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(Ithaca,NY)We are Solana Farm is a small organic farm located in Danby, NY. We grow a wide variety of vegetables using organic methods, and we raise Rhode Island Red laying hens on pasture for fresh eggs. We offer CSA shares that can be picked up in Caroline and Ithaca, and our produce is also available at the Caroline Farmer's Market. For the past several years we, Lauren and Kevin, have been farming in central Montana, and recently moved back to the Ithaca area where Lauren grew up. Thanks to the generosity of Gay Garrison, we will be growing on her land in Danby this season while we look for a more permenant location. Our long-term goal is to create a closed-loop, holistic, biodiverse, and sustainable agricultural system that will produce fresh, healthy food for our community while continuing to grow and learn from the complexities of natural ecosystems. Our practices include using local manure for soil fertility, and using a reduced-tillage method that reduces soil compaction and increases soil tilth as well as the populations of beneficial soil macro- and micro-organisms. We grow a diversity of crops, allowing for a diverse insect community which keeps individual pest populations to a manageable level. Our drip irrigation system uses much less water than conventional sprinkler and flood-irrigation systems, reducing the impact on the local watershed. We practice crop rotation, which helps prevent over-taxing the soil. We also do the majority of our planting, weeding, and harvesting by hand, without the use of fossil fuels, in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint. In the future we plan to expand the animal husbandry component of our farm eco-system, which will allow us to begin a larger rotation of crops, livestock, and poultry, further increasing the biodiversity and health of the system as well as reducing the need for external farm inputs.
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