How We Farm
Let’s Keep People on the Land
Small farms are criticized as inefficient; lacking sufficient scale to adopt expensive mechanized technology to reduce unit cost of production. We believe that caring people’s eyes and hands are the paramount tools of quality production. We marvel that nearly fifty families besides our own are supported year-round by the production of our 75 acres. Please take pride that your purchase of our produce at fair prices sustains a community of people who appreciate the opportunity to serve you and the land.
Tom and denesse Willey.
Given the goal that we would all like to produce bountiful harvests without the use of toxic chemistry, how can we do that on a commercial scale?
Organic producers incorporate the time-honored practices of pre-toxic agriculture with cutting-edge technology emerging from recent biological research and development.
We now understand that the natural fertility system which has powered Earth’s botanical wonder for millions of years is fundamentally a web of recycling. As many as 100 billion micro-organisms inhabit a handful of soil. These consume the dead bodies of flora and fauna, releasing invaluable mineral nutrients locked within for new cycles of plant life.
The cornerstone of T&D Willey Farms’ fertility program was an abundant use of aerobically composted dairy manure and carefully composted urban “greenwaste”. Compost-powered soil microbes, complemented with balanced additions of rock minerals, including limestone, provide the kind of fertility which boosts a crop’s resistance to disease and insect attack.
Careful crop rotations and the cultivation of a very diverse “farmscape”, featuring many varieties of plants and stages of growth, encourages a complex beneficial insect community that helps to hold pests at bay. Non-toxic soaps, oils and a few biological pesticides are used in cases when the system may become temporarily unbalanced or weather- stressed.
Organic farming is a proactive system of plant health maintenance. We were always striving to remain on the cutting edge of biological production technology. Rather than splicing genes, we found that cooperating with the immense diversity already provided by nature, we could deliver the safest and highest-quality produce in the marketplace. Use of the term “organic” is defined and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our compliance with National Organic Program (NOP) standards was inspected and approved by the USDA-accredited California Certified Organic Farmers, one of the longest-standing private certification agencies in the nation.