how we farm
We like to say our growing practices are unconventional. Heron Pond Farm started out certified organic. We have since let that certification go, but our commitment to the health of our land and our customers is stronger than ever.
We have developed management plans that keep air, land, and water in mind as we grow, a whole-farm ecosystem. We use certified organic products including fertilizer for 90% of our crops. We don't spray a leafy greens or our berries with anything, certified organic or not. We never use GMO's.
We fertilize almost all of our crops with composted chicken manure and just like many organic farms we use biologically based pesticides. Yes, even certified organic farms use pesticides. We are lucky to have a farm that has many fields far away from each other, this helps with pest control because we can rotate crops out of the range of a particular insect or disease. The vast majority of our weed control is done with our flame weeder and tractor implements, called cultivators. You will not find many organic farms better equipped to control weeds in this way.
We view the use of non-biological pesticides as a tool only to be used where nothing else will work or is practical. Corn remains a challenge for us in this area. Unlike many organic farms we grow sweet corn, this crop is critical to our farm stand sales, corn brings in much needed customers like nothing else. The problem with corn is that it doesn't sell if it has worms and is benefited greatly by the use of a herbicide. We don't like doing it, and don't take making decisions like this lightly. We have employees and families who live and play on the farm and their and our safety is paramount. Our farming practices are designed to be sustainable in every sense of the word: environmentally, financially, and mindful of time for other things in life.