Our farm philosophy
Here at Salty River Farm we love growing. We grow from seed and love watching the journey from seedling through to harvest. We enjoy being immersed in the seasons and we take pride in selling our fresh, naturally grown produce to our customers.
We use only natural products to grow our vegetables. We concentrate on building and maintaining our soil health. With every decision we make on the farm we try to be mindful and consider ourselves caretakers of our little farm and are always on the lookout for better ways to do things.
A big part of our growing is bug prevention. Because we don't use synthetic pesticides to deter bugs, keeping them out in the first place is essential. A big part of prevention is keeping our crops as healthy as possible. A stressed plant will be the most venerable to bug attack. We use a lot of netting to cover and protect our crops. If we need to, we use natural, non-harmful sprays such as garlic and chilli spray or neem (in the cool of night and once the bees have gone to bed).
We grow some of our crops in raised beds in the no-dig method, using a well balanced soil. We prepare the beds for new crops by covering them with tarpaulins, until the previous crop and any weeds have died down. The covered beds stay moist, the worms do their work and the bed gets to have a rest until it is replanted. Our edible flower crops encourage bees and other helpful insects by providing food and a home for them and in turn they pollenate our crops.
Our lettuces and some of the herbs are grown using Hydroponics, a method of growing plants out of the ground. Plants receive natural nutrients via water-based, mineral-rich solutions through an elevated garden bed. We choose to grow these in coconut coir and pumice - so after harvest any waste can be composted. It’s a sustainable alternative to many traditional farming methods and uses less water. In our case, using filtered, recycled rainwater further reduces our impact on the environment.
Vegetable scraps are fed to the Salty River Farm goats or rotted down in our compost, to become bedding for future crops.
We package our produce using paper, paper bags and home-compostable and worm-farm friendly bags. The home-compostable bags are made in NZ with vegetable starches and keep the produce fresh for days.
For more info on the bags: https://www.econicpack.com/a-