Drumlin Farm Growing Practices
Community-based sustainable farming signifies our deep commitment to the people, land, water, and air that enable our farm to thrive. We grow our produce using organic principles (never any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers), and we exceed the organic standard in the following ways:
- We build soil health through fallowing and green-manuring. Each Drumlin acre produces crops for five years and then rests (lies fallow) for two years. During those two years, we seed the acre to clover—a green manure—which fixes nitrogen and builds organic matter.
- With help from our farm animals, we make and spread our own compost on our fields. The majority of our soil fertility derives from on-farm sources such as cover crops and compost.
- We don’t irrigate. Our focus on building healthy soils allows us to avoid irrigation, which is an energy-intensive method of watering plants and producing food.
- We strive to limit our energy consumption. In the summer, we harvest early in the morning and distribute food on the same day so as to reduce the need for refrigeration. In the winter, we store root crops in a simple root cellar cooled by outside air—no refrigeration is required.
- We seek to limit our consumption of non-reusable materials. Beds are covered with straw and bark mulch; we never use plastic mulch. Our market bags are biodegradable and compostable.