Wanting to eat healthier and not sure where to find wholesome fruits and vegetables? Look no further than HartBeet Farm located right here in the area.
This 70 acre farm in northern Lincoln County harvests approximately 50 different vegetables and 20 types of herbs throughout the planting seasons (spring, summer, fall).
According to Nicki Morgan, who works full time with the aspects of the farm, their mission is simple, “provide sustainably-produced, high quality food to our community while improving the land and upholding our values of social and ecological justice.”
HartBeet Farm was established in 2015 and in 2018 received the status of Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), which is a grassroots alternative to the USDA’s Certified Organic program. In their growing field they promise to never use pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers.
Also, in 2018 they began a transition to a no-till system. Disturbance of the soil through tillage is one of the most harmful activities for the living microbes and other organisms in the soil.
“We don’t claim to be perfect, but we are constantly working towards a more holistic management of the land that more closely mimics nature while at the same time being accessible to us as farmers,” Morgan added.
Not that it has been needed this wet spring, but a drip irrigation system is in place should moisture be needed. From the forest area of the farm wild edibles including mushrooms, fruits, and maple sap are harvested.
There are resources out there that HartBeet Farms is sure to take advantage of that enhance the farm at little or no cost. One such program is the Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) from which they received a grant to construct a Hi-Tunnel that helps with extending the growing season. Another program titled Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has assisted with a Pollination Habit, a Bat Habitat and most recently with an Agroforestry Planting of multi level crop production, that includes, Paw Paws, Elderberry, Currents, and Honeyberry.
Currently, HartBeet offers two ways to obtain some of their crops. First, and probably the easiest way, is to visit them on Saturday mornings at the Farmers Market located at the Meadows in Lake St. Louis. The second way is to become a member of their Community Supported Agriculture program, which is a win win for the owners and the consumer. Members who join HartBeet Farm’s CSA receive weekly or bi-weekly shares of fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. The majority of the produce received is harvested just the day before. The CSA runs for 24 weeks, starting around mid-May and continues to around the end of October and is a season long commitment. The payment for the commitment is up front and helps the Farm with their overhead. This is a risk and reward situation for the consumer. For the consumer the payment is the risk that there will be a good crop production year, and the reward is fresh produce delivered to one of the six pick up locations. Even though the 2019 CSA membership is closed, it won’t be long before HartBeet starts taking applications for the 2020 season.
The operators welcome any questions or inquiries by contacting them on their website, hartbeetfarm.com or checking out their Facebook or Instagram accounts. They can also be reached by calling 573-898-9044.