Taste starts with the soil. By choosing to focus on nutrient density as a marker for high quality foods, Les Gourmands recognizes the need to feed the soil first so that plants have access to all of the nutrients they need to grow into healthy vegetables. Taste and nutrient density are intrinsically related, and by ensuring the proper balance of minerals to feed the soil life, we ensure tasty vegetables. We feed the soil well to feed the plants that feed our bodies.
Les Gourmands Farm uses practices that go above and beyond the traditional organic label in all aspects of production: land stewardship, ecosystem regeneration and maintenance, and healthy respect for the life that sustains us.
Soil Mineral Balancing
Before each season, we conduct rigorous soil tests to determine the availability of macro and micronutrients. Using certified organic mineral amendments, mostly in rock form, we address any imbalances to ensure our soils are well fed.
The soil is a network of active underground life. Earthworms, bacteria, fungi, and other insects form crucial symbiotic relationships to plants to help them grow. To promote an abundant ecosystem, we inoculate our seeds and potting soils with live beneficial fungi and bacteria.
To keep the soil webs of life alive, we practice minimal tillage on our permanent raised beds. This helps us minimally disturb the network of earth worms, bacteria, and fungus working hard to feed our plants. Most of our work is done by hand to further minimize our impact.
We love bees and butterflies and humming birds! To promote more of these beneficial insects, we plant flowers to attract a variety of pollinators and natural pest predators.
Keeping the ground as covered as possible is important to us. Our pathways are planted with grasses and clover to protect against bare soil. Clover also forms the understory of many of our long-term plants like kale.