The farmers at Sun One Organic Farm intimately follow the lay of the land—assessing the slopes and valleys of 65 acres of gently rolling field and forest in Bethlehem, CT, according to the principles of nature. 

Wind, water, and sunlight are all elements that farm owner Rob Maddox and farm managers Katherine and Michael consider when planting their diverse mix of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit. Apple, peach, and pear trees dot the landscape, maximizing airflow to naturally dissuade disease. A birdbath among the blueberry bushes deters thirsty birds from grazing in search of water. 

The farm’s delicious and unusual array of vegetables—think purple-podded peas, frilly fennel, burgundy okra, and fingerling potatoes—are cultivated using no-till methods. By foregoing heavy machinery, Sun One Organic Farm preserves the soil structure and microbiome, helping to conserve water and sequester carbon.

Farming sustainably is an overall strategy. Fittingly for a farm named after the sun, Rob is thinking beyond photosynthesis when it comes to collecting the sun’s energy. Last winter, he installed solar panels to power the barn and greenhouse. Watering seedlings and washing fresh-picked produce are now powered by the sun’s renewable rays. 

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