At Harvest of Joy Farm LLC, we seek to develop, practice, and share farming systems that mirror the resilience, diversity, and self-sufficiency of a healthy biotic community. We grow seeds, vegetables, herbs, and fruits and offer educational opportunities for those who wish to learn to grow more of their own food. We believe that local control of and responsibility for food production is key to the long-term health of our ecosystems and communities.
As small-scale growers using organic “slow farming” practices, we use tools and techniques scaled to best suit our land and lifestyle. We work at a pace that allows us to closely observe the biological interactions happening in our gardens and in the surrounding landscape. This helps us to make decisions that enhance the long-term ecological health of our land. Because of this, we are committed to the following:
Healthy Soil: The soil food web is the foundation upon which all other food webs are built. The health of plants, animals, and humans depends upon healthy, living soil. We feed our soil with compost, cover crops, mulch, and organic fertilizers and use techniques such as crop rotation to keep our soil alive and healthy.
Carefully Selected Seeds: We honor the ancient, mutually-supportive relationship between humans and agricultural crops by sourcing organically grown seeds as much as possible, selecting varieties primarily for taste, but also for their abilities to withstand pests and challenging growing conditions. We save seeds from crops particularly well-suited to our land and support plant breeders dedicated to increasing the diversity of and open access to the genetics of our food crops.
Organically Grown Plants: Our commitment to growing organically reflects our belief in the inter-connectedness of living systems. We strive to replicate the dynamics of healthy ecosystems within our gardens and rely on physical and biological methods to prevent and address pest problems. We acknowledge that if we were to apply toxic chemicals to our gardens, these chemicals would end up in our own bodies; therefore, we use only organically approved chemicals only when necessary to save a crop.
Delicious, Healthful, Freshly Harvested Produce: We believe that pleasure and health go hand in hand. We harvest at the peak of ripeness and share our favorite recipes and tips for storing, preparing, and preserving fresh, organically grown vegetables. We believe in the deep pleasure that comes from tending the soil and work to make gardening more accessible to folks who wish to grow their own.
Ecological Health: As caretakers of the land we farm, we employ conservation practices which promote healthy soil, air, and water, and which encourage biological diversity. We understand our relationship to our land to be reciprocal: as we take care of the land, so the land will take care of us.
Energetic Sustainability: True sustainability requires that we think both locally and globally. We practice energy conservation and use renewable sources of energy when feasible. Since earth’s systems are inter-connected, depleting other ecosystems to support our own is ultimately self-defeating. Thus, we seek agricultural models that are energetically self-sufficient.
Economic Sustainability: We acknowledge that it may not be possible for us to earn a fair wage using slow farming methods within the current U.S. economy. We pursue multiple strategies for sustaining our farm financially and plan our farming activities to keep our costs low and to reap non-monetary rewards such as producing much of our own food and finding satisfaction in our daily work.
Ongoing Education: The natural world is complex and ever-changing. We continue to learn and experiment with new tools and techniques to improve our sustainability, resilience, and the quality and diversity of our produce. We offer community members learning opportunities as well, through volunteering on the farm, talking with us, and reading our writings.
Community Service: We strive to be good stewards of agricultural knowledge as well as good stewards of our community’s air, water, soil, and energy. We deliberately cultivate low-cost/low-tech growing systems that can be easily replicated by home gardeners, community gardeners, and other small farmers. We share our knowledge and resources happily with those who wish to learn from us.
If you’d like more information about our farm or to arrange a farm visit, please email us at thefarmers(at)harvestofjoyfarm.com.