At Arugula's Star Farm, our desire is to grow high quality produce. Our Farm grows our crops by following the USDA National Organic Program Guidelines & the Demeter Biodynamic National Guidelines. We follow these guidelines to demonstrate full transparency from farm to customer.
All the produce that is raised on our farm has our Genuine SeedtoGather SealTM, which combines both organic & biodynamic Growing Practices.
Our farming practices are developed to uphold and rejuvenate the farm's soil and to create full cycle's of energy that occur on and within the farm. When farmer's can strive to farm in this way, we feel there is the least amount of negative impact that occurs to all of the earth's organic (carbon containing) constituents -- lands, waters, plants, animals, and humans. Our farm operates in much of the same way that a very small scale, less equipment intensive farm would operate, but the difference is we are farming larger areas and producing larger quantities, which generally in tells more manual labor and intensive planning. We really want to provide the local community with as much diversity as can be offered, which promotes the preservation of many varieties while at the same time allowing local folk to also be apart of planting, growing, experiencing, and eating many varieties of produce.
Genuine SeedtoGather SealTM Farming Practices:
- Cover cropping with certified organic legume, grass, and grain seeds
- Using our own or locating organic/chemical free hays, straws, & wood dust/chips for mulch and composting
- Only using compost that is created on our farm (no importing of compost!) from our own organic materials, like our forest fall leaves, vegetable crop matter, grains, wood chips, straws, chicken manure, hays, & herbs. When cow manure is used we source from only local organic cows...this means that these cows only eat organic grasses, supplemental organic grains, & minerals and have not been administered antibiotics, de-wormers, chemical parasite controls, or growth hormones. Thus far, we have only gotten Cow Manure from Bells Bend Farms. Now, as of January of 2018, we are actually custom grazing steers for Bells Bend Grass-fed, so we have our very own manure! When Hay is used that has not been cut on our own land, it comes from just down the road from synthetic chemical free fields.
- Making our own potting mix, by just using our broken down compost and rock minerals. We use this planting mix for the start of all our germinating seeds, when we do plan on transplanting a crop.
- Making and Spraying Biodynamic Preperations and Barrel Compost. Final goal is to make all required Biodynamic Preperations On Farm, but until this is achieved we use Preperations from Fox Hollow Farm in Kentucky and Long Hungry Creek Farm in TN.
- Direct Seeding many of our crops right into our healthy fields' soil.
- Using Surface Cultivation for planting ground preparation.
- Never using the organic purchased products that are allowed through certified organic regulations to keep pests away, weeds down, or any organic liquid fertilizers. This decision is to allow the health of the soil and the stress of the season be an indicator of a crops health as oppose to trying to blindly prevent the problem.
- Using no synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides
- Using no plastics as weed control
- Using only natural forming rock sources of minerals like limestone and granite dust
- Starting all produce and herbs from certified organic seed, Biodynamic Seed, or chemical free/Non-GMO seed. The later only being when it is a Genus Specie variety that cannot be found certified organic, or certified biodynamic.
- Irrigating only when in extreme dry spell with a clean source of spring water and spring feed creek water (only 2 miles away from start of watershed)
- Biodynamically Companion and Moon phase/sign planting
All of these growing practices ensure our soils will have.......
- beneficial microbial life
- plenty of nutrients and minerals
- high amounts of soil colloids
- good tilth
- proper water holding capacity
- great carbon sequestering capabilities
When our soils are healthy, then this will transpire into the health, taste, brix, and nutritional content of our Genuine Produce!