Why We Grow The Way We Grow!
Larry and I have been eating an all organic plant based diet for many years before we started farming in 2006. We were also very aware of the environmental and human impact of conventional farming and understood that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have a negative affect on human and animal health. This knowledge had a large impact on our lives and was part of the driving force that lead us into agriculture. So when we started farming we were, and continue to be purposeful in our methodologies and approach to why we do what we do.
We are a Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) Veganic Farm which means we use no synthetic pesticides, herbicide or fungicides and we use no animal inputs…yes thats right NO ANIMAL INPUTS! No blood meal, no feather meal, no animal manures, no fish emulsion, etc. You may be asking yourself, but why? Farmers have been using manures for centuries…I thought it was a healthy thing! The reality is that many animal manures today are from CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) or other animal industries where the animals are treated poorly, given antibiotics and hormones and are fed GMO grain, that manure is then composted and can be sold as organic. We desire to avoid GMOs at all cost and we therefore have decided to avoid manures on our farm. We also believe that the animal kingdom today has been adulterated and manipulated in many ways that renders it unfit for human consumption or use on our farm.
We also avoid using any soy, corn, cotton and canola as a nitrogen source due to the fact that the majority of theses crops in the US are GMO. Instead we use Organic legumes, seed meals and cover crops.
In addition to this we have a very extensive amendment program where we test our soil at Kinsey Ag Services and implement the Albrecht method of remineralization. Also, we use Advancing Eco Ag (AEA) for biological and trace applications to maintain high photosynthesis levels to allow the plants to use as much sunlight energy as possible. This approach focuses on balancing the soil structure, chemistry, and the biological engine striving to facilitate an inhabitable environment for the soil food web.
Last year we were blessed to meet Charlie at Charlies Compost in Calhoun KY. We now have an amazing resource for a veganic vegetative compost that is truly the best compost we have ever used. This is an aerobic, fully digested compost that is biologically active and alive. This compost is tested using Dr. Elaine Ingham’s lab Soil Food Web to guarantee that the compost is biologically active with good bacteria and beneficial fungi.
At Eastward Gardens we strive to service the soil and our community to the best of our ability. We are so thankful to be stewards of this farm and believe these growing practices promote health and healing to our customers and the environment.