Copyright © 2024 Billie Rooney

8611 47th Drive, Live Oak, Florida, 32060–7300 Phone: 386-590-9053 Email: Rooney Farm-Convenient, Fun and Delicious

By growing trap crops like sunflowers and triticale, leaf footed stink bugs are attracted to them and away from the blueberries.  This type of insect control method reduces our use of pesticides.

Leaving dead trees and installing bird boxes around the farm attracts insect eating birds.

There are also eco system benefits on the farm.

Half of the farm is used in wildlife support and ecosystem service as a water recharge wetland.

The Bahia grass is low maintenance because it has a deep root system that requires less water,  out-competes weeds, resists nematodes, and is great for erosion control.

While our farm focuses on blueberries and blackberries, we also have livestock and incorporate eco-friendly practices in our care of them.

Our livestock are on a forage rotation. Forage rotation improves soil health and reduces the need for fertilizer.

Our no-till planting methods reduce erosion as well as weed pressure, which reduces herbicide use. It also provides minimal disturbance to organisms that exist in the soil and better protects ground dwelling native pollinators. About 70% of all native pollinators are ground dwellers. The result is an overall healthier soil for growing and protection for beneficial microbes and insects.

This is just a small list of what we incorporate at Rooney’s Front Porch Farm. We look forward to serving you and sharing all that we are doing to be good stewards of the land that God has entrusted us to manage.

Brush piles help with rodent control.

When you arrive on the farm you will notice that there is a lot of growth on the fence row. We leave the vegetation for wildlife habitat.

At Rooney’s Front Porch Farm, we believe in being good stewards of the land. To do that, we have implemented practices in our fruit production and livestock care to help protect and conserve our natural resources.

Let’s start with how we grow and care for our berries.

As a part of our strategy to have a diversified farm, we chose Rabbiteye blueberry varieties because they are well-suited for this area and increase the long sustainability of our farm.

Placing drip irrigation under a weed barrier helps us to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and use less herbicide.

Fertigation (adding fertilizer to the drip irrigation system) allows us to keep the fertilizer in the root zone. This means nutrients are efficiently taken up by the roots and not leached below the root zone and potentially into our aquifer.

Water monitoring technology called Soil Moisture Sensors tells us what’s going on below the soil surface. By using the information on an app, we know when to water and where our nutrients are in the soil. This helps us conserve and protect our water.

Next, it’s all about the bugs. Whether they are beneficial or pests, we have practices in place to reduce our environmental footprint.

We love pollinators! Around the farm, we have native bee nesting sites (or bee houses) and bunch grasses. The bees use the houses during the spring and summer and then over winter in the bunch grasses. We are also very specific in what trees, vines and wildflowers we plant to feed the native pollinators from early spring to late fall.

We grow two varieties of THORNLESS blackberries that produce a large sweet berry.  The  vines are trellised for maximum exposure to sunlight and air movement.  This helps reduce disease pressure.

Eco-Friendly Farm