Astarte Farm is a small, certified organic family farm located on some of the richest farmland in the world in the Pioneer Valley, not far from the banks of the Connecticut River. Of the total 6.4 acres, after subtracting the house, barns, yards and mandatory buffer zones, 4 acres is devoted to organic production. While currently certified organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers, we strive to exceed the minimum organic standards. Although we have passed our three-year transition to organic, we continue to use the land gently, encouraging the return of earthworms and other inhabitants of the soil food web. By providing habitat for beneficial insects and allowing long fallow periods between production blocks we are allowing the farm to heal itself. We are using a variety of deep-rooted cover crops and a small spading machine to successfully break up the long established plow pan. We are drawn toward the Biodynamic® ideal of the farm existing as independent organism, but have many more years of work ahead of us to achieve that goal. Because we grow a highly diversified market garden, “arugula to zucchini,” the list of specific varieties runs over four pages long! The crops with the greatest number of row feet are garlic, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet corn, potatoes, popcorn and flowers. Our seed stocks are about 65% organic for the 2006 crop year, and we are continually researching and conducting trials on new organic sources. Garlic braids, dried and cut flower bouquets are our primary value added products. See us at the Amherst Farmer’s Market on Saturdays 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM from early May to late November on Spring Street in the heart of the Amherst town common.