Here at Sandy Creek Organic Farm we follow nature. We observe how nature works and we learn from it. One of the lessons we have picked up by observation is the value of redundancy.
Nature produces more than is needed, to allow for losses. We plant more than we need for our boxes and for the market. We do this because we feel it increases the reliability of our output.
A lot of farming involves wag- ing war against nature because we humans don’t like losses; we desire efficiency. However, we don’t play that game. We follow nature’s lead; We plan to lose some of our crops and so we don’t engage in heroic efforts to kill all pests and diseases..
When you look around at this time of the year, you will see nature is excessively productive. There is more pollen being pro- duced than is necessary; more seed; more seedlings and so on. The same with the birds and all other living things. Many will not make it through to the next cycle. But the chances are that many will and so they will en- sure the survival of the species.
I know that the term redun- dancy has a bad image. But in nature it is necessary. We have learned that we need to always plant more than we need, and to move on to the next crop, and let the old one flower and return to nature.
At this time of year, out in the field we have rows of greens that have flowered before we could pick them. We celebrate the life we are able to share with nature. This excess, this mag- nificent productivity enables us to become part of nature. We share our field with the bees and other insects; the birds and other animals.
We attempt to plant early and plant often. The excess is not waste; it is necessary. We will ultimately incorporate it back into the soil from where it came, and it will feed the next crop.