ACHIEVING SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH RESTORATION OF SOIL ORGANIC MATTER

Spring Valley Ecofarms is a non-profit organization focusing on education, research and outreach to promote more ecologically sustainable agriculture.  The seat is 100 acres in the Georgia Piedmont. The vision is to reduce reliance on external subsidies in agricultural system through incorporating free services of nature.  The goal is to define agricultural sustainability and to develop techniques to increase sustainability.

Strawberry Fields Forever!

At Spring Valley EcoFarms our strawberry season has been fruitful. We discovered that letting clover grow between our strawberry plants keeps moisture close to the ground and the berries- and also mitigates pests. This makes them a little bit harder to find, as we pick them in waves as they ripen, but it's worth the work because we are able to limit soil amendments and save on watering costs. The harvest is almost over now, it's getting pretty hot in Georgia , but we are excited about our yield this year. The strawberries are packed with flavor and feature a dense red color; they may not be as large as store-bought berries but they concentrate flavor and are the sweetest in the area. We have discovered that size is not always what matters!

Muscadine Grapes On The WAY!!

Our Muscadine grapes look gorgeous. At Spring Valley we believe that low infrastructure is best and we have been testing over the years what works best for our grapes. We have found that they do best on the hill with full sun exposure and they are one of the few things we do that do not require focused irrigation; they do fine with rain when we get it. A happy accident is the Lambrusco variety of grapes which has roots in Italy; these grape vines are now mature and have a high yield that we must harvest quickly. Instead of regularly pruning the vines we let them grow wild, the leaves cover the grapes and provide a natural shelter for the fruit that is slow to mature but when ready for picking must be harvested immediately. We plan to take them to market and experiment with wine-making.

Spring 2016: We are excited about the conditions at the farm. The blueberries, our bumper crop, are coming along beautifully- they will be bountiful. The SVE blueberries are 30% larger than your average store bought blueberries; they are also tastier. We believe this is due to our shade growing techniques, inspired by Costa Rican coffee growers and the concentrated mulching that we use to retain moisture. These blueberries are interplanted with trees that protect the bushes and keep the soil rich. These berries are pest control and fertilizer free, allowing us to provide you with the most natural and delicious blueberries availablein the area.

We continue to promote and sell our duck and goose eggs; these eggs are proven to have more minerals, proteins, omegas and vitamins. They are also larger and more substantial than chicken eggs; yolks are thicker with a more robust taste and are fantastic for cooking. We have these seasonally, and they are a huge hit with local restaurants.

 
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