At every step of the way, we use the best growing practices to create healthy, beautiful plants.
Sustainable Agriculture in Action
We try to fit everything into the cycle on our farm, and are acutely aware of growing in harmony with our environment. We try to minimize waste.
We recycle pots: We wash, sanitize and reuse unbroken pots and containers. They must be sanitized for healthy plants. We have to throw away broken containers and are not allowed to use pots with other brand names. Customers are welcome to bring us excess unbroken, unbranded containers; we will put them to good use.
We use good bugs instead of chemical pesticides.
We are big believers in beneficial insects. We rarely spray chemicals, and when we do, it is something mild like insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. We’re delighted that mainstream agriculture is adopting practices we’ve always believed in. Organic methods require that we pay close attention to what’s going on with our plants, but we believe it is well worth the effort.
We use various fertilizers and soil amendments. We have always used composted manure in our gardens, but using it in container plants can be tricky inside greenhouses. So, we use a combination of slow-release fertilizers and chemical liquid fertilizer in our flowering plants. In our vegetable starters, we use processed organic fertilizers and liquid fertilizers. All of our potting soil, including what we offer for sale, contains mycorrhizae, special fungi that forms a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, helping the plant to better absorb nutrients and resist stress. We also add trichoderma, another fungi forming a symbiotic relationship with the plant, which helps prevent root rot. We also add silica, which helps many plants grow stronger and stouter and, according to some studies, somewhat tolerant to drought and insect stress. We bag up our special potting soil for our customers who want to use the same mix we do.
We minimize our use of fossil fuels. We use wood pellets for our primary heat source. Our greenhouse pellet stoves are a compact, portable commercial model made in the U.S.A. We have found them rugged and reliable. (We also sell them.)
We cool with natural ventilation. Greenhouses build up a lot of heat on sunny days. Without ventilation, the plants (and people) would cook! Our roof vents were expensive to install, but they use minimal electricity compared to exhaust fans, and they are much quieter. We believe the plants prefer natural ventilation, too.
Our watering methods reduce waste and runoff. Our water is very pure. Our watering methods—including capillary mats under the potted plants, dripper lines into the hanging baskets, and drip irrigation in the vegetable high tunnel—conserve water and prevent fertilizer runoff.
We hire and train talented local people. Our employees all live nearby (reducing carbon emissions!) We regularly attend workshops to learn more about plants, beneficial insects, and ways to help our customers. We listen to our customers and strive to meet your needs pleasantly and to provide wonderful healthy plants for you to bring home.