One Love farm believes in land stewardship where we give back to the earth as much as we receive.
What does this look like?
By helping improve the complex structure and fertility of the land that sustains us, we encourage the development of a diverse and balanced ecosystem. And, by farming organically, we maintain and protect that ecosystem and those who benefit from it.
One Love Farm plants a variety of different vegetables, herbs and flowers to create a mutually beneficial relationship between plants, birds, insects and humans. Rather than chemical pest control, we grow flowers and plants to attract and sustain birds and beneficial insects who, in return, feed on the unwanted pests.
In addition, we use cover crops, rotate what is planted where and use natural compost to help increase organic matter and micro organisms in the soil instead of using chemical fertilizers.
Also, we use companion planting, grouping different plants together that mutually benefit each other, to avoid plant disease and the use of fungicides.
And, we plant living mulches to control weeds instead of applying herbicides.
Monocropping, the growing of one type of crop on a large scale, can rely heavily on chemical fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides to compensate for what nature naturally does on its own: balancing and self-regulating through a variety of mutually beneficial relationships.
Farming organically means we don’t put harmful chemicals into the soil which can be absorbed by what we grow and then transferred to those who eat it: both humans and animals.
Planning, observation, intuition, and the knowledge gained from our own experience and that of other farmers tend to be our greatest tools.
What does open pollination mean?
Here, at One Love Farm, we buy and grow only open pollinated seed. When collected and grown again, they are true to type and this supports heirloom varieties from perishing and the genetic diversity necessary to healthy plant stock.
What does “heirloom” mean?
All “Heirloom” varieties are open pollinated but all open pollinated varieties are not necessarily “Heirloom.” There is no static rule to define what heirloom is. Some say that it has to have been a known variety since 1951 , marking the year that hybrid plants were introduced on a large scale to the public.
What are hybrids?
Hybrids are the product of more than one plant variety being purposefully crossed in a controlled environment to produce certain desired traits. For example, a company might want to create a tomato that travels long distances without spoiling. However, seeds collected from a hybrid and planted the following year will not produce reliable traits from its parent plant if it germinates at all. As hybrids dominate what is grown, genetic diversity is diminishing.
Back to the definition of heirloom, others say it must be 50 and some say a 100 years old to qualify. Personally, I agree with the more universal definition which basically states that if an open pollenated plant has been consistently grown and handed down for a long period of time then it may be classed as an heirloom.
Heirlooms carry stories in their history. It would be a shame to lose them.
There are other reasons why we do it:
It brings us joy to see things grow. And, ultimately, we feel greatly rewarded when our efforts bless others as well.
We get to choose varieties that are known for their refined flavours and textures. As a small-scale farm we do not need to be concerned with factors like “how well it travels over long periods of time” or “crop uniformity.”
In deciding what to grow, we choose vegetables with optimal flavour and quality for the community table.
Thank you for reading about what it important to us,
One Love Organic Farm