Our farming practices include a combination of traditional and organic methods. This includes the use of synthetic and organic fertilizers for plant and soil nutrition; cultivation, plastic mulch, and minimal herbicide use for weed control; and integrated pest management in conjunction with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. By employing this practice, we scout our fields regularly for pest infestation/damage, and take appropriate action when necessary. Depending on the situation, this may include the use of organic or synthetic pesticides, hand picking the bugs, or constructing fabric row covers as pest barriers. We consider many factors when making decisions on how to deal with pests and problems, including, but not limited to, the value of the crop, intensity of bug/disease pressure, economics of management vs. prevention, and the environmental impact. We take all of these factors into consideration equally.
We continually educate ourselves on the infitite ways to farm. At Fairwinds Farm, there is no single type of farming that takes precedence over another. As responsible farmers, we acknowledge the fact that we cannot successfully take a "blanket approach" to our farming methods. The needs of all crops are different, at different times. We have always made our decisions based on the circumstances at hand, and will continue to do so. It is this adaptive approach to farming that allows us keep our promise to deliver top-quality produce at a reasonable price for everyone in our community to enjoy.
At the end of every growing season, we plant cover crops in our fields (generally oats) to add organic matter back into the ground and to prevent soil erosion. We cherish the grounds on which we grow, and strive to take the best care of the land that we can. We are confident that our farming practices contribute to maintaining and improving the land on which we grow.
Farming is very challenging work. Along with the physical demands of the jobs, it is intellectually stimulating and also requires the mental discipline of being able to accept the fact that many factors cannot be controlled, most notably, the weather! We are extremely blessed to be able to do this work, and we love what we do!