The New Land / Soil Health
This new farm is a whole new adventure for us as vegetable farmers. Growing on a new piece of land is like starting a new relationship. It takes a while for everyone involved to become comfortable with each other. We have to observe the nuances of the farm’s microclimates. For example: where are the first and last places that frost on the farm (specifically the veggie patch), where gets the most direct afternoon sun (great for heat loving summer crops) and where is the best spot to place a new hoophouse.
What we do know about this farm is it was in the process of becoming certified organic. We believe that regenerative, organic farming is the best way to feed people. With that belief, we bring our long term attention to building healthy soil and the living community of microbes. It is our understanding that healthy soil makes for healthy plants which leads to healthy humans.
Regenerative agriculture is the way we need to be looking at our systems for the future. This approach to farming aims to look at the farm as a whole ecosystem where we mimic natural systems to deal with any imbalances we may encounter. We use techniques like cover cropping, crop rotations, soil amending etc., to create a farming system that works with nature to build soil and grow the best darn vegetables available.
Last year, we decided we wanted our farm to become Certified Organic. We have followed the organic farming standards throughout our years of farming veggies, but made the call to make it official. Our operation was certified late in the 2019 season and we intend to continue that certification for our new land here in Mandan.
Pests, diseases and weeds are best managed preventively. We strive to be proactive with and observe any issue that might come up with our production that involve these issues. We use row covers, crop rotations and preventative weed seed techniques to manage this aspect of our farm.
We take food safety seriously here at Forager Farm. We do everything in our ability to provide the cleanest safest food to our family and yours. Food safety begins in the field, maintaining clean fields and dealing with any potential contamination. We’ve built systems for washing, hydro-cooling and any other post-handling activities to reduce the risk of contamination. We require the same sanitation techniques as other food based businesses, examples include hand washing, not working sick and clean water tests.
We believe in transparent farming practices and being open and honest about all inputs used on our farm. We do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, or any genetically modified seed. We do use composted and aged animal manures as fertilizers, physical barriers and crop rotations as pest and disease deterrents, and only if necessary, use organically-approved sprays. All soil block materials used to grow our seedlings and microgreens are OMRI approved. We welcome any inquires about our growing practices.