About the Farm
Amy's Garden is located on 70 acres in Charles City County Virginia on a historic farm property known as Rural Shades. The farm dates back to the 17th Century, when it was owned by the Lamb family, which traces its roots to the revolutionary war. Rural Shades was planted with soybeans when George and Amy bought it, and it required a tremendous amount of work and organic fertilizer to amend the soil and bring it up to Amy's Garden standards.
The farm today is beautiful and productive, with a healthy mix of cultivated and wild plants and animals. Tomatoes and zinnias mingle with chickens and the occasional farm cat, all helped along by busy seasonal work crews. To Amy and George it represents a satisfying end point in the trajectory from home garden to beloved local organic farm.
About the Practices
Amy’s garden practices Keeping the Soil Covered, Maximizing Living Roots and Energizing with Diversity through the use of cover crops. These crops are used in between crops that are used for profit.The crops Amy’s Garden uses are often in the legume family, which help replenish the nitrogen in the soil. When these crops are terminated they are used as a compost to help replenish carbon, nitrogen, and other key nutrients to the soil. Another function of these living roots and plants is to help absorb and store carbon dioxide. Amy Energizes through Diversity by implementing a crop rotation, maintaining a pollinator habitat, and using organic compost and mulch. Crop rotation is the cycling of crops on a plot of land, this reduces certain nutrients from being repeatedly extracted and different plants support different microorganisms in the soil. By maintaining a pollinator habitat, this attracts different insects, birds, and wildlife that help pollinate the different crops and plants. Lastly, the use of compost and organic mulch return nutrients to the soil and can act as food and fuel for microorganisms in the soil.
Why is protecting the soil important?
Soil is paramount to the future of our growing capabilities.