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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 Farmer’s Market Cargo Trailer

We’ve added another piece of labor-saving equipment to our fleet. It’s a 6×12 foot, single axle cargo trailer. It has a side door, as well as rear double doors, lights, jack-stands, and an added plywood interior.

This past winter, we evaluated the past season, and were planning the next year’s business. The topic of continually loading and unloading the truck came up. Each week, we’d have to load the market display on Tuesday night, then unload it at the market, reload it after the market, and finally unload it again when we got home. With 2013 bringing two markets a week, we began calculating the work, and the risk of injury. After all, some pieces of the display weigh 50 lbs a piece.

Knowing we would be reimbursed for the hoop houses, and also knowing there would be a hefty tax refund, we began looking at cargo trailers.

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Posted in Around the farm, Cedar City Farmer's Market
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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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4 Week Market Subscription now available

It’s official. We’re doing the “4 Week Market Subscription” plan.

Bev will be at the IFA (in the same shopping center as Staples) Saturday, Feb 16 with Mom’s Farm Fresh Brown Eggs. Our hens have been incredibly busy. That’s the regular location of the Year ‘Round Farmer’s Market.

She will have flyers there, explaining the details. It’s really pretty simple.

You pay $40, and then you get to shop 15 minutes before the markets open, getting first pick of your choice of veggies, eggs or berries (in season). You can choose any number and kinds of items totaling $12. You get a 20% discount for committing to a month’s worth of Certified Organic Produce, eggs, and berries.

If you have a large family, just double your purchase to $80, and you’ll get to select $24 worth of stuff each week.

As you may remember,

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Posted in Cedar City Farmer's Market, Certified Organic Garden
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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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