Our Growing Practices
Cedar Circle Farm has been certified organic since 2003. We follow the organic standards of Vermont Organic Farmers LLC (VOF), a USDA accredited certification program of NOFA-VT.
Beyond organic, though, we believe that it’s important to hold ourselves to a higher standard and strive to farm in the way that is best for our land, our employees, and our community.
Regenerative Organic Agriculture
Regenerative Organic Farming works to restore soil health, and in turn, the health of plants, people, and the planet. Farmers use these land management methods to create healthy, nutrient-dense soil and restore the beneficial microorganisms and fungi living within the soil. That’s right - soil holds an entire ecosystem below our feet! We must utilize farming practices that support this ecosystem.
Thriving soil life draws carbon out of the atmosphere and fixes it into the soil, thereby restoring a natural carbon sink. Carbon sinks are good! They benefit soil health and plant growth while lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the process. While some carbon is stored in the soil, carbon is still released as part of the natural carbon cycle, but less is emitted into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas. Farmers and scientists alike see this as one way to mitigate climate change.
Farms and forests make up the majority of the planet’s carbon sinks. According to the Natural Resource Conservation Service, 75% of these carbon reserves have been released into the atmosphere as soil life is depleted through deforestation, chemical use, and excess tillage.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that industrialized farming practices are responsible for up to 45% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide. According to the Rodale Institute, if widely used, regenerative organic farming practices could restore a healthy carbon sink able to draw down a significant amount of global annual carbon dioxide emissions. Learn more…
Tilling is any act of digging up or disturbing the soil. It is widely used to incorporate added nutrients and break up compacted soil for planting. Tilling, although convenient, can be damaging to soil structure and soil life which are both crucial to plant growth. Cedar Circle Farm is transitioning to no-till land management in order to minimize the disruption of soil and to preserve the soil ecosystem necessary for plants to thrive. Learn more…
Cedar Circle Farm grows cover crops for their benefits to the soil. They are planted in between main cash crops cycles. The seed mixture is specifically chosen to fix nutrients into the soil that the past cash crop has used or that the next crop will need. Cover crops also create a blanket of plant matter that protects soil and inhibits weed growth. Cover crops work best when working together. Common cover crops at Cedar Circle Farm are winter rye and hairy vetch, oats and peas, or yellow clover. Learn more…