Our Farming Philosophy
Our farm is situated along the banks of bold Beaver Creek in Floyd County, Virginia. We intensively farm vegetables and flowers on one-half an acre of land with the remainder of our one acre farm being used to pasture our heritage breed laying hens and house our apiary. Keeping our farm small ensures our ability to use bio-intensive practices and beyond organic methods to manage all of our ventures. As a Certified Naturally Grown™ producer, Red Fern Farm is dedicated to the use of sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices in our efforts to steward the land. We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality natural eggs, honey, flowers and vegetables.
Our farming methodology revolves around the idea of land stewardship. Because of that, we use the following farming practices to ensure the best care is taken of this land:
No-till: we do not mechanically till our soil because we believe in the science of living soil. Soil is a living network of bacteria and fungus which is destroyed each time the soil is tilled; thus, causing soil degradation and compaction. Rather than using traditional tillage tools, we use a tool called a broadfork to slightly lift and aerate. This tool allows us to aid in soil building in the least intrusive way possible.
No-spray: we do not use any chemicals on our farm (this includes the organic approved OMRI ones). To combat insect, bacterial, and fungal issues we rely on exclusionary bug netting, beneficial insects, beneficial nematodes, indigenous micro organisms, soil health, and crop variety selection.
Human Powered: we do not use a tractor in our planting fields. All of our tools are human powered with the exception of a few tools which are run by battery powered hand drills.
Amendments & Inputs: to feed our soil, we do add amendments and compost to our soil. All of these amendments are certified Organic™ and added in accordance to our yearly soil tests.
Animal Welfare: the welfare of our animals is of upmost importance to us. Our hens have unrestricted access to open pasture and fresh cool water straight from our well. Each hen has excess of 120sqft of pasture space each to forage. In addition to pasture foraging, our poultry are provided free choice access to crushed oyster shells (to aid in calcium uptake) and granite grit (to help with digestion) as well as a ration of certified Organic™ layer feed. Our layer feed is SOY FREE. No supplemental light is used to induce egg laying or suspend a bird’s natural rest and molting phase.
Ecological Ideologies: we intentionally plant fruit trees, berry bushes, and wildflowers throughout our farm. We install birdhouses and ensure the integrity of the riparian waterway buffers.