On the farm here at Terravine Growers, sustainability is our focus and our goal. We work to operate our farm in a way that protects the earth, regenerates the soil, provides for ourselves and sustains our customers’ and community’s health and well-being.
In practice, that means that we do not use harsh chemical fertilizers or pesticides and that we follow organic practices and strategies for weed management, pest management and disease prevention.
We spend a lot of our time weeding around the farm. We pull weeds by hand to ensure that our veggies and their roots have the space they need to grow as well as to be sure weeds aren’t attracting any unwanted pests.
To deter unwanted pests and bugs, we use a number of safe and sustainable practices around the farm.
Row cover is one example of how we sustainably manage pests. Row cover is a thin fabric that we pull over crops that are susceptible to troublesome pests – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and chard are good examples of crops that we protect using row cover as a physical barrier.
Additionally, we use safe and certified organic pest control products on some of the crops that bugs seem to love most. Third-party certified insecticidal soaps are what we use around the farm to reduce the pressure of pests such as aphids, one of the most common and irritating bugs found on the farm. Insecticidal soaps are made from naturally occurring plant oils that have the ability to kill certain bugs while not being harmful to the plants, our growers, our customers or our environment. We are sure to spray carefully and in such a way that is not detrimental to beneficial insects.
Due to the more gentle nature of organic pesticides, you may encounter a produce item with some signs of pest damage. We carefully examine and sort all of our produce, sending the very best produce to our customers. Almost all pest damage is cosmetic and does not affect the taste of your produce. Remove any damaged parts of the item and continue to enjoy!
At Terravine, we wash all of our leafy greens at least once, often twice, before they reach our CSA customers. We do still recommend that our customers wash their produce before use.
Soil Health and Fertility
Soil health is one of the most important aspects of sustainable farming. Healthy soil means healthy vegetables!
Our goal is to continue improving the soil season after season. This means regular soil testing, composting, adding manure and other organic matter to our soil, rotating our crops to avoid depleting nutrients, companion planting, and minimizing soil erosion and runoff.
We do use certified organic fertilizers to feed our plants nutrients when they need it most – during planting for a healthy boost, to encourage fruit production, or if a nutrient deficiency is detected.
If you ever have a question about our growing practices or feedback about the produce you are receiving, we love to hear from you! Please send us an email at CSA@terravinegrowers.com to share your thoughts and send feedback.