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Our Growing Practices


Certified Organic and Nutrient Focused

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Our Growing Practices


Certified Organic and Nutrient Focused

Evolving Organic: Biological and Ecological Farming

Biological Farming builds on the foundation of Organic Agriculture and the principle that to maximize the health of a crop it is necessary to maximize the health of the soil that supports that crop. Like any biological organism, plants have specific environments that cause them to thrive, and others that are stressful for them. In biological farming the goal is to create soil environments that are most ideal for the farm’s crops through balancing the major soil minerals, trace elements and building up beneficial enzymes, microbes, and fungi. When this is achieved, the crop plant will out compete weeds that have different preferred biological niches. When the ideal soil environment is achieved the crop plant will as well express immunity to bacterial and fungal diseases and resistance to insect infestation. This is due to the fact that the environment is ideal for the DNA expression of that plant, and it will therefore have the vitality to not be a suitable host for threatening insects, bacteria or fungi.

Ecological Farming and Permaculture is a “whole farm” approach recognizing the farm as a dynamic integration of mutually supportive systems. New Harmony hopes to be a model of sustainability through minimizing our carbon footprint through conserving our energy and water use, reducing off-farm inputs, integrating bio-diverse, perennial plantings into our annual vegetable crops and minimizing tillage of our soil to further develop the soil web and beneficial organisms. New Harmony will also work with the farm’s natural eco-systems to nurture habitats for wild life and beneficial insects.

Pea, Oat, and Tillage Radish Cover Crop at our Newbury Farm

Certified Organic

Organic food production is based on a system of farming that mimics natural ecosystems balancing pest and beneficial organism populations and maintaining and replenishing fertility of the soil. The central maxim of organic farming is “grow the soil and not the plant”. This is integral to raising the most nutrient dense, flavorful, and earth-friendly produce.

Trace minerals cobalt, boron, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenun and selenium being mixed to be broadcast on our fields.

 Nutrition First

New Harmony Farm's  fertility program focuses on building  vital soil life through cover cropping and mineral and compost applications.  Regular nutritional sprays that include fish, sea minerals, molasses, milk whey, essential oils and beneficial fungi and bacteria that work with the soil and plant microbiology to build robust immune systems and flavorful, vibrant crops. These mineral rich, biological growing practices make more bio-nutrients available in our produce. You can taste the delicious difference!

Researchers from the The Ecosystems Center Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole  measuring green house gas emissions on a test  plot at our West Newbury farm.

Reducing Global Warming

Industrial/conventional agriculture is one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emmisions  that cause global warming. By using  rock dusts, minimal tillage, cover-cropping and  perennial plantings we our developing an agricultural ecosystem  that will eventually make our farm a "carbon sink" absorbing more green house gases than we produce.

WHY ORGANIC MATTERS


CHOOSING ORGANIC 

WHY ORGANIC MATTERS


CHOOSING ORGANIC 

Why Organic Matters

Organic food is good for the body, community, and the earth. Organic food production is based on a system of farming that mimics natural ecosystems balancing pest and beneficial organism populations and maintaining and replenishing fertility of the soil. Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and do not contain traces of these harsh chemicals that could affect the human body and our fragile ecosystems.       Organic farming practices are much more gentle on the earth and its inhabitants. 

Why Certified Organic Matters

Organic has become tricky catch phrase of marketing.   The problem is that while there are many committed organic farmers that have choosen to forgo organic certification, unless you  ask your farmer and have a clear understanding of the many components of farming that are effected be certified organic requirements you may not know if the farmer who says that they use organic farming practices is fully compliant with organic certification requirements. Besides these obvious elements of certified organic practices of no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, organic certifiication also requires  careful use of manures, no munincipal grass clippings in compost (as there would be residue of round up and other herbicides plus inscecticides and synthetic fertilizers), using certified organic seeds, not allowing pressure treated wood to touch the soil near crops to name a few examples of some of the elements of a certifed organic farm plan that is subject to yearly inspection.

 Organic Is Good For The Planet

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 Certified Organic Farming:

1. Reduces chemical runoff and residues in drinking water, waterways and coastal areas. Runoff is the main cause of diminishing marine life, animals and plants.

2. Restore soils for productive cropland and secure the future of New England agriculture. Organic farming systems are based on the principle of land and soil regeneration and best environmental practices.

3. Organic farms have a greater resilience in times of drought. A 21-year trial showed that organic crops saw a margin of 38–196 per cent greater yield than comparable conventional crops.
Increase biodiversity and save disappearing native animal habitats. For decades scientists worldwide have carried out studies with the clear conclusion that organic farming significantly supports biodiversity, with up to 50% more plant, insect and bird life found on organic farms

4. Help to ameliorate climate change. Agriculture is accused of being responsible for about 30 per cent of global warming due to CO2 emissions, however conversion to organic agriculture can capture CO2 back into the soil in the form of humus. 

5. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Organic standards prohibit the use of nitrogen fertilisers, which lowers emissions and provides both economic and environmental benefits.

Organic Food is Good for You:

By Consuming Organic You:

6. Safeguard the integrity of food. Certified organic provides a guarantee that product has been grown, handled, packaged and distributed avoiding risk of contamination of the product to the point of sale. Full traceability is maintained along the chain.
Research shows that consuming organic means that you can:

7. Eat produce that is better for you.
A comparison of nearly 100 studies and development of research methods has concluded that the nutritional premium of organic food averages 25%.

8.Reduce the risk of cancer. On average organic foods contain about one-third more cancer-fighting antioxidants than comparable conventional produce.

9. Avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Independent testing of the long-term health effects of GMO foods on humans has not been carried out. Certified organic foods are a great way to avoid GMOs.

Organic Food is Essential for Your Children:

By Consuming Organic Mothers and Their Children Can:

10. Avoid eating up to two kilograms of food additives every year. Many food additives have been linked with symptoms such as allergic reactions, rashes, headaches, asthma, growth retardation and hyperactivity in children.

11. Lower the incidence of neuro-developmental problems in children which can be caused or made worse by prenatal and early life exposure to pesticides and chemicals that contaminate our food and virtually eliminate dietary exposures to insecticides known to be developmental neurotoxins.

12. Reduce hormone disruptors caused by pesticides. The European Union says that hormones such as chemical insecticides and herbicides used commonly in food production can interfere with our body’s natural hormones and reproductive organs, which may cause low sperm counts and increase the risk of cancer and may cause early onset of puberty among young girls.

13. Reduce the risk of infants’ exposure to pesticides through a mother’s breast milk.

Finally,

14.Organic food grown with a mineral rich regimine of biological farming practices is absolutely delicious! The higher nutritional density of organic, biologically grown food translate directly into better tasting food that stays fresh much longer. Try it and see!

Much of this information was taken from the Biological Farmers of Australia website.

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Articulture


ARTICULTURE

Articulture


ARTICULTURE

Cultivating Eco-Conscious Community

New Harmony brings innovation, beauty, and communal creativity to the farm through Articulture. Articulture is the process of cultivating a living, community art space – a dynamic and sustainable “eco-creative system”. Erin Stack and her co-directors, Deb Cinamon and Tim Gaudreau of the Green Artists League (GAL), work as “articulturists” creating living art “space” that involves the exchange of expertise, skills, and effort between the GAL artists, expert collaborators, and members of the community in the co-creation of public gardens that feeds/nurtures the community through food, imagination, beauty, and the fostering of a more intimate and conscious relationship with nature. Viewing art as an agent for transformation, GAL engages the public through participatory art experiences with the goal to challenge and empower people to adopt more environmentally sustainable behaviors and attitudes. GAL has created numerous articulture projects at the New Eden Collaborative of First Parish Church, Newbury including the ongoing Alchemical Garden: A permaculture and edible art park on the Clipper City Rail Trail. 

New Harmony Farm will be Articulture’s magnum opus and will evolve. New Harmony community members can look forward to numerous and interesting ways to become involved in our upcoming articulture events and projects.

Radient City: Utopian Chicken Architecture a collaboration of artists Andrew Barco, Erin Stack and members of the New Eden Collaborative Community Garden of First Parish Church, Newbury. The structure now lives at our Newbury farm where we plan to work with our farm community to instill "animal empathy" through creating a modernist chicken playground..

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Crop Circles: a phytoremediation art project at GAL's  Alchemical  Garden at Newburport's Clipper Rail Trail

Articulture Butterfly Garden. Volunteers turn the front yard septic leach field at our Newbury Farm into a Certified Monarch Waystation with a beautiful garden built in the shape of a giant, abstracted butterfly. The garden was designed by Angela Palmer and constructed  and planted during our Monarch Butterfly Celebration that included free public lectures on the Monarch Butterfly and butterfly and pollinator garden design.

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Veggie Tips


VEGGIE TIPS

Veggie Tips


VEGGIE TIPS

Here are some tips for keeping those winter storage vegetables at their freshest. It is best not to wash your vegetables until you are ready to use them. Washing bruises the skin and can remove protective oils hastening spoilage.

Carrots:
Remove tops, leaving about an inch of stems. Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or more.

Celeriac:
Store unwashed celeriac in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for several weeks.

Chard, beet and Kale greens:
Cut beet and turnip greens from their roots; store roots separately. Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator. Thicker greens can be kept up to two weeks, but tender ones like spinach and beet greens should be eaten within a week.

Garlic:
Store garlic in a cool and dry space. To keep it from sprouting, keep your garlic in a paper bag.

Beets:
Cut the greens from the beets and use the greens fresh. Store the roots in the refrigerator or other very cool and moist space wrapped in a plastic bag.

Onions:
Red and Yellow Storage Onions may be kept in any cool, dark, dry place with adequate air circulation for several months if they were cured. Make sure to store onions and potatoes in separate places. Moisture given off by potatoes can cause onions to spoil.

Jerusalem Artichokes ( Sunchokes):
Being very thin skinned, Sunchokes shrivel quickly. You can store them for several weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or other very cool space.

Potatoes:
Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for two weeks to a month at room temperature, longer if you can provide their ideal temperature of 40-50 degrees. Moisture causes potatoes to rot, light turns them green and nasty, and storing close to onions causes them to sprout.

Sweet Potatoes:
Keep unwashed sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard and use them within 2-3weeks. Do not store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures can darken the potatoes and will adversely affect their taste. You can keep your sweet potatoes protected by wrapping them in newspaper which will keep them dry and dark. Sweet potatoes, while rugged in appearance, do not keep as long as regular potatoes because their fairly thin skins make them subject to spoilage. At normal room temperature, sweet potatoes should be used within a week. The smaller the sweet potato the sooner they will dry out, so use them first.

Turnips and Rutabega:
Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, unwashed, for up to a month.

Winter Squash:
Store in a cool, dry dark place with good ventilation, like a porch or garage, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for several months, depending on the variety. Butternut squash has the longest storage life. Acorn squash and pumpkin should store for a month normally, but due to the heavy rains at the end of the season they seem to not be keeping as long this year. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.