Since our farmland is situated around our home, we take great care in making sure that we use the safest farming practices available to us. The steps we take 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 pests are part of vegetable farm management. They are evaluated on a daily schedule of scouting and monitoring to determine when intervention might be necessary. The use of an integrated system where the beneficial insects are sustained to help with the harmful insects is very important for healthy farming. We use conventional pesticides and fungicides and only if greatly needed. We also only use pesticides if infestation occurs. Rest assured that great care is used to select pesticides that are least harmful to the environment and us.
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 from the vegetables by storing them in our large coolers. 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. These methods do not qualify as "organic" by definition, but they are all natural. We do combine many organic principles with sound management to address safety and quality in the production of vegetables for our members.