Located on the Hadley common, Astarte Farm is a no-till, no-spray, certified organic farm. Since 2000, we've prioritized soil health and sustainability in our mission to deliver tasty, high-quality, fruits and vegetables.
Ecological Sustainability, Quality, Relationships
At the forefront of all our decision making.
In 2014, Astarte began transitioning to become one of the first 100 percent no-till commercial farms in the area, and since then, has continued to explore what it means to "grow sustainably". Astarte now uses occultation, pollinator habitats, crop rotation, companion planting, cover crop “cocktails”, grown-in-place mulches, and more in its inclusive approach to organic farming.
Since 2014, our crew has observed many benefits of tillage reduction, such as more hardy and nutrient dense crops, fewer disease pressures, a more resilient top soil due to increased organic matter in beds, and perhaps most notably, a spongier, more complex soil structure that has allowed Astarte to be more resilient in the face of extreme weather patterns. A spongier soil both absorbs water more efficiently in times of flooding and is able to retain water more efficiently in times of drought. This spongy soil has has helped to ensure more consistent crop yields, making us farmers feel more confident in the face of climate change.
According to the USDA, “intensive soil tillage can increase the likelihood of soil erosion, nutrient runoff into nearby waterways, and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A reduction in how often or how intensively cropland is tilled enables the soil to retain more organic matter, which leaves the soil less susceptible to wind and water erosion and helps store, or ‘sequester,’ carbon.”
Commitment to delivering high quality fruits and veg has been integral to Astarte's mission for over 20 years. And that ain't changing anytime soon! Whether a CSA member, or wholesale buyer, we promise you'll be able to taste the difference in quality of Astarte produce. Here are some ways in which our product stands out:
No-till, which we believe lends itself to more nutrient-dense, longer-lasting produce
We never use sprays, even organically approved ones
Thoroughly washed (even CSA produce!)
At Astarte, we strive to strengthen the greater sense of community through prioritizing our relationships with CSA members, wholesale buyers, and farmers alike. We are committed to remaining small enough so that we can offer individualized attention to all our customers, and so that we have time and energy to form meaningful and lasting relationships. Moreover, we are here as a resource of learning, and though we'll never claim to have it all figured out, we want to share our learnings and practices, and to hear and learn from others, so that together we can continue to work towards a more resilient ecosystem, food system, and thus, a more resilient community and future.
Much of our focus around ecological sustainability is rooted in our desire for a more resilient, close-knit community. Now more than ever we are up against systemic forces of alienation, stemming from technology, political polarization, consumerism, and the many other realities of our modern world. Farming sustainably and connecting with nature, perhaps more than anything, is a powerful antidote to these isolating forces--an act of recognizing the need to heal and replenish in our fight for human survival.