I almost cried when I saw the farm that hosted the Outstanding in the Field event we went to. Divide Creek Farm is outside of the small town of Silt, up in the mountains. When we turned off the road onto the farm property, I never would have guessed that there was a farm on the other side of all of those trees. We drove through the woods and over a small, red covered bridge, past a tee pee set up in the woods, and around the corner to one of the most immaculately kept properties I've ever seen.
Clara, the farmer, has three (maybe four?) greenhouses that are on rails. There are 3 sections of land for each greenhouse, and she rolls them back and forth over crops throughout the year, depending on what needs protection.
She had lots of squash inside and outside of the greenhouses. I am kicking myself for not asking her how she controls squash bugs. I am losing the battle with mine this year.
She grows lots of onions, including walla walla onions. I haven't tried that variety before, so they are on the list for next year. Cucumbers grow on trellises in the greenhouse behind the onions.
She grows artichokes! I have wanted to try growing them but didn't think they'd do very well here because our growing season is a little on the short side. I guess I was wrong! (Or I guess maybe I need a mobile greenhouse!)
The tomatoes grow on a single string that is tightly strung between the ground and the ceiling of the greenhouse, and I imagine that Clara must spend the better part of her day pruning these things to keep them looking this good. I tried growing my tomatoes on a trellis like that one year and just couldn't keep up with the pruning necessary to make it work. This year I haven't pruned my tomatoes at all and they are out of control.
When one crop is done she rips it out and prepares the soil for the next crop. I think she said that she'll be starting carrots in this area in August and will be harvesting them throughout the winter.
This really made me jealous. She uses an airstream trailer that has been turned into a mobile cooler to take her produce to the farmers' market. Talk about green with envy!! A bunch of beautiful strawberries grow in rows behind the trailer.
You can find out more about Clara on the farm's website, and she also has a blog.
And yes, I spent yesterday morning weeding my garden and trying to make my tiny patch of dirt look half as good as Clara's! :)