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Red Root Herb & Vegetable Farm

(Banks,AL)

Generally, our Spring/Summer CSA starts around the first of April and the fall winter season starts around the first of October. Each week you will receive a recycled cotton canvas bag containing six to seven items freshly picked and in season. Most weeks there will be a newsletter which tells about the produce you receive that week. Located so far south we use very little in the way of season extension which helps reduce our overall environmental footprint. Well water is used for efficient irrigation. Red Root Farm uses a long crop rotation to combat pest and disease problems. When necessary we may choose to use botanical insecticides and/or beneficial bacteria under extreme circumstances.We use cover crops as our main fertility input. Red Root Farm is both on the forefront of cutting edge organic farming techniques and a throwback to earlier times of agricultural sustainability. Established in 2000, Red Root Farm uses exclusively organic procedures to produce a diverse array of crops including corn, peas, tomatoes, melons, peppers, sugar cane, and assorted members of the Cruciferous family. Blackberries, plums, and pecans dot the Red Root landscape.The next few years may see branching out into the production of various fruits such as figs and scuppernongs. An emphasis on sustainability is the cornerstone of the philosophy of Red Root Farm. In keeping with the sustainability philosophy and the need for community and family farming, Red Root uses a great deal of hand labor, which also reduces the need for some machinery. Currently five acres are under production with the possibility of more to come. Red Root is a part of a growing network of resistance to genetically modified foods and use of harmful chemical pesticides. Red Root uses agricultural techniques such as cover cropping, composting, biodynamics, and permaculture. These processes restore nutrients to the soil, nurture biodiversity, and help to create harmony in the natural world. Red Root avoids chemicals that harm the consumers of food -- as well as the environment. Though Red Root Farm is active year-round, seeds are put into the ground during the main planting season for the southeastern Alabama climate, which include early spring, late summer, and late winter. The farm is abuzz with activity from May to December. The high points of harvest bring considerable amounts of food from the soil to farm markets, area restaurants, a special farm store located in Banks, and to the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Though mainstream and popular edible vegetables make up a bulk of the crops grown at Red Root Farm, Gary Weil also brings a unique understanding of herbs and agriculture to Alabama. Among other crops produced at Red Root Farm are wheat grass, various herbs used in biodynamic agriculture, and many other hard-to-find medicinal and culinary herbs. Anyone who has used herbs knows that freshness is of the utmost importance in ensuring a quality product. Red Root Farm is interested in all aspects of environmental sustainability. Each day of farming is a day of resistance to an often-dehumanizing mass culture that focuses only on consumerism and selfishness. Among the other projects at Red Root Farm is an attempt to explore environmental architecture. There are plans to install a living roof on an existing brick building and Red Root will explore other ways to integrate living material into daily practical uses. Education about desirable alternatives to harmful (and sometimes expensive) building and living practices is a key mission of Red Root Farm.

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