How We Grow (IPM)
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a way to control insect pests and diseases on crops by combining several complimentary strategies such as sanitation, soil enrichment, variety selection, pest detection, and biological controls. Chemical pesticides may be used, but only if absolutely necessary.
IPM allows us to produce high quality plants and crops and reduce chemical pesticide use. The University of Massachusetts Extension Service has calculated that IPM programs have reduced pesticide use by 25% to 85% on participating farms.
IPM is a smart way to grow
Sanitation: Start clean to grow clean. IPM promotes keeping growing areas free of weeds, which harbor pests and disease.
Soil Enrichment: Protect the soil. Cover crops provide erosion control and build soil structure. Compost is essential to provide nutrients to the land.
Variety Selection: Choosing the best and strongest plants. We select varieties based on a number of factors such as eating quality, vigor, and yield potential. Stronger, more vigorous crops will withstand stresses better and require fewer pesticide applications.
Pest Detection: Look for what’s there. Not only detection, but also understanding the life cycles of pests makes them easier to control. The University of Massachusetts provides us with constant monitoring of pest movements throughout the State.
Biological Controls: Using “good bugs” against “bad bugs”. Understanding and protecting beneficial insects is part of the system.
Pesticides: Only as a last resort. Used only when absolutely necessary. Early detection and study of pest life cycles allows us to select materials that have a more favorable environmental profile. These are more effective and good for everyone.
Non-Chemical Controls: There are many ways to deter and confuse pests. Row covers, plastic mulches, and trap plants all allow us to confuse pests and control weed populations.
IPM is a proactive approach to growing
Support Local Agriculture: It offers multiple benefits to the consumer & the environment: fresh, nutritious crops, supports local business, preserves open space.
Healthy Plants = Healthy Environment
Farm Tours: If you would like to see our farm, we offer free walking tours of our Lexington farm beginning in June through August. They are conducted by Jim Wilson and are held every other Thursday evening (6:30 to 8PM). Dates are posted in our store and on our Happenings page.
Learn More: Learn more about IPM from the University of Massachusetts at their website.