Marvin's Garden Produce is dedicated to producing fresh, delicious produce for local market while striving to use zero outside inputs. That means in the long run, we plan to use crop rotation and intercropping along with row cover in place of all spray herbicides and pesticides, even the so-called organic ones. That also means that our garden beds will be fertilized by locally (preferably on-farm) produced compost and compost tea. In the short run, we will utilize some organic approved fertilizers to amend the soil, but aim to end this practice once we are on our own land for a few years.
Marvin is also a strong advocate of no-till or low-till practices. Ideally, that will mean that we will be gardening on permanent raised beds that are never deeply tilled once they are established. This means no tractors, no roto-tillers and reduced fossil fuel inputs for the garden. This also means that a heavy permanent mulch system will be established on portions of the garden for weed suppression and slow addition of fertilizers and organic matter. We will also be experimenting with the use of several different varieties of plastic mulch for weed control and soil temperature control on some crops. There is no way around the fact that the use of plastic mulch (a layer of plastic stretched over the soil) is unsustainable, but we are hard pressed to find better solutions. We will experiment with plastics that are derived from both petroleum and vegetable stocks. We also hope that after a few years on the same piece of land we will be able to successfully cultivate soil beds that do not require this high level of weed control.
We are also dedicated to being a part of the local food community and we hope to offer work-share programs to customers that otherwise cannot afford locally-grown produce. This is an important component to eliminating the perceived barrier between lower-income working people and local food. While food assistance programs offer another alternative, Marvin's Garden Produce will not accept this form of payment from market customers in protest of the US Government's policies against small farmers. In place of food assistance, a discount for cash purchase will be offered (a sliding scale pricing system), and customers will be introduced to the work-share idea.
The other thing that Marvin and I believe in is having a good time, and frankly, these last three paragraphs are far more serious than we will usually be. While we are passionate about being a part of a sustainable local food scene, we are also goof balls that might seem a little rough around the edges until you get to know how good we are on the inside (we are like human celeriac).
If anyone has any questions or would like to come hang out at the garden sometime, please swing by.