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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

True, it is snowy outside. A month ago we received the first couple of inches of snow for this winter '12/'13 season...

*phew*glad we got that one out of the way.

 Subtle snow structures

You may have seen this before>

Exactly like putting your kids to bed for the night...wait, scratch that, I've never had kids. Maybe your kids are about 150bed feet long, I don't know.
Our garden soiled kids like four layers of row covers to pull through the first few months of winter.
Horton and Will pulling the covers over the beds at night and, if the temperature is above freezing, pulling the covers off in the morning.
                               -like errday, like erryday, Jak

Monday, December 3, 2012

This entry is called a retrospect, much like a reflection in a way, since we haven’t made an entry to the blog for several months. But I’ll offer you no apologies. Our hard work was on display at the three markets (T-ride, Ridgway, and Montrose) for all the locals and visitors of the western slope to take home and enjoy. We trust that you enjoyed the fruits of our labor and the flavor expressions of our garden’s precious soil as much as we did this year.
During the month of July and later in August, Laura Parker asked us interns if we were interested in learning how to process chickens to distribute to her customers. Laura pasture raised 150 label rouge/ Cornish cross hens this summer on lush, green fields at her family’s property located just up the road from Buckhorn. The Parkers are a farming/ranching family, so Laura’s a little bit deeper and more experienced in farming than we are at this stage, but we’re quickly catching up. Our participation in chicken processing was one of those farming experiences that we had to choose to learn. When Laura first asked us at the farmer’s market for our help I had a slight feeling of hesitation.  But through a handful of situations over the course of this year, I have learned to analyze my initial impulses of hesitation, anticipation, and confusion to understand these as only personal impulses. Once I understand them as impulses or initial feelings I can then decide to release them to ensure the feelings aren’t limiting me from a potential experience. My decision was to say “yes”, as did Ben and likewise Morgan, an intern this summer at Circle A farm.
                On July 15th, the three of us rode our bikes about twelve miles down Kinikin Road to Kinikin Processing where the Parkers were already set up and busy processing the first hens. I tucked four of our own hens from Buckhorn into the blue tote loaded on my longbike for us to process as well. I didn’t hear a peep from them the whole ride to the facilities (or on the ride back either). 
We processed about 60 hens for this first batch. The second batch of processing later in August went much quicker. 

I’ll skip to the chase. Processing chickens goes like this:
Bird placed into the cone head first >

dunk in scalder > set bird in plucker machine > 

eviscerate plucked bird >

clean, double check evisceration > keep bird on ice > vacuum pack the bird for freezing/fresh pickup.

I thought my first time at processing chickens went quickly.
 I kept my mind focused on the appearance of what I was doing at the time, experiencing the smells and sounds of the whole process. It really was a nice learning experience and I’d be honored to help again.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

We had so much fun with our Ridgway 5th grade class! Thank you guys for being such great helpers!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Farmers markets are starting on the Western Slope! We had a successful time at our first farmers market of the season in Montrose. We will be there every Saturday until October, so be sure to visit us:) The Gardens are getting filled with delicious veggies this month. Today we planted our third round of tomatoes in the high tunnels as well as our first row of squash. Check out some pics!
Broccoli is coming on hard, just in time for the markets. We will be bringing more broccoli this weekend.
Kale, Kohlrabi, and Cabbage transplants are finally outside and in the ground.
Cover crop seeding in the back, mulched in hay. In the front, we have lettuce, spinach, and arugula seeds ready to germinate.
"A row full of tomatoes helps the medicine go down!"
First round of cilantro.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Strawberry plants mulched in fresh hay and leaves.

The Dome is stocked with goodness! Potatoes are eyeing out, tomatoes are bursting through their cells, and transplants are ready to go into the ground. It's Spring at Buckhorn:)!
We are working long days this month, enjoying all the flowering, transplanting, and tilling. Just one more month until the Montrose market and we can't wait! Two of our interns Aaron, and Gerber left two weeks ago. A new flush of interns are expected to arrive within the next two months, just in time for all the wonderful harvesting we will be doing.

Here are a few pictures of the progress!

Many of the fruit trees are starting to flower. This is one of the beautiful plums and we just love these flowers, not to mention their fragrance! We will be experiencing a cold weekend this week, we are hoping these suckers will hang in there. We will be moving the chicken this week to the orchard so that they can start scratching all the wonderful grass under the fruit trees. They will love a new home:)

We are working on irrigation, slowing but surely. This has to be one of the trickiest parts of any farm, but when you have a good system, you have good food.

The Winter Rye. I want to sleep in a bed of rye! As a cover crop, the rye has done a wonderful job keeping down the weeds. We will till the rye beds in for warm season crops when we start planting.

Make sure to check out our Summer CSA information, we still have shares available. If you do not get a share, be sure to visit us at the Montrose market that starts in May and then the Telluride and Ridgway markets starting in June!!!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

We are all ready for Spring here at Buckhorn. The cows are calving, chickens brooding, goats are kidding, tomatoes are germinating, and the crew at Buckhorn patiently waiting for the weather to show signs of Spring. Only three weeks away from finishing a successful winter CSA, plans are being made for early spring. We have turned over 'mars' (high tunnel) into cover crop, while experimenting with different kinds of tillage.

The other two high tunnels, Scorpio and Polaris, are still in harvest.

Farmers Market committees are currently working out their schedules, which we will be posting very shortly. We still have openings for the summer CSA! If you are interested please email us for the application. It is going to be a fun and exciting year!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Check out Organic Farms are Everywhere
We had so much fun meeting Nic and Jim. They have a wonderful blog and facebook page about their adventures around the country, interviewing organic farmers everywhere they go. Check it out!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Check out the new additions to the blog that we will be updating weekly:) We have three new interns on the farm. Their bios are being shared with you under "the new agrarians."
The gardens are slowly getting cleaned up for another wonderful year of fresh veggies. The dome is getting filled up, full of spring starts. We are loving the snow we have been getting...more moisture!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Today we seeded onions and leeks! We want to share all the varieties with you.
We seeded:
New York Early
White Wing
Clear Dawn
Copra F1
Walla Walla
Yellow of Purma
Red Long Tropez
Candy F1
Borrettana Cippoloni
Jaune Paille Des Vertus
Bronze D' Amposta
Alisa Craig
Flat of Italy
Violet de Galmi
Bianca Di Maggio
Australian Brown
Pearl Drop
Pacific Pearl
Gold Coin
Red Marble
Bleu de Solaise
King Richard
Giant Mussel Burgh
Our Favorite is Violet Di Galmi from Southeast Niger. It has been grown for over 100 years! It has a purple-pinkish color to it and a bit flat in shape. We are very excited about it and we hope we can harvest many of them:)We grew this variety in Mississippi and we really enjoyed them. We are going to give them a shot in Colorado!!!! If anyone has onion recipes please email us and share them.