Welcome Restoration Gardens!
What a joy to welcome Restoration Gardens to Market at Dothan! We hope many of you tried their microgreens last week as together we were scrambling to get their current products listed after Market opened. The Tavares family are new Wiregrass residents having recently moved to Slocomb from Tennessee where they were involved with several area Farmer’s Markets around the Cumberland Plateau.
Rather than re-invent the wheel I’m going to let them tell you their story in their own words.
“Restoration Gardens is a very small, Christian, deep-organic family farm. We function with a mission to bring glory to God by restoring the land to health and productivity, and subsequently, the people who depend upon it for life and health. We are so happy to fill our place in this virtuous employment alongside so many other wonderful folks. This is a necessary work that we are thrilled to see a revival of. It’s our belief that human life started with the soil, and that there is an immutable connection between the soil and our society’s health and well being – thus the name Restoration Gardens – connection with God through/and nature is restorative.
The term “deep-organic” signifies that we use mostly organic growing practices, but go still further, or deeper, by trying to grow healthy soil, plants and people – a whole, healthy ecosystem. Unlike “certified organic,” which only substitute the worst chemical poisons with less objectionable ones, we are striving for a real transformation in our agriculture that will truly leave the land better than we found it, and do the same for people, too.
We are also well defined by other popular terms, such as:
Ecological and Bionomic – signifying that we are attempting to grow (and live) according to the laws of life ruling the universe and, as mentioned previously, nurture a healthy, thriving ecosystem.
Non-GMO – We strictly appose the development, and use of all GMOs (genetically modified organisms). We do all in our power to avoid supporting that killer technology in anyway, and certainly to avoid having ourselves or other people eating it from our own hands.
Remineralized, and balanced soil – Through the course of centuries of erosion and deplorable agricultural practices, our land has been steadily depleted of vital nutrients necessary not only for optimal plant health and vigor, but also human health. Many statistics are showing frightful decreases in the amounts of certain nutrients found in food now compared to levels recorded only decades earlier, food back then had hundreds of times more of certain elements, this is something no doubt contributing significantly to our current medical crisis.
As the old adage says, you are indeed what you eat. And the plants you eat are of no higher quality than what they eat. Thus we strive to balance our soils according to the monumental work done by the late, world-renowned scientist William Albrecht and those walking in the light he shed upon this essential field.
All the loss of nutrients from our land is going somewhere, and the bulk of it lands in our seas and oceans. By utilizing kelp meals, fish and seaweed fertilizers, and concentrated sea minerals, we are recycling lots of this “gold” back on to our gardens and essentially into us, the consumer.
Another area we find a rich mine of essential elements for plant and human growth and health is in the mineral reserves of the earth. Just think, the rocks and minerals have captured, virtually unchanged in many instances, the elements of by-gone eras and made them available to us now. When we use these minerals on our gardens, the results are outstanding.
The path to a balanced soil and healthy garden ecosystem is a progressive path through many, many seasons of constant tweaking and re-tweaking as we learn more and more, although we may not have attained total success yet, we are on that path.”
Still Serving Farmers
Those among you who have been with the Market a long time may remember Susan Owens who was associated with the Market in its beginnings. Like all of us, Susan experienced major life changes and her situation meant she couldn’t continue being involved, but being Susan, she has never stopped serving others.
Recently, as part of her many years with Vivian B Adams school, she is working with USDA and the Farm Service Agency organizing workshops for “home gardeners, small produce farmers and the general public.” Topics covered are 1) Growing and Marketing Produce 2) Local Networking Opportunities and 3) FSA programs for fruits, vegetables and specialty products. The first of several such workshops will be held May 23 at Backyard Orchards just north of Eufaula and you are invited!
Backyard Orchards all decked out for a Party
Market at Dothan will be presenting information about web based Farmer’s Markets at this event. For more information you may view both the flyer
and the agenda
on our website. It would be great to see you there!
A hearty Thank You! to everyone who braved the traffic to visit us at Open House on Thursday! I can’t speak for everyone else, but I think this one was the BEST EVER! For those who did not drop in, Market at Dothan has a traditional “tent market” twice a year in connection with Dothan Nursery’s Mother’s Day and Christmas events. Our Growers love meeting the community, and it’s a good way for the community in turn to learn about Growers, goods and services that are available to them locally. A Win-Win for everyone! It’s early, yes, but go ahead and mark your Calendar for the next one schedule for Dec. 7, 2017. We promise you won’t be disappointed!
Microgreens and Sprouts Are Not the Same Thing
Micogreens and sprouts are often lumped into one food category. However, the difference between the two is determined by whether or not the seed is planted in soil and exactly how much of the plant is being consumed. While sprouts are germinated in water and consumed seed and all, Microgreens are cut off at soil level and are often 1-3 inches in length.
Sprouts are germinated seeds. What this means is that the “germ” of the seed awakes from its slumber, and becomes a real, live plant. If you let a sprouting seed grow, then it eventually becomes a full-grown plant. They are packed in fibre, protein, essential nutrients, and enzymes. Sprouts are tasty, and great for you. There are many good reasons to eat sprouts.
This Farmer’s Market Salad contains both sprouts and microgreens.
MicroGreens by definition are vegetables harvested when there are only 2 leaves ( the vegetable is not allowed to grow). The first 2 leaves that appear pull all of the vitamins and nutrients from the planted seed. There are no pesticides or fertilizers because the greens are still babies. The flavor is far more intense than the flavor of a full grown vegetable. Microgreens are quite versatile and may be mixed as in a salad or used in place of lettuce on a sandwich, toppings for pizza, wraps or sprinkled on just about anything. They are often used as a garnish in upscale restaurants.
This Week’s Grower Notes
We have the best Growers in the Wiregrass! Please learn more about them on our Grower Page.
AVALON FARMS: Thanks to everyone for coming out to the Dothan Nursery Open House Thursday night! It was great to connect with old market friends and put faces with new online market friends!! You are all a great blessing to me. All this work is only worthwhile if someone enjoys the fruits of the labor. Love seeing those smiling faces.
For the latest in farm news, check us out on Facebook AvalonFarmsProduce
SANDSPUR FARMS: Special thanks to everyone who braved the gnats to come out and see me Thursday. I love putting names with faces at all of our events, and seeing old customers again. We are restocked on our bacon and pan sausage. We’ve also added our cubed steak as well.
(Carnivores Like Sandspur veggies! Friday evening I caught one of our German Shepherds being quite naughty with her front paws up on the stove. Frankie had scarfed down all but a bite or two of the leftover Sandspur zucchini I had planned to have for lunch the next day! Ros)