A working farm is a living thing. As much as we work to care for each individual chicken, pig, or tomato, their health depends on our stewardship of the entire organism that supports them. What grows here at Spice Acres are just the fruits of a massive, complex tree; the romantic plucking of a ripe zucchini or snipping of fresh lettuce only happens after careful tending of the entire system of branches and leaves, roots and shoots behind it.
Like any living thing, each farm is different. What works on one might be destructive. There’s no easy, universal guide to healthy farming; we have to listen to the land, and the unique demands of where we are. At Spice Acres, the name of the game is movement. A happy farm is a changing farm. Stagnation kills. That means changing what we plant, and changing where our animals graze, to keep our fields from straining too much on providing a particular nutrient for a mono-cultured crop. Our chickens move around, fertilizing as they go. And we cover crop between plantings, alternating a field of veggies one year with clover, buckwheat, and rye the next to give the ground a rest.
Movement also means keeping our precious water flowing where and how it should — wasting nothing, preserving the cycle. It means maintaining and managing our wells, collecting rainwater for hand-washing stations, and keeping our clay-heavy soil covered in a thick layer of water-retaining mulch to make sure we don’t lose a single life-giving drop.
What ends up on your plate is really only another beginning: our restaurant scraps go either to Rust Belt Riders, who distribute them as compost to other farms and growing operations in the area, or come back here to feed our hungry hogs. So when you eat at Spice you’re part of this moving system, joining the sun and rain, the chickens and weeds, the chefs and farmers who work together to make each meal delicious proof of the power of nature.
Come out and enjoy the beauty of sustainable, full-circle farming firsthand at the Spice Acres U-Pick Flowers Event this Saturday, September 3rd from 9am – 11am. Wander through the fields and hand pick your own bouquet for $10.
Spice Acres at 9557 Riverview Rd in Brecksville