For 5 seasons (2005-2009), New Branch Farm was certified organic by Stellar Certification Services, an NOP accredited certifier located in Philomath, Oregon.
As a cost-saving measure, we decided stop getting certified in 2010, but our commitment to farming organically continues.
HOW WE GROW
We are committed to tending the land gently – using farming practices which sustain and improve the health and vitality of the whole farm (soil, air, water, and plants). We do not use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides.
Soil Healthy and Fertility
- Soil Tests are taken each year and amendments added if needed. All amendments are approved for organic production by the nOP (national organic program) or OMRI (organic materials review institute).
- Cover crops and green manures are planted to protect and feed the soil.
- Crops are rotated through the field so that the same crop or member of its family is not planted in the same spot for several years
- Use of floating row cover
- Attracting beneficial insects with flowering plantings and habitat
- Hand picking troublesome insects where appropriate
- Rotating crops and building healthy soil
- Practicing good field sanitation: disease plants are removed and fully composted
- Planting multiple successions of each crop so if there is a loss, another planting is not far from being ready to harvest.
- Mulches – both hay and black plastic mulch
- Hand weeding with various hoes
Seeds and Plants
- Use organically grown seeds as much as possible and always purchase untreated and GMO free seeds. All seed companies we order from have taken the “safe seed pledge”.
- Grow our own transplants using potting soil that is approved for organic production
- All annual planting stock (garlic and potatoes) are purchased from certified organic sources
Maintaining Organic Integrity
- A buffer (non-planted area) of 15-20 feet from neighboring properties.
- Keep records of season’s farm activities.