MAWQCP Area Specialist Jim Lahn (left) presenting the Water Quality Certified Farm sign to Andrew Spicola last fall.

Andrew Spicola’s Home Brook Farm a few miles west of Pequot Lakes is now Water Quality Certified in the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP).

Spicola uses organic production methods on Home Brook Farm as he raises vegetable crops for local restaurants and markets.  Minimum tillage is used in producing these vegetables, and Andrew plans on practicing no-till farming in the future.  He is also exploring the use of cover crops. 

Careful nutrient management and pest management are also important in this operation. On Home Brook Farm, non-chemical means are employed to control weeds and insects, including hand labor.  To properly manage nutrients needed to produce vegetables, Spicola does regular soil testing.  He then follows University of Minnesota recommendations when he applies natural fertilizer sources to provide nutrients for his crops.

Along with the conservation practices that Spicola uses in his crop production, the remainder of his land is in perennial cover.  This combination of conservation practices protects water quality and greatly minimizes soil erosion. 

“Our land is in the watershed of Gull Lake, and we want to do our part of in the project that has the goal of protecting the water quality of the lake,” Spicola said.

Congratulations to Andrew Spicola for his efforts on Home Brook Farm to protect natural resources and for receiving his Water Quality Certified Farm sign on Oct. 6.

Submitted on behalf of the Cass Soil and Water Conservation District, Jim Lahn, Area Certification Specialist, Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP)

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