Monday, June 22, 2015

Your Organic Vegetable Coach

I totally enjoy talking about growing vegetables with our customers. I had been talking about 10 minutes to one of our customers a few weeks ago and she suggested anyone of our family could be a "Vegetable Coach".  Kinda like a personal trainer for gardeners.

I have been thinking about that over the last couple of weeks and I think she was on to something.

Here is what I concluded...

  1. Growing vegetables is becoming a lost art and we need more vegetable coaches. Our family has over 35 years of experience gardening and farming vegetables. We raise our hands and volunteer every Saturday morning.
  2. Growing vegetables where you live has a local or at least a regional component to it. What works in Minnesota doesn't necessarily work in Georgia. So your local farmers market (or our web site) maybe a better place for information than a book or seed catalog that doesn't take the localness into account.
  3. Growing vegetables is a life long learning process. There is constant room for learning new varieties (or new "old" varieties), better growing techniques, ways to build soil, and ways to use (and preserve) what you grow.
  4. Growing vegetables is listening to how nature grows similar plants in the wild prairie or forest.  Gabe Brown has been experimenting with polycultures of plants to grown corn on his South Dakota farm with out the addition of fertilizers. This is amazing considering corn is one of the greediest feeders of all the garden plants and I have trouble growing sweet corn in an organic system because it has been bred to need so much nitrogen. But Gabe is doing it by observing nature. Hats off Gabe and keep teaching.
  5. Growing Vegetables is learning how to use them. Our bodies crave vegetables, but they are of no use if we don't know how to eat well. Jenna would say, "Just eat'm" but it is interesting to learn how many folks don't know the fine art of vegetable preparation. So we mix in some recipes on our web site to stimulate ideas for seasonal combinations of vegetables.
  6. Growing Vegetables is holistic. As a personal or family activity the garden teaches many life skills. As a commercial enterprise for a family it is a great way to raise children and teach how to run a small business
  7. Growing vegetables is fun. When I come home from my off farm job I grab one of our children and head to the garden to see what is new for the day. In my case it is the perfect blend of high tech and high touch.

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