Viewing entries tagged
urban farming

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Do you want to build a hoop house but need a little help?

We've built several styles of hoop house and can rattle off the pros and cons of each style. Round or square metal arches? Gothic or quonset style? Cattle panels? Roll up or down sides? HEATING?! Want to just HIRE these farmers to build one for you? Keep reading.

We can help. Give us a jingle and we can answer many of your questions over the phone and we are happy to travel to your farm for some real time advice. How else do farmers get to travel?! We love talking with fellow farmers, aspiring to experienced. Its the community we cultivate (he he) that will support us when we're down and give a big "Cheers!" when we make it through another season. 

Free 30 minute consultation over the phone. 

 

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2015 CSA: A New Season of Vegetables

As we sit in what could very well be a false start to spring, we continue to dream, plan, revise and begin. Even though we have been absent from your daily vegetable regime we still continue to farm? The winter comes with its own work and daily tasks. Snow = shoveling hoop houses. Below Freezing Temps = Hauling water 2-3 times a day for chickens and rabbits. December + January = seed orders and equipment purchases. February = THE BEGINNING. Its cyclical. We may not be hauling our wares to farmers markets, but we continue to make sales of storage crops to CSA members, restaurants and the Moscow Food Coop. 

We are opening our CSA now to encourage you to think about where your food comes from during our leanest season financially. I'm sure many of you are dreaming of warm summer days, fresh tomatoes and heaps of green salads. So, let's get started...

We are trying something new in 2015. A sliding scale CSA (with a minimum amount of course). Think of this as the tip jar at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop. Doesn't your local farmer deserve a little extra? Don't you love the freshness you get from local food? Want to recognize the hard work? Blood? Sweat? Tears?! It is so hard sometimes to raise the price of food because we live in a country that does not highly value food in general. That's why we are so, so, so fortunate to have CSA members who do love the fresh, chemical free food they get each week and are willing to pay a little extra for the personal service. (Right?!) So, here's your chance to help change the food system created around Federal welfare for farmers and support your local, industry changing, anti-corporate, fresh food purveyors. 

You can sign up for a CSA share now and pay just the minimum amount if that's what you can afford OR pay a little extra knowing that Deep Roots Farm will be able to continue working hard, growing good food, and be able to buy our home (YES!! That's what we're doing with this little extra cash!!), bring on a full-time farming partner (Isaak Julye, if you don't already know Isaak you might recognize him from years of cashiering at Tonnemakers at the Moscow Farmers Market) and grow our business even more in 2015. Join us...

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We're teaching a workshop & Joel Salatin!

We're really excited to share with you that we have been asked to teach a workshop at the Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture's annual symposium this November 18th in Nampa. We will have one hour to talk about beginning farmers, urban farming, low cost hoop houses and season extension, AND backyard chickens. It'll be a jam packed session, but we think it'll be exciting and worth every minute. Joel Salatin is the keynote speaker for the event. We farm very differently but have many of the same feelings about farming the way we do. 

So if you or someone you know would like to attend this awesome one day event, please go to the eventbrite site for details on tickets and more! See you there!!

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-sustainable-agriculture-symposium-featuring-joel-salatin-tickets-10944975717

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Planning: Spreadsheets

It is supposed to be the dead of winter right now. But it feels more like spring some days, with sunshine and a lack of frosty mornings. We haven't had noticeable precipitation in weeks and we're getting a little worried. But we're right where we're supposed to be... We're planning.

As part of our farming seasonal schedule, January is the month that we pour over records of last season, make lists of what we want to grow, what we grow because of different markets and our CSA, and drool over seed catalog pictures, knowing that some of those beautiful tomatoes won't taste the way they look in a picture. It's a fun process, reflecting together over what we enjoyed last season and what gave us the headaches. What can we change? What can we do better? What can we do better without? 

Greg has created a most beautiful masterpiece of a spreadsheet that keeps track of everything. Its so important for market farmers to have a working knowledge of what has been done and what we have to do in our future. Its a living document that is constantly tweaked and referred to throughout our busiest greenhouse seeding months of March and April. Every plant is accounted for, nothing is done in haste. We try to have a game plan. That game plan, when printed out for our trusty field notebook is about thirty pages. While we don't refer to all 30 pages, its all important information that we use in different ways throughout the year. In January, when that spreadsheet is reborn for the new season, we laugh at how this spreadsheet is truly an extension of these farmer brains. You can see a snipit below of our beloved production schedule and how we've tracked it for the last 3 seasons going on 4th.

Its jam packed, we know. It tells us how much of what we need to grow to meet the demands of our CSA, two farmers markets, online market, restaurant sales and more. While we know farmers who fly by the seat of their pants, or who know their routine by heart, this is an example of how each farm does things a little differently. We feel having this sort of detailed plan makes ordering seeds easier, determining how much we need to grow to meet our projected income for the year, and in general is makes day to day operations a little more smooth. If you ask a farmer right now what they are doing this time of year, some form of this is likely. So, even if we're not out working in the soil, it doesn't mean we're not busy.

 

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Getting Ready for Goats

Deirdre, Registered Grade Nigerian Dwarf Doe

Deirdre, Registered Grade Nigerian Dwarf Doe

before barn looking south west.jpg

We are getting ready and counting the days for the goats to arrive. Today we had the hay delivered and are so thankful to have found a no-spray hay with delivery! And we had the chance to meet another local, like-minded beginning farmer who grows a very nice looking native grass hay just 40 miles away in Kendrick, ID. 

This is Deirdre (Delilah on her paperwork, but comes from her current owner as Deirdre) and she is a Registered Grade Nigerian Dwarf. She has just returned from her physical exam before she comes to our farm with a clean bill of health. She's about 90 pounds right now and her current owner thinks she's looking like she might be pregnant with triplets. She has had triplets before, delivered and nursed all of them with no help. 

I anticipate that since this will be my first season kidding goats that I will be quite watchful and spending lots of time in the barn. I think we'll invest in a baby monitor so I can listen for labor sounds without having to get dressed and tromp over to the barn in the middle of the night. 

This is a view of the barn we are leasing from our neighbor. He built this barn for draft horses and so some modification is needed for livestock on the other end of the size spectrum. We will be adding stall doors, new hay feeders and moving the milking stanchion in there as well. It has good lighting and even a radio. We are fortunate to live where we do and have access to this kind of infrastructure. 

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Winter Weather

We are at the tail end of some extreme temperature lows for the northern intermountain west where we live. Five days of below freezing high temps, and single digit low temps at night are both a blessing and a curse on our farm. The rabbit waters freeze within minutes of putting out, the chickens molt, and the row cover freezes to the ground which means no more greens for us until it thaws.

On the bright side, we anticipate these low, low temps to kill off some of the pests we have and in the last few years have had larger and larger populations of. Specifically the Green Soldier Bug or green stink bug (Chinavia hilare) which is a sucking insect that has some pretty detrimental effects on the cosmetic value of tomatoes, peas, beans and other more succulent crops. If populations are high, a significant portion of the crop can be affected. We estimate that nearly 30% of our tomato crop was damaged enough that we wouldn't sell the tomatoes. So as with lemons and lemonade, we made tomatoes into salsa. 

Hannah is helping too.

This winter weather is giving us a chance to sit down and start planning for 2014. The seeds catalogs begin to roll in this time of year, so its easy to start dreaming. One of the important things that we do is to replay the year in our heads and talk about what felt good or what needs changing. We do this causally over coffee or while driving to/from family visits. Its easy to sit down with a notebook of details from the season, look at harvest records, seeding charts and organize thoughts based on that. But its also good to pick out what our feeling were over the season and make changes based on fact and feeling. 

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