SUMMER FARM STAND CLOSED FOR THE SEASON – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT THIS YEAR AND STAY TUNED HERE FOR UPDATES ON OUR ACTIVITIES AND THE FARM STAND SCHEDULE FOR 2013.
Welcome to Shelton’s Market Garden! We understand you’re seeking the highest quality, healthiest, tastiest Sonoma County produce you can find. We are deeply committed to giving you this delicious experience – for every snack and meal.
When the garden is up and running you will find our produce every day at Shelton’s Natural Foods Market in Healdsburg, open 8am to 8pm. Or, visit our twice-a-week public farm stand here at the garden, open seasonally, approximately June 15 – November 15. At either location, you’ll find our super-fresh vegetables, grown and harvested with truly intimate care and attention. Thanks for your support and for reading!
Posted in Fresh News, Spring Garden | 5 Comments »
As the days grow longer and the official start of summer is just around the corner, the garden is really hitting its stride in a bountiful way. We expect to have the farm stand open every Wednesday and Saturday now through the summer and fall (we do plan to be open Wednesday July 3 and Saturday July 6 so you can count on us for your picnic salads and veggie goodies!).
Tomorrow we’ll have the popular bags of pre-washed mixed leaf lettuce, $5 bag, making a nutritious colorful salad super quick to put together. Red beets and Chioggia beets will also make an appearance along with our luscious greens – kales, collards and chard. We’ll have a few dozen eggs from our hens, and the first baskets of Albion strawberries from our new plants. Hope you’re able to come by, and thank you for your continued support.
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Hello garden followers and friends -
We will open the farm stand this Saturday from 9 to 1 – look for the sign at the road and come on up! We’ll feature the first of the season lettuces – red butter, red leaf, and a couple of new varietals – and the greens you have come to appreciate – kales and rainbow chard – so delicious! We look forward to seeing you and sharing this spring bounty from Sexton Road.
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Hello Shelton’s Market Garden Friends,
It’s been a kooky, dry spring season and so many conditions have been right to get into the garden early and plant away. I’ve been holding onto the reins to not jump in with both feet too soon. In years past, I’ve been the eager beaver, pushing to get plants an early start. But without some growing assistance such as row covers or plastic low tunnels, early set plants just don’t thrive until there are ample hours of sunlight and soil temperatures that have warmed into their comfort zone. So, I’ve been grasping at the last wisps of my patience and waited until this week to put in our first rows of annuals. Of course,that doesn’t count the 2000 new strawberry plants, two 90 foot rows of Triple Crown blackberries and four rows of mixed potatoes that we’ve already put in for this season. The greenhouse is stuffed with nursery plants and we’re all gussied up with no place to go until they mature to the point of being transplantable.
We’ve knocked out a lengthy list of infrastructure and “get ready” projects and feel well prepared for the upcoming growing season. We’ll be growing many of the standard varieties of veggies that we have had in previous seasons as well as trying out some new varieties, especially in the lettuce/greens areas. We have some new varieties of kales and some beautiful new speckled butter and flashy leaf lettuces that I think we’ll all enjoy. Our temperate coastal influenced micro-climate is really conducive to growing great tender greens all summer long. Can’t do that in Santa Rosa or Healdsburg. Of course, their tomatoes always ripen. Speaking of which, we are just about ready to get our high tunnel planted with three rows of Black Krim, Early Girl and Sungold tomatoes along with some mixed peppers and sweet basil. Sounds pretty good over some oiled up pasta, no? Anyway, we’re off and running into the season and look forward to seeing you at the farm stand or feeding you at Shelton’s Natural Foods Market!
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Mike, Ernie and the crew put the final touches on our 20′ x 100′ seasonal high tunnel last week and it is just fantastic! The folks at NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) paid a visit to the property yesterday and signed off on the project, so we should be receiving our grant funds very soon. These high tunnel and other soil conservation grants represent all of our tax dollars at work to support, in a modest and very efficient fashion, small scale organic farming. The grant funds literally made this improvement possible for us. We look forward to putting it to excellent use for years to come. Below is a shot of the full tunnel on the property, and one of our initial soil cleanup crew – the hens are loving roaming in and around the high tunnel and we are happy to have them help eradicate any initial pests prior to planting.
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Hello Shelton’s garden friends! Just dropping in with a little bit of news.
First, if you’re in the neighborhood and happen to notice the skeleton of a large hoop structure here at the Sexton Road garden, that’s our Seasonal High Tunnel we’re building under a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program! We are very excited about its potential to extend our season and diversify what we grow. We completed our application last year and have been working closely with NRCS to be sure the structure and installation comply with erosion control and other guidelines prior to breaking ground. This stretch of nice weather has been a big help.
Second, our partnership with Shelton’s Natural Foods Market and the notion of a store owner growing organic produce for direct sale at the store, has been featured in two articles this past month. The Sonoma County Farm Bureau ran a story by UC Cooperative Extension’s Linda Peterson. Here’s a link to the online version: “Local Natural Foods Market Showcases Products Grown on Their Family’s Micro-Farm.” And the national industry magazine Natural Foods Merchandiser highlighted our concept in their February issue, “Local Love.” You can read the article here: “Farm to Shelf = Next Local Level.”
Finally, we just want to sing the praises of our terrific flock of laying hens. They’ve mostly come through their molts and while their laying has definitely, and predictably, slowed since their peak, they are healthy, vibrant, and a really fun addition to the garden here. We continue to bring them the green waste from the produce section at the store a couple of times a week and they just LOVE the sight of the blue wheelbarrow heading towards the coop. Their feed is also supplemented with oyster shell for calcium and flax seed to increase the Omega-3 content of their eggs. Any time you’re walking by feel free to mosey up the driveway and say ‘hi’ to the gals.
Wishing you a healthy and productive February! Thank you for your continued support and for reading.
Mike Samuel is the construction masterMIND and masterBUILDER indeed.
We are so excited about the growing possibilities this will provide!
Mike’s got the large hoops in place as of today, February 6.
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On many levels the garden has advised us that it’s time to wind down the on-site farm stand, and we’re taking its solid advice. Even the chickens are signaling us that the seasons are changing; they’re as busy and happy as ever but they’ve slowed way down in laying. The broccoli and cauliflower beds are fully harvested and have been mowed and seeded with cover crop. The berries and tomatoes were exceptional and very productive this year – our first year planting tomatoes at Burnside Road and we were pleased with the result (and hope you were too when you ate them!). The 10 rows of tomatoes have also been mowed, tilled, and cover cropped.
Most of you know that we will continue to harvest for Shelton’s Natural Foods Market in Healdsburg over the winter, as long as weather and crops allow. We have also been delivering to Sebastopol Whole Foods consistently this summer and they have been a strong supporter of our garden here. Look for the same beige twist-tie with our logo when you are at these stores to identify our produce, or just ask the produce clerks.
We’ll have a few winter and early spring infrastructure projects in the works here as usual, but will also enjoy a few weeks of rest and rejuvenation for the 2013 season. We appreciate your support, feedback and ideas, and look forward to seeing you again at farm stand next year!
Posted in Fresh News, Winter Garden | 2 Comments »