Welcome to our "Meet the Makers" series, where we're shining a light on some of our farmers market vendors. In this post, we're getting to know Patrick Johnson behind NANIH Farm & Garden. Ashland Farmers Market loves having Patrick as a vendor each week. If you haven't had the opportunity to try his products yet, make sure you stop by one Saturday soon!
What does the name of your farm mean?
NANIH is an acronym. It stands for “Neighborly Affiliations for Naturally Idealized Health.” We practice permaculture, which is an ecological design system based on mimicking what nature does.
How long have you been in business?
I started selling at the Ashland Farmers Market in 2014. My business has been around since 2013, but I’ve been growing and practicing permaculture for a lot longer than that. I used to work for Virginia State University as an outreach person for their small farm program, and I still teach a class there on urban agriculture.
What do you typically grow?
I grow tomatoes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, and onions. Your typical farmers market items that people love.
Are you considered an organic farm?
My growing practices are organic, but they are also a step above organic because we don’t even use organic pesticides that some of the organic farmers may use to control pests and weeds. We try to invite beneficial insects in to control pests.
Ashland Farmers Market takes place seasonally May-October on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm in front of Ashland Town Hall (121 Thompson Street). Seasonal and winter markets also take place throughout the year, including a Thanksgiving Market the Saturday before Thanksgiving, a Holiday Market the 3rd Saturday in December, and "Renegade Markets" every other Saturday throughout the off-season.
Learn more about the Ashland Farmers Market, its schedule, and location here.