Note: This profile was written in 2008 and some parts are no longer up to date. At this time, Victoria Farm is only growing for their family rather than selling commercially, and is no longer Certified Stockfree-Organic. However, Victoria Farm still provides an inspiring example of how to establish a veganic forest garden.
Victoria Farm is a hobby farm run by Kip and Emily in Geneva, Florida. In 2008, Victoria Farm became the first farm in North America to be Certified Stockfree-Organic through the U.K.’s standards for veganic farms. Their certification was awarded through joint efforts between the Vegan Organic Network in the U.K. and Quality Certification Services, a 3rd party certifier.
Victoria Farm has about 60 fruit and nut trees, which will act as a canopy for a future forest garden. Kip has also written a detailed article about their process for establishing a forest garden in Central Florida.
Using plant-based techniques, they seek to maximize their on-farm fertility, to increase overall energy efficiency, and to farm without the exploitation of animals. The farm’s fertility is maintained through green manure, compost, no-till, and forest gardening practices.
They make their own compost, combining bahia grass and clover with chipped branch wood. Coastal hay and chipped branch wood are used to mulch the vegetable beds. To further enhance the nutrient cycle, they have begun brewing actively aerated compost tea (AACT), and micronutrient deficiencies are addressed with soluble kelp meal and alfalfa meal.
The farmers use vegan growing techniques because they do not want blood, bone, or products from confined animal feeding operations in their soils and in their food. They also have a small sanctuary of rescued chickens, pigs, and turkeys who they care for on the farm: the animals’ bedding and manure are composted for landscaping use, but only plant-based composts are used for food production.
Click on the image below to see a layout of Victoria Farm, with their impressive variety of fruit and nut trees. Zoom for more details.