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  • Farmer Cuisine

Planting Tips from Mari's Farm

Mari has a green thumb unlike any I've ever seen. Yes, I'm partial, she's my daughter and now the farmer in the family.  For any of you who buy her Spring Mix and Spinach at the Yelm Food Coop, or shopped her amazing vegetable stand at the Yelm Farmers Market last year or are one of her CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members, you know her produce is exceptional, in a class of it's own.

Mari and her remarkable husband Tim are downsizing this year for the right reasons, and now the demand for clean local produce has skyrocketed.  She knows they won't be able to grow all that is needed, so she's encouraging customers she has to turn away now or in the future to plant a garden or increase the size of their garden.  She has some good commonsense planting tips, and is offering vegetables starts to help out as well.  If you're interested you can email her at: for details.

When asked what people should grow, Mari recommends:

Grow things you can pick multiple times like Broccoli that produce a first nice sized head, and then nice sized side shoots the rest of the season. Her favorite is Happy Rich from Johnny's Seeds but it's not available this year, so look for Happy Rich types in the seed description. Belstar is another one.

In the fruit category, Tri Star Strawberries are an everbearing variety that you can pick all season. If you want to make a big batch of strawberry jam all at once then you'll want to choose a June bearing strawberry that gives you lots of berries only once in June.

Mari is also big on growing lots of root crops that store well like potatoes, beets, parsnips, leeks, carrots, and though not a root crop, she grows lots of onions. If you don't have critters some of these can be stored in the ground over the winter, or you'll need a root cellar, cold room, or cooler/fridge.

She has discovered Dolciva Carrot from High Mowing Seeds to have excellent storability, and unlike some other carrots who lose their sugars in storage, Dolciva stays sweet, aromatic, firm and delicious.

A great documentary to check out: High Mowing Organic Seed for a New Food System

When choosing tomatoes pay attention to the maturity dates and if they are determinate or indeterminate. Determinate plants produce all at once, and indeterminate plants produce all season long and will keep vining if you don't trim them.

And learn how to grow sunflower sprouts and pea shoots in the winter time so you can have fresh greens all winter long.  We are in love with sunflower sprouts.  Or for any of you have limited or no growing space look into setting up a grow shelf inside with lights.  It's a learning curve, but you can do it. 

Well, those are some planting tips to help you get started. The more we can each provide for ourselves the better so we hope these tips inspire you into a great 2020 growing season.

Happy planting and harvesting,


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