About Us / Farming Practices
First off, the basics. I am a one-man operator of this small garlic farm in upstate New York. You can get the full story on the Home page but the short version is that I grow over 100 kinds of garlic. I sell through this website, and through a limited number of regional festivals in the Northeast United States.
I am a one man operation, minus help from contracted tractor work and impressed gangs of family members, so if you have any issues with using the website, have any comments, or questions, reach out to me and you'll get me. I'm trying to make this site the easiest, nicest one out there for browsing garlic and I'm all ears for suggestions.
I have grown and will continue to grow all my crops organically. I am not certified organic due to the costs in time and money that are too large for a small farm, but I farm sustainably with recognized organic fertilizers and sustainable farming practices. I'm a member of Certified Naturally Grown, you can check out their home page, their "farm practices" page, or also go to my listing in the member directory.
I am committed to the following:
No artificial herbicides- I control weeds with a deep layer of straw and/or leaves that improve the soil over time and create a healthy environment for worms and microorganisms.
No pesticides- I believe in protecting our native pollinators. I rely on robust plant nutrition to keep my plants healthy enough to fight through bug attacks, amongst other natural methods which protect all insect species. I spray nothing, organic-approved or not, that would harm any of our pollinator species which are under threat.
Only organic-approved fertilizers and rock minerals- While not certified organic, I’m 100% committed to organic inputs only. Responsible use of low-concentration organic fertilizers prevents or reduces nitrogen runoff and other negative consequences that are more common with unnatural fertilizers. I test my soil every year for both macro and micronutrients and carefully adjust my fertilizers accordingly.
Sustainable farming beyond the “labels”- Farming sustainably includes viewing our planet as a closed loop system- short of meteors and sunlight, nothing new is coming to the earth in high volume. So, sustainable farming cannot be built around geologically temporary gluts in hydrocarbon fuels and their byproducts. I use organic mulch to build the soil's resiliency over time. I try to harmonize plowing and tilling practices to preserve microbial life. I count on the total health of my soil to grow healthy, robust garlic. My goal is that my soil will be more farmable and productive than when I started.
Why am I not certified organic? USDA organic certification is prohibitively expensive for small operations- it would be more than four times my organic fertilizer bill alone! I’d rather take that money and use it for buying higher quality inputs, and I’ll use that saved time from laborious paperwork to talk to you guys- my customers- about my practices, and sustainable farming practices in general.