After a profitable spring and summer, the owners of Mindful Creations LLC, a farm near La Center, are turning their attention to the fall harvest and their small Christmas tree operation.
Mother and daughter duo Judy Canter and Diana Peterson, who started their farm in 2018, said this is the first year they will net a profit from their efforts.
They primarily grow vegetables throughout the year selling them at farmers markets and through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where crops are grown for people who pre-pay for a supply of weekly vegetables. Their CSA selling season began June 5 and ends the week of Oct. 23, although their farming operations are year-round.
Their CSA boxes include seven to 11 items, which will shortly include tomatoes, corn, six types of squash, potatoes and a few other varieties of vegetables.
“We’re a little different than a lot of CSA’s in that we grow everything,” Canter said, adding that even the eggs are produced by chickens on their farm.
According to the Mindful Creations website, most produce people consume “travels an average of 1,300 miles to the supermarket” and can be several days old before it’s purchased, making the CSA subscription a way for people to ensure the vegetables they eat are fresh.
For its fall harvest, Mindful Creations is growing broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and other plants that thrive in colder weather.
For an off-season harvest, Mindful Creations offers Christmas trees but the ever-changing weather conditions have made those efforts tricky. Currently, only one field of Christmas trees has survived drought conditions on the property.
“With the drought, we planted that whole field. There was baby trees, and they all died. We lost them because of the drought,” Canter said gesturing to an empty field on Sept. 6. “[It has] never been a problem in the state of Washington to grow Christmas trees. You haven’t had to water them. Down by the road, you’ll see an area where there’s some flags, those [were] trees we planted last year. They’re dead. So the Christmas tree endeavor has been a struggle.”
Canter and Peterson are pleased with their other crops, however, and they will soon be prepping their crop field for the next season by amending the soil and storing their fabric and irrigation for the winter. Canter will soon bring up 25 loads of cow manure to amend the soil. She and Peterson will be pulling their field’s fabric up and pull the irrigation to store over winter, as well. While they have rotated the crops in the past, this upcoming season they will seed in the same spots as this year.
For Canter, farming is an exciting endeavor. She said she learns something new each day, especially after she and Peterson added two greenhouses, which have introduced them to a way to grow vegetables in the off season.
In previous years Mindful Creations could not grow produce in the winter months, but this year Canter hopes to grow cold weather crops like lettuce, spinach and kale in the greenhouse.
“There’s a lot of work in running a garden, a lot of physical work,” Canter said. “We can’t really afford to hire people.”
Canter and Peterson hope all their efforts will yield a greater profit after this year. Canter retired in 2018 from her career, but Peterson still works full time. She would like their farming efforts to be successful enough so she can retire and focus solely on Mindful Creations with her mom.
“For me, I would love to make a profit. I’d love to work more in the garden,” Peterson said. “But for me, it’s really about just spending the time with my mom and creating something for people [so] that they come back to us and tell us how delicious it is. And their kids love it. Like for me, as a mom, having a vegetable your kids will eat and that they love is just really amazing.”
To learn more about Mindful Creations and the produce for sale, go to mindfulcreations.net, call 360-903-7415 or email email@example.com.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here