M R Gardens: Healthy Plants, Healthy Landscapes 

M R Gardens is a resource for home gardeners, local businesses and community organizers. Owner Megan Riley gives advice on how to install no-till Microbe Rich ("M R") garden systems and fills special orders of vegetable starts, native herbaceous perennials and medicinal herb plants. Megan's philosophy is that well-managed gardens add to growers' quality of life on multiple levels, and those benefits should extend to all segments of the community. "Everyone can benefit from a garden, no matter how big or small the garden is," Megan said. "As our culture switches to healthy eating, reviving tasty nutritious vegetable varieties that are not easily shipped, more people will need to take part in growing their own food. This is key in ensuring healthy food is affordable for everyone in the community."

Four principles guide M R Gardens: Health, Community, Traditions and Sustainable Systems 

Health: Since Megan grows on a small scale, she gives individual attention to the plants and her customers in hopes of producing healthy products and relationships. She follows organic practices so that her plants grow strong over a natural time period.

Community: When possible, Megan offers discounts or a sliding scale so that all can afford healthy plants. Those who want to support M R Gardens on a larger level help offset the costs. Megan also connects with and donates to community organizations that are spreading access of healthy food to low-income areas.

Traditions: The corner of Oakley where M R Gardens is located used to be a strong farming community, and her neighbors often talk about the spectacular garden that the former owners of her land tended. Bits of that gardening tradition still remain in the community, and Megan hopes to re-inspire her neighbors. Megan buys seed from a local company as well as exchanges heirloom seeds with Cherokee Reservation growers and others who have been in the mountains for generations.

Sustainable Systems: Megan promotes a no-till, low maintenance garden system that relies on layers of organic matter, microorganisms and healthy soil structure to create a good habitat for plants. She also incorporates native and/or beneficial plants to attract pollinating insects and garden pest predators.

Call 828.333.4151 or email to place an order or set up an appointment.