Philip Barrows started San Giovanni's Farm inspired by his great-grandfather Giovanni, a long-time grower who embodied the heart of small farming. Inspiration and success is also due to Greg and Maria Barrows who laid the foundation for the farm over the past decade.
We are grateful to our family of small growers who have openly shared their practices and experience in growing food from the soil. Two contemporary farmers, Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier, have instructed us in many of the farming practices we use on the farm. These growers, among many others, continue to influence and sustain our work by openly sharing their knowledge and experience of farming as they preserve and develop the tradition of small-scale farming.
We are especially grateful to our big family of good-food-eaters, who continue to support and inspire our work on the farm. As we continue to grow, we hope to maintain the small-ness of our farm in order to keep it beautiful and locally-oriented, so as to ensure the production of healthy and tasty vegetables.
HOW WE FARM
REAL ORGANIC STANDARDS
At San Giovanni's, our mission is to grow the finest tasting vegetables using real organic farming practices passed down in the long tradition of small-scale sustainable agriculture.
Dedicated to the health of our vegetables and customers, we prefer to grow our vegetables in a living fertile soil attached to the earth. We use appropriate tools and technology for small scale farming and living soil farming practices so as to tread lightly on the earth and cultivate a healthy soil, which in turn grows healthy and delicious vegetables, which then feed and sustain our customers.
The following Real Organic Standard is by Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm - we aspire to this standard:
1. First, for uncompromised nutritional value all crops must be grown in a biologically active, fertile soil attached to the earth and nourished by the natural biological activities of that soil. There are so many important soil processes that we could not replace even if we wanted to, because we are still unaware of all the benefits they contribute.
2. Second, soil fertility should be maintained principally with farm-derived organic matter and mineral particles from ground rock. Why take the chance of bringing in polluted material from industrial sources when fertility can be created and maintained internally?
3. Third, deep-rooting green manures, cover crops, and grazed pastures must be included within broadly based crop rotations to enhance biological diversity. The greater the variety of plants and animals on the farm, the more stable the system.
4. Fourth, a “plant positive” rather than a “pest negative” philosophy is vital. The focus must be on correcting the cause of pest problems (sick plants) by strengthening the plant through creating optimum soil conditions to prevent pests, rather than merely treating the symptom (pest damage) by trying to kill the pests that prey on weak plants. More and more scientific evidence is available today on the mechanisms by which a biologically active fertile soil creates induced resistance in the crops.
5. Fifth, livestock must be raised outdoors on grass-based pasture systems to the fullest extent possible. Farm animals are an integral factor in the symbiosis of soil fertility on the organic farm.