Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton, RI some organic / GAP certified
Some of what we grow is available year-round.
Little Compton, RI
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Wishing Stone Farm offers farmers markets / CSA pickups in Bristol, Providence and Little Compton.
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Little Compton, RI - Wishing Stone Farm is nestled just in from the coast in Little Compton and grows certified organic and quality I.P.M. (Integrated Pest Management) produce. The farm’s growing methods mirror its commitment to sustainable agriculture and the protection of open space; while providing food for local communities.
One of Rhode Islands largest USDA certified organic farms it markets through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, farmers markets and to wholesale buyers. “With experience as our guide we look forward to sharing the adventure of farming with our communities at large,” says Skip Paul co-owner of Wishing Stone Farm. “For us, it is more of a spiritual journey than just a job; calling upon all our resources and sensibilities. At Wishing Stone Farm, we strive to explore new economic concepts to save family farms and provide a right livelihood for ourselves, our employees and the families who enjoy our food.”
Wishing Stone Farm has been under the stewardship of Liz Peckham and Skip Paul since 1981. Just married, they started out on their new farm venture with a rototiller and a quarter acre of Bok Choi. In the early years, they were a major force in the organic movement helping found RINOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island (http://www.nofari.org) and serving on many multi-state committees and boards as the understanding of what organic meant began to come together. As the farm grew, they got into the farm stand business and ran that for a decade before switching to marketing their vegetables through CSA, farmers markets and wholesale.
Wishing Stone Farm now manages over forty acres with 35 of those acres certified organic. Since they are organic growers it is not unusual for ten acres or more of their land to be in a fallow or green manure stage of rest or rejuvenation. The other parcels are in transition to organic or are utilized as IPM (integrated Pest Management)/conventional land.
The farm’s acres of I.P.M. peaches are grown conventionally. After trying for several years to grow the peaches organically Liz and Skip found that stone fruit in New England could not withstand the bacterial and bug pressures prevalent in this region. The designation of (I.P.M.) means that the farmer uses only the minimum amount of sprays to achieve his goals. Says Paul, “In 2006, our peaches were only sprayed four times compared to the conventional fruit farmer who sprays peaches typically twelve times or more a season.”
What does it mean to be an Organic Farmer?
Paul says that while it is important to acknowledge and respect the calling of agriculture in all its forms, there is a significant difference between organic farming and typical conventional farming. “The organic farmer’s goal is to feed his soil where the conventional farmer, (at least up through the seventies) is more concerned with feeding his plant,” he says. This is why organic farmers are always adding compost, animal manures and green manures to their soil. Paul says that the organic farmer is acutely aware of the biological cycles going on in his soils. In fact, for the organic farmer the more complex the soils diet of compost, green manures, etc., the better.
Wishing Stone Farm strives to capitalize on nature’s diversity by consistently taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure its soil is as healthy as it can be. “At the end of each season we always protect our soils by putting cover crops on them for winter protection, and we also go a step further and take all of our parcels out of production for one season at least once every four years,” says Paul. “The purpose is to give the soil a rest so it may rejuvenate itself to sustain life for the upcoming generations.”