Farm Fuel has recently started selling another product called Pajaro Valley Gold 1.0 (PVG 1.0). The process the product undergoes is known as anaerobic soil disinfestation. This method of soil treatment derived in Japan and in the Netherlands as an alternative to methyl bromide, a soil fumigant and pesticide which is being phased out due to its effects on the ozone layer.
Though the ASD process is derived overseas, the product is grown and distributed domestically. The Pajaro Valley in central coast California has recently grown very popular for their strawberry cultivation. Right on the edge of this valley, a very sensitive ecosystem known as a slough borders the coast. This ecosystem has been showing signs of illness with the increase of conventional strawberry farming. Strawberries are a very sensitive crop that requires a very safe space to grow. Conventional farmers have been using methyl bromide to create a sterile environment for the strawberry plants. We are hoping to create a safer product to save the sensitive ecosystems effected by these farms, as well as create a economically viable solution to growing delicious strawberries.
Composed of two chief ingredients, rice bran and mustard meal, PVG 1.0 is tilled into the soil, watered thoroughly and then covered with an oxygen impermeable tarp. These anaerobic conditions control pathogens and restore a healthy balance to the soil. Tested on strawberries in coastal California and on peppers and eggplants in southeast Florida, PVG 1.0 has produced positive results.
“Pajaro Valley Gold 1.0 essentially changes the soil’s biology. By placing the soil in an anaerobic condition, letting it sit for a while and then allowing it to return to its aerobic state, it naturally rebalances itself. Whatever pathogens were present are basically suffocated out,” said Bourcier.
Farm Fuel works with a team of researchers from the University of Idaho and the University of California Santa Cruz to test the effects of Pesacadero Gold and Pajaro Valley Gold. Though Pescadero Gold is well known for its pesticide properties, Farm Fuel concentrates its research on the optimal applications of mustard meal for increased yields, pathogen control and improved sustainability.
“By maintaining and preserving our soil we have today,” said Bourcier, “we are maintaining and preserving our soil for years to come.”