2014 — What’s Going on at the Farm

February’s Specials

2014 Fruit & Veggie Share  $749
24 Red Ranger Broilers       $500
Holiday Turkey $4.99lb       $75 Deposit
Farm Raised Pork                $650 Whole $350 Half
$100 Farm Bucks                $90*

Sign up for a Veggie Share by February 15th and save $100. Valid for the next two shares purchased at our online Farmstand.

We offer multiple product discounts, shoot us an email and ask us to put together an individual quote for you today.

We also can offer payment plans to work with your budget.

*Not eligible in conjunction with all discounts

Click Here to Go to the Farmstand

Why we do what we do.

Painted Sage Farm is changing the world and our community by farming our 28 frost free days at 7,200 feet in the high desert steppe of Western Wyoming.  By growing over 30 different vegetables mostly under cover of plastic, we share our knowledge with our customers, shareholders and community.  We use our platform at the Farmers Markets to not only let folks know that a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is a plant gene spliced with a pathogen like e. coli not a hybrid but to also expound on the benefits of “real food”. GMOs have been implicated as the basis of many modern digestive diseases and should not be consumed.  We talk about the difference between junk/non-foods vs. real foods.  And even larger, to tie food systems into the larger social issues of food security, social justice, food/nutrition education and public health.

We share our story and encourage others to do the same.  The future is about learning to make wise food choices, it’s about keeping our dollars in our local economy, it’s about keeping our children free from obesity and diabetes, and it’s about healthy, fresh, local food and the change it can make within a community.

How can I support the Farm and Local Agriculture?

Pre-season sales supports the farm’s purchase of February and March seeds, chicks, weaner pigs and supplies during the off season when cash flow is at a minimum.  By buying your pre-season Veggie, Hog or Poultry Share you are supporting us when we need it most.  You can even buy discounted Farm Bucks to use for all our regularly priced farm products.  And best yet, YOU get the reward of our undying gratitude and enjoying our delicious farm products at deep discounts.
Go to the Farmstand.
What we’ve been up to.

Planning is a continual learning experience looking at past challenges and applying them to this year’s plan so as not to make the same mistakes over again.  January and February begins our work in earnest on one of our most important responsibilities… our crop plans.  We keep a record of what has been planted in each row of the greenhouse and work on a 7 year rotation of varying crop families.  Crop rotation reduces the need for fertilizer, prevents the buildup of pathogens and pests, and improves soil structure and fertility.  We continue to follow the precepts of companion planting to increase yields, to suppress pests, and to recruit predators and pollinators as well as to provide shade for more tender plants.

Crop planning becomes a complex three dimensional physics equation when you deal with two distinct growing seasons in the greenhouses.  March 1st we plant cold tolerant crops:  Asian greens, salad greens, radishes, turnips, pac choi and kale.  Most of these are harvested and finished by May 15th at which time we start transplanting our summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, squash, and beans).

We try not to plant the same crop in the same place for a 7 year period utilizing the rules of rotation and companion planting.  That makes the preparation of crop plans challenging, like an immense jigsaw puzzle.  We never get it perfect, but at a minimum we never plant anything in the same place two consecutive plantings.

Heretofore, completing our to-do list with limited staffing has always been a challenge.  March plantings have not always been harvested in a timely fashion leaving beds unprepared for the summer crop plantings at the end of May.  When our summer crops are planted late, we never get the bumper harvests we would like before we lose the plants to frost. We’re looking forward to the assistance of Life Guide Services, Inc. and introducing their students to small farming.

Learn about Life Guide Services below.

What’s going on this year.

CSA Veggie Shares.  This year’s home delivered shares will include not only an expanded variety of our farm grown veggies, but will also feature no-spray, non-gmo fruits and veggies (sweet corn, peaches, nectarines, and more) from farms along the Wasatch Front in Utah.

Outside Beds.  In 2013, we planted all of our alliums (onions and garlic) in our new outside beds.  We also planted broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, albeit late and didn’t make it to harvest, but at least planted and tested under low hoops and agribon for weather and ground squirrel protection, by far our biggest outdoor challenge.  This spring we will add two additional 60’x120’ rows to dramatically increase production.  Check out the list on the right for what we will be planting outside in 2014.  This will free up much valued greenhouse space for earlier and more bountiful summer crops.

Strawberry Trials.  Last year we planted strawberries in PVC gutter and hung them from the greenhouse purloins.  We harvested quite a few delicious berries.  At the end of the season, we laid the gutter and berry plants on the floor of the greenhouse and covered them with agribon (an agricultural cloth).  In just a few weeks, we will begin watering and nurturing them in hopes they will come forth and bear fruit again.  Our plan is to fill the empty overhead space in the greenhouses with hanging strawberries by adding a couple of 60’ rows each year.  If all goes according to plan, look for strawberries in this year’s Veggie Shares and at the Farmers Markets.

Grape Trials.  We will be planting a 40’ row of table grapes in Greenhouse 1 this year.

Quinoa/Canahua Trials.  We will continue the quinoa trials in 2014.  We had hoped to harvest in 2013, but found the Uinta Ground Squirrels like the Quinoa better than our native Lambs Quarter.  2014 trials will need to include ground squirrel protection.

Herbs.  With a large percentage of crops migrating to the new outside beds, we will be planting a variety of herbs in the greenhouse to include basil, cilantro, oregano, sorrel, rosemary, parsley, dill, chives, marjoram, mint, sage, thyme, tarragon, chervil, stevia, edible flowers, celery and fennel.  Look for this addition to this year’s Veggie Share and at the Farmers Markets.

Microgreens.  If time and cash flow permits, we would like to start a microgreen program.  Unlike sprouts, microgreens are not just the cotyledon (seed leaves), but include also the first true set of leaves which are then snipped off at soil level.  A delicious, gourmet addition to salads and menu planning, even enjoyable just plain.

Anticipated Future Trials.   We are looking at a number of perennial plants to introduce in the future.  Blueberries, goji berries, honeyberries, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, elderberries, cranberries, wasabi, huckleberries and lingonberries are all on the list.  Let us know if there are any others you would like us to research.

Specialty Crop Grant.  Also, if we have fewer budget constraints than in 2014, we will utilize a Wyoming Specialty Crop Grant to build two 17’x70’ hoophouses to implement a Restaurant Salad Greens Program allowing us to share our exceptional salad greens.

Poultry and Livestock.  We will be expanding broiler production from 200 to 400 birds, and raising 50 Turkeys for the holidays.  We will continue with egg production and will add another 24 hens.  We are lined up to purchase 15 sixteen week old hogs come April 1stso we do not have the weight gain problem of this past year.  We will continue to feed Wind River Brewing Co. spent grain and additionally will source no-spray, non-gmo grain from central Wyoming in hopes of cutting down on organic feed costs.

Farmers Markets.  We will be selling at the Pinedale, Jackson Hole, Marbleton-Big Piney, and Tuesday night Downtown Salt Lake City Markets.

New Farmers Market products.  Packaged Pork and Chicken, Popsicles, Italian ices, infused waters, root beer, ginger ale, truffles, caramels, elderberry syrup, lotions, soaps, shampoo, expanded Real Food line, expanded spice line, and homemade macramé bracelets and necklaces.  Of course, we will have more of our veggies for sale and will offer no-spray, non-gmo fruits and veggies from Utah’s Wasatch Front.

Other future projects.  We will be building new poultry brooders and adding 3 new chicken tractors in 2014.  We’re researching a Fodder System to grow our own sprouted animal feed.  LGS students will be building a new processing area and cold room for vegetable packaging and storage.  We will be overhauling our irrigation system to conserve water and more effectively utilize our water rights from the Canyon Canal.  We will be revamping our Market displays and the “look” of our booths.  We’ll be working with John Tibbetts and LGS on a wind and hydro power design to apply for a Rural Development grant.

Scroll down to see what you can do to get involved.

Our association with Life Guide Services

We are very excited this year to be working with Life Guide Services, Inc. (LGS), a non-profit organization that provides a variety of experiences to guide young adults (age 18 and over) to a successful future.  Life Guide Services is passionate about helping, teaching and inspiring individuals to be the best that they can be.

The students will have hands-on experience volunteering on the farm and will learn all aspects of “seed to plate” farming, utilizing organic principles.  The farm based education builds confidence, self-awareness, and individual and collective responsibility which leads to the sustainable stewardship of our world.

Introducing the students to a simple lifestyle while eating healthy whole foods, working hard, staying active and creating goals are all important factors to a successful life.   Raising food is fundamental to our society and everyone should learn about agriculture and where their food comes from.Graduates have an increased sense of integrity, gratitude, responsibility and pride.

Small Farm Curriculum.  Painted Sage Farm has developed an intensive farm based curriculum and can offer a Small Farming Certificate to LGS students as well as other applicants to the program.

Crowdfunding.  Painted Sage Farm and Life Guide Services will join forces to design a funding proposal for publication on a crowdfunding platform.  More details in upcoming months.

Why eat locally grown food?

1. Locally grown food tastes better.

Food grown in your own community is usually picked within the past day or two. It’s crisp, sweet, and loaded with flavor. Produce flown or trucked in is much older. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles.

2. Local produce is better for you.

Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.

3. Local food preserves genetic diversity.

In the modern industrial agricultural system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment. Only a handful of varieties of fruits and vegetables meet those rigorous demands, so there is little genetic diversity in the plants grown. Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and the best flavors.

4. Local food is GMO-free.

Although biotechnology companies have been trying to commercialize genetically modified fruits and vegetables, they are currently licensing them only to large factory-style farms. Local farmers don’t have access to genetically modified seed, and most of them wouldn’t use it even if they could.

5. Local food supports local farm families.

With fewer than 1 million Americans now listing farming as their primary occupation, farmers are a vanishing breed. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middle man and get full retail price for their crops – which helps farm families stay on the land.

6. Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.

A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming.

6. Local foods build stronger communities.

When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the grower. When you buy from the farmer , significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms — continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.  Knowing farmers gives you an insight into the seasons, the land, and your food.  In many cases, it gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture.

7. Local food is about the future.

By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, so that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.

February’s Specials
2014 Fruit & Veggie Share  $749
24 Red Ranger Broilers       $500
Holiday Turkey $4.99lb       $75 Deposit
Farm Raised Pork                $650 Whole $350 Half
$100 Farm Bucks                $90*Sign up for a Veggie Share by February 15th and save $100. Valid for the next two shares purchased at our online Farmstand.

We offer multiple product discounts, reply to this email and ask us to put together an individual quote for you today.

We also can offer payment plans to work with your budget.

*Not eligible in conjunction with all discounts

Current Farm Needs

Used sinks, cabinets, shelving and countertops for our new processing area.

GMC Safari or Chevy Astrovan AWD for farmers markets and deliveries.

Social Media Volunteer to take photos and write a weekly CSA Newsletter, monthly blog and make random Facebook posts in exchange for farm products.

A financial investor seeking a local investment… it’s time to pay off our mortgages and debt.  We are looking for a $275,000 mortgage (2009 appraisal was $350,000).  Willing to pay 4.25% interest amortized over 30 years with a balloon at 5 years.  I’m sure we’d throw in an annual Veggie Share for the life of the loan as well as other farm products.  We’d much rather keep our hard earned money local.  We appreciate you putting the word out.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s