2015 was a highly productive year at Snowdrift Farms; in many ways, our best ever. We wanted to share some of the year’s highlights with you.
While there were a few scares with the weather early season (hot weather in early June, combined with a break in the Trail Creek Irrigation system main line), the summer was largely benevolent. Many crops really loved the mild weather and good rains throughout the main growing season. We had massive amounts of broccoli, onions, potatoes, and snap peas. On the other side of the equation, the meadow vole population exploded, leading to somewhat chowed crops of carrots and beets. The autumn was the opposite of last year (when we had 2 early, severe frosts), as it was mild late into fall, and hoophouse tomatoes and some field greens and brassicas (broccoli & brussel sprouts) continued to produce well into October.
Our farm sales got off to a good start with our first annual “official” plant sale in late May. We enjoyed providing organic veggie & herb starts to folks, and will continue our plant sale in years to come.
The farmers markets that we attend in Driggs and Jackson had a banner year, thanks to our loyal returning customers as well as new shoppers and enthusiastic visitors. Some of the favorite market crops were salad mixes, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, broccoli, snap peas, spinach, and basil. Some folks just liked the diversity, seeing what was new from week to week at the market. Other favorites that we will grow more of next year include brussel sprouts, cucumbers, and beets.
We started a weekly on-farm pickup option for customers who couldn’t get to the markets, and found that these farm sales were well received.
Our wholesale program continued to thrive. We have had two very long-term restaurants whose chefs we love working with—Scratch in Victor and The Spur Restaurant and Bar in Teton Village. We were delighted to have a more regular presence at Barrels & Bins, the local grocer in Driggs.
Behind the scenes at the farm, our Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday field crews were a dedicated group of folks, happy to embrace the numerous duties of farming, for which we are eternally grateful. They carefully planted and watered all the thousands of plant starts, from broccoli to zucchini, into the gardens. We hoed, hand weeded, and did battle with prickly thistles to keep our veggies happy. Dedicated individuals mastered the various tasks of harvesting and washing every crop, transforming each vegetable into a clean, beautiful, yummy looking treat to bring to the markets. These are not easy things—we had work shares who made a 4 month commitment, arriving early each week for a 5 hour morning stint , in exchange for learning the craft and receiving some of the vegetables produced.
We have observed and modified our farming process over the last 7 years. We are utilizing our garden space more efficiently each year, and becoming more adept a the timing of weeding, harvesting, and other crop needs. Farm work is physically demanding, and also involves careful observation and response throughout the season. The weather is what it is, which meant at different times rain, baking sun, biting insects challenged us. Cool, serene and quiet early mornings were a gift that lent grace to our rhythms.
We at Snowdrift Farms are thankful for the good year, and are appreciative to all our employees, helpers, friends, customers, and supporters for your contribution to our endeavors. We’re looking forward to 2016!