Sitting along 25 acres of property in Bucks County, Peace Tree Farm houses 50,000 square feet of greenhouse paradise. Inside is a warm, beautifully crafted ecosystem, hosting a variety of over 1,000 species of herbs, vegetables, flowers, and succulents.
In 1983, Lloyd and Candy Traven started their endeavors at the farm by growing and selling sustainably grown herbs and traditional garden center plants. Today, the business is still family owned, including their son, Alex, who manages the complex and complicated world of biological controls. Although the business has always been conscious of the environment, they began transitioning to organic practices in the early 90’s and became certified organic in 2009. Their growth and approach is dependent on the curiosity and ingenuity of their staff and “customers that think outside the box.”
UNIQUE PEST & DISEASE CONTROLS
Insect and disease management presents a challenge to organic farmers. Peace Tree Farm uses no chemical sprays, allowing natural predators to enter the greenhouse and attack the vulnerable plants. Alex Traven heads the biological controls — releasing 20+ species of insects, mites, vertebrates and aphids meticulously throughout the 12 greenhouses.
Monitoring insects is fundamental to effective pest management and it takes a well-educated staff to make successful.
INTELLIGENT WATERING SYSTEM
The automated watering system at Peace Tree Farms is set high above the elevated tables, or flood benches, that hold the plants and seedlings. It constantly calculates the temperature and humidity and sets varying thresholds depending on the plant type and its maturity. By regulating the water used, Peace Tree Farm runs its operation more efficiently, using less water and labor, and creating more uniformity among the plants.
By programming the system to either water from above, or flood the benches (watering from below) it creates a stronger root systems for a healthier, more robust plant, as well as avoiding water induced disease or pest infestation. The water used throughout their facilities is re-filtered, recycled and injected with oxygen, to eventually be pumped back into the greenhouse.
FOSTERING CURIOSITY IN THE WORKPLACE
At Peace Tree Farm, you’ll find passionate, knowledgeable people at the forefront of their industry in terms of operations, who use their experience and experimentation to bring their customers a great quality product. Owner Lloyd Traven “relishes the questioning and engagement of the younger generation” and encourages his young staff to be constantly evolving.