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May 27 Market Newsletter

This Week’s Newsletter:
Organic vs. Conventional
Vendor Spotlight
Market ChitChat
Getting to Know You: Grower Notes

Organic vs. Conventional

(Market Note: Market at Dothan makes no claim to be an “Organic” Market as the bulk of our growers and vendors are too small and too busy growing food that exceeds National Organic Practices (NOP) standards. What we do claim to be is SUSTAINABLE which produces equal and superior foods, farms and families. The following article explains the difference between our values and conventional farming better than we can despite the use of the “o” word.

The differences between organic and conventional foods stem directly from the farming methods that were used during the food’s production. Many people are unaware of some of the differences between the two practices. Agriculture has a direct effect on our environment, so understanding what goes into our agriculture is important. Below is a list of some of the key differences between organic and conventional farming. One of the biggest differences that is seen time and time again across all research between the two farming practices is the effect on the land. Organic farming works to increase sustainability, biodiversity, and to encourage good soil and air quality. This is maintained by the use of natural growing practices, the avoidance of harmful chemicals, and the continued practice of crop rotation and other natural farming methods.

Organic Farming
Organic farming minimizes chemical usage
Organic farming promotes biodiversity
Soil health is improved with organic farming practices
Only natural methods are used in organic farming

Conventional Farming
Conventional farming makes use of chemicals, synthetics, and other materials to manage weeds and pests
Conventional farming uses unnatural farming methods
Conventional farming use of pesticides has garnered attention towards acceptable levels of toxicity, and whether there should actually be an acceptable level
Pesticides used in conventional farming can be damaging to your health.
There are many other differences between organic and conventional farming, but these seem to be the most spoken of in regards to consumer health. There have been arguments around whether or not conventional farming methods are safe for one’s health. This is because of the pesticides and GMO’s used in the conventional farming practices. Many people are concerned that those growing practices promote unsafe chemical use, especially because the level of toxicity is said to be under a “safe” level, but what is really safe?

Luckily, many places make it easy to get ahold of seasonal, local and organic products. There are many CSA’s, grocery delivery services and organic markets that promote a more healthy way of eating.

(End note: That last paragraph describes Market At Dothan and our four core values of FRESH, LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE and YEAR ROUND. Our goal is to provide you the best in the Wiregrass!)

D’s Jellies

Sometimes we never know the greatness that moves among us! Our very own Dianne Herring is a case in point. Dianne has been a part of Market at Dothan for many years, well known and well loved for those delicious jams and jellies made with homegrown mahaws, blackberries, peppers, , etc from her farm.

Did you know she’s also an accomplished cook whose work is regularly featured in Wiregrass Living magazine?

Dianne with her Simple Summer Luncheon feature in newest issue of Wiregrass Living.

Congratulations Dianne! We’re proud to have you as part of our Market family and can’t wait to get a copy of the magazine!

Market ChitChat

If you love crafts, our very own Karen King will be featured live next Wednesday, May 31, 12pm on the Hometalk Facebook page. If you are not familiar with Hometalk they are a DIY community with over 5 million followers. Stay tuned, there’s more to come!

Please be sure to read our Grower Notes this week. Last week we highlighted the wide variety of sustainable healthy foods they produce and this week they’ve pitched in to help you get to know them better.

Don’t forget to put June 10 on your calendar if you’re interested in Mayim Farms Compost Tea Workshop that was announced in last week’s newsletter. Even if your garden is a bucket on a balcony, this will be a valuable workshop on many levels. For more information visit their Facebook page.

This Week’s Grower Notes

We have the best Growers in the Wiregrass! Please learn more about them on our Grower Page.

AVALON FARMS: What makes Avalon Farms different from the big boys? Mostly just that – We are small, hands on farmers growing on our family land. We grow tasty interesting things that we love to eat and love sharing with others. To grow these tasty interesting things we have committed to low till intensive succession planting, utilizing cover crops and natural fertilizer to nourish the soil. We use drip irrigation to conserve water and low usage of organic pesticides. Planting, weeding, picking and packing is all done by hand. We are small because this is the way we want to do things.

D’s Jellies: The most common question that I am asked is about growing Mayhaws for D’s MayhawJelly.  People will say that they did not know they could be grown in our area and thought they only grew in water.  We grow ours in the far corner of our fruit orchard in an area of that is about 30 feet from a cypress pond. Most years we tend to not have excessive spring rains and I can gather the mayhaws after they fall onto the ground. However, if there is an abundance of rain, we have put on rain boots to gather the mayhaws with a net as they floated on top of the water. This spring we planted Mayhaw trees in the middle of our fruit orchard, so this way we will have Mayhaws to gather without having to go in water while being on the lookout for moccasins.

Hortons Farm: “Scruffy”. That’s my new word when people ask about our farm. As a beekeeper I cherish many of our weeds that help produce beneficial local wildflower honey. (Many people don’t realize that “wildflower” often means weeds!) The trick is balancing that with growing sustainable produce. If I weed or mow to soon, the bees suffer loss. If I wait too long, the plants suffer. As with all of life we continually strive to find that perfect balance in our farming and beekeeping practices.

Restoration Gardens: We are unique in more ways than we could list in this short space, but here are some of the most important ways:
FOUNDATION: The soil is the foundation, not only for growing growing food on our farm but, truly, for all society. We believe in restoring soil to health and balance, and letting it take care of growing great food. As opposed to traditional farming where soil is virtually ignored and the focus is on just, almost artificially, growing a plant.
INPUTS: To protect our health and the environment, hard work and mechanical means are used for controlling weeds and insects rather than dangerous poisons. We are also strictly opposed to Genetically Modified Organisms. Instead, our seed is produced by just good old fashioned plant breeding, the way nature’s done it forever.
SCALE: Most conventional farming these days believes “bigger is better” and “scaling up” is the rule. On the contrary, we believe “small is beautiful!” Our challenge is trying to “grow better, not bigger.”

SANDSPUR FARMS: Sandspur Farms: We have blueberries!! And okra! Both will be in the weekly boxes also.


We would love to hear from you! If you have a favorite recipe, want to write a product review, have an idea or request for an article or information, let us know! You can reply to this newsletter or write

Market Schedule
Order Saturday 5pm to Tuesday 5pm weekly for Pickup the following Friday
Dothan Pickup: Dothan Nurseries, 1300 Montgomery Highway, Dothan, AL 36303
Daleville Pickup: Daleville Chamber of Commerce Office

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We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!