How many pesticides do you use on the farm?

Our use and application of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide)
to our vegetables is with great care and concern for our personal family and our member
family’s health and safety. We not only eat and enjoy our vegetables, but also work the fields with our children and workers to bring our product to you. The steps we make to achieve our goal of a local, fresh, healthy, and safe product involves many components.

Our variety selection is made to not only capture tasty products, but those with natural disease packages that fair well in our SC climate. They are planted without the use of herbicides for weed control and sustained by mechanical cultivation or plastic mulch.

As the season progresses with each planted crop, certain disease issues can be expected. The issues of plant disease and insect pests are part of vegetable farm management. They are evaluated on a daily schedule of scouting and monitoring the threshold that requires intervention. The use of an integrated system where the beneficial insects are sustained to help with the harmful insects is very important to have healthy plants. As the level of disease or insects build to a threshold not acceptable to sustain the health of the plant, we have to make a decision to either use an organic insecticide or a safe insecticide. Fortunately along with several organic insecticides, there are EPA ultra safe and effective products available that allow re-entry in 24 hrs.

We have implemented a quality control program that continues post-harvest as well. To slow the natural change in plants after harvest, we remove the field heat by storing in our walk-in cooler. Vegetables that require washing prior to shipment are washed in a 1% hypochlorite solution, dried, and then placed in our delivery boxes. The containers are place in our refrigerated delivery van awaiting delivery to our drop sites in different communities.

It is our belief that by following these steps, we can provide our families safe and affordable fresh local produce. This method cannot claim to be organic by certification. It does combine many organic principles with sound management to address safety and quality in the production of SC vegetables for our members. Sometimes a term like transitional or naturally grown is used.