in the Garden
In a sustainable farm system, the soil
is an ecosystem, increasing in biotic diversity, evolving
through successive states and progressing to a climax situation.
As ecological farmers, we have the ability to nurture this
progression while extracting a living from the miraculous
organism we call the soil.
The only way soil develops is by plant roots penetrating and interacting
with it. And the only way this interaction is sustainable is if
untold numbers and types of soil microorganisms flourish in and
on the plants' roots and vascular systems. This interaction is so
complex that, though we may know the complete DNA of many animals,
no one has unraveled the miracle of soil—a miracle so complete
that the plant and soil interaction becomes a continuum. This soil
continuum is the only situation that produces truly nutritious food which, in turn, restores our bodies on a daily basis. Unfortunately,
many modern organic production practices—tillage, irrigation,
monocultures, hydroponics, modern organic salad production—disturb
and often disconnect plants from the magic of the plant-soil interface.
At Knoll Farms, we have placed this single strategy at the heart
of our food-production philosophy and we will continue to be leaders
in soil evolution for the production of nutritious food. Organic
farming was straight-forward and had integrity until the early 90s.
Due to the changes in the industry in the last decade, we believe
that we are forging straight ahead while the organic industry has
taken a sharp oblique. We have decided to refrain from using the
"O" word in the pursuit of our next evolutionary step.
The new organic law says there is nothing beyond organic. We beg
to differ. We feel that the soil continuum is a fundamental aspect
of ecological production that is beyond what "organic"