Growing Methods

We grow vegetables using organic methods and are dedicated to responsible stewardship of our land. For us, this means using ecologically-sound farming practices. None of the things we do on the farm harm plants or animals in our local ecosystem, nor do we want to be a part of the damaging effects of industrial agriculture. We have used organic methods since we took over the farm in 1992 and are currently in the process of becoming certified organic.

Foremost in our production practices is a realization that healthy soil produces healthy plants. As such, we strive to maintain a vibrant and living soil. We do not use any synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or other harmful chemicals on the farm. Furthermore, we use a long crop rotation (5-10 years depending on which field) with liberal use of soil-improving cover crops in order to naturally interrupt pest and weed life cycles.

In addition to how we treat the soil and crops, we feel that maximizing biological diversity is an important goal. We do this in three ways. First, when setting up our fields, we mix a wide variety of crops in a small area. This diverse planting layout is in sharp contrast to the crop monocultures (e.g., 100 acre fields of a single crop) found across this country. Fields that have high crop diversity have been shown to have fewer pest problems, which helps us control pests naturally. Second, we plant strips of native grasses, clovers and flowers that provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds. Third, we have planted hundreds of feet of corridor of native fruiting shrubs. These shrubs provide both windbreaks for the southern winds in the summer time, and also habitat for wild animals, including insect-eating birds. Fourth, we have started replanting some of our acreage back to native forest and prairie . We feel that all farms, especially sustainable farms, should help restore and serve as a reservoir for native biological communities.

©2017 Big Woods Farm CSA | 10752 Nerstrand Blvd, Nerstrand, MN 55053 | (507) 334-3335