Covered Bridge Produce is a small, certified organic market garden specializing in heirloom vegetable varieties. It was established by its proprietor so that he might find spiritual refreshment and occasion for honest labor. Although the operation must become profitable in order to remain in existence, its real purpose is not economic. The principles listed below define the intended character of Covered Bridge Produce.
Covered Bridge Produce will strive to be respectful of all living beings on the farm, the land upon which it operates, its customers and those who labor in its fields. Accordingly, no animals will be raised for slaughter and the use of poisons and other lethal pest controls will be kept to a minimum. Care will be taken to replenish that which is removed from the soil and the local environment will not be harmed by inconsiderate farming practices. Customers will be offered the highest quality vegetables we are capable of growing at fair prices. Workers at the farm will be well compensated and provided with good working conditions.
Covered Bridge Produce will honor the beautiful through its products, the appearance and character of the farm and in all its associated activities. Only vegetables which demonstrate the natural good looks of their variety will be made available for sale. All produce will be cleaned, trimmed and packaged in the most attractive manner possible. The farm will be kept in a neat and tidy manner and significant efforts will be made to create an esthetically refreshing environment. Farmstead buildings will be brought into a state of good repair. Serious efforts will be made to insure harmonious relations among those working on the farm. Anger and hostility will be eschewed as much as clutter and disorganization. Publications, price lists, signs and all other representations of Covered Bridge Produce will be designed to delight the eye.
Covered Bridge Produce will be deliberate. Plans will be discussed well in advance and committed to writing. Our practices will be documented and careful records of our activities maintained. There will be reasonable opportunities for all members of the farm workforce to comment on future plans. We will plan our work and work our plan. The results of our efforts will be evaluated and discussed before those efforts are repeated or modified.
Covered Bridge Produce will be an educational enterprise. Interns and other workers will find an unusually rich learning environment at the farm. Processes will be explained, reading materials and time to study them will be made available, field experiences off the farm will be arranged, and an attitude of inquiry will be encouraged. The farm will welcome visitors from all walks of life and workers will engage them in an attempt to convey a good sense of the motivations, spirit and techniques of sustainable agriculture.
Covered Bridge Produce will practice intensive agriculture. A continual effort will be made to increase the per acre production of vegetables using techniques employed by other intensive growers. The farm will seek to employ as many people as possible by developing labor intensive farming methods rather than trying to optimize profit per acre through mechanization and workforce reduction.
Covered Bridge Produce will be of service to society as well as to its customers and workers. The farm will contribute at least 10 percent of the food it produces to food banks or other charities which feed those in need. It will welcome opportunities to educate or encourage those seeking a more positive vision of life by participating in training or work experience programs for the disadvantaged or disabled. With appropriate modesty, the farm will offer itself as an example of how people can function sanely in the 21st century.