Hi, I'm Mike from Marvin's Garden Produce. I am dedicated to producing fresh, delicious produce for my local customers. I always keep the following things in mind when I am planning my garden or dealing with any issues that arise.
1. Be a Good Steward
I will be growing a small amount of a lot of different vegetables, herbs and flowers in my garden because I think that a diverse garden is a more healthy garden. I start every season with a plan, but my plan will adjust based on the weather during that growing season.
Paying attention to nature also means a certain amount of mimicry where it will work best. Once my garden beds are established, I will not be tilling up the soil unless it is absolutely necessary to seed the next crop. I will be transplanting into permanently mulched beds whenever possible to avoid the damage to soil life caused by regular tilling.
2. Be a Good Neighbor
I don't think that suburban gardening on a large scale makes much sense without being a part of the community. There is likely no way that people like me will ever produce enough food to supply a truly local food economy. The world needs big, rural farms. But, I think that suburban gardening offers people a chance to see how their food is grown and what it takes to get that food from seed to plate. For that reason, my garden will be open to the public as often as possible and I plan to connect with people in the community that are interested in local food production (and consumption!).
I am also realistic about the fact that not everybody in my area can afford fresh, local produce. To try to offer a solution to a few people, I will be offering a Workshare of my produce. A Workshare is a share of my weekly produce that goes to a CSA member, but instead of paying cash for the share, this member will work with me in the garden to cover the cost. Starting in 2014, I will take on one Workshare member and as my overall CSA increases, my number of Workshare members will increase along with it.
3. Be Natural
Finally, I think it is important to grow without any synthetic inputs. Organic growing methods take the whole ecosystem into account instead of reducing plant growth to a mathematical formula. I will also try to avoid using many organic inputs that I think are part of the reason organic foods are so expensive.
I am not of the belief that organic food is healthier in any way for the people that eat it, but I am a firm believer that it is better for the environment to produce food without the use of petroleum products whenever possible.
If anyone has any questions or would like to come hang out at the garden sometime, please swing by.
If you liked reading these deep thoughts, here are some other posts you may enjoy:
My 2014 year in review