The Farm at Moose Hill—Growing Practices

Lettuce in the greenhouse

The Wards brothers are responsible for the cultivation of the land and planting of the crops on our 17 acres. Moose Hill oversees the management, harvesting, and distribution of the crops.

Both the farmers at Wards and the farmers at Moose Hill work closely together to maintain organic standards for annual certification. We share a deep commitment to the people, land, water, and air that enable The Farm at Moose Hill to thrive.

We grow our produce using organic principles—no chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers—and we exceed the organic standard in the following ways:

  • We build soil health through crop rotation and green-manuring. As crops are harvested, we till the plants back into the soil and plant cover crops. These crops ("green manure") help fix nitrogen and build organic matter when they are also tilled back into the soil.
  • We test our soil yearly and add nutrients, such as chicken manure, to the fields. All of our soil fertility derives from natural sources such as cover crops and organic compost.
  • We use limited drip irrigation in our lower field. Our focus on building healthy soils allows us to limit irrigation, which is an energy-intensive method of watering plants and producing food. We choose to have some crops with drip irrigation providing needed water at the roots of the plant.
  • We strive to limit our energy consumption. In the summer, we harvest early in the morning and distribute food on the same day. We use water baths, wet towels and fans to keep greens crisp.
  • We seek to limit our consumption of non-reusable materials. Beds are covered with straw for mulching and we provide paper bags at our farm stand and at market.