Living in Utah allows us to experience all four seasons, which we welcome with open arms on the farm. Each year provides a new slate for the growing season, with many lessons learned from the previous year. Winter allows time to recharge; the soil, our bodies and our minds. The winter slow down provides the perfect time for planning the next year of growing while sipping coffee and skiing fresh powder. What went well? What can we improve on? How can we grow happier plants this year? This brings us to the present, spring has sprung and it is time to get busy with spring planting. We want to share what we have been up to.
As spring planting approaches, an excitement builds to be back outside in the warm sun and working in the field. There are many steps and decisions to make prior to the actual planting. One of the biggest decisions of the year is based around seed selection. We spend time analyzing the results from the previous year and make selections based on anticipated quality of yield in our climate and elevation. How did the plants grow last year on our farm and in our climate? What qualities and characteristics are we looking for in the plants? How can we select the best seed, to grow the best plants, to make the best product? We spend a great deal of time researching seed varieties and genetics to ensure a high quality grow.
We conduct soil testing to ensure there are adequate nutrients to grow healthy plants. Based on this testing, we make calculations to determine the amount of compost and organic nutrients to add during spring planting for the growing season. The planting plan is made for careful execution of seed placement, starting in the greenhouse and then transplanting to the field. The best spacing and nutrients are chosen for each variety in the field. We choose to use drip irrigation to ensure our plants have enough water. The irrigation design is created to go along with the field planting plan. During the long, hot days of summer, the plants are happy to have water delivered straight to their roots. This method saves a substantial amount of water compared to overhead and flood irrigation.
As all of these decisions are made, warm days begin arriving on the farm. Mostly followed by colder weather and even more snow! We learn to be patient and wait until the weather is just right for field work and spring planting. We know from years past, it is best to wait for that last cold snap to be over before planting outdoors! Our plants do not like the cold weather when they are young. All of the planning and preparation pays off as the true warm weather arrives and planting in the greenhouse begins! Time for another year of growing. We are excited to share this year’s growing season with you, stay tuned as the cycle continues.