Farm and Garden

The Whys and Hows of 2012 City Gardens

For this CSA farmer this is the most challenging time of year. Now is when I am to sell you vegetables I have not yet grown. This is also the magic of Community Supported Agriculture where eaters pay today (winter) for a bounty in the spring. It’s a loan of cash paid back in vegetables! I love it, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Eight years ago, when I started farming, the CSA concept had to be explained, but today’s savvy foodies, like yourselves, have already experienced (or heard about) the bounty of a local farmer. Experienced farmers, like me, know the realities of farming in the high mountain desert. Today, I stare at the dirt dreaming up a garden where even the most adventures foodie and the good old veggie lover can find something to satisfy their taste. While simultaneously, I must balance this with the realism of what our garden on Hill road can pull off and what your farmer can physically do (not to mention pay for).

As a fellow person on a budget, one of my first priorities when coming up with 2012’s CSA Veggie Subscription was affordability and value. Eaters need to get their money’s worth. I also want to improve on last years’ service by focusing on things we are good at and what people like. I also have to consider my new responsibilities of being a dad and how that will affect my farming. In short, I want to make the best use of my time, make as much money as possible and provide a deal for fellow foodies.

In 2012 City Gardens will have a new shop that includes a pack-out where the veggies will get a certifiable scrubbing in our new wash station! In an attempt to increase my income, this shop will be used to pack and ship salad mix. City Gardens’ 2012 CSA will be loaded with salad mix, greens and early spring veggies. If you love your greens or want to get healthy this is the CSA for you. The great thing about focusing on these crops is I can grow them over and over on the same land with minimal inputs. These crops, I have come to believe, are the best for urban plots with no room to expand or let the soil rest a season or two.

One thing I am going to give up on this year is summer crops. I believe everyone should experience the joys and sorrows of gardening. The hot crops are the most popular, but take the most inputs – go grow ’em! I will help in any way I can to assist you in your gardening adventures, just ask. I will be harvesting your CSA veggies while you are just planting your garden. The CSA season will end and you will just begin harvesting. If you know gardening isn’t your thing (or can’t grow enough for your family) Global Gardens will offer City Gardens’ members a summer veggie subscription as soon as our CSA ends (around 4th of July week). Global Gardens has the land and people power do a much better job with hot crops than I.

“What will you do all summer?” is the question people usually ask when I tell them my plan for 2012. “Work,” is always my reply. I will be on full-time dad duty and cooking my ass off. My long-time assistant Farmer Damiano will take off for Alaska to make real money fishing. And money is really the issue, Treasure Valley veggie farming doesn’t pay a father enough to raise a child even when he loves both very dearly. In 2012 we are going to chase the money, so we can plow it back into the farm and go huge in 2013! Help a farmer and join a CSA.

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