Fresh Produce, sometimes known as "market crops" or "truck crops", include a wide variety of plant materials but generally include fruits, vegetables, leaf crops, root crops, herbs and mushrooms. These products are commonly sold fresh or raw direct from farmers to consumers, rather than cooked, canned, dried, preserved or otherwise processed. This fresh produce can form a considerable portion of a diversified farm's product line and income. Many farms earn all their income from fresh produce sales, sold through any combination of farmers markets, farm stands and/or CSA sales. Some farms also sell fresh produce to commercial accounts such as restaurants and grocers.
Amidst all this market production, many farms also maintain a family garden, regardless of their other activities. Growing our own fresh produce offers a healthy meals, cuts the grocery bill (and feed bill), adds visual appeal to the farm and provides beneficial bird and insect habitat. Whatever your interest in fresh produce, we heartily encourage you to grow whatever you can, wherever you are.
Perhaps it is odd to say, but there is sometimes very little difference between the growing methods used on the farm and those used in an urban or suburban setting. We grow our market crops using a variety of methods, most of which are available to anyone who has an interest in growing. We've listed many of these below. We hope that you'll find this information useful whether you simply want to grow some greens on your windowsill, or launch your own small farm.
Raised beds? Double Digging? Lasagna gardening? Trellising, mulching and foliar feeding, oh my! Those who wish to grow produce, whether a few plants or a whole farm's worth, face a confusing array of methods. We sort through those methods, along with their pro's and con's, equipment needed, and management issues. You can look through the various options and see which of them fit the bill for your own goals. Click here to read more.
We were so pleased with our hydroponics work that we decided to write up our experiences for others. During 2003 and 2004, we wrote and published a magazine called Hydroponics for Market Growers. While that publishing effort eventually proved to be too much work alongside our other tasks, we continue to get requests for back orders. We are happy to offer electronic versions of those back issues for sale. Click here to see each issue's Table of Contents and purchase whichever issue(s) interest you.
In addition to our more traditional in-soil growing methods, we have also experimented with both hydroponics and aquaponics. Those experiments are on-going and we hope to soon graduate to small-scale production using those methods. We invite you to visit our Hydroponics andAquaponics pages for more information on these two high-efficiency growing methods.