Farmer Jared at Gaining Ground farm in Concord, MA.
Wildflower Farm is a small regenerative farm in Dickerson, MD.
We take a holistic approach to growing that emphasizes soil health and plant health. Given the right environment to thrive, a plant has what it needs to ward off pests and disease. It’s the farmer’s job to provide the ideal habitat for the plant to flourish. Practices like adding compost, cover cropping and providing habitat for beneficial animals increase resiliency of the farm.
Get to know your farmer.
I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and didn’t know squat about growing vegetables. I spent my time hiking, studying and playing video games as a kid and never considered the field of agriculture as a potential vocation. In college I got my hands on some texts about our food system and was totally engrossed. Five years as an apprentice and crew member on different farms prepared me to dive headlong into starting this farm in 2020.
Before coming to Maryland, I worked at Gaining Ground farm in Concord, MA. Gaining Ground is a non-profit that uses regenerative farming to grow food for hunger relief organizations around the Boston area. Their cultural techniques and social mission greatly influence the path that Wildflower Farm will follow.
I found this land through a Montgomery County Countryside Alliance program that connects farmers with landowners. My landlords are a kind, like-minded family that cares deeply about the health and legacy of this land. We work together to ensure a productive and resilient ecology on the farm.
It would save much confusion if we all adopted the name ‘biological farming’ rather than ‘organic farming.’ We should then keep the emphasis where it belongs, on the fostering of life and on biological balance, and not on just one of the techniques for achieving this, which, if narrowly interpreted, may be effective only in a certain set of circumstances.-Lady Eve Balfour, Journal of the Soil Association
I like to borrow Balfour’s term “biological growing” to describe our style of farming. Balance is the key tenet of this method. It’s the farmer’s duty to maintain a balanced farm ecosystem.
One Straw Revolution -Masanobu Fukuoka
Japanese Farmer who pioneered “natural farming” or “do nothing farming.” Equal parts memoir, poetry and philosophy-Fukuoka’s observations inspire a new paradigm for agroecology. I started my journey into agriculture after reading it in 2014.
The New Organic Grower -Eliot Coleman
The biological growers’ bible. A semi-technical handbook for the professional and backyard grower. Coleman has been cultivating land on the rocky coast of Maine for over fifty years, turned 2″ of topsoil to 12″ and is my favorite vegetable farmer.
Mycorrhizal Planet -Michael Phillips
A fascinating dive into the realm of soil microbiota and their relationship with plants. This gives readers an understanding of the underground economy that underpins a garden ecosystem. Phillips is the apple maestro of northern New Hampshire.