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FW: many questions - farmers market comment

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  • jamie
    Hello everyone, I received this today but i think it was meant for us all. It picks up on some comments I made about the modern market garden business. From
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 17, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello everyone, I received this today but i think it was meant for us all.
      It picks up on some comments I made about the modern market garden business.
      From what Joan says it sounds like I'm being far to pessimistic about the
      state of Farmers Markets at least.

      And I can back up her words with my own experience of markets here in
      France, people who take the trouble to shop at the markets are normally
      extremely interested in every detail of production.

      Jamie

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Joan [mailto:joant94559@...]
      Sent: lundi 17 novembre 2003 17:10
      To: jamie
      Subject: Re: many questions - farmers market comment


      Pardon me for just jumping in here, but as a manager of four local
      farmers markets, I wanted to make you all aware of a trend I have
      been watching for the past several years. Part of the reason that
      people are shopping at farmers markets is that they are becoming more
      aware and sensitive to the fact that they should be eating seasonally
      and eating what is grown locally. I don't think that it is at all a
      matter of you needing to boost production, or that you should assume
      that the general public is expecting you to extend a season or is
      simply looking for the newest fad.

      Education of the public, in the context of the farmers markets, is
      really what it's all about. If the public is taking the time to shop
      at a farmers market, rather than taking the easy way out at the
      grocery store, then you are looking at a person who is just begging
      for information on what you are selling them. They want to know how
      it was grown, where it was grown, and what your favorite recipe would
      be for serving it.

      I know I'm preaching to the choir when I mention this to Les, but I
      think it's important for those of you who might not be farmers market
      attendees to understand that things are changing at the local farmers
      markets and it's a really wonderful sort of change. There is a
      spirit of curiosity among the public that I did not see when I
      started at the markets in 1995. There is also a slowly growing river
      of respect for farmers and the job that they do in getting their
      wares to the market. The public that I have been involved with these
      past 8 years now listens to the farmer about how things are going on
      the field, what varieties are working for them, what eperimentation
      has been going on, what new delecacies might be on the table that
      they should try. It's becoming a really interesting blend of good
      old-fashioned product marketing and environmental sensitivity.

      It's not an impossible dream that the field produce what it can
      produce and that the public accept that and support it. It's
      happening now. If you're not seeing it where you live, then I wonder
      if you're looking in the right places for the seed that has been
      planted in the community. It might be growing and you're just not
      seeing it.

      Thanks for your time.

      Joan.






      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "jamie" <jamie@t...> wrote:
      > Hello Les, I'm always leaving some plants in the beds to go to seed
      and
      > hoping for vigorous crosses (I'm watching some very mixed brassica
      progeny
      > growing right now, wondering what they're going to be). But clearly
      > biennials will need to be cleared out the way to allow the new crop
      to come
      > through. For the non-root crops (root crops will be totally removed
      anyway)
      > the best thing to do is to either cut the plant and lay it on the
      bed or
      > bend it over so it stays flat on the bed - you want to leave all
      the roots
      > possible in the soil and only remove the very minimum (ie the crop
      itself)
      > from the beds. Working in this manner does the least possible to
      disturb the
      > soil, which can cause mineralisation and bring 'weed' seeds to the
      surface.
      > If you grow root crops I would ensure you follow them with a crop
      that can
      > be seeded or perhaps transplanted directly into the mulch to avoid
      removing
      > the mulch and letting too much air in or weeds seeds to germinate.
      >
      > However, on the broader question of natural agriculture and market
      gardening
      > I think the way forward is to actually rethink the whole business,
      because,
      > for as long as a market gardener follows the dictates of the market
      (for
      > season extension, popularity, latest fad, bulk, rapid succession
      etc etc)
      > he/she will forever be demanding their soil to produce unnaturally.
      To begin
      > to see what natural agriculture market gardening might be I think
      we should
      > actually learn what crops our soils favour by observing closely the
      > volunteers and planting their vegetable relatives and then watching
      how they
      > grow and allowing cross-fertilisation to produce truly native
      varieties. We
      > must then incorporate these crops into a system that respects their
      > life-cycles.
      >
      > I know this is an impossible dream for those already involved in
      market
      > gardening, already caught in the treadmill powered by the
      insatiable demands
      > of a population separated from a natural diet. But for those with
      the wish
      > to find an alternative I believe this path offers not only a
      healthy diet
      > but a good living selling to farmers markets or providing for small
      CSAs
      > (Community Supported Agriculture) - the integration of food growing
      into
      > local communities is of utmost importance for the future where
      > transportation will become much more problematic as oil stocks
      decline.
      > Mechanisation, amendments, constant fiddling with crops to maximise
      size,
      > colour, storage will be gone - several acres could easily be
      handled part
      > time by a single person...
      >
      > Jamie
      > Souscayrous
      >
      > PS I'm not sure what a pineapple express storm is?
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: les landeck [mailto:offeringsoftheland@y...]
      > Sent: samedi 8 novembre 2003 21:25
      > To: jamie; fukuoka-farming@y...
      > Subject: many questions
      >
      >
      > Jamie,
      >
      > those are all workable ideas, for our home gardens.
      > but when you need to produce 500# of restaurant
      > quality salad greens or more per week on maybe three
      > rotations per bed, the questions become more
      > interesting. first is when is a crop finished? the
      > money says when the greens are to large, the plants
      > say after they have been allowed to form their seed
      > for the next generation, and i like the possibility
      > that they may cross with their own variety or better
      > yet with a wild edible. come winter the wild crosses
      > compete better in what looks like green manuring of
      > wild edibles and other crosses. but to grow a
      > production bed here in our 40 to 60 degree Sonoma
      > county winter weather requires undisturbed soil so to
      > allow for natural drainage when a pineapple express
      > storm hits us. and a good 6" layer of something like
      > mushroom compost. this will suppress and cause the
      > previous growth to give way much the same as a blanket
      > of snow. this than can be direct seeded, any seed
      > smaller than spinach i leave uncovered on top the beds
      > rain or low flow sprinklers will set the seed just
      > fine. germination runs 80% to 90% good yield at a half
      > oz. per bed. but when this bed completes it's cycle
      > how could i cause these plants to give way in a
      > nonviolent way with no soil disruption,as in pulling
      > the plants out (and bringing wild seed to the
      > surface). or having to add more of the previous
      > compost? Les
      >
      >
      > __________________________________
      > Do you Yahoo!?
      > Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard
      > http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree
    • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
      that is right on , peoples knows that something is wrong in this present system , tell them what will works better and they follow you . i have been a market
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 18, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        that is right on , peoples knows that something is wrong in this present system , tell them what will works better and they follow you .
        i have been a market commercial farmer and you are in fact just selling ideas , if those ideas sound right to the customers they will support you .
        do you know what was my best seller ? wild blackberries despite they are all over this island free for the taking .peoples just liked the idea but din't want to get scrached ..
        jean-claude

        Hello everyone, I received this today but i think it was meant for us all.
        It picks up on some comments I made about the modern market garden business.
        >From what Joan says it sounds like I'm being far to pessimistic about the
        state of Farmers Markets at least.

        And I can back up her words with my own experience of markets here in
        France, people who take the trouble to shop at the markets are normally
        extremely interested in every detail of production.

        Jamie

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Joan [mailto:joant94559@...]
        Sent: lundi 17 novembre 2003 17:10
        To: jamie
        Subject: Re: many questions - farmers market comment


        Pardon me for just jumping in here, but as a manager of four local
        farmers markets, I wanted to make you all aware of a trend I have
        been watching for the past several years. Part of the reason that
        people are shopping at farmers markets is that they are becoming more
        aware and sensitive to the fact that they should be eating seasonally
        and eating what is grown locally. I don't think that it is at all a
        matter of you needing to boost production, or that you should assume
        that the general public is expecting you to extend a season or is
        simply looking for the newest fad.

        Education of the public, in the context of the farmers markets, is
        really what it's all about. If the public is taking the time to shop
        at a farmers market, rather than taking the easy way out at the
        grocery store, then you are looking at a person who is just begging
        for information on what you are selling them. They want to know how
        it was grown, where it was grown, and what your favorite recipe would
        be for serving it.

        I know I'm preaching to the choir when I mention this to Les, but I
        think it's important for those of you who might not be farmers market
        attendees to understand that things are changing at the local farmers
        markets and it's a really wonderful sort of change. There is a
        spirit of curiosity among the public that I did not see when I
        started at the markets in 1995. There is also a slowly growing river
        of respect for farmers and the job that they do in getting their
        wares to the market. The public that I have been involved with these
        past 8 years now listens to the farmer about how things are going on
        the field, what varieties are working for them, what eperimentation
        has been going on, what new delecacies might be on the table that
        they should try. It's becoming a really interesting blend of good
        old-fashioned product marketing and environmental sensitivity.

        It's not an impossible dream that the field produce what it can
        produce and that the public accept that and support it. It's
        happening now. If you're not seeing it where you live, then I wonder
        if you're looking in the right places for the seed that has been
        planted in the community. It might be growing and you're just not
        seeing it.

        Thanks for your time.

        Joan.






        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "jamie" <jamie@t...> wrote:
        > Hello Les, I'm always leaving some plants in the beds to go to seed
        and
        > hoping for vigorous crosses (I'm watching some very mixed brassica
        progeny
        > growing right now, wondering what they're going to be). But clearly
        > biennials will need to be cleared out the way to allow the new crop
        to come
        > through. For the non-root crops (root crops will be totally removed
        anyway)
        > the best thing to do is to either cut the plant and lay it on the
        bed or
        > bend it over so it stays flat on the bed - you want to leave all
        the roots
        > possible in the soil and only remove the very minimum (ie the crop
        itself)
        > from the beds. Working in this manner does the least possible to
        disturb the
        > soil, which can cause mineralisation and bring 'weed' seeds to the
        surface.
        > If you grow root crops I would ensure you follow them with a crop
        that can
        > be seeded or perhaps transplanted directly into the mulch to avoid
        removing
        > the mulch and letting too much air in or weeds seeds to germinate.
        >
        > However, on the broader question of natural agriculture and market
        gardening
        > I think the way forward is to actually rethink the whole business,
        because,
        > for as long as a market gardener follows the dictates of the market
        (for
        > season extension, popularity, latest fad, bulk, rapid succession
        etc etc)
        > he/she will forever be demanding their soil to produce unnaturally.
        To begin
        > to see what natural agriculture market gardening might be I think
        we should
        > actually learn what crops our soils favour by observing closely the
        > volunteers and planting their vegetable relatives and then watching
        how they
        > grow and allowing cross-fertilisation to produce truly native
        varieties. We
        > must then incorporate these crops into a system that respects their
        > life-cycles.
        >
        > I know this is an impossible dream for those already involved in
        market
        > gardening, already caught in the treadmill powered by the
        insatiable demands
        > of a population separated from a natural diet. But for those with
        the wish
        > to find an alternative I believe this path offers not only a
        healthy diet
        > but a good living selling to farmers markets or providing for small
        CSAs
        > (Community Supported Agriculture) - the integration of food growing
        into
        > local communities is of utmost importance for the future where
        > transportation will become much more problematic as oil stocks
        decline.
        > Mechanisation, amendments, constant fiddling with crops to maximise
        size,
        > colour, storage will be gone - several acres could easily be
        handled part
        > time by a single person...
        >
        > Jamie
        > Souscayrous
        >
        > PS I'm not sure what a pineapple express storm is?
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: les landeck [mailto:offeringsoftheland@y...]
        > Sent: samedi 8 novembre 2003 21:25
        > To: jamie; fukuoka-farming@y...
        > Subject: many questions
        >
        >
        > Jamie,
        >
        > those are all workable ideas, for our home gardens.
        > but when you need to produce 500# of restaurant
        > quality salad greens or more per week on maybe three
        > rotations per bed, the questions become more
        > interesting. first is when is a crop finished? the
        > money says when the greens are to large, the plants
        > say after they have been allowed to form their seed
        > for the next generation, and i like the possibility
        > that they may cross with their own variety or better
        > yet with a wild edible. come winter the wild crosses
        > compete better in what looks like green manuring of
        > wild edibles and other crosses. but to grow a
        > production bed here in our 40 to 60 degree Sonoma
        > county winter weather requires undisturbed soil so to
        > allow for natural drainage when a pineapple express
        > storm hits us. and a good 6" layer of something like
        > mushroom compost. this will suppress and cause the
        > previous growth to give way much the same as a blanket
        > of snow. this than can be direct seeded, any seed
        > smaller than spinach i leave uncovered on top the beds
        > rain or low flow sprinklers will set the seed just
        > fine. germination runs 80% to 90% good yield at a half
        > oz. per bed. but when this bed completes it's cycle
        > how could i cause these plants to give way in a
        > nonviolent way with no soil disruption,as in pulling
        > the plants out (and bringing wild seed to the
        > surface). or having to add more of the previous
        > compost? Les
        >
        >
        > __________________________________
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard
        > http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree


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