At Little Hat Creek Farm, we use ecological farming practices to strike a balance between our needs today and the needs of future generations. Today, in this country, most food is plentiful and cheap because “big agriculture” uses industrial practices like chemical pesticides, artificial fertilizers and herbicides to produce it. Such practices deplete the soil, pollute freshwater, and exacerbate climate change. They also are often removed from the view of the community, and they create an underclass of migrant labor.
Our goal is to build soil, not deplete it, by using cover crops and hay mulch to cultivate our soil microbiota. When fertilizer is needed, we use only organic-approved fertilizers and mineral supplements. We manage pests by rotating crops, and by encouraging bird and predatory insect diversity in wild and weedy areas close to the fields. On rare occasions, we have to use an organic-approved insecticide in our greenhouses, but we avoid the use in our fields to protect our insect diversity. Instead, we do things like disrupt the life cycle of the pest by removing its egg-laying sites or use pheromones to disrupt mating. We also believe that the future needs more farmers, so we make sure our interns have the training they need to go on and start their own farms. We are doing our best to leave our land and our community better than we found it.