Growing Practices

At Green Wagon Farm we practice by faith, with biodiversity our crop insurance. Every growing season is unique as we continuously adapt to changes in our weather, climate, and local food culture. As of 2016, we are certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association. We are always seeking to better uphold the integrity of the water, soil, air, and creatures under our care.

Aside from careful observation and bicycle carts, we utilize a number of other tools that increase the effectiveness of our work. We seed using a vacuum-powered EZ-seeder; we transplant by hand or with the help of our Stand N Plant; we cultivate by tractor, flame weeder, and by hand, and we harvest primarily by hand, though sometimes with our handy root-digger or quick-cut green’s harvester. We spin our greens in a re-purposed washing machine and wash our roots in a hand-built root washer. We extend our season on each end by planting in one greenhouse, five hoophouses, and three caterpillar tunnels, and we store our fall crops in an insulated semi-trailer through the winter.12961357_999986936735836_3262601544458720579_o

We reduce pest-damage through careful seasonal rotation and are constantly on the look-out for signs of disease, which when necessary, we treat using OMRI-certified sprays to avoid devastation. Plant, fungal, or bacterial-based, these sprays target specific pests and are completely safe for human consumption.

We water mainly by overhead irrigation, which reduces manual labor, reduces plastic waste, and allows for cultivation by tractor.

We test our soil at least once per season, changing our tillage to fit the needs of the season and applying mineral supplements, manures, and our very own compost (and compost tea!) to return nutrition and structure to the soil. We cover-crop extensively–in lanes and between rows, and whenever possible, between crop plantings.

We are a team at Green Wagon Farm—with a crew that varies from three or four in the cold season to ten at the season’s height. We relish our time working and celebrating together as we study and experiment with ways to better serve our land and our community.


Photographs from top: Chelsea M. Blair, Heather Anderson, Micah Sienkowski, & Mike Rice.