How We Grow
Sustainable Growing Practices from Seed to Table
We've gone to great lengths to make sure our growing practices are not only organic and sustainable but produce some of the healthiest and nutrient-dense vegetables...that taste great!
We want our farm to be a positive example of how agriculture can be environmentally and economically viable in Northern Michigan. To accomplish this, we pair new advances in technology with real, common-sense farming methods cultivated from nearly 150 years of working the land. All the produce and transplants we grow are 100% USDA certified organic, meaning no GMO seeds, no synthetic pesticides, no synthetic fertilizers and harvested fresh daily. Supporting our farm means you get the freshest, healthiest, best-tasting, and most nutrient-dense produce around while protecting this place we call home!
When it comes to growing high-quality, organic produce, our farm goes beyond the status quo...
It All Starts With Healthy Soil
Since we don't rely on mainstream fertilizers and chemical additives like most traditional farms, our organic production requires a systems approach to maintain the best soils and plants. We start all our seeds using DAIRY DOO potting soils, which are nutrient-rich with 15 natural minerals and components and full of living microbiology. While those seeds are starting to grow, we soil test our fields and add natural nutrients as needed to ensure a balanced soil with diverse microbiology. These biological processes are what make our produce taste so good!
From Seed to Table
Our 4,800-square-foot geothermally heated greenhouse allows us to grow our certified organic seeds into transplants. The process works by transferring heat from the ground beneath our parking lot into the greenhouse floor (read more about our geothermal system here). Watering mats on the floor allow all the plant roots to grow down, promoting healthy root systems. Working together with the sun's warming rays, our process allows us to start planting seeds months before the fields are thawed. This is how we grow hundreds of thousands of baby plants into hearty, healthy seedlings!
These transplants are then ready to go two places: into our fields, or sold to our customers for you to grow at home.
Hearty Transplants for Your Garden
We're known for our wide selection of your favorite vegetable starter plants. You name it, we grow it - from greens to herbs to squash and so many more! Tomatoes? Dozens of varieties, from the biggest to the juiciest heirloom. Peppers? Dozens of varieties, from the sweetest to the spiciest.
We cultivate the best varieties for flavor and for growing in our challenging Northern Michigan climate. And, since we grow ALL our plants the same way from seed to seedling, your starters are the same top-quality, organic plants that grow in our fields!
Learn more about our vegetable transplants here.
High Tunnels, High Quality
High tunnels are greenhouse frames that cover plants as they grow in the soil. These coverings provide solar-heated warm spaces, protect from early- and late-season frosts, and keep rain from wetting the plant leaf surfaces - all resulting in earlier harvests and higher quality results. We use nine of these structures to help us grow quality produce organically over a larger number of months.
Honeybees and Happy Pollinators
Over 120 years ago, the first documented bee hives were attended to on our farm. That tradition continues today, with four hives to help promote the pollination we need for our organic vegetables and strawberries. You can even buy Coveyou Farm honey in our market!
We are strong advocates for natural pollinators and benefical insects. Our team sees countless bees, butterflies, and other friendly bugs each day, thriving among the natural flowering plants surrounding our vegetable fields. There's no better feeling than harvesting fresh produce to the background buzz of bees bumbling along beside you.
Never Rushing Nature's Work
Why does our produce taste so good? Well, one reason is because we harvest produce when its ripe, not before. Unlike products from California, Mexico, or other faraway places, these fruits and veggies are local and don't have to travel thousands of miles to get to your shopping cart. We harvest on a daily basis to make sure you have access to the freshest produce available. And we go to even greater lengths to ensure quality with a hydro-cooling system, which quickly removes heat from the crops and locks in their freshness.
We are proud of the quality and taste of the produce we grow, but we also know our produce keeps our community healthier. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients we need from plants are the most abundant and bioavailable when produce is at its peak. With hearty soils and vibrant harvests, you can rest assured that your fruits and veggies are bursting with health and deliciousness.