Recap: Purple Sage Farms
Tim and Mike Sommer of Purple Sage Farms in Middleton, Idaho hosted NCAP’s first field day for the season.
Above: Tim Sommer shows guests the greenhouse at Purple Sage Farms
Nearly 50 farmers, master gardeners, agency personnel and community members toured one of the oldest certified organic farms in Idaho.
This father and son team gave a tour of their greenhouses, where they grow a large variety of herbs, greens and specialty produce. Tim described how he focused on the food and flavors when he started the farm.
They showed how they work hard to keep weeds under control and harvest weed-free greens, including the use of drip irrigation, buried drip, plastic mulch, crop rotation, and hula hoes.
Tim and Mike also discussed the importance of livestock to their farm. They make their own compost, which along with cover cropping provides the bulk of their fertility program in the greenhouses.
As a follow-up to NCAP’s winter workshop featuring post-harvest handling, wash stations and pack sheds for produce growers, Tim and Mike provided a tour of their washing and packing facilities. Daughter Arlie Sommer, who works for an online local food market and distributor called Idaho’s Bounty, updated farmers on the Food and Drug Administration’s new proposed food safety rules.
Conversations continued over a meal featuring organic and local produce prepared by Bon Appetit at the College of Idaho.
NCAP will continue its educational field days with a tour at Wood River Organics in Bellevue, ID on July 31. Register HERE.