Seeding Vegetable & Flower Starts

Veggie Starts 5:1:2014
Tomato & Eggplant Starts 5/1/14

Given the wacky warm weather of late, it’s easy to start thinking of spring and planting! We’ve been seeding a few early onion starts in the greenhouse this past week. We will slowly begin planting more seeds, but as we need to remind ourselves, many things only need to be seeded a month before transplanting in the garden. Starts kept in pots too long become spindly and unhealthy, and if transplanted out too early can risk poor growth or death by frost. We usually don’t plant too many annuals outside until about mid-May, and then keep those well covered until it decides to be warm for good.

Leek Seeds planted
Leek seeds planted

If you have the time to grow a few transplants from seed this spring, I came across a good read. This blog post by Margaret Roach on A Way to Garden is very helpful and well thought out, and will help you seed and grow your starts right the first time.

For those of you who’d rather skip this stage and just buy starts ready for the garden, we are having a plant sale in late May/early June! Stay tuned . . . we’ll have vegetables from Broccoli to Zucchini, along with our heirloom and regular tomato collection!

Looking for a few good work shares

Shannon & Lars cutting braising greens for the market.
Shannon & Lars cutting braising greens for the market.

Want to learn more about gardening and contribute to our valley’s sustainable food production? Snowdrift Farms has a few openings for work shares for the upcoming season. In return for a morning a week of garden work on Thursdays or Fridays, you will receive a share of fresh organic vegetables!  We need help getting our veggies planted, weeded, and harvested, so if you’re interested, check out the details on our Work share Description. Feel free to write us with questions or comments via our website’s Contact page, or call us.

2014 Accomplishments at the Farm

2014 Greens Harvesting Snowdrift Farms is all wrapped up for the season. The last garden has been fertilized and cultivated, the garlic has been planted for next year, and the last Brussel Sprouts have been harvested. It’s time to reflect on some of our accomplishments and adventures of the year.

In the gardens this season, the Snowdrift Farms crew:

-Transplanted 420 Broccoli seedlings into the gardens.

-Hoed and weeded 840 feet of Lettuce Mix rows.

-Harvested an average of 49 pounds per week of Salad Mix(!)

-Watched a pocket gopher’s rampage of eating 12 cauliflower/broccoli plants in one night. (He got trapped)

-Harvested a total of 190 pounds of Braising Mix, and over 200 pounds of Kale.

-Picked, washed, and bunched 450 bunches of radishes for markets.

-Pulled 30,421 Canada thistles. (just an estimate. . .)

-Spent countless hours washing carrots.

-Worked together, ate some good lunches with our garden harvests, and enjoyed each other’s company.

Phew! This couldn’t have been done without the help of our workers, workshares, substitutes, volunteers, and guests who tirelessly showed up and put out. Thank You!!

2014 Market Radishes & BouquetsAt the farmers markets in Driggs and Jackson this year, we:

-Sold 5,418 bags of Lettuce Mix. . . and a similar quantity of Spring Mix.

-Brought 143 pounds of Pickling Cucumbers to market, a new record! We’ll plan even more next year.

-Managed to wake up on Saturday mornings at 5 (or before), load and drive over Teton Pass, all while having ZERO breakdowns or mechanical problems for the first time ever!

-Sold 243 pints of ever popular and tasty Cherry Tomatoes.

-Enjoyed bringing some great herbs, including a new one, Chervil, and flowers to market!

All this was clearly not possible without our customers and farm friends. Thank you for showing up, rain or shine, to lend us your enthusiastic support and enjoy our fresh organic veggies!

Plant Sale

Greenhouse growingWe have herbs, tomatoes and peppers available this week at our main greenhouse. We have lots of basil, as well as other herbs including thyme, oregano, cilantro, dill, bronze fennel, and rosemary. We have mostly cherry tomatoes left, and some large peppers. Stop by anytime now thru next Friday, 6/13–it’s self serve.

We’re looking for a few good friends . . .

Jackson Square Farmers MarketOur Friends of the Farm program is a great way to afford more farm food! We will not have a CSA, instead the Friends of the Farm program gives you a discount off our market prices while allowing you to purchase exactly what you want when you want it.  Our Friends of the Farm program gives you a preseason price break on our food for the purchase of a $100 voucher, you receive $115 worth of veggies from either of our markets, anytime during the farmers market season.  It’s a win-win situation: you can buy what you want, when you want it, at a 13% discount, and you are supporting our farm in the early season when our expenses are highest and income is lowest.

You can cash in your vouchers at Teton Valley Farmers Market on Fridays and the Jackson Market on the Square on Saturdays this year (but not the People’s Market). You can buy as many vouchers as you can use, but you must sign up no later than June 1!  Come by our booth at Locavores’ Night Out on May 16th for an easy way to sign up or check out our Friends of the Farm information/sign up sheet.

Chamonix Farmers Market

Winter season veggies such as endive were plentiful
Winter season veggies such as endive were plentiful

Georgie, Greg, and Sue were lucky enough to visit & ski in the Alps in late March. We stopped by the Chamonix, France Farmers Market on a rainy day–it was bustling with activity. Seasonal vegetables included Endive, Salsify roots, and leeks.

In addition to the beautiful vegetable and fruit displays, we were interested in the booths that offered varieties of olives & flavorful walnuts, sausage and meat stalls, and booths piled high with tommes (rounds) of cow, goat and sheep fromages (cheeses).

Olive Table, Chamonix
All the different varieties of olives to sample!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We sampled the regional cheeses throughout the trip: Beaufort and Comte were excellent hard cow cheeses, and Reblochon was a softer cheese, strong and delicious in a baked potato dish called Tartiflette.

 

 

Farm Work Share positions

Melanie & Liz working with Shannon on weeding lettuces
Melanie, Liz, & Shannon weeding lettuces

Snowdrift Farms has a few openings for new work shares this year. We are looking for a couple of  intrepid souls to commit to a season long, weekly work stint in return for a weekly share of fresh vegetables. You will sweat, laugh, toil, meet interesting people, and see & eat lots of different vegetables and herbs, all culminating in immense satisfaction! Please read the attached Workshare Description for more details.

We need substitute work shares too, who can replace our regulars now and then for a morning of garden labor. Being a substitute is ideal for those with busy schedules but still want to experience digging in the dirt!

In addition, we’d like to find a few folks who can help out for the two month block of July and August, when things are really cranking and we could use a few extra hands.

Just send us an email via the “Contact Us” page. Please include the following information: availability,  a short note about your reasons for wanting to become a work share, and any prior experience gardening.

We will contact you after we hear back from all of last year’s crew. Thank you!

Organic Certification

We’re excited to report that the farm bill has been passed in the House and Senate, and was signed into law by President Obama on Friday. The good news for small organic farms like ours, is that funding for organic certification cost share is reinstated in all 50 states. The action helps make organic certification more affordable for everyone, and will  help our budget considerably.

Snowdrift Farms has been organically certified by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture since 2009. Last year we had to suck up the full sticker price for organic certification–which was a real hit,, as it’s a major expense for a small farm.

Locally Grown Organic Vegetables