Little Sprouts Farm Farm Rules We Live By

Farm Rules We Live By

I am often asked how Little Sprouts Farm is different. To answer that here is a list of some of our basic farm rules that govern all that we do as a foundation to everything else. They are in no particular order. Some of these are self-learned, some are from respected authors and mentors. All of these are important to our success as a sustainable farm. How we are different is that many of these (if not all) are contrary to standard factory farming practices. To define a common factory farm, done to government specs, just take the opposite of these rules.

  1. If it smells bad, you are not doing it right.
  2. If children can not safely assist in activities, you are not doing it right.
  3. If it doesn’t happen in nature, it’s not natural.
  4. Every farm animal should be free to express its instincts and live with respect.
  5. People deserve openness and transparency in all aspects, especially in their most basic need: food production.
  6. If the soil doesn’t improve from year to year in all aspects, you are not doing it right.
  7. Plants that don’t reproduce true on their own, are not intended to be grown.
  8. No man-made chemical has ever improved on the natural methods, in the long run.
  9. Success in nature exists only as a delicate balance between different species, not as single crops or animals.
  10. The secret to nature is balance, too much of any one thing is bad, it is the balance between many things, sometimes hundreds, that makes life successful.
  11. Caring for the earth (animals, plants, and environment) is man’s first God-given responsibility (aside from multiplying).
  12. Farming is about nutrition and people, not plants, animals, and profits.
  13. Never try to improve nor alter something you don’t yet understand.
  14. If it doesn’t work year after year, it shouldn’t be done today.
  15. Insects, bacteria, and misc “bad things” are not the enemy. the enemy is the pre-existing conditions that cause the “bad things” to come. Removal of only the “bad things” leaves the conditions that nature tries hard to destroy in order to protect itself.
  16. It is wiser to work with nature (cycles, seasons, etc) than against it.
  17. Farming properly is hard work, requires great insight and intelligence, creative thinking, intuition, and expertise. It is ok to make a decent living at it.
  18. Sunlight, air, soil, and water are the ingredients of life. Each must be cared for and protected at all costs.
  19. Intervention usually leads to the need for more intervention. Only nature itself is self-sustaining.
  20. Nutrition begins in the soil. It is impossible for food to be healthier than the soil it comes from.
  21. Increasing yield does not increase nutrition, normally more yield means less nutrition per pound.
  22. Large size is in itself one of the biggest mistakes of farming. Large operations are fundamentally different from small operations, and produce a totally different product. We need more farms, not bigger ones.