Teresa Kurtak, co-owner of Fifth Crow Farm, knows all too well the impacts of a changing climate. Over the last five years, they’ve been evacuated for eight days due to fire, they’ve experienced drought, and they’ve had their fields flooded.
Grounded in a values-based approach to land stewardship, Fifth Crow Farm is a dynamic and diversified organic farm in Pescadero, California. Founded in 2008, they strive to bring eaters the highest quality, best tasting, and most nutritious food possible while also paying their employees a living wage. They operate on 150 acres: 30 acres of row crops, a 24-variety apple orchard, a young pear orchard, and a pastured egg operation consisting of 2 heritage breed flocks.
These practices improve soil health, resulting in benefits to the farm and the climate.
Fifth Crow Farm partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to establish native hedgerow plantings to provide habitat and travel corridors for beneficial insects and pollinators. They also plant both winter and summer cover crops, apply compost, and have invested in tractor implements that reduce tillage. These practices improve soil health, resulting in benefits to the farm and the climate. Healthy soil teeming with life retains more water in times of drought and the increased soil organic matter means more carbon is stored in the ground instead of in the atmosphere.
We need many more farms to implement these practices if we are going to see agriculture play a major role in climate change mitigation. As the frequency of climate events increases, Teresa urges Congress to continue funding climate-smart conservation programs in the Farm Bill.
See a short message from Teresa in the video below: