For many farmers, the lull of winter is a time to look back on the growing season. At Mountain Harvest Organics, a diversified vegetable farm near Hot Springs, the entire community is invited to reflect on the year as well.
Farmers Julie Mansfield and Carl Evans posted several questions on Instagram to get feedback from other farmers, homesteaders, and market shoppers. Like a lot of farmers, they keep production notes and asses their progress as they plan for next year. They asked themselves and the public three questions to help guide next year’s planning process:
First off: of all the produce that Mountain Harvest Organics sold at market, which items do they remember most fondly? This year’s standouts include Magic Molly fingerling potatoes and also pozzano paste tomatoes because they’re great in salsa and pizza sauce.
Another question: What market treasures did they find this year, but not in enough quantity to satisfy their cravings? Purple sweet potatoes and sweet corn topped the list. Although Mountain Harvest Organics experienced some crop failure with their sweet potatoes, they were inspired by the success of other farmers at the market.
Finally, they pondered this question: what haven’t they seen at their markets that would make a good addition for next year? Purple popcorn from Rayburn Farm and ginger from A Way of Life Farm were two vegetables they’d like to see more of next season.
Social media is a great way to keep up with farmers during the quiet months. Search for the #appalachiangrown hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, or go to the ASAP Facebook page to stay up to date on farming this winter.