The Family Garden is 25 acres (10 owned, 15 rented) of great land located in the middle of "Old Florida", Gilchrist County, with the Suwanee river to the west and Gainesville to the east. We are the only Certified Organic Farm in the County, but we are surrounded by many larger farms and dairies, along with woods and a few houses. Our farm sits in a vein of rich USDA class 2 "prime Ag" land, which hasn't had any chemicals applied to the soil for over 20 years. Our area is know for watermelons, which are one of our strongest crops.
I began growing organically because I didn't want potentially harmful chemicals in my tasty garden food. When I was at the University of Florida there was plenty of disagreement as to whether or not organic food was any better for you, most people argued that it wasn't and was only a gimmick. I, however, strongly disagree. I think organic food is better, and it seems that many cancer doctors agree-food produced without known toxins and in a rich and diverse soil not only taste better but will not lead to accumulated poisons in the human body.
On our farm I use no synthetic inputs but rather build the soil with manure, cover crops, and fertilizer from other animal wastes. Pests and diseases are managed with rigorous crop rotation and diversity, timing plantings correctly,along with microbial applications formulated to fight target pests and promote plant health. Every fruit and vegetable that comes from our farm is Certified Organic by QCS. www.qcsinfo.org
My goal in farming is to be able to provide quality food, offering the freshest most-nutritious produce availablr, all the while improving efficiency to make good food at a good price.