Our Sustainable Agriculture
Mission Statement: Sustainable Agriculture is productive, competitive and efficient while, at the same time, protecting and improving the natural environment and livelihoods of local communities.
Whittamore's Farm has embraced sustainable agricultural practices for many years. As 6th generation farmers we know well the importance of protecting and improving the natural environment, while providing nutritious food to our communities. We live this belief each and everyday. Our care for the land and frugal use of natural resources ensures that we are protecting our environment for the future.
Some of the things we do
Whittamore's minimizes water use by employing the latest in drip irrigation technology. By applying only the water that is needed to our plants through drip tubes, we have reduced water use by 60%. The majority of the plant's fertilizer requirements are applied through the drip tubes thus reducing our fertilizer use and eliminating runoff.
Insects, disease and weeds are the three greatest threats to the production of nutritious healthy food. At Whittamore's we employ Integrated Pest Management technology. Scouts walk our fields twice weekly during the growing season and identify these threats and measure their thresholds. We have minimized the use of crop protection materials and only apply them when economic thresholds are reached. This allows beneficial insects to thrive in our fields and surrounding hedgerows creating equilibrium. Growing some of our crops on black plastic has reduced our use of herbicides for weed control. Much of our weed control is done the good old fashioned way...by hand and with a hoe. Through good cultural practices and variety selection we have been able to reduce our use of fungicides. And employing the latest sprayer technology has reduced our pesticide use even further.
Whittamore's has planted thousands of trees on our farms to provide wind protection and new habitats for insects and animals. We employ crop rotations that help to build enhanced soil structures and large carbon sequestering centers. Crop rotation also ensures we break the disease cycles, ensuring that when we plant again, our crops are not threatened.
At Whittamore's we are constantly seeking ways to improve the way we grow our crops. This benefits not only the natural environment but also YOU, the consumer. Be assured that Whittamore's will always be vigilant in protecting the environment...At Whittamore's sustainable agriculture is not a methodology; it is our way of life.
Mike Whittamore, the grower.