Nicolas Donck, farmer of Crystal Organic Farm, will guide us through their lettuce production, from best practices in germination and optimizing success based on variety and preference of location (field or high tunnel) to post-harvest packing methods and how to price it.
Associate Professor Timothy Coolong of UGA’s Horticulture department will share his recent lettuce research takeaways as well. Stick around after the workshop and socializing.
Thank you to the support of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
Crystal Organic Farm was USDA Certified Organic in 1996, making it one of the oldest organic farms in the region. The farm is located on 175 acres of which 40 acres is under rotating organic cultivation specializing in vegetable, fruit, herb, flower and egg production.
At Crystal Organic Farm, they make a conscious effort to add essential trace minerals back into their soil using compost tea full of micro-organisms, vitamins and minerals. They recognize that growing healthy soil is the basis for growing nutrient dense food.
In addition, instead of relying heavily on organic approved pesticides and insecticides, they opt for nettle/comfrey tea to treat and prevent disease or flower essence blends to help transplanted seedlings adapt. For pest control they employ beneficial nematodes and use companion planting techniques. Other methods such as crop rotation and solarizing the soil are used to control weed seed germination and disease. The farm strives to create zero food waste, so excess food (that cannot be donated) is fed to the chickens or composted.