At Ozark Akerz, our health focused farming practices are focused on the entire farming life-cycle. People tend to focus on the reduction of herbicides and pesticides, but toxins lurk in the most unlikely of places.
One example is water hoses. A lot of hoses contain lead and/or BPA. As the hose sits in the sun, the lead and other chemicals can leach out, not a cocktail you want to be watering fruits or vegetables with! To reduce this risk, we’ve adopted methods such as flushing our irrigation lines after watering and protecting them from the sun by burying them under mulch. We were also excited to find lead and phthalate (endocrine disruptors) free hoses, another step toward increasing the health value of our crops! One word of caution if you're planning on buying the lead and phthalate free Element hose, it kinks easily so you'll need patience to take another step towards a healthier garden!
Even if you buy organic, be sure to find out what the general farming practices are of the farms you buy from. Although organic is better for you than conventionally raised food, if the farm does not take a holistic approach to farming you may still be exposed to toxins.
Learn more about chemicals in organic food in this Mother Jones article.
Seeds and weeds aplenty!
Spring is a busy time on the farm, here's a quick summary about what we've been up to:
And finally, here is a video of 4 of the baby chicks that have hatched. The first of the chicks hatched on Cinco de Mayo. We have 5 hens sitting on eggs right now so we should have many more soon!
Thanks all y'all!
Sue & Mike
We've been reflecting on the first 10 months living on the farm as we plan to scale for next year, we've been busy! Apart from fixing up the old farmhouse to stop the leaks and drafts, we got started on and finished a few farm projects as well:
-Plowed and planted a test garden
-Sold tomatoes & peppers to restaurants/grocery
-We were promoted on TV by top Chef, Bia Rich
-Put up livestock fencing around 40 acres
-Built a chicken house that houses 20 chickens
-Made our first batch of our farm raised hot sauce
-Established a beehive...lost all the bees this fall :-(
-Built cold frames to protect our winter garden from frost
We're looking forward to the challenges of 2015!
Happy Holidays y'all!
Sue & Mike