SkyRoot Farm is a 20 acre, certified organic farm on the east side of South Whidbey Island. We follow an ecosystems approach to farming and carry regenerative agriculture ideals through all that we do. Our fields consist of a constantly changing patchwork of diversified vegetables. As a certified organic farm we do not use pesticides or herbicides on our crops, and when weeds are present we pull them the old fashioned way. These weeds, as well as vegetable residue and even waste from our chicken and goat pens, end up in piles in our composting facility. We turn these piles regularly to aid in the bacterial digestion of the waste, and end up with a great organic compost. When our compost is ready we spread it back on our field beds and the cycle begins again.
This year we are expanding the No-Till section of our farm! No-till farming is a growing trend in small organic farms across the country, and is an obvious choice for our ecosystems approach! By not tilling we reduce disturbance to soil organisms; these organisms can aid in breaking down dead plant matter, keep pest populations down, and some even provide nutrients directly to plant roots. Tilling causes in-soil fertility to wash away more easily with rain, exposes stored carbon to the atmosphere where it can be released as carbon dioxide, and dredges up rocks and weed seeds that make our job as farmers so much more difficult! By not tilling we’ve seen great benefits so far, and can’t wait to see the changes to come!
Meet your farmers:
I am very excited about applying the systems thinking that I have learned as an ecologist to our small-scale diversified farm. My hope is that we can work toward a goal of developing a farm that is ecologically, economically and personally sustainable. My goal as a farmer is to help set an example for farms everywhere as we explore vegetable production win ways that help heal planetary systems. By working with compost and cover crops we are increasing the organic matter content of our soil and diversifying the micro-biome of the systems that support our vegetables….in this way we are growing food and helping combat climate change! You can reach me at email@example.com.
I think of a farm as a complex biological system that is ever-changing and ever-challenging, it seemed to me like a botanists playground! This year I am filling the role of Farm Manager. For me, this will mean taking on new responsibilities (like leading interns, and managing markets), while deepening my understanding of the farm system and the work I’ve been doing all along. For you, this will mean adding firstname.lastname@example.org to your farm-contacts list, and hopefully sticking around to enjoy a season full of the produce you’ve come to love!