Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Do you guys use pesticides?  It’s a question we often get asked and would love to clarify: 

At Quinn Farm we use Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which means we do everything possible to avoid using pesticides and then use the least harmful if it’s absolutely necessary. All of our pest control is very targeted to specific pests or diseases. We look at pesticides like antibiotics, not something we want to use all the time, but in order to avoid death…it’s certainly a necessity.

To give you a better idea, there are three different levels of harmfulness in insecticides: green, yellow and red (green being least harmful).  We will always attempt to use the least harmful first, a yellow only if needed, perhaps a few times a year and almost never a red. Green could be letting the grass grow in the orchard so the insects target that rather than our apple trees. This helps beneficial insects thrive in the diverse plant life and help control the harmful insects, this way we do not have to spray as much insecticide.

There are also delays to be respected since insecticides break down from the exposure to sun and rain (which is why we have to reapply them). This means we only harvest or let people pick once those delays have been respected, so there are no longer any traces of chemicals.

We promise all of our fruit and vegetables are safe to eat – we eat them everyday raw in the field (a little mid-morning snack as we’re picking) and our children (Lil’ Farmer Keith and Lil’ Farmer Alex) do the same!