Greenhouse and Garden
Our staff grows produce in our new greenhouse and outdoor garden. We raise more than 15 species and 50 cultivars to purchase at our Farm Store!
We apply a holistic approach to yield the healthiest and freshest produce possible. Though we are not certified organic, our vegetables are grown to a better-than-organic standard. We rely on crop rotations, cover crops, precision irrigation, conservation tillage, and holistic nutrient management methods to manage threats and promote a healthier agroecosystem.
Know that your vegetables have never been sprayed with a synthetic herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide.
Crop rotation is one of the most important management practices we use. By never planting the same crop in the same soil consecutive years, many common diseases are effectively controlled. As various crops compete differently with an array of weeds, crop rotation is also used as an effective weed management tool. Additionally, soil fertility is improved by planting leguminous crops after “heavy feeders” like tomatoes and eggplants.
Cover crops are grown in the off season and not harvested in a conventional way. Rather, they are left in the field to decompose. The benefits of cover crops range from weed management to improving soil fertility. By growing cover crops through the winter in the outdoor garden, fewer winter annual weeds germinate and successfully produce seed. Leguminous cover crops increase nitrogen availability in the soil for the subsequent vegetable crop. The nitrogen stored in the tissues of leguminous plants is slowly released as the plant decays over the next several months.
By using a drip irrigation system, we reduce our water use by as much as 60% (compared with overhead irrigation systems). And, by slowly and directly applying the water to the soil, problems with foliar diseases are greatly reduced. Precision irrigation also reduces erosion and nutrient losses.
In vegetable production, we till the soil as little as possible, which allows the soil to maintain its natural structure; absorb and retain moisture; and preserve its micro and macro biodiversity. Limiting soil tillage also decreases soil exposure to air, which reduces the soil carbon and nitrogen released into the atmosphere. Retaining soil structure also helps to limit soil erosion, which further improves soil fertility and the health of local waterways.
Holistic Nutrient Management
Our farm relies heavily on cover crops and compost produced by our other agricultural enterprises for nutrients crops need. We calculate nutrient losses due to harvesting activity and replace what was lost with a combination of cover crop residues and compost produced on-farm. By managing our nutrients, soil biodiversity is enhanced, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, vegetable nutrient composition is maximized, and nutrient losses to the environment are minimized.
At Mary’s Land Farm, we’re always improving our ecosystem and maximizing usages of natural resources. Most recently, we created a 1/3rd an acre hydroponic greenhouse using both Nutrient Flow Technique (NFT) and a 30,000-gallon Deep Water Culture (DWC).
Hydroponic gardening has been around for millennia. The most commonly depicted hydroponic crop is rice, which is often grown in a DWC style environment, such as a swampy marsh or a shallow pond. We’re mainly producing leafy greens and herbs, and will adjust our production to include fruits and other vegetables. Using hydroponics, we can grow virtually any crop!
Since the turn of the century, hydroponic gardening has seen a rise in popularity due to its efficient resource usage. Did you know that hydroponic gardens use up to 90% less water than a traditional garden bed? Our DWC pond will yield produce 365 days a year and use the same 30,000 gallons of water for a minimum of 4 years!