Field Report: Staff Farm Tour

Rebecca Wallis, Farmstand Staff

This past Monday, Fair Food's entire staff and several of our volunteers ventured out of the city to the beautiful Oley Valley to see sustainable agriculture in action.

At Taproot Farm, husband-and-wife team George and Ola showed off their heritage breed chickens, which have full access to rotated pasture and a hefty serving of tomatoes to munch on.

08.2013_TaprootsChickens

We picked (and snacked on) those juicy, chemical-free cherry tomatoes (which we sell at the 'Stand!) and toured their high tunnel, where they grow gorgeous heirloom varieties.

Peggy & Caleb pick Sungolds

Our Sungold haul- now available at the Farmstand!

As we walked around Taproot's fields, George explained how their crop rotation practices help keep pests under control while maintaining (or even enhancing) soil fertility.

08.2013_TaprootField

Next up was Wholesome Dairy. We started our visit with a tasting of all their products - including a side -by-side sampling of WD's greek yogurt with some national brands of greek yogurt. Wholesome Dairy's was hands-down the winner in that face-off).

Wholesome Dairy's awesome product array

Next, grass farming zealot Mark Lopez treated us to a bumpy & incredibly informative hay ride through his Ayrshire herd's pastures, showing off the wide variety of grasses that make his cows' raw milk rich in flavor and nutrition.

Fair Food staff & volunteers

By planting several grass varieties and practicing rotational grazing, Mark has built up remarkably fertile soil that produces grass full of vitamins and minerals that get passed to the cow and on to you!

This is the good stuff that makes tasty grass for the cows who make tasty milk for us.

Wholesome Dairy's Ayrshires

If you want to know more about either of these farms, ask a staff member!  We'd love to share what we learned with you.