Sustainability at the Market: Maya’s Farm

mayas-farmDid you know that by 2050, the world will need to feed two billion more people than it does today? With the increasing concern over climate change, natural resource scarcity, world hunger, and shrinking biodiversity, it is crucial that farmers adapt sustainable agriculture practices. Sustainable agriculture may seem like a difficult concept to grasp at first glance but  the idea behind it is relatively simple. Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Therefore, sustainable farming aims to use mindful farming techniques that do not disrupt the environment.

Last Saturday at the market, I had the opportunity to talk with Maya Dailey about what environmentally friendly strategies she uses at her farm, Maya’s Farm. Her farm is located on an ancient riverbed near South Mountain Park right here in Phoenix. Because the crops sit on naturally sandy soil and are located near Artesian wells, Maya’s Farm is in the prefect environment to foster a sustainable farm system. She uses just the amount of water needed to produce naturally crisp and delicious crops and uses a drip tape irrigation system to ensure no water goes unused. This system delivers water straight the the base of the plant and forfeits the traditional sprinkler system.

 Maya’s Farm produces only certified organic crops. This means her crops contain no toxic pesticides, dyes, or chemical fertilizers. As a result, the farm fosters biodiversity and the preservation of natural resources. To minimize her carbon footprint, Maya implements recycling and composting techniques to create a zero-waste environment. In addition, her small independent farm uses no large scale machinery. This not only significantly minimizes pollution, but also prevents the concept of an assembly line approach to farming. With no mass production, each crop is carefully looked after from the time the seed is planted to the moment it is purchased.

Knowing the measures Maya takes to ensure the environmental preservation of her farm makes me proud to purchase her produce. Remember to support all of the local, sustainable farmers every Saturday at the market.

-Sydney Schutkowski, Sustainability Intern

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