How We Grow our Crops at Jossy Farms
At Jossy Farms it is our mission statement that guides us in growing our crops: It is our goal to grow the best quality fruit and nuts at a reasonable price, maintain the cleanest orchard and provide the best service of any direct market farm. While achieving this goal we will be good stewards of our land.
Jossy Farms is a sustainable farm that utilizes Integrated Crop Management ("ICM") and Integrated Pest Management (“IPM”) practices to grow crops. IPM is a component of the ICM system of management.
ICM is a sustainable approach to growing crops that emphasizes plant health and growing practices as the first line of defense against pests. With ICM, Jossy Farms practices constant monitoring and treating pests, diseases and soil conditions of the crops only when necessary. This reduces costs and crop protectant spray use. Jossy Farms is committed to improving the health of our soils and plants.
Soil is a living system and it cannot be managed with just a few rules-of-thumb regarding fertilizer for crops. Healthy soils and plants are essential in order to grow the most nutritious and the best tasting fruit and nuts. Having healthy soils and plants allows us to grow our crops with fewer inputs. Jossy Farms uses soil analysis to maintain a balanced nutrient system in our soil. A balanced nutrient system is a balanced ratio of the three primary nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) and four secondary nutrients: calcium, magnesium, sodium and hydrogen. Utilizing ICM and a balanced nutrient system creates healthier soils and plants, which produces more nutritious, better tasting fruit and nuts. An additional benefit is that we use fewer inputs than traditional or organic methods.
IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks. These methods are performed in three stages: prevention, observation, and intervention. It is an ecological approach focusing on significantly reducing or eliminating the use of crop protectant sprays while at the same time managing pest populations at an acceptable level. IPM does allow for the use of crop protectant sprays when shown to be both safe and effective.
Jossy Farms’ cultural practices utilize all three steps of IPM:
- Prevention: planting disease resistant plants, prevention of weed reproduction, non-tillage of the soil, narrow row spacing, pruning trees to reduce disease and more.
- Observation: we look at the crops almost every day, we use pheromone traps to monitor insect pests, soil and leaf analysis are done regularly, and we utilize a crop consultant to help with observation and more.
- Intervention: this utilizes physical controls, such as attacking pests when they reach a set threshold. Reduced risk crop protectant sprays are the first line of defense when possible. In keeping with our sustainable model, aged or diseased trees are replaced. Presently Jossy Farms is replacing many trees due to old age and disease but we will be back to full production in a few years.
Benefitting from the Willamette Valley’s climate and soils, Jossy Farms is able to produce some of the best tasting fruits and nuts using farming practices consistent with being good stewards of the land. We do this through education, crop consultants and experience. Every year towards the end of fruit harvest, someone asks me what I will do until next year’s harvest. I hope this helps explain that we are working all year long to grow our crops and be good stewards of our land.