An organic farm in transition...
At TapRoot, we are striving to convert all of our production to certified organic. This means that we currently grow some non-organic, transition to organic, and certified organic crops. Each year we are able to shift more land into organic production--we are currently at 70%--with a goal to become a fully organic farm by 2020.
Does TapRoot grow any GMO crops?
This question has been asked a lot lately, and we are so glad to see so many people concerned about GM food. Alhough there are parts of our production that are non-organic, we strive to avoid anything that we feel does lasting environmental damage. We do not, and will not, ever grow any genetically modified crops, and we also no longer use neonicotinoids (a suspect in the decline of bee populations). In addition, our animals are fed non-GMO feed. We are aware of the numerous ecological impacts of GMO and pesticides, and are glad that you are too. Keep asking those questions of the people you choose to grow your food!
What are the agricultural methods used to produce the fruit in the Noggins Fruit share?
It is very challenging to farm fruit crops organically. Andrew at Noggins is using various methods, including integrated pest management, where pest populations are being monitored and assessed before action is taken. He uses what some call “soft methods”. This means that when he does have to go into the orchard with a pesticide, he chooses pesticides that are not as harsh. He has also started an Agro K program that reduces the use of chemical fertilizers and increases the soil and tree's ability to fend against pests. Noggins is making an effort to reduce the cost, both environmentally and financially, of non-organic methods of pest control. The reality is that it is very hard to produce an attractive and marketable crop of fruit without the intervention of science. Andrew and the crew at Noggins are working towards a less intervening way one step at a time.