Sustainable family farming is our priority for great produce, and that includes health of the soil AND our family, as well as habitat development and maintenance for native wildlife. Most soil tests recommendations are for attaining and maintaining 2% organic matter. We have achieved between 6-10% organic matter in all our fields. Why is this important? For every 1% organic matter the soil yields about 20 pounds of nitrogen available for plants during the growing season. At 6-10% level, that is between 120-200 pounds of nitrogen/acre – which cuts our fertilizer use considerably!!! This is a $$ savings and, more importantly, better for the environment.
Wildlife benefits from our practice of leaving heavy plant residues on the field and knocking the corn down in the Fall, but not plowing it under until the spring. We see the turkeys and migrating birds feeding in the fields all the time. When hedgerows are cut back to the walls, it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but provides wood to heat our house and gives out vegetable crops more room and sunlight to grow. A visit to the farm will reveal many food-bearing trees and shrubs spared to feed and shelter wildlife.
Many people think “organic” means no chemicals were used on the crops. Life would be simpler if that was the case, but it is not. There is a whole list of “organic” chemicals that can be used on approved crops. Some of them are even quite toxic to bees, amphibians and even humans. In some cases humans have created alternatives that are safer and because they are synthetically derived
Stillman’s Farm is a diverse operation comprised of our Lunenburg farm stand and nursery, begun in 1980 and our New Braintree farm, purchased in 1990. As a small farm we have always fostered a commitment to the land and the environment by using a combination of traditional and organic practices. We were dissatisfied with the “organic” and “traditional” labels as they allowed the use of some sprays we view as unsafe for wildlife and ourselves. We have long believed in our obligation to our customers, our families, the land and its wildlife. For this reason we have created our own label, under which we market our farm goods, highlighting our beliefs, concerns and commitment to agriculture and open space. In 2004 we started labeling our produce as “Conscientiously Grown” to represent our more holistic approach. We believe strongly in our methods and our products and believe them to be of the safest and freshest nature available for all of us. Our new label responds to your concerns and our growing needs. Please join us to spread awareness and support for the label. Our farm has been conscientiously growing since 1980!