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 past years and planned for the curent.  Do not hesitate to ask us about it if you have any concerns or questions. 

Our Approach

 

Our approach is to avoid the use of the "cide" brothers; herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or other typical farming sprays. If required we would first use an organic based application.  To be 100% transparent below are the details of past practice as well as planned for this year.  We will update this page if anything changes. 

 

 Our recurring practice is to  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. 

2022 Plans
  • All Berries except strawberries - March 2022;  pelleted fertilizer and sulfur side dressed (spread on the ground around plants)  and also applied through drip system (does not touch plant or berries, applied to roots) -  May-June

  • Blackberries and Elderberries-

    • For Japanese beetles - We did not need any applications last year.  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. 

  • Strawberries - These are grown on a tabletop and  require constant feeding of water & fertilizer which is applied through the drip irrigation system which does not touch the plant or berries.   We do not anticipate any other applications through the fruiting season of May to July.  Last year we had a devastating infestation of fruit fly in which we quit picking.  This fruit fly develops later in the season, like mid to late July. So by using a different planting schedule we hope to avoid this situation.

2021 Application 
  • Blue, Black & Elderberries - March 2020;  pelleted fertilizer and side dressed (spread on the ground around plants) ​and an organic lime sulfur sprayed on plants in March

  • Strawberries - Fertilized through a drip irrigation (does not touch plant or berries). July-Aug used organic insecticides for fruit fly (pyrethrin & Venerate & Grandevo)  .

2020 Application 
  • All Berries - March 2020;  pelleted fertilizer and side dressed (spread on the ground around plants)   ​

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

2019 Applications
  • All Berries - March 2019;  pelleted fertilizer and side dressed

  • 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.