Gardens of Eagan (GOE) Farm is making an exciting transition. As we wind up the last few months of our five-year lease on the Diffley farm, we are in full swing just down the road, building a packing shed and tractor garage on farmland The Wedge purchased this past winter. We are also building the soil there. After spring applications of compost and summer sowings of cover crops, we are proud to say the new farm is halfway to organic certification!
In 2012, drought was the agricultural buzzword, and southern Dakota County was much drier than metro-area lawns. We irrigated daily in July and produced a good supply of summer veggies. August rains and mild temperatures set us up for some of the finest fall crops ever. We expect to harvest into early November and sell more produce to The Wedge than in any previous year.
In 2013, GOE looks forward to opening the doors at our new facility. The already-existing greenhouses will allow us to better meet the growing demand for our organic garden transplants and even custom-grow plants for fellow organic farmers. When the spring transplants are sold, we will convert the greenhouses to veggie production and enjoy a protected growing environment during the summer months and well in to early winter. Some of the field crops will be considered “transitional,” not yet certified organic, but all of our growing methods will, of course, meet the strict national standards for certification.
Our new rural Northfield location will also allow us to better meet our outreach and educational goals through the Organic Field School, our non-profit, educational partner. The Organic Field School can now expand the incubator program to serve three growing agricultural businesses by supporting their farmland, equipment, and facility needs as they develop their customer base, product line, and, hopefully, their capital resources.
We will spend the next couple months watching the buildings take shape at the new GOE and packing up and moving our many tractors and assorted farm supplies. For Gardens of Eagan, winter will not likely be a time of rest, but spring will certainly bring long anticipated renewal and growth.