At Barrett's Mill Farm, we grow Certified Organic vegetables, fruits and flowers on 15 acres of the historic McGrath Farmstead, which we lease from the town of Concord. We strive to farm in a way that will keep the land healthy and productive for generations to come. Our goal is not only to grow productive plants and beautiful, nutritious vegetables, but to improve the soil and our local environment.
- We build soil fertility through the use of cover crops as well as organically approved fertilizers and composts. Whenever possible we seed cover crops following each vegetable crop. Our goal is to have as much of the farm covered as possible before the winter. We also plan to leave a portion of our land out of vegetable production and managed in cover crop each season.
- We believe that diversity is key to a healthy farm, so we grow approximately 50 types of crops and almost 200 different varieties.
- Weeds are controlled with mulches (like straw, plastic mulch, landscape fabric and "living" mulches like clover) and mechanical cultivation, as well as some good old-fashioned hoeing and hand-weeding!
- We manage diseases and pests by employing methods such as crop rotation and physical barriers such as row cover and kaolin clay. Good weed management is also an important part of our pest and disease control strategy, as it leads to better air circulation and reduces the amount of potential plant hosts for diseases and pests. Whenever available, we grow disease-resistant cultivars. As a last resort, we sometimes use organically-approved pesticides to save a crop.