Join Us for an Afternoon on the Farm!
Saturday, March 22 12-3pm Dean Simpson of Wildcat Mountain Farm will host us for a farm tour and demonstration on starting seeds for transplant. Beginners and experienced gardeners alike will find this a great opportunity to learn from an expert and enjoy a tour of the farm that grows Cherry Sprout’s transplants.
Dean’s operation is a beautifully simple one-man show, one he designed and built from square one on his small farm outside of Sandy. He began as an intensive market gardener in the mid-1990’s, selling his vegetables, eggs and honey at farmer’s markets. By 1998, Dean ran up against the labor constraint that so many small farmers experience. There was more land to plant, but amidst weeding, harvesting, delivering and marketing, no more time to do it. At that point, Dean shifted his business, choosing to focus on growing plant starts. He has since grown his customer base from his original location at People’s Co-op to several Co-ops, grocery stores, and garden shops around Portland.
As a grower with a direct relationship with his customers, Dean has never sought certification, though he has always adhered to organic methods. He works with a clear reverence for natural cycles and a deep commitment to quality. “The foundation of my business is the compost I make.” Dean explains, “You can’t buy the stuff I make.” And while he’ll tell you he started making his potting mix and compost simply for the sake of thrift, his pride and enthusiasm belie a fascination and passion for soil building processes. Horse manure from a neighbor up the road comprises the compost, turned by hand and aged at least three years before use in nursery mix.
Dean will share his entire process with us at the farm. Come and learn all the basic skills and knowledge you’ll need to get started at home yourself! The cost of the field trip is $5. We will meet at noon to carpool from NE Portland to the farm. Sorry kids, this field trip is open to adults only!
Comments (0) Original post date: Thursday, March 13th, 2014