Certified Organic Fruits & Vegetables Grown Locally
All of our produce is certified organic under standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What does this mean for you? In short, a high level of transparency and accountability in regard to how we grow our food and a commitment to protecting and restoring our environment.
Frequently, organic products are described by what they are not – e.g., sprayed with synthetic chemicals, irradiated, treated with sewage sludge. We’d rather focus on the proactive steps we take to grow the best tasting, healthiest and highest quality food possible. You can find detailed information on this site about our agricultural and conservation practices. We also make careful choices about what we produce. For example, we emphasize diversity in our product mix, not only because of our desire to offer a wide array of food to our consumers but also because diversity promotes a healthy environment by keeping soil chemistry in balance, regulating insect pests and promoting mutually beneficial relationships between species. Where we can, we select varieties that emphasize flavor — our heirloom tomatoes being a prime example. Finally, we strive to reduce inputs – fossil fuels, plastics, water, etc. – by selecting crops with an eye toward their requirements or by seeking out complementarity – e.g., by moving our laying chickens to fertilize our soil while using our discarded crops to help feed the hens.
None of this is static, of course. Each year we try to learn new lessons and continue on our journey toward being a more sustainable operation. Currently we produce an assortment of fruit, vegetables, herbs, honey and eggs.
The Farm At Sunnyside maintains an organic orchard in which we grow multiple varieties of apples and Asian pears as well as pawpaws, a fruit native to the woodlands of the eastern United States. We also have about two acres planted in blackberries.
Vegetables and Herbs
We grow a wide assortment of vegetables throughout the year. A partial list includes: arugula; Asian greens; asparagus, beans; beets; broccoli; cabbage; carrots; cauliflower; chard; collards; cucumbers; eggplant; escarole; frisee; ginger; kale; kohlrabi; leeks; lettuce; melons; okra; onions; peas; potatoes; pumpkins; radishes; summer and winter squash; spinach; tomatoes; turmeric; and turnips. We offer a wide selection of herbs, including basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sorrel and thyme.
Honeybees have the distinct ability to define the taste of a place. The flavor, color and amount of honey in a hive tell one as much about the character of a landscape as they do about the bees who made the honey. Our honey is raw, unfiltered and originates primarily from native wildflowers. Raw means that the honey has not been heated and therefore retains all of its beneficial components such as pollen, bits of comb and propolis—an antibacterial product bees produce. And while our honey is gravity filtered to remove debris, it is not pumped through a micro-filter like commercial honey. Being extremely efficient foragers, bees harvest from the closest flowers available. It is the floral community that determines the character of honey, and our bees are surrounded by a complex assortment of native wildflowers and organic fruits and vegetables.
The Farm at Sunnyside is an ideal place to raise honeybees because our diversity of habitats provides abundant, high quality food throughout the season. In return, the honeybees transform the flowers from our forests and meadows into a delicacy and supplement the work of our native bees to help pollinate our crops. We maintain wild areas in and around our fields which provide the necessary habitat for native bees, butterflies and other pollinators. This mix of agriculture crops, meadows and wooded hedgerows ensures a season-long feast of flowers. We amend areas around vegetable fields with patches of showy native plants that act as beacons to pollinators and direct their attention to our fields.
The Farm At Sunnyside maintains a flock of approximately 250 laying hens that we rotate through our vegetable and cover crop fields. These birds are outside with access to fresh forage daily, and we supplement their diet with certified organic feed purchased from a local supplier. They produce rich, flavorful eggs with a deep orange yolk.