NRCS helps family transition from backyard gardening to organic-certified farming
Pictured left to right: NRCS resource conservationist Dean Moberg, Ganesh Balamurugan, Lakshimi Tata, and NRCS State Soil Scientist Cory Owens.
HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Ganesh Balamurugan and Lakshmi Tata have always enjoyed backyard gardening. For years, they planted vegetables and flowers in the yard of their suburban home.
But just a few years ago, they took their gardening to the next level. They purchased a home outside of town and established a half-acre organic vegetable farm. Their farm name – ‘Edible Stories’ – reflects the terraced structure of their market garden, which is situated on sloped ground.
While they use organic farming practices, they want to transition their farm to achieve a USDA organic certification. To that end, they are working with their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to perform conservation practices on the farm that will help them prepare the land for certification.
Through their NRCS contract, Ganesh and Lakshmi are implementing conservation practices, such as planting cover crops and removing invasive brush (like blackberry and scotch broom). Additionally, Ganesh and Lakshmi installed a 24-by-95-foot high tunnel with financial assistance from NRCS, through its Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. NRCS photos by Tracy Robillard.