ELBURN – Heritage Prairie Farm in Elburn is now Certified USDA Organic, officials said. Heritage Prairie Farm opened in 2006, following a sustainable, small-scale farm model that sells organic produce at its farm store, at 2N308 Brundige Road, to its co-op members and at other stores, according to its website.
The USDA National Organic Standards Board defines organic agriculture as “an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity.
It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.”
For farm manager Doug Salter, organic is the only thing that makes sense.
“It’s just good stewardship of the land,” Salter said. “If you take good care of the land, it will take care of you. Organic is the right thing to do instead of putting a bunch of chemicals on it. ... I know it’s better for everybody. It’s better for the environment. It’s just a good idea.”
Salter said the farm will use organic composted cow manure when fertilizer is used – but it generally is not needed because their four acres are so healthy.
“We have spring, summer and fall crops in each field that we rotate, so we’re not growing the same thing twice in the same spot,” Salter said. “We have weeds. We pull the weeds by hand and put them on the compost pile, and eventually in a few years, we’ll put it back in the field.”
Pesticides are not used, he said.
“We have a lot of bugs – good bugs and bad bugs,” Salter said. “A good bug is a ladybug that eats aphids. A bad bug is a tomato worm. We pick them off by hand.”