We caught up with local farmer Jim Lough of Bay End Farm, a certified organic farm in Buzzards Bay, and Backyard Gardens, through which he offers vegetable garden consultations and provides fresh produce to Farm Fare Market as well as the Mashpee Commons Farmer’s Market (Sundays beginning in June).
Why does local food matter?
Food that is grown locally is fresher – it hasn’t been picked unripened and shipped across the country. That’s better nutritionally and for the environment. As a supplement food source, creating your own garden is a very realistic and cost effective solution.
Why organic soil?
Most herbicides cut off nutrient uptake not just for the intended weed but other plants. And as far as pesticides – if you’re spraying a known carcinogen on a plant, then you probably don’t want to eat it. People can ask local farms if they can buy some organic compost. Or you could go to your local garden shop for a mix of organic compost and manure.
How about seeds?
We choose only certified organic seeds from Johnny’s Seed Company. They’re regional (Maine) and employee-owned. High Mowing Seed Company is also an excellent non-GMO choice. (Ed. note: a free seed exchange recently began at Sturgis Library in Barnstable).
Backyard Garden pro tip:
Start composting today! When organic materials break down they become the best fertilizer imaginable. Create a pile in the yard of any organic material – lawn clippings, leaves, food scraps, sawdust, coffee grounds … a wonderful, cost-effective, do-it-yourself solution.
Most anticipated spring harvest?
Pea greens – first thing you can plant, super frost resistant and they fertilize the soil as they grow! Also radishes, my favorite veg, and in late spring, garlic scapes.
When I’m not digging in the dirt I’m …
Want to hear more from Jim? He’ll be speaking at the Southeastern Mass. Agricultural Partnership conference on March 22. You can also schedule a garden consultation, which is perfect for first-year gardeners or those looking to dig into companion planting, crop rotation and growing pesticide-free.