Sustainable Farming

What does it mean to be sustainable? Good question! At Stahlbush, we think it’s important to explain to people what we mean when we use this term to describe our way of farming and producing food. We define sustainable as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (based on “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development,” United Nations, 1987). We like this definition because it shows the quest for sustainability is a philosophy. Our philosophy of sustainability guides our farming practices and affects the way we use energy and care for soil, water, people and wildlife.

Soil

Healthy soil leads to luscious June strawberries.

The soil at Stahlbush Island Farms is alive with sunshine and rain and living organisms. Soil is the lifeblood of the farm. We know the only way we can truly be sustainable farmers is to make the soil healthier through our farming methods year after year. At Stahlbush, we use conservation tillage to reduce erosion and increase the organic matter, cover crops to return nitrogen to the soil, annual soil tests to guide our crop-specific nutrient management programs and rubber tracks or wide tires wherever possible to reduce soil compaction.

As in the human body, a capillary system exists in the soil to move water and nutrients throughout. We work to develop farming practices that leave this system as undisturbed as possible, because healthy soil makes healthy plants that are better equipped to fight off pests like fungus, insects and disease.