As a 10th generation family farm, we understand the importance of growing practices that nourish the soil and that promote the health and biodiversity of the land we farm and the surrounding area. We have been feeding our community the freshest, healthiest, and purest produce since 1720 and we have protected that legacy by preserving our 70 acres through the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program.
Growing and Managing the Crops
We implement a variety of sustainable growing practices on our farm, ranging from USDA Certified Organic methods to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems. Warner Farm maintains 17 acres in Certified Organic production. We also have several additional fields currently in the three-year transition period to become certified. In order to promote our soil’s fertility, we implement crop rotations and a zone tillage program that alleviates weed pressure, keeps nutrients in the soil, prevents soil erosion, improves field drainage, and reduces our use of fossil fuels on the farm.
In our non-organic fields we use a preventative approach to weeds, pests, and diseases with a carefully planned IPM program. This includes implementing well-planned crop rotations, while protecting and releasing beneficial insects. By careful scouting for pest and disease threats we can help keep our crops safe. An application of the safest pesticides are used only if crop failure becomes a threat.
We currently grow many different types of vegetables and fruit throughout the season. We start with asparagus in May and strawberries in June. The season then includes favorite summer vegetables like sweet corn and tomatoes. Ultimately finishing the season with fall squashes.
All of our crops are non-GMO.
More about IPM
The objective of IPM is not to eliminate all pests but to prevent pest populations from reaching damaging levels. Inspection and monitoring are the backbone of an IPM program, where the goal is to detect and correct conditions that can lead to pest problems before they occur. We have an IPM consultant scout our fields weekly for pests and diseases, using traps set in all our fruit and corn fields. As a first line of defense against damaging insects, predator insects are released into the field. Often, this release is effective in keeping damaging insects in check. Spraying is only done when a pest or disease reaches a level that could seriously harm the crop. Crop rotation is another effective practices we employ to keep our soils healthier so we can produce better crops.
Farmer Mike is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge Program. He uses his knowledge of chemistry and biology in choosing responsible methods for growing that protect our crops, our land, and the people we feed.