What & How We Grow
The farm produces over 60 different varieties in organically grown vegetables, most of which are heirloom types, some dating back 150 years.
Each year, the farm conducts seed trials from fellow seeds savers from all over the world. We are one of the few farms in Tennessee that offer these exotic and rare varieties grown from seeds from Italy, France and Israel. Gourmet varieties such as “Striato de napoli” zucchini from Italy – a rare heirloom variety – is one of the finest tasting zucchini with a pale green skin. The farm also grows several varieties of fresh potatoes, some dating back to the 1700’s. Blues, reds, yellows and French fingerling types are harvested both as baby (new) and mature throughout the summer months. Some of the rarest heirloom tomatoes are so delicious with a rich, fresh taste and delicate thin skin. These are the varieties you won’t find in any grocery store. Madison Creek grows several different varieties and each year, lettuces of all shapes, colors and tastes and gourmet greens from spinach to chard to specialty micro-greens, are found growing on the farm both spring and fall. The overall diversity and abundance of this sustainable-driven, intensive farming practice is a shining example of the amount and superior quality of locally grown fresh food that can be produce without the use of any chemicals. As seed savers, which means we grow the bulk of our crops from seeds we save from year to year, we can ensure the quality and purity of our crops.
Flowers & Herbs
Madison Creek Farms started out over ten years ago as Tennessee’s largest specialty-cut farm growing thousands of cut flowers for the florist and high-end specialty food store trades. In 2008, the Marchettis started to diversify their farm into growing more organic produce to sell at the on-farm market pavilion. Today, the farm still grows an abundance for beautiful cut flowers for our U-Cut bouquets and bulk U-Cut Flower Buckets. The flower season is at its peak June through October with sunflowers, English roses, zinnias and Rudbeckia just to name a few of the varieties the farm has to offer.
We grow culinary, medical and aromatic herbs. We supply local restaurants, personal chefs and caters with hard-to-find top quality culinary herbs. Lemon and cinnamon basil, summer and winter savory and spring and fall cilantro to name a few. Lavender and mountain mint are my favorite aromatic herbs here on the farm. Tansy and feverfew are a couple of the medical herbs we also grow along with several more.
Some of the other items we grow and produce: shiitake mushrooms, persimmons, black balnuts, pecans, Hurricane Mills heirloom apples, sorghum, quinoa, free range chicken eggs, raw honey and wheat grasses.
How We Grow
We grow everything on this farm using only organic methods. Since the very conception of Madison Creek Farms, our vision has been one of sustainability. We have and do go far and beyond what the USDA organic standards allow in current organic agriculture. We are firmly committed to working with nature and building a farm ecosystem that is healthy and productive. Every year, we add more in the way of sustainability to our farm by using eco-friendly systems such as drip irrigation that uses 70% less water, rainwater catchment system and solar animal fencing. We still have a long way to go for our farm to be 100% sustainable, but we are getting there.
Growing this intensively is not an easy task. The farm requires several yards of rich compost that Mark makes from the farm’s plant and animal waste. We fertilize using compost tea or fish emulsion and our own organic recipe for nutrients. We employ inter-planting for crop health and to attract beneficial insects. In pest management, we turn to insecticide soap and hand picking to control them. Our best pest control is a healthy, natural growing environment.
We don’t use plastic mulch as a weed barrier on the farm due to it being a non-recyclable item and does not fit into our sustainable farming idea. We hand-weed all of our beds, so we like to tell people this is a “hands-in-dirt” farm.