Sustainable Farming & Our Approach

We have added this page because we get a lot of people asking about our pesticide use and if we are organic.  We want to be as transparent as possible on this issue and help educate you on what we do and do not do.  At the bottom of this page will be a list of what we did in the current and past year.  Do not hesitate to ask us about it if you have any concerns or questions. 

Our Approach

 

Our approach is to not use the "cide" brothers; herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or other typical farming sprays. So far we have only had to utilize a fungicide one time on a small set of bushes several years ago in early spring before berries were even present.  We utilize mulch  to hold down the weeds and help amend the soil.  We also till along the edge of the beds to avoid grass growing up the edges.  Many berry farms use herbicides to control their weed and grass population, we do not.  

 

In the late winter, February and March, we apply an organic spray called lime sulfur. This helps knock down some of the critters that are carried over from the past year.  Also at this time is when we fertilize.  This is  fertilizer in pellet form and is not organic.  We use primarily ammonium sulfate, sulfur, potash in order to provide  the NPK for the berries.

To be 100% transparent here are the details. We will update if anything changes.

2021 Application & Plans
  • No pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are planned for use.
  • Except technically Lime sulfur is an organic fungicide.  Our Berries had an organic Lime sulfur spray applied in March.
  • All Berries except strawberries - March 2021;  pelleted fertilizer and side dressed (spread on the ground around plants)  :Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0), 9-24-24 , 12-12-12 , Sulfur  (to lower PH)

  • All berries except strawberries- Plan is post harvest to apply through drip system (under the mulch) Urea (46-0-0) for fall growth.

  • Blackberries and Elderberries-

    • For Japanese beetles - Did not need any applications last year, crossing fingers for this.  If needed we use  ECOTROL (organic) combination of rosemary, peppermint and geranium oils spray application to leaves. Typically this is a post picking season application.  Read more hereabout the product  Ecotrol.

  • Strawberries - These are grown in a substrate and require constant feeding of fertilizer which is applied through the drip irrigation system.  The fertilizer does not get on the plant or berries as it is on the surface of the substrate.  We utilize a 15-5-15 water soluble fertilizer.

2020 Application 
  • All Berries - March 2020;  pelleted fertilizer and side dressed (spread on the ground around plants)  :Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0), 18-46-0 , 0-0-60 , ​

 
2019 Applications
  • All Berries - March 2019;  pelleted fertilizer and side dressed :Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0), 18-46-0 , 0-0-60 , Borax for Boron, Zinc Sulfate (35.5% Z, 17% S). Late May pelleted nitrogen (46-0-0).

  • All Berries had an organic Lime sulfur applied in March.

  • Blackberries -

    • Not this year ! For Japanese beetles - Nothing needed yet and hoping to hold off till after berry picking is complete but we would use on a non-picking day ECOTROL (organic) combination of rosemary, peppermint and geranium oils spray application to leaves. Read more hereabout the product  Ecotrol.

    • Not this year ! Cane borers we spray on the base of the canes (lower 15 inches) an organic pyrethrin that is made from Chrysanthemum plants.   There has only been one treatment prior to berry formation this year.   Will apply again post harvest. Read more about the product at Evergreen pyrethrin Label

  • Organic Foliar - not this year as it did not provide any notable benefit.