Nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and named after historic Redbud Hollow, the original log cabin listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Redbud Farm has been committed to the sustainable production of food and flowers free from chemical pesticides and fertilizers for more than two decades. In 1998, the current owners relocated from Washington, DC, and began transforming the property into a highly-diversified organic farm, as well as retrofitting the historic farmhouse with eco-friendly renovations. In 2001, Redbud Farm obtained USDA organic certification and established an internship program to teach our sustainable land management techniques.
Our key sustainable management tactics include:
- Nutrient management through cover cropping, soil amendment with compost, and mulching to increase organic matter
- Pest management through crop rotation to avoid pests, biological controls (including release of lady bird beetles and other predators), and trap cropping to keep pests off cash crops
- Weed management via biodegradable plastic mulches, landscape fabrics, selected cultivation, and ranging goats to control invasive plants and shrubs
- Biodiversity enhancement through crop diversification, planting species that benefit pollinators, and incorporating flower strips to attract beneficial insects (e.g., predators)
- Climate change abatement by installing a 6KW solar array that produces carbon-free electricity, designating large forested acreages as carbon sinks, and setting aside fields in ‘fallow’ status during which plants sequester carbon and are not harvested
- Limiting development by placing the majority of acreage in Conservation Easement (AKA, ‘Farmland Preservation’) to prohibit development and ensure the natural viewshed and habitat are protected from encroaching development
Our customers have included the local VA Medical Center, the University and restaurants in nearby Shepherdstown, farmers’ markets in Washington, DC, and families in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs both locally and in the DC metropolitan area.
We have partnered with the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service on multiple projects through the years, including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Our farm is a part of the 34 million acres nationwide, selected for general sign-up into the program, that provides incentives in the form of annual payments to establish practices that conserve soil, water and biological resources on the long-term. These practices have always been the cornerstone of our production methods, as producing clean organic food requires clean water and healthy soils. We continue to maintain these practices to improve the land, maintain fertility, and enhance biodiversity.
Redbud Farm also has been a field site for many sustainable agriculture research projects, in partnership with WV University, the University of Maryland, the USDA Appalachian Fruit Research Station, and the local County Extension Office. Our latest research project is featured here at eOrganics and SARE
This year all fields were placed in fallow — we are letting the land rest and recuperate.