THIS IS US
”Wouldn’t it be nice to have a food system that promoted organic, local, seasonal, sustainable
agriculture and paid farm workers a living wage?”
This quote was lifted from a 2012 article on The Atlantic.com. I had to chuckle – the four words they chose are very close to Market at Dothan’s four core values: Fresh, Local, Sustainable, & Year Round.
The word “organic” is pretty much a household word now and most people have a pretty good idea of what it means: crops grown without artificial pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, irradiation, or sewage sludge, and animals raised without hormones or antibiotics. Organic food production can take place in a bucket on a balcony or a monstrous farm using tons of machinery on thousands of acres. As long as the production meets certain standards the food is considered organic with or without certification. Certification means an agency has examined the practices and bequethed the USDA stamp of approval. For small farms producing under 5k in revenue use of the word is allowed but without the green & white seal. Fines for claiming “organic” without following the guidelines are substantial for any size farm.
Sustainability goes beyond production methods focused primarily on the end result to consider the manner in which land, man and beast are treated. The grand goal of sustainable farming is that mankind will be able to continue living off the land without depleting natural resources and ruining the earth. Using cover crops and green manures to nurture the soil for the long haul is one example of sustainable methods. This the primary reason why Market at Dothan chooses to use the word “Sustainable” over “Organic.” You can grow organic without being sustainable, but you cannot be sustainable without utilizing organic practices.
Healthy soil is the foundation for organic growth. The copy here at Hortons Farm is well used!
One of the things that sets our Market at Dothan vendors apart from most local food sources is that all of our growers/vendors use sustainable methods, meaning we grow organically while tending to the welfare of the earth & animals and with human welfare in mind. This means we’ll probably never be a big business as so few growers are up to the extra work invoved, but it does mean that you can trust the food we offer to be clean . . . to be safe. Each of us nurture the land God has provided. We treat our animals with dignity. Some, as one recently shared, work family land with years of records knowing what has and has not been used in and on the soil. Others are working hard to transform urban plots with unknown history and most of us are somewhere in between.
A few weeks ago I shared with our growers that I plan to visit their farms. I’ve been to many but there are still a few that I’ve not had the privilege of seeing yet. This year we’re fixing that! I’ve seen the Richter’s Red Waddle pigs but I’ve not seen Smith’s Dexter cows or sheep yet. I’ve seen Mayim’s aquponics but not the mahaw trees down in Cottonwood where D’s Jellies are made. The plan is to share with you the unique ways your M@D growers balance organic methods with sustainability. Stay tuned – it will be fun!
This week we say Goodby to Hawkins Homestead. They’ve done a marvelous job building their farm and their business in preparation for this this next big step. No doubt they’ll do well and we wish them the best! Many of you received their goodbye statement by email and if not you may view it here.
If you’re up for doing something crazy cool Wiregrass Beekeepers (WBA) starts their 2019 Beginning Beekeeper Classes next month. Normally we don’t publish notifications like this but since several Market customers have mentioned beekeeping we’re sharing in case there are others interested. WBA is partnered with the City of Dothan to help new beekeepers if that is a concern. Class participation does not require anyone to get bees, but who knows, you might find yourself excited like a little kid again!
Have you tried to join our Market at Dothan Discussion Group and failed to connect? This is a problem we’ve been working on for a while and we’re happy to announce it’s recently been fixed. This page is where our Market family can stay in touch during the week.
THIS WEEK’S GROWER NOTES
We have the best Growers in the Wiregrass! Please learn more about them on our Grower Page.
MAYIM FARMS: Greg and Carole of Mayim Farm will be travelling on to Little Rock Arkansas to the Southern Sustainable Ag Workshop Group (SSAWG) conference this week so no market on the 26th. We’ll return on the Feb 2 market…thank you all for your generous support!
HORTONS FARM: We will not be listing some of our prepared products for the next two weeks to accommodate participating in the annual Auburn Beekeeping Symposium and the Alabama Master Beekeepers Recertification Program. THANK YOU for your understanding.
I’ve definitely lost my mind. LOL I borrowed the tractor and disced up a new garden patch 100 ft by 300 ft. This will double the garden area, bringing it up to 1.25 acres in total. Insane, I know! But I don’t plan for all of this to be planted in vegetables at one time. This extra space will allow me to put more in cover crops to build the soil and reduce weeds. Creates time and space to utilize the chickens to help recycle and fertilize old garden areas. It will also allow space for more long term crops like onions and garlic that take 4 to 6 months to grow.
Oh, man! Today is a beautiful sunny day! I wish we would have a week of these. The plants could sure use the sunlight. Even though our day length is once again over 10 hours a day the lack of actual sunshine is still hampering growth. For this reason I have decided to not list kale this week. I’m going to pamper them with some organic fertilizer and spray them with some soap to help with the aphids.
The broccoli will also be removed from the market. It has basically run its course and it’s time to let the chickens have the rest.
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