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NEON:  The Northeast Organic Network Blue Heron Farm Gallery

Lodi, New York

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Located in Lodi, New York between Finger Lakes Seneca and Cayuga, Blue Heron farm grows a wide variety of crops for farmers' market, restaurant, and wholesale markets. Robin Ostfeld and Lou Johns have farmed organically at Blue Heron for sixteen years, developing unique crop management and equipment approaches that make them a highly successful example of organic agriculture.

Lettuce, garlic, and undulating topography show Blue Heron's permanent bed system with mowed sod wheel-tracks in between. The sod allows access to beds even during wet conditions on Blue Heron's heavier soils, says Johns.

Blue Heron farms produces top-quality lettuce for market and wholesale orders through the entire growing season. Shown is a NEON sampling plot in green and red leaf lettuce varieties.

Blue Heron's Lou Johns with a four-foot high stand of oats/field pea cover crop on one of the farm's permanent beds.

Robin Ostfeld mows down the oat/pea cover crop with a five-foot flail mower, in preparation for incorporation with a rotary tiller.

At right are mowed strips of rye/vetch winter covers, with and oat/pea spring cover nearing maturity at left. Note forested land that divides farmed areas at Blue Heron.

A six-foot rotary tiller used for tilling in cover crops and preparing seedbeds. Twin Lilliston cultivators push soil thrown by tillage back into the bed.

Potatoes, shown here after hilling, are another Blue Heron mainstay.

Strawberries, in short rotations between vegetables, have also been a successful crop for direct and wholesale marketing at Blue Heron.