- Author: Kat Marando
We enjoyed a talk given by Anita Sauber, who is an organic inspector with the County of Marin Agriculture Weights and Measures Department. Anita spoke about the Marin Organic Certified Agriculture (MOCA) program that was launched in 2001. The Marin County Agricultural Commissioner's office was one of the first counties in California to offer an organic certification program to qualified agricultural producers and handlers.
There were several entities that got MOCA off the ground; the community & growers, Marin Organics along with Ellen Straus, Marin Agriculture Department, the support of Marin County Supervisors and the University of California Cooperative Extension. Anita said MOCA was the result of a desire to create something that the community wanted.
In a way this mirrors the IVC program for it took several entities to work together to create the vision and components needed to launch the inaugural IVC organic farming class.
Farm / melon planting
We had a visit from Joel Kiff of Ridgeview Farm in Alexander Valley. Joel's been farming well over 30 years and is known for his tasty sweet melons. His varieties include; Ambrosia, Sugar Nut. French Orange, Pretty Baby and Sugar Baby
Joel stressed that the soil determines the taste of the melon. He grabbed a handful of IVC soil, sniffed and tasted. He brought us a roll of plastic mulch to plant with and we planted half with plastic mulch half without. With cool nights you need to keep the warmth in. Oyster shell flour was used to add calcium and prevent rot around the melon. We plan to have a taste competition at the end of July.
We T Taped like mad, planted melons, more cover crop, mexican sunflowers, corn and basil, cleaned up weeds, thinned the cover crop...it was a long satisfying work day.
Cover crop coming in nice