Sentinel Farm is in the process of transitioning to more organic practices. The Lanphear’s are looking for opportunities to integrate beneficial insect habitat across their property to enhance natural ecosystem services like pest control. They are also seeking to expand their community engagement opportunities to include more PYO opportunities, adopt a tree programs, and educational events.
Objective 1 – Increase native plant diversity on the farm to support a diversity of pollinators and beneficial insects and attract them to the orchard for enhanced ecosystem system services of pollination and biological control of insect pests of orchard crops. Pollinators and beneficial insects require a source of diverse forage – abundant nectar-and pollen-rich plants – throughout the growing season as well as undisturbed habitat for nesting, refuge, and overwintering with the goal of building resident populations on the farm. Promote natural enemy populations for improved pest management of common insect pests of orchard crops. This can be accomplished by establishing diverse wildflower habitat in protected areas surrounding cropland and installing native bee nesting structures/habitat. Objective 2 – Increase nesting and overwintering habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects. Along with diverse foraging habitat, pollinators and beneficial insects require nest sites close to their food resources. This can be accomplished by providing natural nesting habitat/structures (brush piles) and installing bee nesting boxes. Objective 3 - Improve the conservation value of the farm to expand community engagement and agritourism opportunities. Sentinel Farm currently provides PYO services, and wishes to expand this program. They hope to integrate new projects into their operations such as adopt a tree programs, educational events, and field trips. Conservation plantings recommended in this plan can add opportunities for demonstration and educational programs on the farm.