I recently heard an interview with the owners of Singing Frogs Farm, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser. They are a testament to a new type of farming dubbed Sustainable Farming 2.0. They are a no-till farm (meaning really no-till), they use no organic pesticides or otherwise, and they are able to generate annual revenues of $100,000 per acre on three production acres. This revenue generation is on par with farms of twenty-five acres or more under cultivation. So how do they do it?
The key to their success seems to be the fact that they do not disturb the land, they use a lot of vegetable compost, and once one harvest is complete they’re on to the next. Here are the simple steps to their process: Once a plant has been harvested, they will cut the stalk at ground level leaving the root system intact to be decomposed by soil organisms, they will add a layer of compost, and then transfer new seedlings to the garden usually within hours of the previous harvest. In this way there is no long delay in getting a new crop started, they produce far more than the one to two crops per season (5 to 7 are typical), and they stay ahead of any weed issues.
Another method they employ is to encourage rich ecological environments around their gardens by providing perennial hedgerows. They want to attract and provide homes for birds, ground dwelling bees, frogs, snakes, and other animals. This way brings balance to their gardens and they do not experience crop damage due to pest issues. They even don’t worry about planting crops in the same place for fear that pest insects will find them.
Singing Frogs Farm is a CSA which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. That means that Paul and Elizabeth sell their produce directly to families. The price they receive for their produce is better than what other farmers receive on the wholesale market, but the families also win by receiving pricing that’s better than what they would pay at a retail market. This is a win-win for both farmer and family.
Click here to take a tour of Singing Frogs Farm.
Click here to listen to the interview with Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser.
“The Drought Fighter: Could a controversial farmer in California have found the most effective way to grow food in a warming world?” Click here to learn more.
Click here to view “Why Organic, Sustainable Farming Matters | Portrait of a Farmer”
For my next post, we will look at the Mason Bee, a native pollinator.
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