Spreading Oaks Farm
Kenneth and Patti Cook have always had large gardens and in 2009, along with their son Jason they began full time vegetable and egg production on their 17 acre farm. Utilizing 6 high tunnels, they currently have 3 1/2 acres in vegetable production! Everything grown on the farm is Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), which is a peer-reviewed certification program with similar guidelines to an organic certification. Farm practices such as crop rotation, using natural predators for pest control, and watering from a deep well to avoid ground water contaminants are some of the ways that Spreading Oaks grows their crops.
The use of high tunnels on the farm helps the Cook's begin crops earlier in Spring and keep growing later into Winter. Everything is grown from seed so two of the tunnels are used for growing seedlings and for hardening plants before planting them into the ground. Tunnels are not temperature controlled but do provide some protection from light frosts by creating a slightly warmer environment inside the tunnel. Crops inside the tunnels are grown in the ground and on warmer days the sides of the tunnels are rolled up so the inside temperature is the same as the outside temperature.
The diversity of crops grown by Spreading Oaks is vast and the efficient use of their farmland is incredible. Many of the practices have multiple uses like planting buckwheat as a cover crop to feed the soil as well as bees that then pollinate plants. The use of cover crops and the spacing of planting all help this farm with sustainability.