Because we believe in the health of our environment, our bodies, and our soils, we choose to grow organically, paying close attention to natural systems that aid in our production. Originally certified in 2004 by Quality Certification Services (QCS), we’ve maintained our certified organic status with strict record keeping and prudent soil building strategies.
Our farm, like many in the South, was used for commodity cotton farming decades ago. These erosive practices washed away amounts of topsoil that are estimated between 10 inches and 5 feet! Our red clay subsoil is now the foundation for our agriculture today. Luckily with lots of love and organic matter, our soil is now full of life.
In addition to focusing on the biology and life of our soils, we pay attention to the balance of our nutrients and the mineral content. Right alongside our topsoil, we’ve also seen a dramatic decrease in the mineral content of our soils in the last century…all across the world. Not so surprisingly, we’ve seen a similar trend in the nutritional content of vegetables throughout the recent decades. The health of our plants comes from the health of our soil. To enrich our soil, we pay attention to all of the trace minerals adding rock dusts and sea salts in small amounts.
Three organic methods that we live by include: composting, cover cropping, and crop rotation…the three C’s.
Our compost is made with a combination of food waste from our Serenbe residents and restaurants and our own plant materials.
Cover cropping is the practice of growing rich green grasses and legumes for incorporation of organic matter back into the soil. In addition to nutrition, cover crops help alleviate erosion, reduce weed pressure, break pest and disease cycles, provide fodder for pollinators, attract wildlife, and are very pretty.
At Serenbe Farms, we employ a 10-year crop rotation complete with vegetables and cover crops. For example, where we plant potatoes this year we will not plant potatoes again for ten years. We rotate crops to disrupt the disease and pest cycle and to ensure that we’re not depleting the same nutrients year after year.
While soil is king on the farm, we also steward our land by utilizing drip irrigation and mulches to minimize our water usage and apply conservation tillage across the farm.
To learn more about our soil management and crop production, please visit our blog.