Inside an organic farm

Chuck: OK, we are here at Serenbe Community
with Paige Witherington, who is the director for farming operations here at Serenbe. So
Paige, tell us a little bit about how this works.
Paige Witherington: Alright, well we are a certified organic farm. We are on about 20
acres. We are intensively growing fruits and veggies on four. We are kind of slowly expanding
into the rest of the acreage to accommodate the growth of the community. We are incredibly
diversified. We have about 350 different varieties of crops.We have laying hens, we have honeybees,
we have shitake mushrooms. So we try to dabble in all of these different things to try to
please our community and the restaurants here. Chuck: Now it is all organic here, right?
Paige Witherington: We are certified organic by QCS, so, you know, we can actually call
our products organic. And we have a certifier that comes out and makes sure that we are
doing everything in check. It kind of steps up the record-keeping process, so we get to
write down what we do every single day. But that is kind of a fun part of the job. So
an organic farm is sort of a new approach to old agriculture. Farmers have been doing
it for centuries, but then once we found all of these chemicals that would make out crops
grow, everyone kind of went into the chemical area where they would apply different synthetic
fertilizers, pesticides… And without really taking into account the repercussions of what
it is doing to the biology and how it is creating this lifeless farm where you are just growing
one crop that is really kind of struggling to survive because it has got no health. You
know, what we are doing here with organic agriculture is really concentrating on the
biodiversity of the farm and trying to really increase just life in general. Because the
plants thrive so much more when you have got a well-built soil and birds and insects. So
basically we are trying to mimic these natural systems to grow crops to make them as healthy
as possible — and in turn… make people healthy. (Laughter)

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