American Flatbread Deeply Organic
This time of year while most of us are looking forward to spring skiing with images of warm days, soft corn snow and that famous MRV conviviality on a sunny deck, George and his crew at American Flatbread are wrapping their collective heads around getting Lareau Farm ready for a productive growing season. The 25 acre farm property has been home to American Flatbread since 1991. The Lareau Farm property is also home to the Lareau Farm Inn, a wedding and event pavilion, a working farm with a an array of crops and animals, the Big Red Barn gallery and event space and American Flatbread’s “global headquarters”. All these aspects to the property help to create a sense of place that has long been a compelling lure to locals and visitors alike.
This sense of place doesn’t just happen. There’s a lot of thoughtful planning that goes into it. George and his team prefer to think of the farm holistically. They strive to engage in what is referred to as “Deep Organic Agriculture”. In addition to rejecting agricultural chemicals, this philosophy is inspired by the elegance of nature’s systems. The goal is to mimic the patterns of the natural world’s soil-plant economy.
At Lareau Farm they are striving to create a more nutrient-dense ecosystem that is biologically diverse from the soil on up. In other words they are encouraging the development of all sorts of habitats for microorganisms (worms, bugs and stuff) as well as other critters (birds and other vertebrates) on the farm and all around it too.
This might take the form of a rotting log or a pile of brush strategically placed in the vegetable garden. This provides a home or food source for birds that eat bugs that eventually poop and enrich the soil. Basically they strive to enable various life forms to have a healthy and productive home on the farm.
It’s not just the natural inhabitant of the farm. Each year the farm crew bring new animals onto the farm. This year they plan to have 6 piglets by mid-May, 15 turkeys by the end of June and their 35 chickens should start improving their daily yield too as the warmer temps take over. They are also planning to keep a rooster on-hand to increase the size of the laying flock.
By creating these opportunities to increase the nutrients of the farm’s entire ecosystem they can improve their yield, work to create sustainable habitats beyond the farm and help to make the farm operation sustainable for the long-term. All the while it also creates that special sense of place that is so enjoyable to discover at an event on the farm or when you wait for your table at American Flatbread this summer. The whole Lareau Farm crew looks forward to hosting you and yours and hopefully share a little bit about their deep organic agricultural philosophy.