A Basaltic Farms bee tender with majestic Mt. Shasta in the background!

Basaltic Farms

Our name Basaltic Farms comes from the basaltic rock lava flows originating from Lava Beds National Park in Northern California. The lava flowed down into the surrounding valleys spreading over a large area, nearly reaching the central valley a distance of about 100 miles. Over millions of years, pockets of land formed into fertile sandy loam soils perfect for Garlic growing.

In Lassen county, many farmers have enjoyed growing in the fertile soil producing many types of crops over the last 130 years. We came to the area due to a wildfire that destroyed our lives, as survivors, we have rebuilt and chosen fire-safe lands. It is a hassle to watch everything disappear overnight. In the background, Zack is in his bee suit, taking care of his new replacement bees lost in the fire. He is oh so happy!

While waiting for the insurance company to do their job, we had the opportunity to seek out a new way of doing business. We already had a lot of farming experience on a smaller scale, and our new land will provide us a way to grow. We are very excited to become 100% organic farmers.

Over the past 18 months, we have worked closely with an organization known as CCOF. They are the top organization that certifies all types of organic farming in the State of California. Their standards exceed the USDA and have stringent guidelines for organic farmers. Fortunately, our lands were fallow for many years before we bought the farm. With some tender loving care, we have been able to bring our cropland back into balance with nature and meet or exceed the guidelines.

When we first arrived, we burned off all the undesirable weeds types found, including the yellow starthistle. We then found that our neighbors had an abundance of raw materials that used to make 4000 yards of rich organic compost to add to the land depreciated to the first crop. We also were able to grow excellent cover crops such as yellow mustard, crimson clover, and buckwheat, thus adding lots of organic matter to the sandy loam. Using cover crops is nature’s way to improve soil health and adding the nutrients necessary to maintain perfect plant health.

We are making updates on Facebook (link to FB), documenting how we continue to improve the soils step by step.

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