After many years of hobby farming, we were finally ready to take the plunge and open our farm up to the public; we launched our grand opening on June 3rd, 2017.
We follow agrarian principles, and are proud stewards of the land. We are also members of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, and we are happy to have a long-standing conservation easement on the property, guaranteeing that its use will be for agriculture and silviculture purposes only, and not for future development.
Soil – We take great care to maintain the biodiversity of our soil using natural methods such as aged compost. Our soil is full of earthworms and other living beneficial organisms. We never use any synthetic/chemical sprays to manage our soil. We also utilize crop rotation, cover crops, and companion planting in our efforts to maintain carbon sequestration in the soil.
Sustainability – We use a drip irrigation system for the majority of our crops. This system significantly cuts down on water waste; the drip method goes straight to the root system of the individual plant and there is no run-off. We also use ground cover around our crops; this provides superior weed control, retains moisture, helps regulate temperature, and makes harvesting more efficient and convenient.
Certified Organic? – We are not certified organic, but (with a few exceptions) we primarily practice natural and organic farming methods. Most food at Hartwood Farm & Gardens is grown and handled in a manner that not only meets but far exceeds USDA Organic requirements.
To remember why organic certification came about in the first place: it was a way for consumers – who had no direct contact with the people growing their food – to know more about the food they were buying, and a way for growers to communicate how the food was grown. As a small market gardener, we don’t need a third party to represent us; when you buy from us, you enter into a direct relationship with the farmers who grow your food. We can tell you (and show you!) exactly how that tomato got into your hands. We welcome any and all questions you may have about our growing methods.