What is your 2017 Garden Season Selection?
Our 2016 Garden Season includes Wild Blackberries, Lettuce (Spring and Autumn), Tomatoes (Cherry, Better Boys, Grape), Cucumbers, Okra, Green Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Fall Broccoli, Micro-Greens (Mustard Micros, Pea Shoots, Sunflower Shoots and Beet Micros), Green Beans (Autumn harvest) and this year, we are trying our hands with Early Alaska Sweet Peas.
When does your 2017 Garden Season approximately end, when crops are no longer available for purchase?
Our growing season runs approximately from March to November. During March, the ground warms enough to start planting. Early November, the ground becomes too cold for anything to grow. With the addition of the hoop house we are putting up this year, the season should be able to go longer.
Do you plant starters?
Sometimes we do plant starters. When we do, we purchase most of our starter plants from Summerfield Herb Farms.
What kind of seeds do you use for your crops?
We have always used Non-GMO, organic seeds for our starters. And this is one reason we have decided to support Summerfield Herb Farm.
Do you dry, store, and use your own seeds?
There have been a few times when we have dried our own seeds, but we do not make this a habit. At Cloud 9 Ranch, we desire to care for our family and our community. When possible, rather than drying our own, we choose to purchase seeds from and support a local business support who specializes in preparing and storing seeds.
Where do you purchase your seeds?
For our lettuces and Micro-greens, we grow from our own prepared seeds and grow them as long as we can.
Any seeds that we do purchase and prepare ourselves, we source from Johnny's Seeds non-GMO, organic seed catalog. We believe that it takes a little more work to grow naturally, but if we can help to keep harmful chemicals out of our environment and our bodies, then we are helping to keep everyone healthy
Do you spray anything at all on your garden produce?
We do not use any harmful chemicals on our plants. We try to grow as naturally as possible, using companion planting, flowers, and herbs as our biggest defense against harmful bugs in our gardens. We also sparingly use Neems oil, spraying only when the blooms of crops are closed, as this can hurt our bees. Also, when absolutely necessary, we use Diatamatious Earth on our plants.
Do you grow Autumn and Winter crops?
At this time, we only grow crops from March to November, Currently, we're working on getting a hoop house for the farm. Once this has been accomplished, we should be able to grow lettuce, carrots, beets and other cold weather and root crops for a longer period during the year. Be sure to keep an eye on the blog, and follow our progress for updates!
Does your produce selection change every growing season?
Each year, we grow everyday garden staples such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, jalapeno and green peppers, grapes, broccoli and green beans. Some of these items will make it to market; others we will store for our farm's use.
In addition, we try to grow a few different items each year. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow our blog to stay up-to-date when we plant a new crop!
Will you be expanding your garden crop selection for your 2017 Garden Season?
Most likely! Every year, we try to grow at least one new crop. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow our blog to stay up-to-date when we plant a new crop! Do you have a suggestion for a new crop we can grow? Shoot us an email and let us know what you would like to see us grow near year.
Do you pollinate your crops?
Yes we do. Our garden uses "open pollination". This means that we rely on bees and butterflies to pollinate our garden naturally. We also have a local beekeeper that houses a couple of bee hives on our property. Since having his bees here, we have noticed an increase in yield in crops.
How do you prevent bugs, beetles, and other critters from harming your garden crops?
We use a variety of all-natural methods, from moving our crops from bed to bed each season, companion planting, planting slightly off schedule, and growing herbs and flowers throughout the beds. When it is absolutely necessary, we use Neems Oil and Dietamatious Earth on our plants. Other then that, we keep an eye out for damage to the crops and hand pack the little critters off the plants ourselves.
What crop would you like to see us plant next growing season?