Beausol Gardens only uses practices and inputs allowed by the National Organic Program (NOP), including Biodynamic methods, to grow our vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. "Organic" is a legal term and we make no claims to currently growing Organic product. While we were Certified Organic from 2002 to 2005, we have only used NOP allowed practices since our farm's inception in 1997, with the recent addition of Biodynamic practices. We believe Biodynamic methods and principles further enhance the health of our soil and farm and yields better produce beyond what "standard" organic practices can.
We have added Biodynamic aspects to our farm because we agree with the general concept of Biodynamics that the farm itself is an "organism." The land is fed and nourished just as we are. We have seen that planting with the rhythms of nature and using - not fighting - the forces at work in nature are a much better path.
We use no synthetic fertilizers. The fertility we add to the soil comes from cover crops, compost, compost teas, fish emulsions, feather meal, manures, mined unprocessed minerals and biodynamic preps.
Pest control is acheived using physical barriers, predators and insect disease organisms and NOP allowed aaplications. Fences deter deer and rabbits. "Row covers," a very light spun-bonded material that lets light and rain through, is used to protect some crops from insects.
Our farm cats and native predators (hawks, owls, foxes, snakes, etc.) control mice, rabbits and voles. Beneficial insects (lady beetles, lacewings, mantids, wasps, etc.) are attracted and supported by particular flowering plants (cilantro, broccoli, wild carrots, thyme, various cut flowers, etc.) or introduced.
Bacillus thurengiensis, a naturally occurring bacterium, is sprayed to control butterfly and moth caterpillars. Nosema locustae is a disease of grasshoppers.
And we use Diatomaceous earth and Insecticidal soap.
Disease control is done using only NOP allowed applications: bacterial anti-fungal agents; foliar applications of compost and vermicompost teas, biodynamic preps and allowed chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and bicarbonates.
We irrigate from our wonderful well using drip irrigation. Drip limits run-off and hopefully reduces disease by putting water only at the roots of the crops as and where it is needed. The well water eliminates the likelihood of crop contamination from surface water borne chemicals or other hazards. And we use mulches of leaves, straw and wood chips to hold that moisture.
We weed by hand, hoe, tilling or flame. And that same mulch helps deter weeds. We use no chemical herbicides.
Our overall goal is to leave the land of Beausol Gardens healthier and more productive than when we arrived.