Our farm is located on 68 Certified Organic acres in Morris County, New Jersey with diverse ecosystems comprising forest, pond, stream, and cropland. For the past 6 seasons we have been growing annual and perennial vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit on this historic farm that dates back to the 1600s. In 2012 we started our weekly vegetable share distribution, to provide healthy, delicious, seasonal, local foods to our community through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Building soil using less fossil fuels
School Lunch Organic Farm is dedicated to building healthy soil, which is a hallmark of organic farming. To grow food organically, farmers must build their soil, using techniques like composting, cover crops, and crop rotations rather than synthetic fertilizers made from fossil-fuels. Building soil is a lot more work. But on an environmental level, that matters. Excess nitrogen from fertilizer not only ends up in the atmosphere as nitrous oxide (a potent greenhouse gas), it also ends up in our waterways and aquifers, where it causes everything from nitrate poisoning in drinking water, to toxic algae, to dead zones in our waterways.
No GMO seeds
Organic farms must also agree not to use genetically engineered seeds. We do not grow sweet corn because of the possibility of pollen drift from GMO cornfields which would contaminate the sweet corn grown in our fields. If we can determine if we are within a safe radius of GMO corn fields, we will consider growing sweet corn in the future.
Limited use of Plant-based pesticides
School Lunch Organic farm believes in minimal pesticide use of approved Organic materials. We do not prescribe to a spraying schedule. We do not believe in the use of synthetic pesticides. The majority of organic farmers rely on plant-based pesticides such as Pyrethrum (from chrysanthemum flowers), extracts of the Benin tree, neem oil, or an extract of the Japanese knotweed root.
Organic Certification is more work for the farmer
Organic certification requires a time commitment on the part of the farmer. In addition to a 12-page application, as well as regular audits, organic farmers must document a great deal of what they do. I believe the discipline of documentation makes one a better farmer.