2313 New Design Road Adamstown, MD 21710 Phone: 240-416-0714 / 717-496-5887 Fax: 301-990-9125
On October 1, 2015 Raemelton Farm received Organic Certification from the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
Following three years of transitional status, the organic fields at Raemelton now meet the national USDA Organic standards. As far a we can tell these are the first and only USDA Organic landscape ready B&B trees available in the United States. Our organic production fields hold a selection of native and introduced trees.
From stately shade trees like American Elm and Red Oak to flowering beauties like Kwanzan Cherry and Eastern Redbud our organic trees fit a range of landscape applications. We’re even growing a selection of bearing fruit trees for those that want an ‘instant’ organic home orchard. We can grow you an organic tree…keeping it that way is up to you!
How do we do it? It’s not easy!
Our sustainable growing practices gave us a huge leg up. Many of the ORGANIC practices are old hat for Raemelton. Cover crops, integrated pest management, and compost are all used throughout the farm.
However, some requirements of organic production took extra effort. There is the three years you must wait before the ground is certified organic. The forms, record keeping, and paperwork will make your eyes water! And you must visit organic production ground FREQUENTLY! Insect problems or a new escaped weed must be seen, identified and attended to immediately. Organic is unforgiving in its demands and the finished trees reflect that level of attention.
Irrigation in the organic field is managed by a cutting edge, sensor driven autonomous system. (white box, center) Buried soil moisture sensors are used to trigger irrigation events. The irrigation system automatically adjusts for any extra water needs caused by the Crimson Clover cover crop. (Raemelton Farm / Angela Burke)
The Raemelton Farm crew planting liners in May 2013. Despite the unique cutting edge nature of organic management, some aspects of Raemelton Farm have not changed. These trees will become the nation’s first certified organic B&B shade trees. (Raemelton Farm / Steve Black)
Trees and cover crops growing in the organic production field at Raemelton Farm, May 2014. Rows are inter-planted with two different species to reduce monoculture effects. The center row shows a companion cover crop of Crimson Clover. The rows to the left and right were planted with a Forage Radish cover crop the previous fall. The radish suppressed weeds and winter killed leaving a weed free tree row. (Raemelton Farm / Angela Burke)
Overview of Raemelton Farm’s first Organic production field, April 2015. The trees are beginning their third and final year of transition to being certified organic. Foreground rows have been prepared for planting. (Raemelton Farm / Angela Burke)