Central to our philosophy is working with nature, and adapting basic technologies to match the scale of our operation. Alaska's inherit advantages include an abundance of spring sunshine, low pest and weed pressure, steady rains, and cool summers. Early spring sunshine thaws the soil in our high tunnels by mid-March, enabling us to plant by April first. Selecting cold hardy crops such as spinach, tatsoi, kale, and others ensures early germination, effectively extending our growing season.
Our produce is grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. We manage pests using beneficial organisms, including nematodes, lady bugs, and parasitic wasps. Instead of buying chemical fertilizers we make our own rich organic compost using natural materials to promote soil health. Instead of tilling the soil, we avoid compacting our growing areas when seeding and harvesting. Tilling generally moves dormant weed seeds from deep in the soil to the surface, allowing them to germinate. Prior to planting we gently fork the soil and mix compost into the very top of the garden. This maintains the natural biological communities that thrive in healthy soil, aiding plant growth. What few weeds do sprout can be easily managed by letting the garden lay dormant for up to two weeks after it has been prepared for planting. Flame weeding, dark tarps, or very shallow cultivation kills young weeds prior to planting the main crop. We seed with a simple manual seeding device, and sometimes with a salt shaker, and we harvest by hand.
Since we don't till large areas of land we don't own a tractor or even a gas powered rototiller, greatly reducing the amount of fossil fuels consumed during production.