folks to expand their diets and broaden the scope of foods commonly eaten. Which moves society towards a more stable food system. We put a priority on using heirloom and open pollinated seeds from organic and biodynamic sources. Heirloom seeds are varieties that have been saved by home gardeners and passed on from generation to generation. Open pollinated means these varieties pollinate naturally, and are not hybridized by seed companies. By using these seed types, we are helping to support a more local and natural agricultural future. We strongly oppose genetically engineered crops (GMOs). We can see they are damaging human health, the environment, and the stability of the current and future food system.
Ethical Labor and Business Practices
We pledge to operate our business openly, honestly, and fairly. We strive to give everyone working on the farm a fair trade for their labor, a safe working environment, and good living situation. We believe in an associative economy where all parties understand the needs and challenges of others and are able to support one another to reach a mutually beneficial situation. After all, isn’t that what a CSA is all about.
“If you have a compass needle, which always points in the same direction...people would find it quite it childish if you said the reason for this lay in the needle itself....You have to look away from the needle itself and take into account the entire Earth in order to explain how the needle behaves. People will think you are quite childish to believe that the cause is inherent in the needle. But it is equally childish to believe that what you see in a plant depends on what science discovers in the immediate surroundings of that plant. In fact the whole starry heaven is involved in the growth of plants.” Rudolf Steiner