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Honoring the ancestors: Illiterate plant breeders that created every variety that I grow.
I grow and sell the freshest local produce, and breed vegetable varieties adapted to Cache Valley in the Great Basin. If you are looking for great tasting local food you have come to the right place! My fields are located in Paradise, Avon, Hyrum, and Nibley Utah. My philosophy towards growing is to never apply poisons to my fields regardless of how much labor it would save.
I gained a bit of notoriety recently when Mother Earth News asked me to write a series of articles for them about landrace gardening. When visiting the page, I recommend sorting by oldest and read the first few articles first to get a better understanding of why I grow the way that I do.
My produce and seeds are available at the Cache Valley Gardener's Market Saturday mornings, or by appointment.
Stop by my fields whenever you see my truck there and I will pick it while you wait for the best possible taste.
Crops for this year include all the normally grown fruits and vegetables, and some unusual crops from the tropics. I don't always bring highly perishable items like greens and herbs to market but I will if you ask in advance. I may be willing to try growing your favorite vegetable if you let me know ahead of time.
To provide the safest food possible I do not knowingly add any of the following to my garden: herbicides, fungicides, synthetic pesticides, bone meal or other animal remains, genetically engineered plants, sewage sludge, or treated lumber.
I am not pursuing certifications from `USDA certified Organic` or `Certified Naturally Grown`. I believe that my procedures provide greater food safety.
The garden is watered by sprinkling with untreated irrigation water and the produce is not washed at the garden, except that some root crops are rinsed to remove large dirt clods. I highly recommend cooking, or washing before use since there is no telling what the irrigation water brings with it. Irrigation is not started if the water is unusually turbid. To further minimize the risk of bacterial contamination, manure, if used, is only applied in the fall after crops are harvested.
Rather than depend on far-away distant mega-companies for seeds, I am working as a traditional farmer. I am breeding genetically diverse landraces of your favorite crops. This allows me to develop farm-specific varieties in which the genetics of the crop interact with our climate and soil to provide optimum taste and reliability. To obtain seed samples send one silver dime, dated 1964 or earlier, to my post office box for each variety desired. That was the retail price of a packet of seeds in 1860 when my great-great-great grandmother started farming in Paradise. I'm still farming in the same village and asking the same price more than 150 years later. I accept other denominations of silver coins dated 1964 or earlier, and modern silver eagles that are 0.999 fine. Include four dollars cash per shipment to cover the shipping costs. [Please, if you send anything other than paper put it in a padded or bubble envelope, or tape dimes securely to a piece of cardstock inside an envelope.] These are being selectively adapted to the growing conditions found in Cache Valley and the Great Basin of Utah. Due to my breeding projects I am able to grow crops that would not otherwise produce a harvest in Cache Valley. My big breeding project for 2010 to 2013 is Paradise Sweet Corn, a sugary enhanced multicolored sweetcorn that I think is higher in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and flavor than commercial varieties. One of the crops that is emerging from this project is cherry flavored corn. You will love it when I am able to grow enough to share.
From 2009 through 2011 I grew about 90 varieties of cantaloupe selecting for local conditions. The first year, I harvested only a few scraggly fruits. By 2011 I was able to harvest about 800 pounds of great tasting cantaloupe!!! In 2011 I trialed more than 100 varieties of tomatoes and 300 varieties of watermelons to find the perfect early fruits for Cache Valley. Only 5 watermelon fruits were harvested. Reminds me of the first year of my cantaloupe breeding program. I trialed around 50 varieties of peas and of snap beans looking for my current genetics.
|"Keep up the good work, this is the best stuff we've had around here in years." (Satisfied Customer, 2009)|
|"This was the worst year in my lifetime for growing tomatoes in PA. It was the wettest year in recorded history -- 25+ inches above normal rainfall. Blight and more blight. I do not spray for this and grow organic. Everything died except S peruvianum, S habrochaites, and the interspecies crosses. I am returning these offspring...." (Satisfied Customer, 2018)|
Blog: Mother Earth News -- Landrace Gardening.
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Photos/Writing by Joseph Lofthouse by Joseph Lofthouse are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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