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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 current.  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 practices 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.  

 

Sometimes in the late winter, February, and March, we apply an organic spray called lime sulfur on everything but strawberries. We have not used this for several years. This helps knock down some of the critters that are carried over from the past year.  In March we use pellet fertilizer which is not organic.  We use primarily ammonium sulfate, sulfur, and potash in order to provide the NPK for the berries. 

2023 Application​
  • All Berries except strawberries - March 2022;  pelleted fertilizer and sulfur side dressed (spread on the ground around plants)  Applied through drip system (does not touch plant or berries, applied to roots) -  May-June

  • 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.   

2022 Application​
  • 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- nothing for 2022​

  • 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.    After fruiting, mid-July, we used an organic pyrethrin that is made from Chrysanthemum plants for Japanese beetles.

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

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

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

  • All Berries had organic Lime sulfur applied in March.

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

  • All Berries had organic Lime sulfur applied in March.

  • Blackberries -

    • Not this year! For Japanese beetles - Nothing is 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 here about 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.

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