Fox Haven Organic Farm is restoring and regenerating the health of the land, innovating sustainable agricultural practices that are environmentally sound and can be replicated on other farms. By demonstrating ways of conserving and enhancing the biological diversity of the land, creating wildlife habitat, and providing an organic alternative to chemically intensive industrial agribusiness, we are showing that sustainable farming practices are not only better for the land and human health, but also a viable alternative for area farmers.
With awareness of the magnitude of global environmental problems, Fox Haven on a smale scale is modeling local solutions to global problems such as food and water shortages, deforestation, habitat destruction, global warming, overgrazing and overconsumption of natural resources. Sustainable innovations answering these issues underway on Fox Haven Organic Farm include:
- Three organic gardens that provide fresh produce for the local community using solar energy, gravity drip irrigation and rain runoff from the barn for irrigation
- A geothermal greenhouse that uses the earth’s constant temperature to heat in the winter and cool in the summer for year-round gardening.
- Hoop house to extend the growing season for vegetables
- Nutrient recycling using composting toilets and tray water management systems in the buildings that serve to enrich the soil and restore a broken food chain and are an alternative to septic and sewer systems
- Diversifying crops, warm and cool season grasses and trees to build strong resilient ecosystems
- Planting native trees on contour lines in the buffer zones along the creek to protect water quality in Catoctin Creek (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Protection Program [CREP])
- Permaculture swales on contour lines around the hills to slow runoff of rain and prevent erosion partnering with the American Chestnut Foundation for a back cross breeding project, planting three acres of blight resistant American Chestnut trees in a protected area to grow out chestnuts that will repopulate the East Coast with healthy American Chestnut trees
- Organically certified farm, using no chemical pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides or fungicides, avoiding the systemic insecticides such as the neonicotinoids that have been clearly linked to massive collapse of bee populations
- No genetically modified corn, soy or wheat. No GMOs or Roundup Ready crops.
- Dense clover plantings to crowd out weeds as an alternative to chemical herbicides in preparation for tree plantings, abating weeds while enriching the soil with nitrogen to nourish the trees. Reestablishing healthy, nutrient-rich soil by plowing seasonal greens back into the soil, green manure, rotating crops, and restoring overly exploited fields.
- Grazing cows on hilltops and moving them from pasture to pasture every day to avoid overgrazing, while producing manure and urine to fertilize the fields and enrich the soils naturally.
- Restoring old farmhouses, barns, spring houses and dairy parlor instead of building new structures.
- Full cycle use of materials on the land: composting, recycling and reusing wherever possible
- Modeling alternatives to wasteful uses of energy and resources, including simple practices such as using ceramic table ware rather than paper plates and plastic utensils
- Humanely and organically raised chickens for eggs that we give to community
- Bluebird boxes maintained and regularly monitored by volunteers
- Gardens for pollinators that help pollinate our food crops
Please read more about projects at Fox Haven.
It is Fox Haven’s intent that the lessons we have learned will help you and your family