The term sustainable agriculture is a commonly used phrase. According to Merriam-Webster, sustainable is defined as "...using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged".
To us, this simply is not good enough.
Kneehigh Farm practices regenerative agriculture, rather than sustainable. As stewards of the land, we feed our community through feeding the farm. Healthy land = healthy food = healthy people. Learning to work with the land, rather than against it, teaches us humility, flexibility, and wonder. By addressing the capacities and needs of the farm, we can be confident that our produce is truly nourishing those who eat it.
At Kneehigh Farm, we have a strict set of standards:
- As of 2016, Kneehigh Farm is Certified Naturally Grown! "Certified Naturally Grown farmers don't use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicide, or GMOs, just like certified organic farmers. The main difference between CNG and organic is our certification model, which relies on peer inspections, transparency, and direct relationships."
- We grow organically. You won’t see the USDA symbol on our produce because we aren’t federally certified. Organic certification requires a financial commitment that’s currently out of our reach—extra funds tend to go to broken tractors and compost. Rest assured knowing that all of our veggies are chemical-free, and grown with care for the land and your family.
- We purchase organic seeds when possible and prioritize heirloom & open-pollinated varieties, which boast intense flavor and beauty. We never use chemically-treated or GMO seeds.
- We are committed to building organic fertility, through cover crops, organic compost, crop rotation and carefully selected organic fertilizers & amendments.
- We never spray herbicides. We manage weeds through mechanical cultivation, hand weeding, hoeing, and cover crops.
- We use a drip irrigation system, that reduces water waste, run-off, and soil erosion.
Every system is planned to be efficient and beneficial to the farm’s longevity. There is much observation, labor, and love that goes into this work. The satisfaction of knowing exactly what’s going into our bodies—and of taking part in the regeneration of the land—makes every effort worthwhile.