St. Clair Farmstead
St. Clair Farmstead is a small-scale vegetable farm located in northeast Johnson County, MO. The 20-acre farm sits at the top of a hill overlooking the Blackwater River valley -- a federally-protected wildlife habitat. With one acre in production, we grow all the normal fare most other market farms produce. The niche we are developing, however, is the year-round production of specialty greens. While growing healthy, great tasting (and looking) food is exciting and rewarding, our guiding principles of faith, caring for creation and serving others are the pillars of our farm. Wind, hail, rain, snow, ice, bugs, heat, cold (the list goes on) can all destroy our farm in a flash (add lightning to the list, I suppose). Therefore, we have to rely on something deeper to keep our hope, motivation, and ambition fresh and alive.
Products Include Specialty greens, heirloom tomatoes, onions, garlic, radishes, carrots, potatoes, summer squashes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, and many, many more veggies.
How we grow Since starting our farm, we have evolved our production practices through a series of changes and adjustments to dial in a system that works for our land and how we think we can best improve the soil over time. In the beginning, we tilled as normal, kind of following the established models for gardening. However, as we learned more about soil structure, health, and natural systems, we have started phasing out deep tillage (16%) and now do minimal tillage (84%). We have seen marked improvements in the biodiversity of our soil (meaning we see lots and lots of earthworms!) and far less erosion and weed and grass pressure. It has also improved our efficiency and the quality of our products. To avoid the heavy use of sprays approved for organic production, we use physical barriers, such as row covers, and encouraging beneficial insects as the first line of defense against pests. Disease and fungal issues are controlled by careful crop rotation and variety selection. We do everything we can to prevent issues as opposed to treating them when they occur.