RiverFly Farms is nestled in the Paint Rock valley near the small community of Trenton. We have 2 acres dedicated to annual and perennial crops with 13 acres dedicated to pasture.
We currently grow an assortment of vegetables and have recently began planting perennial fruits. These include: Blackberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Pear, Apple, Paw Paw, Mulberry, Cherry, and Fig.
We also have a growing honey bee operation and will be welcoming laying hens to the farm this spring.
"To be the Standard for Small Farms Across this Country and Beyond."
That's our mission. To accomplish this mission we have laid out eight objectives.
- Year-round Production
- Food Storage Systems
- Full-spectrum Food supply
- Artistic Beauty
- Farmer-to-Farmer Cooperation/Collaboration
While we haven't accomplished our eight objectives yet, the journey has begun. Here is the 'why' behind each objective.
To us, this word is much more than a trendy label. It is at the core of our philosophy. On our farm, sustainability starts with how we take care of our soil. Cover crops, rotational management of crops and animals, minimal cultivation and on-site composting are some of the ways we tend to our soil. We focus on using minimal off-farm inputs. We raise specific heirloom crops and are saving selected seeds from the best adapted and most disease resistant plants. All of our animals are fed a GMO free diet and we are working towards sourcing as much feed from on-site as possible. Ultimately, the remaining objectives all fall under the "Sustainable" canopy as we feel they are integral to achieving sustainability.
To achieve our mission, we must be profitable. There is a delicate balance between compromising for quicker profits and growing profitable as you grow your farm. Each farm has its own unique advantages and obstacles and ours is no different. Identifying what separates us from other farms and capitalizing on that has been a focus for us. An excellent product coupled with excellent customer service is what we believe in and what we believe customers want.
food storage systems
The growing season for many customer favorites is only so long. To extend the bounty of spring, summer, and fall, we are creating systems for storing food and even enhancing it. Whether we dehydrate, can, ferment, or freeze, making sure the whole harvest is used is a priority. Not only will this add to our winter sales, but it will provide customers with much needed local foods, packed with nutrition during the non-growing season.
While many fruits and vegetables cannot be grown year-round, many can. On our farm, we are aiming to be growing food continuously through the use of portable low tunnels and our greenhouse. While the variety is limited, the nutrition and flavor are not. This is a goal of ours because we believe in local food and we want to back that up by providing customers with local food all year.
Full spectrum food supply
Diversity is a key to small farms. It mitigates risk and when managed properly becomes a sum greater than its parts. Bees pollinate vegetables and provide honey. Chickens fertilize the garden, eat parasites that can harm livestock and provide eggs. Livestock eats grass and problematic weeds keeping me off the tractor and builds the pasture with each passing. With the ever present problem of disease, pest and changing weather, diversity provides us with multiple products in multiple seasons.
Education is important because much of the population has forgotten or hasn't learned about where or how their food is grown. An educated consumer is a small farms best friend. We also want to pass the passion and love for farming on to the next generation. Whether they have a backyard garden or want to market their produce and farm full-time. We want to be a part of that educating process and have a farm where learning takes place everyday.
Farming sustainably is part science and part art. We all have seen the beautiful paintings of farm landscapes and have read the prose of famous authors who made their name writing about nature and the beauty of plants and animals. To us, keeping beauty and artistic creativity at the forefront of our actions on the farm is important for our souls and our work. Because after all, no one wants to work in an unruly, worn down environment.
The sustainable farming community is one of the strongest and most loyal communities I have been a part of. More often than not, farmers are willing to share tips and secrets to help others be successful. The good thing about growing food is that there a lot of people and they all have to eat. While competition in many respects is a good thing, it must be balanced to protect the greater good, which is healthy, local food for all.