The world of organics is a battle for minds in which perceived small picture profits are pit against big picture responsibility, says Klaas Martens, co-owner along with his wife Mary-Howell, of The Martens’ Farms, a large-scale organic legume and grain farm in upstate New York.
Before it was an organic farm, The Martens’ Farm was a conventional legume and grain farm that relied on synthetic pesticides and herbicides. It was in the late 1980’s that the Martens’ began to consider a transition away from conventional agriculture practices and inputs.
E-Commerce, Sustainable and Organic Growing Practices Drive Growth of Startup Garlic Farm in WisconsinApril 9, 2012 | Copper Kettle Farm
The following sustainable farm profile was submitted by Greg and Cathy Kosmeder, the owners of Copper Kettle Farm in Wisconsin. It is the first in a series of farm profiles that Seedstock plans to publish on an ongoing basis in order to promote sustainable agriculture and the farmers embracing sustainable and organic growing practices. If you run a sustainable farming operation and would like to submit a profile of your farm for publication on the site, please click on the following link for details: submit a farm profile!
Sustainable Farm Profile: Copper Kettle Farm
What is the story of how your farm came to be?
The Copper Kettle Farm was originally a horse farm from 1986 until 2009. In 2009 the Copper Kettle Farm ceased operations for the horse farm. Recognizing there is an increasing local demand for healthy food products, [we] made the decision to begin growing natural high quality gourmet garlic on the acreage that was once horse pasture.
The monument to the Rhode Island Red chicken speaks volumes. Not found in Idaho, Florida, California or other agricultural superpower states, the bronze plaque mounted on granite is located in Adamsville, a small village in Little Compton, Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Red, which originated in Little Compton, is so highly regarded in fact that one black-breasted rooster said to be a foundation sire is stuffed and on display at the Smithsonian Institution. That Little Compton, a peninsula located in the nation’s smallest state, produced such an exemplary egg layer may surprise some but likely not those familiar with Little Compton’s Wishing Stone Farm. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Liz Peckham and Skip Paul, Wishing Stone Farm is a highly productive 45 acre sustainable farm situated on that same sea stroked neck of land.
Large-scale agriculture dominates the Columbia Basin in Central Washington. Circle-irrigated fields of wheat, alfalfa, potatoes and other commodity crops stretch as far as the eye can see. Situated amidst 1000-acre fields and endless orchards near Royal City, Wash., is Cloudview EcoFarm, a unique small-scale organic vegetable farm that clearly stands out.
It’s not only the small plots containing a diversity of vegetables not typically found in the area that are unique at Cloudview, but also the farm’s approach to strengthening the local food system. Instead of trucking produce to Seattle – where it sells faster and at higher prices – Cloudview EcoFarm prefers to sell locally and cultivate a regional market for their food. They have even started selling shares of their 85-member CSA program to some neighboring commercial-scale farmers.
To Improve Quality of Life and Access to Fresh Food Urban Farming Co. Blankets NYC with Edible Green RooftopsFebruary 28, 2012 | Melinda Clark
While ‘city farming’ may seem more like an oxymoron than a practical career goal, Brooklyn Grange aims to make it a stable profession – and bring tasty, sustainable produce to New York at the same time.
Brooklyn Grange is a 40,000 square-foot rooftop farm in Queens, New York. Though the company’s name might lead one to believe that it’s located in Brooklyn, the company actually built its flagship farm on Northern Blvd in Queens after the original farm site in Brooklyn fell through. It’s currently in the process of adding a second farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, doubling its acreage – and bringing it that much closer to achieving its goal of blanketing New York City with edible green rooftops.