Early spring harvest. Salad mix & eggs
Some notes on our Market Garden itself:
We will be growing primarily heirloom produce, i.e. nutrient dense varieties with cultivars over 50 years of age. We will not grow modern hybrids which have been genetically groomed for size and aesthetics, but not taste and nutrition.
We practice Better Than Organic methods, including but not limited to:
- No synthetic fertilizers, not even those approved by USDA Organic standards (yes, some are allowed)!
- Use of OMRI listed compost and supplements. No steer or municipal waste.
- Avoiding the use of plastic where possible, i.e. no plastic mulch for weed control.
- Non-treated wood for raised beds.
- Beneficial insects for pest control.
- No man-made insecticides, not even those certified for Organic use by the USDA.
Our water is from a protected well which has no upstream pollutants.
Although tilling is necessary to incorporate organic matter in our raised beds initially, we have a goal of having a no-till garden once our soil biology sufficiently supports it. We are strong believers in not disturbing the soil and utilize only a broadfork as necessary. We will be adding minerals and natural supplements as needed to balance our soil, i.e bone meal, rock dust, etc. Our main focus is soil health. With soil health comes along high BRIX produce with lots of flavor. check out our blog post on nutrient dense foods for more information.
Organic is not always better!
In many ways we feel that what we are producing will be superior to what you can obtain at the local organic grocer. We encourage you to look up what is required for USDA Organic Certification, as the standard isn’t as high as many believe. For example, some elements which are allowed that do not meet our own criteria:
- USDA Organic allows a field to be certified after only three years of use without chemicals.
- USDA Organic testing only requires the produce to be 95% Organic.
- USDA Organic allows for the use of multiple pesticides and insecticides that are considered generally safe, however the list is evolving and subject to the influence of “Big Ag”. As the organic food movement grows, lobbyists are already starting to manipulate the list of allowed chemicals, and we can only see this problem growing.
- USDA Organic does not have a test standard for the nutrient density of foods. They can be raised organically, however be a cultivar that has been stripped of all nutritional value and therefore not necessarily any better than store bought mono-culture foods.
- Organic foods often come from outside of the US, where testing, tracing, and standards for environmental criteria are unreliable.