We firmly believe that our practices as humans on this earth must be sustainable. As farmers, this means we strive to use our land in a manner that does not deplete its health or its resources. We use processes that are as natural as possible, and do things at rates that are not destructive or depletive.
Put simply, we try to live off of the land where ever possible. Here are some examples:
1) We compost everything that can be composted and use that in lieu of fertilizers or other purchased supplements. Because we have a pond, we get a lot of compost from the algae. Composting is the ultimate in recycling.
2) We use the sun in every way we can. Besides growing vegetables and nuts, which use the sun, we also grow algae, fruits and grains. We also have solar water heating and solar electricity (photovoltaic). We also use the sun for heating and drying.
3) Our chickens and turkeys free range on our farm and eat bugs, as well as grains and vegetables we grow. We minimize feeds that we buy from outside sources.
4) We practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with a focus on natural processes. It's interesting to watch nearby growers spraying their trees regularly. We don't spray them at all and produce plenty of nuts that everyone loves. True, we are more likely to have a worm in one of our nuts, but we have never heard a complaint about that.
5) We hand harvest our walnuts and also ensure that none of our nuts are heated, abused, or otherwise disturbed from their fresh-from-the-tree taste and character. WE DO NOT PASTEURIZE OUR NUTS. This limits our market, but it’s a value we believe in.
6) We recycle everything that we can. This means both re-using things on the farm, as well as sending things to those that can reuse them.
7) We eat from our farm as much as possible. There are many meals we have where we can say "everything on this table came from our farm."
8) We use energy wisely and carefully. This year we added another 6 kilowatts of solar electricity to our farm. We have also instituted energy audits and then have taken action to reduce our annual consumption of electricity.
9) John commutes on Amtrak for his "day job" and we combine vehicle trips to minimize our annual mileage.
10) We hang our clothes on the clothesline to reduce the use of our dryer.
These are just some examples of ways in which we strive to operate our farm and our lives in as sustainable a manner as possible. We believe that, in doing so, we contribute directly to a long lasting healthy earth and also help inspire others through leadership.