Stewardship - Working with nature and doing our best to support the environment and be a sustainable operation.
Partnership - Working with the people and organizations in our community for our mutual benefit.
Education - Working to improve understanding of how food can be sustainably produced.
We try to take pictures and share them in the hopes that others will enjoy them and perhaps learn something from them in the process. Please enjoy some of our favorites!
Encouraging Beneficial Insects (and other helpful critters)
We believe in growing a variety of things to provide a diverse and healthy habitat while still growing quality produce.
|Borage is a fantastic plant to add to the landscape|
|Our melon field in 2016 was a huge success.|
|We like to grow nasturtiums, zinnia, borage and marigolds with our vine crops.|
|We maintain wild areas on the farm for permanent habitat|
|And, it's no secret that the farmers like their flowers too.|
Working Hard to Become a Resilient Farm
Our farm has been in operation since 2005 and we have noticed that the weather has gotten increasingly difficult. Our new saying is that a good season is one that doesn't set a bunch of records. But, we recognize we have to change if the weather is going to change. One of our responses has been to add movable high tunnels (2) to our operation. We opted for movable buildings so we could be consistent with our desire to work with, rather than against nature.
|Eden (high tunnel 1) in November|
|Our high tunnels seem to attract really great photo ops, we're not sure why that is.|
|But, when you see a shot like this, you have to take it!|
|And, of course, one high tunnel is to the West of the house, so sunsets help highlight it.|
|And, we can actually do work when it's raining - that's a good thing.|
Tammy and I live here AND we work here. There are times when the work feels like it overrides the living and there is really no way to get around that. But, we do believe that there is more to being happy than making money at all costs. In realizing that, we make decisions that are not based solely on financial aspects of the farm. This is just one reason why we continue to refine our farming methods to incorporate interplanting and it is a big reason why we maintain organic certification.
|Sunflowers keep lettuce shaded on a hot afternoon|
|We start all plants on the farm.|
|A sunflower usually makes us smile. We just can't help it.|
|We even find time to have a little fun now and again.|
|We even have a few friendly felines that point out that we've missed a spot...|
A truly sustainable operation needs to understand its place and importance in the communities in which it interacts. The definition of those communities might change over time, but we believe that we need to do our best to be a positive force when the opportunity arises.
|Summer Bridge students from Wartburg enjoyed painting a mural on the granary|
|We host field days, even if there are weeds. This one for Practical Farmers of Iowa|
|Rob trained as a drift catcher for 2015 in an effort to learn more about pesticide drift.|
|We believe in treating our workers right. Well, we at least got them to smile! We were probably offering them some ice cream or something.|
Our work on the farm can be difficult and we are often overwhelmed by all we have to do in order to stay on top of things. It's part of the nature of what we do. But, we have learned (and we continue to re-learn) that we need to stop, look, listen, feel, taste and smell. There are so many wonderful things on the farm that we could easily miss because we are simply very busy. Our blog is an opportunity for us to reflect and share. We hope you enjoy what we provide for you here. Even if you don't appreciate it, we will still gain from the reflection - so you're not going to get rid of us all that easily.
|A sunset without a high tunnel? How'd we do that?|
|One of our favorite Winter pictures on the farm.|
Farm work doesn't end once the snow flies, but the schedule sure is a lot more relaxed!
|And nature can really put on a show.|
|Even a fence that needs repair and some weeds look great!|