GROWING PRACTICES

CERTIFIED ORGANIC

At Green Wagon Farm we practice by faith, with biodiversity our crop insurance. Every growing season is unique as we continuously adapt to changes in our weather, climate, and local food culture. As of 2016, we are certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association. We are always seeking to better uphold the integrity of the water, soil, air, and creatures under our care.

 

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

Aside from careful observation and bicycle carts, we utilize a number of tools that increase the effectiveness of our work. We seed using a vacuum-powered EZ-seeder; we transplant by hand or with the help of our Paperpot Transplant System; we cultivate by tractor, flame weeder, and by hand, and we harvest primarily by hand, though sometimes with our handy bed lifter or Quick-Cut Green’s Harvester. We spin our greens in a repurposed washing machine and wash our roots in an AZS Rinse Conveyor. We extend our season on each end by planting in one greenhouse, five hoophouses, four caterpillar tunnels, and numerous low tunnels, and we store our fall crops in insulated coolers through the winter.

PEST MANAGEMENT

We reduce pest-damage through careful seasonal rotation and exclude them by means of row cover. We are constantly on the look-out for signs of disease, which when necessary, we treat using OMRI-certified sprays to avoid devastation. Plant, fungal, or bacterial-based, these sprays target specific pests and are completely safe for human consumption.

WATER & SOIL HEALTH

We water by overhead irrigation, which assists in the germination of some crops, reduces manual labor and plastic waste, and allows for cultivation by tractor. Our Water Reel handles the larger sections of watering, and we use drip tape on the plastic-mulch covered beds.  

We test our soil at least once per season, changing our tillage to fit the needs of the season and applying mineral supplements, manures, and our very own compost to return nutrition and structure to the soil. We cover-crop extensively in lanes and between rows, and whenever possible, between crop plantings.

COLLABORATION

We are a team at Green Wagon Farm--a year-round crew of five, which doubles at the season’s height. We relish our time working and celebrating together as we learn and discover ways to better serve our land and our community. We share the food we grow with members of our year-round CSA and the community at Fulton St. Market, as well as with several farm-to-table restaurants and grocery stores around Grand Rapids.