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Working with highly alkaline to sodic soil

This a personal diary of how we’re taken a nearly wasted piece of property and turned it into a productive Certified Organic produce operation.

We bought our home with 9.62 acres in August 2005. It took two years to clean the property of junk that was strewn about. Only after that were we able to think about gardening.

We played around planting what we thought would grow on what would become our main garden plot. First it was about 20 by 40, growing to nearly 40 by 50 and finally under two hoop houses each measuring 20 by 52 with a 2ft path between them.

In 2011, we decided to become serious about gardening, applying for an NRCS EQIP grant in the Certified Organic division for two hoop houses. While we didn’t get it in 2012, we did win the competitive grant in 2013.

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Posted in Certified Organic Garden, High Tunnel
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We didn’t attend the March against Monsanto

I know, this is completely “out of character” for owners of a Certified Organic Produce and custom raised meats farm.

Here’s why we chose not to actively march (aside from the excuses that Bev’s knee hurt… she’s having knee replacement surgery this Wednesday and we just bought four ducklings that have to get home as it’s too hot in the truck for them).

We believe the problem is bigger than just Monsanto. The anger,  and the protests really need to be against Congress, and the results of their voting… The creation and explosive growth of the USDA is a good start, along with the FDA, EPA, and any other alphabet soup agency that has ways of controlling our food, how we grow it, where we choose to raise it, how and when we sell it, and who chooses to purchase what we produce.

Don’t get me wrong,

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Posted in Certified Organic Garden, Farm Tales
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Our Heroes: Four Country Gals in Beryl, Utah

Thanks from us to Ecocentric.com for declaring us to be one of their weekly heroes.

Here’s a short excerpt of their article.

Over the winter, Ecocentric interviewed farmers across the country from our Eat Well Guide in an effort to highlight both the challenges and triumphs of sustainable farmers across the country. Join us as we delve in to discover what it means to be a farmer in the 21st century.

Shari Thomas of Four Country Gals in Beryl, Utah is a proponent of organic certification, and most enjoys when new life is brought onto the farm. She faces enormous challenges beyond farming, such as the 400 mile round-trip to the state inspected plant. Read on to learn more about the life of a farmer in Utah.

To read the entire article, simply click here.

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Posted in Around the farm, Backyard Aquaponics, Certified Organic Garden
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Things we know about our produce and meat…

Are you the least bit curious about where your food comes from? If you’re not, you should be. With all the rumors, misinformation, special interests, it’s very difficult to know exactly what is true, and how it affects you.

Here at DHA Family Farms, aka Four Country Gals, here’s what we know to be true. When you purchase produce from us, it is grown organically. We are Certified Organic, and that means we must track everything, be subject to audit, and testing of both our soil and our plants. We can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt exactly how our produce is raised, and why we believe it is healthy, succulent, safe to eat, and good for you.

Our lambs, goats and rabbits are all raised on our local farm, never leaving us to go “to the mountain”.  We feed 100% alfalfa (generally 2nd cutting),

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Posted in Around the farm, Certified Organic Garden, High Tunnel
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Hoop houses ready to use for Certified Organic produce

Yes! Our new hoop houses have been inspected and are now ready to use. We’ll be reimbursed by the FSA/NRCS based on the EQIP grant. That’s official language that says, we qualified for a grant to build two hoop houses. We had to put all the money up front, become Certified Organic, purchase and install the hoop houses to get paid for the first phase (about $6400).

The second phase will be drip irrigation with in-line fertilizer system for OMRI approved fish emulsion. Just as soon as we are done with our crops this year, we’ll take time to plant a quick cover crop of hairy vetch, helping to fix more nitrogen, and adding more humus to our sandy soil.

This has been an incredible adventure, from discovering the grant was available, to hurrying to complete the application, to the disappointment of not getting it on the first go-around.

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Posted in Certified Organic Garden, High Tunnel
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.

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