Our story starts on Norman Lenhardt’s family farm in the Missouri River bottom of Hartsburg. Norm had a desire to protect America’s farmlands and a vision to feed the world way back before the term sustainable agriculture was coined. Today, we uphold that same belief in smart land use, sustainable agriculture, and all-natural elderberry products because we believe it's the right thing to do.
What is sustainable agriculture?
Sustainable agriculture focuses on producing long-term crops and livestock while having minimal effects on the environment. Farms (like Norm’s) that practice sustainable agriculture work to find a good balance between the need for food production and the need for environmental preservation.
Farmers practicing sustainable agriculture build and maintain healthy soils, create systems to conserve water, reduce or eliminate the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and help promote biodiversity. If you’re doing it right, the result of this work is economically viable, socially supportive, and ecologically sound.
We believe the future of industrial agriculture should be sustainable. Consumers and retailers concerned with sustainability should look for values based foods and supplements that are grown using methods that promote farmworker wellbeing, that are environmentally friendly, or that strengthen the local or national economy.
Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture
We only get one Earth, and it’s our job to take care of it. Sustainable agricultural practices enhance the quality of life for farmers and their communities and provide families with products they can feel good about. Beyond that, sustainable agriculture provides many benefits:
- No GMOs
- Supports healthy soil
- Provides more nutrition and flavor
- Supports pollinators
- Promotes quality of life for farmers
- Creates opportunity for specializing
- Takes future generations into account
How Norm’s Farms Practices Sustainability
For the Norm’s team, sustainable farming is part of our bigger Nature to Nurture movement. We focus on planting perennials (elderberries) that help strengthen the soil. Our farmers aren’t ripping and tearing our crops from the land every year. Elderberries are also great for erosion control and absorb a lot of carbon dioxide. We’ve helped take a wild plant and cultivated it into a crop that is good for our environment, our local economy, and for families across the nation. More than that, we pay our farmers a livable wage and work with our local extensions office to help put elderberry on the map as a specialty crop. We love this work and plan to set the bar higher with each passing year.