Neversink Organic Farm is Certified by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC.
We are a small organic farm that does not till or use tractors. We think of our farm as a large vegetable garden that is refined and efficient. We farm by hand with a passion for high quality produce which we feel cannot be achieved by farming on large acreage, over 2 acres, or by using tractors.
We have the greatest admiration for chefs and it is for us and for them that we grow this way. We are the extremely rare alternative to large scale tractor farming.
Radical Practices and Outsider Agriculture
Our farming practices may be radical but they have resulted in our farm being one of the highest production farms per sqaure foot in the country.
What can be more radical than removing the symbol of vegetable farming; the tractor? We practice farming by hand; replacing the tractor with hand tools. All planting, cultivation, and harvesting is done manually, though we use modern tools and techniques that keep us efficient and competitive. We find that farming this way is easier, more productive, and can produce vegetables of a higher quality.
We feel the minimum requirement for us to farm well and sustain-ably is to grow our products organically. Thus, we follow strict organic growing practices throughout the farm.
Deep and Intensive
We then move beyond the minimum of certifying our farm as organic and practice intensive planting and growing techniques. Our beds are replanted constantly through the season from early April through late fall. Our hoop houses produce vegetables year round. We do this by maintaining extremely fertile soil. As a result we do not need to leave fields fallow or cover crop. We believe that farming this way creates healthy vegetables resistant to diseases and pests.
It is the soil that imparts flavor to produce. Thus we never grow hydroponically nor do we use plastic mulch or fish meal. We are constantly working to make sure the soil is rich in organic matter, life and nutrient balanced. We then protect that hard work by never tilling or driving machinery over our precious soil.
Tilling destroys soils and burns up organic matter. We practice no till and use permanent beds that minimize soil disturbance. Instead of tilling our fields we manually broadfork our permanent beds. This maintains soil structure, reduces our weed pressure and helps keep our soil fertile. It an integral part of growing intensively without tractors. We feel it is also a requirement to grow the best tasting produce. Vegetables need complex soil that is alive to reach their potential.
We are redefining what sustainability means to our farm all the time. We started with the premise that the farm must sustain our family financially. Within that framework we try to employ more sustainable practices as our farm evolves and grows. Some practices we think add to our sustainability presently.