We employ natural farming practices on all our rooftops which help to promote diverse ecosystems. By refraining from applying synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, our botanicals become enriched with potent nutrients and provide the maximum health benefits to every participant in our ecosystem–from the smallest insects to our end user!
A healthy and diverse ecosystem starts with the soil. We only use rooftop made or local compost and worm castings and tea to enrich our soil. In order to prevent nutrient leaching and to continue to build and attract beneficial organisms, we mulch with local cedar and grow red clover as a cover crop during the late fall, winter and early spring.
To ensure the use and growth of the highest quality botanicals on our rooftops, our seeds and plants come from either certified organic farms or from our own harvest and propagation efforts. We are also committed to growing rare varieties of botanicals, not only to elevate our expertise but to find the best ingredients possible for our users.
There’s nothing quite like a pest infestation or disease to dampen spirits and we’ve seen our fair share of both on all our rooftops. It’s natural to want to get rid of the problem as quickly as possible, especially when visible stress can be seen, but we take a three-step approach to pest and disease management to ensure we keep a healthy balanced ecosystem.
1. Prevention- By understanding the botanicals we are growing and accounting for pests/disease from previous years, we can prepare and implement natural management systems ahead of time. These efforts include nets, sticky traps and trap plants, like nasturtiums. We also apply natural remedies from the very start, to increase the likelihood that our efforts are successful.
2. Monitoring – Once the pests and diseases show up, we monitor their arrival and emergence, how quickly they’re spreading and take note of when their natural predators such as ladybugs and lacewings come to the attack. We’ll even sometimes introduce the good bugs when there aren’t enough.
3. Treatment– If infestation and disease get out of hand due to a lack of natural predators, only then do we resort to using an all-natural insecticidal soap. This product, that we make ourselves, is made of neem oil, castile soap and water or pyganic.
We hand pick and harvest our botanicals using reusable burlap bags to ensure we catch even the smallest petals. Once gathered, we thoroughly wash and dehydrate our botanicals before packing them into jars marked with the date of their harvest.
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