Medway Community Farm, Inc. believes in the organic, local food movement. By using sustainable, low-impact methods that were the inspiration for this project we are contributing to our local food supply and improving the global food system. We have chosen not to apply for organic certification this season, but will still use soil enhancing and resource conserving methods to grow our produce and flowers. We will never use chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on our farm. We encourage you to ask questions and invite you to come to the farm and observe how we operate – we believe everyone should know more about how their food is grown.
Below is a description of ways in which we will practice sustainable agriculture at 50 Winthrop St. If you have any further questions, please contact our farm manager, Brittany Sidway:firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be working in our first years to improve the quality of our soil through the addition of composted food waste, manures, leaf mulches and organically certified amendments to increase the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and micronutrients in our soil. Soil is like a living organism, and when healthy will produce the most delicious, nutritious, and productive fruits and vegetables.
Last year we planted oats, field peas, rye and hairy vetch as cover crops to add nutrients to our soil and prevent erosion during the winter. These cover crops will be turned into the soil in the spring providing valuable and accessible nutrients to our 2013 crops. We will continue to use cover crops whenever possible to improve the quality of our soil.
Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungicides and Fertilizers
Although we are not pursuing organic certification this season, we have read the organic standards and will minimize our environmental impact by using no chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers. We believe the costs of synthetic chemical use in agriculture outweigh the benefits (mainly higher yields) and will attempt to use preventative measures such as crop rotation, floating row covers and inter-cropping to keep pests away.
If there is a pest infestation we will consider the use of organically certified pesticides, derived from natural sources that target only specific pests. If there is an infestation or disease that cannot be remedied using organic methods, we will remove the plant material from the field and accept the loss of that crop for that season.
We will never use herbicides of any kind. We will use manual methods (hoeing and hand weeding) to control weed pressure in the field.
We will use certified organic seeds when they are available, and if a viable source of organic seed is not available for a certain crop, we will purchase the conventional variety from New England seed companies that supply organic seed.
We will NEVER knowling purchase or grow genetically modified (GMO) seeds.
Heirloom seeds are open pollinated and have been preserved and passed down for years. They are usually prized for unique colors and fabulous flavors. We will attempt to grow some heirloom plants and provide heirloom seedlings at our seed sale in May.
The farm will use one or two small, diesel tractors to do most of the preparation and cultivating this season. We will make every effort to use the tractors as efficiently as possible.
The farm is working to develop an irrigation strategy that will use the least amount of water, most efficiently. Some methods include the use of drip irrigation at night to increase absorption and decrease evaporation and the use of plant mulches to retain soil moisture.
Ask Your Farmer
MCFI encourages all community members to ask questions about how their food is grown. Please feel free to contact our farm manager, at any time, with questions about our farm and the way we grow food. You can reach her at: email@example.com.