"The real definition of sustainable agriculture is simple:

Profitable farms that protect natural resources and are valued by their communities."
Director of the University of Vermont
Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Lewis Creek Farm is a leader in sustainable agriculture.
Since1981 we have been developing and practicing methods of sustainable farming.

Plowing down a green manure crop of Rye & Hairy Vetch
to improve soil fertility.

Vermont Ecologically Grown
combines the most ecologically responsible and economically reliable crop management techniques from both the organic and non organic systems of agriculture.

For details about the Vermont Ecologically Grown standards themselves, click here.
For details about specific crop treatments at Lewis Creek Farm, click here.
For information about general Ecological and Sustainable practices, see below.

Due to our widespread use of preventative measures, our need for pesticides is low, and many of our crops are grown without any sprays. Of the pesticides we do use, most are approved for organic production.

While we are very adamant about minimizing sprays, we’re also very serious about keeping prices reasonable and competitive. Though we do not claim that any of our produce is organic, it is worth noting on the Product List that most crops are either unsprayed or only have organic sprays.

Here are some of the sustainable practices that we use:
Crops Diversity

Crop Rotation

Cover Crops & Green Manures

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Tractor and Hand Cultivation

Community Support
Details on Sustainable Practices
Crops Diversity
We grow a wide variety of crops. This protects us from the financial risk of the failure of any one crop, and gives us the means to disrupt disease and insect cycles.

Crop Rotation
We have a detailed long-term plan for moving our crops from field to field. This practice does a great deal to outwit insects and diseases.

Cover Crops & Green Manures
Cover crops are crops that are grown expressly to occupy the land during gaps in the cash crop cycle. They hold the soil and nutrients where they stored for future use. The use of cover crops does a great deal to prevent soil erosion and water polution.
Green manures are crops that are grown with the intent of returning them to the soil to feed subsequent crops. Green manures add nutrients to the soil, particularly nitrogen and organic matter.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
IPM seeks to both minimize the use of chemical pesticides and maximize crop return.

All crops can stand some degree of insect or disease damage. We don't need or want a sterile crop environment. Often beneficial organisms will help control destructive organisms if we don't destroy them first with broad spectrum pesticides.
IPM employs scouting, thresholds and management of beneficials.

Scouting is the process of carefully inspecting a crop for insects and diseases, both destructive and beneficial, and actually counting them. It is a census of insects and diseases.

Threshholds are predetermined levels of insect aand disease populations below which it is not necessary to control them: i.e., use a pesticide.

Management of Beneficials is the recognition that there are natural systems in place that usually result in an equilibrium in an environment. Insects which are harmless to our crops may well control the insects which are harmful to our crops if we do nothing to upset the equilibrium.

IPM does not pretend to completely eliminate the use of all pesticides, but rather to both minimize their use while maximizing crop return.

Tractor and Hand Cultivation
In all our crops, except part of the carrots, we use no herbicides. By precise timing of tractor and hand cultivation we can contol the weeds without herbicides and at minimal additional cost. We use an herbicide on the carrots because: a) carrots grow slowly and the weeds grow fast; b) carrots cannot tolerate any weed competition; and c) unlike many other crops, weed control in carrots must by hand weeding which often costs 10-50 times as much as an herbicide.

Community Support
We are committed to supplying fresh vegatables to our community. Almost all of our vegetables are sold within a 25 mile radius, including schools and senior care facilities. We hire local help whenever we can get it, and supplement it with seasonal workers from Jamaica.

Lewis Creek Farm Home Page
Job Openings

Hank Bissell
PO. BOX 123
Telephone: (802) 453-4591