Located at the base of Buckhorn Mountain at 6700' elevation, Buckhorn Gardens is a small, organic vegetable farm 13mi. south of Montrose, Colorado. Our farm is an active part of a 12,000 acre ranch; however, we only manage 3 acres with intensive vegetable gardening.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Once again vegetables are thriving here at Buckhorn!

The nights have been cold, but we at Buckhorn Gardens are still growing food, and now we are back to blogging as well! The herbicide contamination made for a difficult summer. Test came back positive that milestone, created by the DOW chemical company (makers of all those wonderful chemicals from agent orange to napalm and the worlds largest maker of plastics) was the culprit.

Fortunately for us here at Buckhorn, the herbicide exposure was through wind drift (verses brought in through compost). It took about 70 days for the chemical to break down sufficiently so that our crops could again begin to flourish. It was too late for most of our tomato, legumes, potato, and pepper crops, and anything we had seeded within that 70 day period, but we were able to produce enough greens, squash, leeks, kohlrabi, bok choi, eggplants, and tomatillos to continue participating in our local farmers' markets. We also produced enough to put away canned goods for the winter. Lots of salsas, pickles, beets, apples sauces, jams, and of course fermented foods. It was also a great season for mushrooms so we were able to dry lots of hawk wings and porcinis, we also froze many chantrelles.

Getting ready to make some pickles

The beginnings of tomato sauce

An abundant mushroom harvest

We were also able to produce and store enough winter squash and garlic to provide the Winter CSA members. This year the Winter CSA runs for sixteen weeks from December through March. Shares include large bags of our salad mix every week, along with turnips, radishes, celeriac, chard, bok choi, leeks, herbs, head lettuce, collards, kohlrabi, and more. Many thanks to Straw Hat Farms and Circle A Garden for supplying us with organic potatoes and parsnips since these were crops we lost due to the herbicide. We are so fortunate to have these great neighboring farms!

Alyssa watering scorpio this winter.

Snow helps insulate the sides of high tunnels, however it can also block the sunlight when the sun is low in the horizon.

The last two nights have been our coldest yet here on the farm at 14 and 15 below zero. If you make it out to the farm during the day, be sure to take a peek inside the high tunnels -- there's nothing nicer than seeing the rows of greens standing happy and healthy despite the frigid temperatures. We love working in the greenhouses on these sunny, cold days, so come on up and say hi!

1 comment:

  1. Hey y'all,
    Very sorry to hear about the drift and its impacts this summer. We sincerely hope that this summer goes smoother.
    Jenny, Lily, and I (Scott) will be working at Circle A Gardens on Fridays for a few hours in the morning. I'm sure we'll cross paths at some point.
    Thanks for growing great food here in our valley...keep up the good work!