By Adam Dozier
Potters Market Farms is a new diverse vegetable farm, and we have recently joined the team at the Waxhaw Farmer’s Market. We feel that the values and attitudes of this organization embody the purpose of a local, community market.
Many other markets do not have items produced solely by the farmer and only in the local area. Our farm’s goal is to provide an extensive variety of healthy, classic, and often unusual items to expand our customers’ culinary adventures. We want to be welcoming to the public for visits and provide vegetables, fruit, flowers, honey, and gourmet mushrooms year-round.
When we first began our farming venture and started the long learning process, we immediately realized that the core value above all else in our business should be conservation, a general awareness of the environment, and sustaining the natural soil that is the lifeblood of the farmer. So much neglect of maintaining soil life by commercial farming, mineral fertilizers, chemicals, and overworking the land is an important reason to support local, small natural farms.
With the all the recent storm flooding in this area causing so much erosion, this is a very relevant topic. Many of the same techniques that we use at Potters Market Farms can be used by the home gardener to be involved in this movement. We use flame weeding rather than soil damaging herbicide for example. Different crops deplete different nutrients and spread disease, so it is important to rotate your vegetables to different areas each season.
This also increases the biodiversity in the soil with variety. Use organic compost to promote life in your gardens rather than the short-term solution of fast release mineral fertilizers that leave the soil devoid of biological activity over time. On our farm and in home gardens alike, spreading “cover crop” seeds in times when garden areas are not in use is a valuable practice. These plants such as oats, rye, clover, peas, and mustard are pretty, help prevent erosion, and add valuable nutrients back into the soil in a natural way. They also provide food and habitat for the whole natural ecosystem which is what an organic, sustainable farm should try to be in touch with in the entire growing process.
The time and expense that is required to keep your farm or home garden teeming with life is of greater importance than yield and profit, which is an issue that Potters Market Farms and other farms face every day. Come talk with us at the Waxhaw Farmer’s Market soon! We are bringing in more favorites each week such as carrots, lettuce, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and oyster mushrooms.