Grossing $350,000 on 1.5 Acres of High Intensity, No-till Vegetable Production
It's always interesting to know where our food comes from and if you're into organic food or you like to grow your own food, small-scale farms might be of interest to you. Currently, there are more people getting involved with growing their own food, but also there are more people who are becoming farmers and creating their own organic food farms for profit. Much like Neversink Organic Farm in New York which is a farm that is NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC. It's a beautiful small organic farm that doesn't till or use any tractors. They do everything by hand to create and grow high-quality produce that just can't be grown the same way on a larger scale. The farm is also one of the highest production farms per square foot in the US which is pretty incredible. They make about $350,000 on a 1.5-acre farm. They use all hand-tools and modern gardening tools to keep their farming operation running smoothly, and they also do everything organically making this a very sustainable farm as well. They go way above and beyond regular requirements and plant their vegetable beds constantly through the season starting at the beginning of April through to late fall and then they have hoop houses that produce vegetables all year long.
One of the reasons for their success is extremely fertile soil. The soil is one of the most important things when it comes to farming and growing your own food. The soil feeds the plants the nutrients they need, and it also gives them better flavour as well. They don't grow hydroponically or use plastic mulch, and instead, do it the natural way by creating nutrient-rich soil. They also protect their soil by not tilling it or driving machinery on it. The reason they don't till is because tilling actually destroys organic matter and disturbs the microorganisms in the soil. So in place of tilling they manually broadfork their fields in the farm which will maintain the soil structure. This also apparently reduces the weed growth in their farming operation as well. Weeds can take a lot of the nutrients out of the soil meaning that there's less for the plants. The owner of the farm and the employees will walk the farm grounds, and they will pick out any weeds they see right away. They also use tarps to protect their plants from weed seeds, and they use greenhouses as well.
One of the keys to being a successful organic farmer is to focus on only a few different types of each vegetable you're growing. So instead of growing 10 different varieties of tomato, they only grow three so that everything is more streamlined and easy to manage. This also makes their produce easier to sell too. If you're interested in starting an organic farm, greens are one of the best foods you can grow since they are desirable all year round. You can sell them in markets, grocery stores and to restaurants in your area. Diego Footer talks with Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm and Michael Kilpatrick of In the Field Consultants to learn more about the process of growing organic food. Diego also goes around the farm and shows the beautiful crops on the Neversink Farm. You'll see fields of carrots, lettuce, peas and greens. In the greenhouses you'll see their amazing tomato plants and their cucumbers too and the innovative way they grow them to get more of a crop yield. It's very interesting to learn more about small scaled organic farming even if you don't want to start your own farm for profit but just to grow your own food sustainably.***
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