Frelinghuysen, NJ — The Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm has been certified as a River-Friendly Farm recognizing its best farm management practices that protect water quality.
Directed by the North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) in partnership with the Foodshed Alliance, the River-Friendly Farm Program is a voluntary certification program designed to recognize farms that protect our shared natural resources through responsible management. River-certified farms have proven they are using best practices on soil loss management; pesticide management; nutrient management; conservation buffers; irrigation water management.
The farmers at the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm use biodynamic practices based on the works of the Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Biodynamics treats the soil as a living organism and strives to build the soil and correct imbalances through the use of dynamic preparations prescribed by Steiner. These all-natural preparations are used directly on the soil, on maturing plants, in the treatment of fungal diseases and insect infestations and in the making of compost.
Other important agricultural practices include using diverse cover crops, calculated crop rotations and careful tillage. Chemical pesticides are not used and the farmers rarely need to implement organic pest control.
In 1988, founding members of the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm were deeply concerned about safety issues around pesticide use and were willing to invest as members in this creative new farming model called a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In this model, the support of the farmers, operating costs and capital improvements are carried by the shareholder or member community which pays the farm upfront for the food. When harvested, all of the food is divided among the shareholders. Food left over after distribution hours is given to local food pantries. For 28 years, the farm is working toward removing itself from the inequities, injustices and ecological devastation of the present market system. It is a social as well as an economic alternative.
The Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm is one of the oldest CSAs in the country. At present, the CSG uses approximately 51 acres of land through a 50-year lease with the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey, who have protected the land through farmland preservation. An adjacent 72 acres was bequeathed in 2008 by Chan Moore, a founding CSG member. Over 20 acres are in cultivation with vegetables and berries. There are three greenhouses that extend the growing season and provide some fresh salad greens over the winter months. In addition, there is a tree orchard and hardy kiwi vines.
To learn more first-hand, come to the Earth Day Celebration and Open House at the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and you can meet the farmers and other shareholders, take a farm tour, and enjoy local music, crafts and kids’ activities.
Shares are currently available for the 2016 growing season. More information is available at CSGatGenesisFarm.com or by calling 908-362-7486.
For more information on River Friendly Farm Certification, please contact Kendrya Close at the Foodshed Alliance, 908-362-7967. The Foodshed Alliance and North Jersey RC&D are seeking more River-Friendly Farm applicants and is available to speak with any interested group or individual about the program.
Representatives of North Jersey RC&D and the Foodshed Alliance presented the River Friendly Certified Farm sign to the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm at the Frelinghuysen Township Committee Meeting on March 16. Pictured (from left) are Kendrya Close of Foodshed Alliance, William Gold of the CSG at Genesis farm, Kara Hasko and Marcus Gray of North Jersey RC&D.