What Does Sustainably Grown Mean?
By maintaining fertile soils and using many organic growing techniques, we can grow our produce while improving our soils and our farm property, preserving this resource for future generations. Using a minimum of chemical pesticides and fertilizers we instead use crop rotations, green manures, compost, mulches, and other management techniques to maintain healthy soils and in turn, healthy plants and healthy people!
We are a true small family farm with 30 diversified acres in the heart of the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. Our farm is a mix of orchards, vegetables, perennials, pastures, and natural areas that are combined to make a healthy agroecosystem. We plant a diversity of crop and non-crop areas to maximize beneficial insects and natural controls. We keep bees as our hard-working pollinators but we take special care to provide habitat and food sources for our native pollinators as well. We grow native small fruits like blackberry, elderberry, and aronia that can do well without chemical inputs.
Space is continuing to be devoted to components based on permaculture design and we often use our farm as a living (and constantly evolving!) classroom and laboratory. We keep resources on the farm by saving many of our own seeds and propagating and growing the majority our transplants right on the farm. We compost (and vermicompost) to recycle waste and produce natural fertilizer. Waste wood is used to grow mushrooms, and we continually recycle and re-purpose. We’ve got a lot of experimentation going on and we try to create a model sustainable farm for our region. It is a constant work in progress, but it’s always a fun and interesting place to be!
Drip irrigation and rain catchment maximizes water use efficiency and the integration of animals adds fertility and makes the whole farm system one that can be sustained into the future. When insect controls are needed we prefer organic methods over chemical ones. Most of our crops are completely pesticide free. We select vegetable and fruit varieties based on their taste and their ability to thrive in our local climate with little inputs. We constantly trial new, and old, varieties to find what works best on our farm. Our goal is to produce the highest quality, best tasting produce, using techniques that will continue to feed our family and yours for generations to come. That’ s what we mean when we say “sustainable.”
We grow lots of heirloom varieties on our farm. Heirlooms are vegetable/fruit varieties that are over 50 years old and have been handed down through generations of farmers. In the case of vegetables, these are open-pollinated varieties from which seed can be saved and expected to be true to type. We select these varieties mostly based on taste, or their ability to set consistently good crops in our climate without chemicals. There is a world of variety and flavor in heirlooms that can’t be found anywhere else! The best way to preserve these heirlooms is to grow, eat, and enjoy them! Some of our consistent favorites are Long Island Cheese squash, Ali Baba watermelon, Black Prince tomato, Fish pepper, Australian Brown onion, Bloody Butcher corn, and many more! We also produce heirloom seeds for commercial seed companies, helping to provide the next generation with our vegetable heritage!
We grow over 30 varieties of apple trees in our orchards, many of which are heirloom varieties. We’ve got northern classics like Ashmead’s Kernel and Roxbury Russett, but also have old southern varieties that have been traditionally grown in our region in the past. Arkansas Black, Virginia Beauty, and the various Limbertwigs are proving to be great producers and our tasty favorites!
We offer farm internships on a limited basis with a preference for students who have chosen agriculture as their career field. Contact us for more information or see our posting at ATTRA: https://attra.ncat.org/internship/coulters-good-earth-farm/
We also organize volunteer days, so let us know if you want to be on that contact list as well.
Come Visit Us:
We are educators at heart and we love to show off the farm, but we are very busy, so take note of our Open Farm days that we host a couple of times of year. We can also host group tours and give classes/presentations as our schedule allows. Fees apply to some tours/classes. Contact us by email for more information or to schedule a group tour.