Martin's Farmstand (Daniel & Mendy Martin)
Martin’s Needham Road Market is owned by the Daniel & Mendy Martin family. We have a 20 acre market garden farm and market on Needham road in the Potsdam area. We also have a 120 acre farm at Southville corners that gives us almost unlimited space to grow everything that we choose to keep up with.
In addition to produce from our own fields, items listed under our name may include produce that we have at our stand from other local growers that use the same growing standards as we do. In all cases this produce is “chemical free”.
Martin’s Needham Road Market is owned by the Daniel & Mendy Martin family. We started in 1998 with U-pick strawberries and a small self-service stand at Southville corners. In that time period I was making most of my living as a sawmill man. From 1991 till 2011 I put 25,000 hours on my sawmill and cut about 5-6 million BF of lumber. My brothers are now running the mill and we are making our entire living on our produce farm. In 2012 we sold between 60-70 tons of produce at our stand from a handful of little farms in the Potsdam area, Most of this was produced by the extended Martin family. We intend to continue doing our little part in helping provide quality local food for the greater Potsdam area.
My father was heavily influenced by Bob Rodale in the 1960s-1980s. Our large gardens and greenhouse in Pa. were all managed by organic methods. This is where my schooling in organic gardening began. My education in this field continues till this day. My fields have also taught me a great deal as I observe them. We do not use any herbicides, chemical fertilizer, etc. on are farm.
How do we farm? I grow as much of my own fertilizer as I can by using green manures, legumes etc. I also use lime and trace minerals along with compost as needed. A large part of soil fertility has to do with capturing the energy that God sends us as sunshine. The plants make sugar, which if properly managed, feeds all sorts of life in the soil. This aids the protein-nitrogen cycle. And so it goes; the plants grow big and strong; and we have good things to eat or sell.
Now are you wondering about the bad bugs? What do I do about them? The answer is, “not much.” One thing I don’t do is finish mowing when I am trimming field lanes pond banks etc. I want weeds, wildflowers etc in all stages of growth so that there is food and cover for the beneficial insects. So I mow about a quarter of the area at a time to keep the weeds from getting mature as old dead weeds are not worth a lot to the bugs. Then I wait a week or two till there is regrowth starting before I mow in the adjacent areas.
I plant many plantings of many crops. Often time’s one area or planting gets hit bad with bugs and another does not. I usually sacrifice problem spots and just leave them alone. The high population of pests causes the beneficial to multiply and I have seen in many cases that things come to a balance after a few years. Even certified organic pest control products can mess the balance of nature up. (Strong chemical pesticides will mess this balance up more than any of the organic pesticides.) Because of this I rarely even use organic sprays and I never use chemical pesticides.