Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.



For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/koppscrops


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cutting Out the Chemicals

We’ve always tried to limit our use of chemicals on the crops of Kopp’s Crops.  After all, one of the great joys of raising a garden is being able to eat vegetables right off the plant, still warm from the sun.  And our girls do much of the in-garden munching!  But in the past we’ve used a little chemical fertilizer, and when all natural pest-control methods failed on our cabbage, we resorted to a quick shot of pesticide.  We’ve called it being “practically organic” – organic when it was practical.    
But this year, we’re committed to raising our crops using only organic practices.  Our biggest challenge in going chemical-free is getting enough nitrogen into the soil to provide a healthy growing environment for our plants.  Isanti County has extremely sandy soil, so even with a few loads of nutrient-rich black dirt, three years’ worth of chicken manure applications, and this year’s double-dose of alpaca dung, we knew we needed more nitrogen.  So we fed the garden some nitrogen-rich meals.  Three meals, to be exact.  Soybean meal is essentially just ground-up soybeans in pelleted form for easy application, and contains a healthy 7% nitrogen with a bonus 2% phosphorus.  We first we broadcast-spread the soybean meal and some alfalfa meal ( alfalfa-based pellets that contain 2% nitrogen & 2% potassium)  over the entire garden for a nice all-over nutrient base.  Corn gluten meal is the heartiest nitrogen meal (10%!), but it inhibits seed germination (which is, incidentally, why it works so nicely to rid your lawn of crabgrass), so we can only use it to “side dress” our crops, applying it directly to rows of transplanted or partially-grown plants.  Hopefully these three meals will give our garden the balanced nutrition our plants need to grow "big & strong!"