Whipstone Farms: Jumping Into the New Year

04 January 2020   Shanti Rade
Time to... plan crops and order seeds!

We are jumping into the new year like we usually do, buried in crop planning and seed orders and planting the first seeds of the year.  Onions and leeks are always are first big planting push of the year and we got them in right on time this year!  We are currently contemplating what tools we want to invest in this year and the one we have already pulled the trigger on is a new planting tool, the paperpot transplanter, check out a video here if you're interested. 

I am not one for making new year's resolutions or staying up until midnight, but a new year does make you think in new ways sometimes.  So far, I am feeling a few themes emerge. First, work smarter not harder.  Hence our deep look into what tools can actually help us do that.  Second, less is more. I want to reduce our waste this year (for our family personally and especially on our farm) and help you all do the same.  The Prescott Farmers Market is launching a new program to help reduce waste at the market (sorting trash into recyclables, compostables, etc and documenting it all) and we want to help with and further this effort.  Throughout the year I will be passing on ideas for how to help with less waste.  Not meant to be preachy or condemning, just a nudge for us to collectively do better at reducing waste. Of course buying food produced locally already has a hugely positive impact on the environment.  But, let's go further and reduce our single use waste by making habits and charing ideas that help us do so.  To start with bring your own bags to the market (which I know the vast majority of you already do).  Any produce that comes in plastic bags (like salad mix and spinach) can be easily dried after use and brought back with you to the market to help keep your new purchases organized. We spend a lot of money each year on plastic bags for our customers. I would love to find a way to cut this out completely.  I heard Mexico City is banning single use plastic bags and if they can do it so can we.  Any and all ideas you all might have to help are welcome. 

This new year has brought farming friend visitors from out of state, escaping their own cold winter, though ours hasn't been much better.  Check out Understory Farm in Vermont.  Gregory and Jessie used to live in Prescott and started their farming career here and even sold at the Prescott Farmers Market for a stint. They are wonderful folks with a thriving flower farm in Vermont who also write a great newsletter.  It was so fun to catch up with their family and, of course, talk about farming. 

While this week was a little better weather wise for market harvest, we are definitely in the pinch of mid winter, where produce is at its lowest.  We have lots of carrots, beets and spinach right now (the stars of winter) and mâche is back, but quite a few things have either all been harvested and sold, or they are too damaged by the cold.  Winter squash supplies are dwindling (get some while you can) and onions are getting close to the end of their storage life. While we anxiously await our new crop of salad, lettuce and turnips from the greenhouse, now is the time to reach down deep and appreciate what we do have and what we can produce locally.  And don't feel bad about supplementing from the store, we all do this time of year. To each and every one of you who braved the all day freezing temperatures last Saturday, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 

our winter greens, growing so sloooowly

Over 90 trays of onions and leeks on the heated greenhouse bench thanks to Kristi and the vacuum seeder. 
These babies should start popping up in about a week.

our most liked images of 2019 (on instagram)

Bagging up some farm smoked chiles this week and just loving the smell, thinking of how we will be
seeding our new batch of chiles in just over a month - its a long process from seed to this beautiful end product.

Our friends at Understory Farm



bok choy
purple daikon radishes
beets - red, chioggia, tricolor
carrots - orange and rainbow
onions - red and yellow
potatoes - red and ozette fingerling
winter squash - butternut, spaghetti, delicata



PRESCOTT FARMERS MARKET (winter hours)  - Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm.   Yavapai College Parking Lot. 
FLAGSTAFF COMMUNITY MARKET - CLOSED until May of 2020 . Sundays 8:00 - Noon.  City Hall West Parking Lot

FARM STAND - Open daily at the farm, self serve, honor system directions HERE