Walton couple takes natural approach to gardening at Dragonfly Fields

June 9, 2011

Elephant garlic ready for market at Dragonfly Fields. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Tasty produce reaped from local garden

Charles Bush and Shueh-Mei Pong believe in keeping their gardening efforts natural at their Dragonfly Fields garden in North Walton County.

Nestled along the picturesque rolling hills of North Walton County, Charles and Shueh-Mei garden a small portion of their 17-acre homestead. Set behind their home in neat rows, is a bountiful crop of fresh vegetables and fruit.

Using a natural approach to their gardening, the couple uses no harmful herbicides or pesticides on their 1/2 acre field. Instead, they use the Organic Materials Review Institute’s (OMRI) recommendations to produce a more natural product for the consumer. On-farm composting, vermin-composting, cover crops and crop rotation are utilized to promote an environmentally sound, healthy and sustainable approach.

Although working only one-half acre of their 17-acre homestead doesn’t seem like much; hand weeding and hand picking pests off the plants can be time consuming. Despite the tedious work, the couple produces more than 3,500 lbs. of food a year; the majority of which are varieties of salad greens.

Charles Bush looks over his 1/2 acre garden. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Dragonfly Fields produces a variety of edibles. This spring, their garden produced strawberries, arugula, radishes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and onions to name a few. Summer will bring melons, okra peas, beans, field peas and sweet potatoes.

You can find Charles and Shueh-Mei selling their delicious produce at the Seaside Farmer’s Market on most Saturday mornings. You can also savor their edibles at fine restaurants in South Walton, including Fish Out of Water, Vin’tij, Fire at Gulf Place, Great Southern, Seagar’s, Stinky’s Fish Camp and Smiling Fish.

Charles Bush and Shueh-Mei Pong
1600 County Hwy 192
Defuniak Springs, FL 32433
Call ahead: 850-259-3739 (cell)
 850-859-2854 (farm)
Email: dragonfly1600@embarqmail.com