Micah and Ashley Venhaus of MV Produce are natives to the Llano Estacado region. Micah grew up in Tulia, and Ashley was born and raised in Lubbock. Both went to Texas Tech, where Micah studied Horticulture, specializing in Greenhouse Production and Hydroponics, and Ashley studied Business Management. After graduation, they knew they wanted to combine their specialties in order to create their own business. The result was MV Produce.
MV Produce is located between Happy and Tulia, TX. Micah and Ashley have set out to create a growing system that is fully sustainable. They have made a commitment to follow Integrated Pest Management practices. IPM is a process of eliminating pests (weeds, insects, etc) in a way that minimizes risk for people and the environment. IPM involves assessing a crop and its current pests in order to determine the best course of action to get rid of the pest: bringing in natural predators to get rid of the pest, selecting a different breed of plant to grow, changing growing practices, setting up physical controls and barriers, and more. The goal of IPM is to use as few chemicals as possible, and ensures the safest, most wholesome fruits and vegetables.
If you have the opportunity to actually visit Micah and Ashley, it would be a trip worth your while. You will find plump red tomatoes, an abundance of green produce, and beautiful flowers. If you take a closer look, you will probably spot several natural predators (such as ladybugs), to help control the pest population.
One of the things that excites us the most about Micah and Ashley and their work at MV Produce is their future vision. They want to expand their work in order to have a greenhouse that allows them to supply locally-grown food through the year. Once their greenhouse production is established, they want to offer members of the Llano Estacado region a successful CSA program. To help them reach their goals, they have made history as Ogallala Commons’ first Apprentice couple. They hope that their experience with OC will allow them to make valuable connections that benefit both the agricultural and the marketing side of their business.
To learn more about MV Produce and stay up to date on their available produce, be sure to follow them on Facebook.