At J & G Farms, we know that in order to get the best tasting, fragrant and nutrient-rich food to you, it all starts with the health of the soil as well as quality of the seed.
Adding soil organic matter and supporting soil micro-biology to enhance and maintain a healthy ecosystem is essential in providing overall plant vitality. This eliminates the need for harsh chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
A solid natural micro-biology allows organisms such as worms, nematodes and microbes to unlock chelated minerals that are present in soil that would otherwise not be utilized by the micro-fibers of a root system. To support plant and human health, soil organic matter and soil biology are key factors. If a plant is immune-deficient due to poor health, the non-beneficial insects will attack the plant.
Contrary to our practices, in most cases large commercial farms try to sustain their production by pumping plants with quick fix chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In this world of industrialized commercial farming, large commercial farms are only interested in production, longevity and transportability. If you ever wondered why you may have purchased a beautiful-looking vegetable or fruit, only to find it had no taste or aroma, this most likely is due to poor mineral utilization.
People are starting to get the message that soil without a wide spectrum of minerals leads to mineral deficiency, which is causing serious health problems. The top seven health problems linked to trace mineral and mineral deficiency or imbalance are: mental illness, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease/senility, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
It only takes three basic minerals to produce deceptively beautiful-looking produce, however, most produce needs up to 60 trace minerals to be at optimum nutritional benefits. Many commercial growers’ concerns tend to be whether produce can handle vibration and maintain firmness with little or no bruising. Our micro farm grows with natural practices and insures the produce is picked within a reasonable period, usually that morning to provide the best nutrient-rich and flavorful produce possible.
What have we been doing…
With the remains of our last crop we have been renewing the soil by growing a multi-variety green manure cover crop to restore and make available organic material to enrich nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen captured by
nature’s rain and the nutrients present in the soil, as well as turning in the previous crop back into the soil, will provide natural materials to enhance the soil.
While growing crops, we also use a natural mulch that breaks down into the soil as well as providing moisture retention and a viable habitat for organisms. We have been planning our spring crops for beneficial crop rotation. For example, crops that use high levels of nitrogen get rotated with crops that utilize low to moderate levels of nitrogen. Planning is important to healthy productivity.
We took time out to go to the 45th annual Colusa Farm Show on Feb. 3rd, 2010. We saw the latest greatest equipment and natural products. The show provided a wealth of reading material and contacts. We are also working on streamlining processes to insure a hearty volume of fresh-grown produce at the farmers market. Another important undertaking was fine-tuning our irrigation system for efficiency, also building and revising according to the last growing season.
Not only is it a joy to eat our own produce but also to be a part of bringing farm-fresh produce to the public. There have been countless books and articles written on healing foods and the curative power of nutrition. It is a real blessing to be out among nature, picking vegetables, and come across the beautiful dragonfly or the frog that looks at you knowingly. Then again, a huge bumble bee that goes from flower to flower in a systematic way shows the simple harmony of life and all of God’s goodness.
Grace Seibert of Anderson owns J & G Farms in Happy Valley with her husband, Jack. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or found at the Redding Saturday Market (City Hall, west parking lot), Marilyn Miller Tuesday Market (Shasta Center parking lot), Anderson Thursday Market (Shasta District Fair grounds) and the Igo Thursday Market. For more information on market locations, call 530-226-7100 or visit shastagrowersassociation.com.