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Feb 9, 2019 M@D Newsletter

We are open to accept orders.
Orders close Tuesday at 5pm
If you’re wondering about that “M@D” bit, its only about good healthy food!

Market at Dothan uses the word “Sustainable” over “Organic” because you can grow organic without being sustainable, but you cannot be sustainable without utilizing organic practices.

This Week’s Newsletter:
The Rest of the Story
Market Chitchat
Grower Notes


Part 2
For those who have enjoyed Avalon’s wonderful broccoli this year, this is the bed it was harvested from. As you can see, the plants are still rather lush and green. Broccoli is one of those crops that offers it’s prime first and diminishing quantity afterwards as long as you keep it picked. When the plants have finished producing they will be given to the chickens who turn it into nitrogen fertilizer.

Left to Right: Senposai, Red Russian Kale, Broccoli

Speaking of chickens – I met the Freedom Rangers! While Avalon’s egg layers are a mix of chicken breeds (the reason for all the lovely colors) the Freedom Rangers are grown for meat. They are slow growing birds that work well in free range, organic and pasture environments. The hatchery they are from is very intentional about using sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming methods to raise them. These birds are housed seperatly from the egg producers and their mobile housing is moved frequently so they are always on fresh grass.

Wendy’s Freedom Rangers were a bit younger & smaller than these. I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them in their very large mobile pen.

The aquaponics system caught me by surprise. Wendy showed the damaged bok choy that had been flourishing there until those unseasonable sunny days in January burned the plants. Wikipedia defines aquaponics as “any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

I felt right at home when we went indoors and I got to load up on caffine for the drive home. All the seed catalogs and sustainable farming books on the big coffee table with the great view outdoors felt familiar and invited good conversation. While Wendy is the hands on person during the week she has the complete support of her Mr. who helps design and build some of the equipment and systems they use. One of their growing principals is that they grow things they themselves enjoy eating. It’s one of the reasons they’re the only growers in the area to offer patty pan squash in season. They are not opposed to trying new methods and vegetables, like the Senposai (which is delicious!) and are constantly looking for ways to improve.

On the drive home I thought about how they have adapted their farming methods to the conditions we have here in Southeast Alabama. Just like beekeeping methods in Ohio and California won’t work here, neither will every organic trick of the trade practiced in other places. The principals are the same but things like soil composition, local resources, heat, humidity, and the local pests play into how those principals are utilized. The Robbins’ are lifetime students in this regard and will no doubt continue to innovate to produce great food. We’re thankful to have them as part of our Market Family.


DON’T FORGET NEXT WEEK’S HYDROPONICS CLASS! Class will start at 10am in the Market Shed. We don’t know how many people to expect so come early and if you have a favorite folding chair feel free to bring it. This class will be presented by Dr.Virginia Schafer who along with Chris Judge produce organic microgreens. They will explain the science behind hydroponics and how it can be done successfully on a small scale at home.

Dr. Schafer has helped several of our Market customers grow their own hydroponic vegetables with the Kratky system which can be used with many different type containers.


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

DANNY’S GREENS: Danny is listing more greens this week as his beds have LOVED the longer days and nice temparatures.

HORTONS FARM: Off again! Today something special happened as seasoned Alabama Master Beekeepers were trained by the Department of Agriculture to be “first responders” for beekeeping related issues. This is something near and dear to Ros’s heart as she initiated training the Wiregrass’s fire departments and EMS personnel about africanized “killer” bees in 2013. Thankfully there have been no incidents where that information has been required, but the need for qualified beekeeprs to be eyes and ears around the state remains. We are happy to be part of this and look forward to serving our community.

On a different note, we have re-listed some soaps and will be new-listing a couple of products over the weekend AFTER the trip. Keep an eye out! Thanks in advance for being considerate of our time crunch!


Current events on the farm.

(Upper left) This is not what this pear tree is supposed to look like now! The next freeze will give it a rude awakening and ruin that potential fruit. It shouldn’t be putting out blooms till March.

(Upper right) These tatsoi transplants are suffering from an iron deficiency, based on the veining and yellowing of the leaves. To remedy this, they were sprayed with an organic mix of micronutrients.

(Lower left) Apparently one of the pasture chickens is an escape artist that wants to lay in the blackberry row. These beauties went in the home consumption pile.

(Lower right) This is Ms. Pickles. She’s pretty much our honorary quality control. She inspects everything! Here she is checking out the onion transplants.


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!