As cold days recede, spring fever is in full swing on the farm. Every year, our farm team collaborates closely with our culinary, mixology and product teams, exchanging ideas and identifying goals for the upcoming months ahead. These thoughtful conversations help determine plans for the field layout and crop rotation, giving the farm team a clear plan for the new season. Currently, trays of seedlings line the tables in the greenhouse as artichokes, kale, onions and peppers begin to sprout and grow, waiting their turn to be nestled into the fields. Carrot, beet and turnip seeds will soon be planted directly into the cool soil. Small harvests of herbs and greens begin to come from the hoop house, too.
For some years, our farmers have been selecting and saving seeds of particularly vigorous and flavorful peppers and tomatoes. Judy Hartline, our Lead Farmer, carefully notes the successes and failures of each crop every season, and saves seeds that prove adaptable, productive and strong, with a unique flavor imbued by our particular soil. Assorted pepper varieties have been growing successfully season after season, and are used in our Los Poblanos Hot Sauce and in Campo's Rio Grande Valley Cuisine menus.
More recently, Heirloom Amish Tomato has been providing good seeds, and we have been experimenting with seeds gathered from Sun Gold Cherry Tomato. We are calling our new variety "Baby Gold," an organic original to our farm that is now in the second year of trial. By saving seeds, we're able to develop plants that are well adapted to very local conditions. The structure and nutrition of the soil, the natural well water delivered through drip tape and the compost made from materials gathered from the property all contribute to the terroir of the vegetables that are distinctive to the specific fields in which they are grown.
Continuing the experimental nature of the farm set forth by our founders, our mission is to farm the land of the historic Los Poblanos Ranch as thoughtful stewards, growing with a careful plan and producing organic bounty we are proud of.
Seasonal Gardening Tip
Beware of the desire to rush out to plant basil and tomatoes at the first hint of warm spring days. It is best to wait a full two weeks after the predicted last frost date before planting warm season herbs and vegetables. Be ready to cover or protect tender transplants until nighttime temperatures are consistently in the fifty degree or higher range. -Wes Brittenham, Farm & Landscape Manager