How We Farm
In the garden we do our best to grow Bio-Dynamically, which is like organic but to a higher standard than the Government Organic Program requires. We try to be in tune with nature! Our garden was started about 30 years ago and has grown from a 1/4 family plot to the present two acres. We use plant diversity, crop rotation, beneficial organisms (bugs and worms), natural fertilizers such as ground alfalfa, kelp seaweed, bone meal, feather meal, manure, Diatomatious Earth (ground seashell), compost and other natural produced nutrients and minerals. We are also on 100% well water which is much better for the soil micro-flora. And of course no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, or Genetically Engineered Plants (GMO) of any kind are ever used.
You should think of our products as fresh from the garden. We trim and pre-wash but you'll need to finish processing them just as if they came in from your garden which is what we want to be for you! You'll actually find a bug or bug hole now and then. Personally we are suspicious about any food that even a bug won't eat. We favor Organic and Heirloom seeds and avoid all GMO varieties. We do not believe in the practice of requiring permission from the Federal Government to grow and sell our fresh local produce directly to you on a face to face basis. Besides after doing all the paper work we would have little time left to do any gardening! We welcome Members to come visit the farm to see for yourselves how we do things around here. But be careful, we might put you to work
We grow in two 12 x 60 foot partially heated and lighted hoop houses and a small green house during the Winter. This probably isn't profitable on it's own but as part of the overall CSA Program we think its worth while to supply our most enthusiastic CSA Members. When it warms up a little we plant about 20 rows of biannual veggies in the late summer to get them well started and in the fall cover them with 4 x 50 foot low hoop tunnels and four 12 x 30 foot high tunnels where they will break dormancy and be the first to grow for the earliest garden harvest to join up with the other covered veggies above. These include a variety of greens such as Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, Kale, Green Onions, Radishes, Bok Choi, Sugar Peas, early Carrots, Beets with Greens as well as Micro-Greens. Also we have late Fall harvested root crops like Potatoes, Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, Winter Squash, Onions and Garlic that we store through the Winter months.
We continue growing in all the low tunnels and hoop houses. In our North Eastern WA short growing season they provide frost protection and the ability to grow some warm weather long growing season plants to maturity. This is needed for things like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, and melons. Outside the root crops listed above are also growing for early fresh harvest as well as many other greens such as Lettuce, Cabbages, Chard, Kale, Collard, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Onions, Garlic, Summer Squash and more. We also have Strawberries and Raspberries and occasional Melons we are learning to grow with some success.
Basically we just keep growing the same things as in Summer but many of the varieties start maturing. As we are busy harvesting we also start planting for the next Spring. We cover as much as we can with frost protection and, when needed in the hoop houses, start turning on the heat again.
Seasonal growing results in different veggies becoming available at different, "In-Season" times of the year. This is due to the natural growing seasons and ripening or maturing of the plant's normal growing cycle. We believe by following natures timing we often benefit from improved flavor and nutrition. You may encounter some veggies you have never used before so be ready for a cooking and dining adventure! Thankfully, nowadays you can just Google any veggie and a wealth of growing and cooking information is readily available.