At Jackson 'Maters, We are serious about growing food organically and sustainably and we believe that Healthy Soil grows Happy Plants!
I save my own seeds and preserve many rare heirloom varieties. All of our plants are Non-GMO. I normally don’t spray the plants with anything. I use companion planting to deter pests and squash them by hand. However, If the flea beetles or aphids do get out of control, I spray them with a mixture of natural soap, water, garlic, and cooking oil. Beyond that, we don’t apply any pesticides to the plants or the soil.
We don’t use any synthetic chemicals of any kind; No herbicides, No pesticides, No fungicides, No chemical fertilizers. I build healthy soil with compost and mulch, and let nature maintain a happy balance. Healthy plants with plenty of airflow and sunshine stand up to disease on their own. In addition, I maintain a poly-culture by growing onions, garlic, ground ivy, and often weeds between the vegetable plants. Lady bugs love to live in the weeds that grow under the rows of edemame and we often see them patrolling the tomato vegetation for aphids.
At Jackson 'Maters, we meet and exceeded national organic standards. For example, I grow my own organic sweet potato slips, which are often in short supply nationally and organic certified growers are allowed to plant non-organic sweet potato slips and still call them organic. At Jackson 'Maters, we never use black plastic or any type of landscape fabric in our gardens. However, many growers that are organically certified do use black plastic on the soil. These plastic products are oil based and contain chemical stabilizers, which protect them from sun damage and help them remain flexible. These synthetic chemicals leach into the soil when heated by the sun. I don't want chemical stabilizers or other oil based chemicals in my soil or in my food! Instead, We use organic mulches like straw, hay, pine needles and leaf mold to keep the weeds down, retain moisture and feed the soil naturally. When I started my first garden in North Jackson, My friend Jerry Arnal Sr. used to tell me "Feed the worms and they will feed you." Definitely true!
|My table at the Farmers Market|