Small Scale Intensive Vegetable Production
Definition: the relatively small-scale production of vegetables, fruits and flowers as cash crops frequently sold to consumers directly on a small area of land from under one acre to a few acres. Sometimes in a greenhouse, its distinguished from other types of farming.
For us its a way of turning our passion of gardening in to a career and viable business with a means that is practical and realistic. It’s a very intensive way of growing food that requires knowledge, intuition, and above all intention. The intention, which focuses on integrating your farming system in to your surrounding environment to support the local ecology, is only brought to reality by the knowledge and intuition of certain methods and techniques that are constantly being refined to be as effective as possible. This allows the grower to be constantly engaged in a productive and meaningful lifelong skill that is never meant to be mastered or mechanized. This symbiotic relationship that builds both the human and the soil, is a way to be able to orchestrate the process of turning sunlight, water and soil in to food.
But, we can’t get too romanticized in the ideology as appealing as that may be. There is a more realistic way of approaching it to fit the 21st century. This is where production, quality, convenience and value can exist along side the intentions of caring for the soil, integrating your farm to fit its ecological surroundings and being able to truly make a living off the land. This is where it becomes less about us taking care of the land in a regenerative way and more about YOU, the people who support us and make it all possible.
Because of the small size and intensive production, a market garden can produce a lot of food on a small amount of land, often year-round through all four seasons without much special equipment. This is mostly is due to mindful local markets, an interested community, and proper management of the crops by the grower. It’s a unique experience in the sense that the relationship with the customer and farmer becomes the strength in the community and/or local economy instead of industrial or commodity sales and mechanized farms. Another benefit to the small size is that market gardens can exist in urban areas, suburban areas, and rural areas.
With all of the great things said its important to realize that the people who support these small farms or market gardens are what actually make it a real thing. Supporting a small local farm not only helps small business as we all know, but it allows the customer to be directly involved with the regenerative management of the land. Your support of a local farm means much more than a sale, it’s reassuring the farmer, land, and rest of the community that for one, small scale farming can be a viable business and two, there is hope to bring about a more natural and resilient local food system. The act of support goes far beyond the sale, it really means a lot.