This year at the Three Sisters Harvest Festival we began a commitment to make our event zero waste. The dinnerware and other applicable trash at the festival was either composted on our property to be used as nutrient rich soil for our crops, or it was recycled. This left the farm with only one bag of non recyclable and non compostable trash for over 200 people and 10 vendors at the fall festival. Branstrator Farm is in the process of growing this idea and making the service available to other community events in and around our region. This new service is called Zero Wasted. The way it works is the farm will provide all the dinnerware that an event needs as well as clear and concise signs for event guests on where to dispose of their waste. When the event has come to its conclusion the waste will then be picked up and taken to our composting pad at the farm. In providing this service not only are we helping to decrease the amount of trash disposed in landfills but we are also providing high quality organic matter that will decrease our need for fertilizers. If you live in southwest Ohio area and are interested in making your next event a Zero Wasted event please contact us at (937)203-8289 for more information.
At the end of October Jon attended the Cover Crop Solutions Field Day in Lititz Pennsylvania. This field day is intended to provide the latest research in cover crop technology to farmers. There are many benefits to plant cover crops in fields that are harvested for the year. Cover crops sequester atmospheric carbon to make stable soil carbon. They also build nitrogen and relieve soil compaction. Vegetables grown on cover cropped soil are much cleaner and will suffer less diseases. Jon was very impressed with the regeneration of soil health brought about by the use of cover crop mixtures. Some of the best plots had as many as 15 varieties. We planted a field to Tillage Radish and Austrian Winter peas after wheat harvest this August. The ‘14 pumpkin patch was planted to rye, hairy vetch Austrian winter peas and tillage radish. We are committed to keep something growing on every field all year long thus increasing the quality of our produce.
Another addition to this years harvest was that of Broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Having watched our Amish and Mennonite friends grow a beautiful crop of cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli every fall we thought that we would give it a try. Although we have done it in years past this years yield was the best we have grown. The fresh brassicas (cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower) have a sweeter taste and crisper texture than the shipped in ones. We hope to continue to grow these vegetables better with every passing year.
As 2013 comes to a close Branstrator Farm renews its commitment to providing the community with fresh produce that comes from a farm that holds education and research with high regard. The farm is constantly keeping up with sustainable farming practices, consistently looking at ways to decrease our environmental impact and finding more ways to be involved with and support the local community. To run such a large operation is a difficult task and we could not complete it without help. We are grateful for all of the love and support of our friends and community members. We would like to take this time to truly thank our friends, volunteers and partners who have helped make this year such a success. From our table to yours we hope that you and your family have a very beloved and happy holiday season.