There are many challenges facing organic farmers and gardeners today to ensure their soil is fortified with all of the healthy bacteria and organic matter necessary to produce safe and nutritious food. Pollutants in our environment easily contaminate rainwater and end up in our soil but, with the right farming practices, soil can be rehabilitated to do what it was naturally intended to do: put forth food to nourish our bodies and our environment. Doug Crabtree, organic heirloom farmer, states it this way: “Organic production isn’t just growing food without toxic chemical inputs, it’s a system that requires conscientiously improving soil, water, and associated resources while producing safe and healthy food.”
At Peace of Heart Farm, we are committed to laboratory testing our soil twice yearly for heavy metals and unwanted pesticides. Simply assuming soil is “safe” is not enough as high yield farming practices, spraying, pollution and run-off have adversely affected our soil. Practices like obtaining healthy soil from ground zero, use of organic fertilizer, worm composting, and ensuring safe watering sources like those implemented at POHC Farm insure crop output is not only more safe but more nutritious. Andrew Smith of Rodale Institute research shows that organic crops show higher levels of Vitamin C; higher quality protein; plus more autoimmune boosting components like lycopene (found in tomatoes) and polyphenols and anthocyanin. Healthy soil produces more nutrient dense food and this organic food promotes healthy lifestyles.
At Peace of Heart Farm, we believe the health of our soil is a reflection of our personal health. Did you know good soil should be full of healthy prebiotics and probiotics? It’s true…gut health begins in the ground. We like to say eat clean but live dirty! It’s quite alright with us if our hands are messy! Playing in the dirt as a child actually was a pretty good way to fortify your immune system. Peace of Heart Farm welcomes volunteers the first Saturday of each month if you want a chance to relive those childhood memories or to give your children the same experience. It’s not just about sweating and getting your hands dirty. Gardening provides the positive benefits of stress relief, and physical exercise all while helping a great cause are added bonuses!