Grown Here at Home: What is organic farming?

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FINCASTLE, Va. Farms across our region use different techniques to grow their produce.
A farm in Fincastle doesn’t use any pesticides or herbicides in its growing process.

There are specific measures farms have to take in order to become certified organic.

“It's a federal process that distinguishes us from growers that use pesticides or herbicides or other inputs that are prohibited under the sort of organic restrictions,” said Susanne Thornton, owner of Thornfield Farm.

Everything is pretty much done by hand.

“We don't have any mechanization, which means a lot of labor, basically. We have various strategies to try to grow better and to avoid some of the weed and pest issues. We plant a lot more successions of crop because we assume that some things are just going to be lost to pest and therefore we're going to keep planting over and over,” Thornton explained.

Several different kinds of vegetables are grown on the farm, as well as a variety of flowers. The vibrant colors can take your breath away.

“I love growing flowers. We like to say that the vegetables feed the body and the flowers feed the soul. It's incredibly rewarding and delightful to be out here and watch everything bloom,” Thornton said.

Thornfield Farm is in its third year of business. Susanna grew up on this farm, but when she got older she moved away and did other things. But there was something on the inside that kept calling her back home. If she had the choice, it's a decision she would make over and over again.

“I love the physical nature of it. I love being outside every day, working with my hands, I love watching things grow. I mean, it's amazing to start every year and see all these different types of plants and food come up from the tiniest seed to the biggest plants. It's just an incredibly rewarding experience,” she said.

Click here to learn more about Thornfield Farm.