If an image is worth a thousand words...

20 days later...


June 8: Last frost (Painted Mountain Indian corn).


June 13: Second market.


June 14: Cabbage leaf and water droplets.


June 15: Cabbage.


June 16: Radish stack.


June 16: Turkeys in action.


June 17: Cucumbers going through transplant shock.


June 20: Emmer.


June 22: Transplanted cucurbits.


June 23: Pea flower becomes...


...a pea!


June 25: First tomato.


June 25: Crop circles (or diffuse knapweed and whitetop - noxious weeds - plowed down in the emmer and lentils, then hand-seeded to a mix of sanfoin, peas, lentils, barley, and parabinga).


June 26: The garden field to date - lettuce, peas, carrots, radish, spinach, chard, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins, sunflowers, strawberries, rhubarb, mint, flowers.


June 26: Recovered Painted Mountain Indian corn.

Farmers' Market Kick-Off


Our humble little table.

We couldn't have asked for a more memorable first farmers' market. It was the first Great Falls Farmers' Market of the season and Prairie Heritage Farm's first farmers' market ever. That alone would be enough for the memory banks, but what made this one so special was the temperature in the mid-30s and snow blowing in from the north. I think it's safe to say it can only get better from here. Surprisingly, a few intrepid souls - no doubt itching for fresh produce - ventured into the nasty weather to see what was available. While we didn't have a whole lot, we did sell out of the spinach, sold 22 heads of lettuce, and a handful of tomato, cucumber, and cabbage starts.

Thankfully we had a tarp, but a couple of our neighbors did not. We sheltered Sarah a jewelry-maker (who left partway through), and Abby who sold baked sweet breads like lemon-poppyseed and banana chocolate chip. We bought a loaf of rhubarb bread for breakfast from her.

As people walked by, Courtney and I tried to guess if they would stop and buy our organic produce. Some walked by and tried to avoid eye contact, others walked right up and were pretty excited. One lady passed our table a few yards away and mumbled, "$3 for a head of lettuce? Wow!" She walked right past us to the Porkies on a Stick booth where she spent her hard-earned $3 on chunks of pig on a wooden skewer. I guess she was after protein.


Courtney, Abby, and Porkies on a Stick.

Even though we have no experience with which to compare our first market, it felt like a monumental success. We were able to successfully grow lettuce and spinach from seeds, take care of them in the field, and harvest and sell them to thankful customers (including both of our parents!). Many of the people who stopped at our booth were very excited to see organic local growers (as opposed to the ubiquitous Hutterites), and vowed to be back every week. Nothing made me happier than to see those people truly excited about our work. Prairie Heritage Farm's motto (and tagline) is "Loyal to Local". To us it means the farm being loyal to the community and its businesses as much as possible, but it also means customers being loyal to us by supporting the local farm. I felt the beginnings of that on Saturday.

Hired Hand



I just can't seem to keep up with all the work that needs to be done, so I've hired a man on to drive tractor. He comes cheap. All he wants is three solid naps a day and candy on demand. No problem.
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