How We Farm
The fields at Crystal Spring have been farmed continuously since at least colonial times. As the current stewards of this land we honor it's history and take responsibility to preserve and improve the fields for the generations of farmers that will come after us. All of our fields are annually certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. While this certification ensures that we do not use harmful pesticides or fertilizers to raise our produce it also requires us to create and update a long-term plan for the protection of the soils that make this farm fertile.
Central to maintaining a healthy farm is recognizing that the fields and what we do in them are part of a larger ecosystem that connects us to surrounding land as well as the planet as a whole. Some of the things that we do here to protect the future are:-Sow our fields with diverse crops from different plant families-Maintain roadways of permanent perennial species that reduce erosion, catch excess nutrients and provide habitat for beneficial insects.-Use barriers (floating row covers) and rotation to protect our crops from pests and disease-Allow 10-20% of our vegetable fields to lay fallow each year to rebuild organic matter and maintain biological diversity.-Plant green manure crops before and after vegetable crops to catch excess nutrients, stabilize carbon and enhance the overall health of of our soils.-Recycle by-products from local breweries, enhancing our soils while keeping nutrients in the carbon cycle and out of waste streams.
In addition to the work we do in the fields to protect the future of farming here we also:-Produce 100% of the electricity used on the farm via our solar array.-Use B100 (100%) post-consumer biodiesel to power our tractors and heat our greenhouse during the season.-Make regular donations to the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program (9936 lbs. in 2017)