A healthy stand of buckwheat in the summer of 2014.

A healthy stand of buckwheat in the summer of 2014.

Various mulches keep down weed pressure

Various mulches keep down weed pressure

Peas and oats enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen and providing winter cover.

Peas and oats enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen and providing winter cover.

Farming Practices

We are now Certified Organic in 2017!

At Barrett's Mill Farm, we grow over 50 types of vegetables on the historic McGrath Farmstead, which is owned by the town of Concord. We follow organic practices and strive to farm in a way that will keep the land healthy and productive for generations to come. 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 always leave a portion of our land out of vegetable production and managed in cover crop every year. In 2015 we grew vegetables and fruits on 7 acres while seeding the remaining land in cover crops. In 2016, we plan to expand to grow on 8.5 acres. We also 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 plants hosts for diseases and pests. Whenever available, we grow disease-resistant cultivars. As a last resort, we may use organically-approved pesticides to save a crop.