Master Gardener Greg Brown’s Top Tips for Building a Successful Farming Operation On As Little As One Acre

Podcast Notes

In this podcast episode, we chat with Greg Brown, a market gardener at Greenleaf Farms in Columbia, South Carolina. Greg's farm spans about an acre, where he grows a variety of flowers and produce organically, despite not being certified organic. He sells his products at a local farmer's market and to some local restaurants, but his main focus is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program he runs with another farmer.

Greg began his farming journey in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving to Columbia due to health issues that necessitated a heart transplant. Post-recovery, he resumed farming in Columbia about five years ago. He rents an acre of land where he grows various crops, including unique and lesser-known ones like ginger and lemongrass, to keep his farming interesting and to offer something different at the market.

In addition to growing crops, Greg practices companion planting and uses various soil health techniques. He uses lemongrass as mulch and creates his own compost and plant extracts to enrich the soil and manage pests. Greg emphasizes the importance of soil health and regenerative practices, like using cover crops and Korean natural farming techniques, to improve soil organic matter and nutrient levels. He also highlights the role of flowers in attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to his garden.

Greg's approach to farming includes creating natural treatments from plants like comfrey and yarrow, which he ferments into sprays to enhance soil and plant health. He is also enthusiastic about using locally available materials like fall leaves and rice hulls for mulch and composting.

Overall, Greg's focus is on maintaining a sustainable and organic farming practice, enriching the soil naturally, and providing unique, high-quality produce to his community.

Helpful Links

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June 27, 2024

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