Around the Ranch
Another wet week is great for the pastures (as well as for the high elevation snowpack), however it poses some challenges for our outdoor vegetable production plans. Our growing schedule called for soil work, transplanting, and direct seeding this week, but the saturated ground has forced us to delay some of these projects.
Luckily, we have plenty of other projects that can be done in our hoophouses, which are protected from the weather. Over this past weekend, the first round of tomato transplants went into the raised beds in the CORE hoophouse. This hoophouse offers a good amount of protection from the still-cold evenings, however on really cold nights we must cover the plants with an additional layer of row cover to ensure the tomatoes have a warm night’s rest.
We grow all of our own transplants as starts for several reasons. To begin with, we can control everything during the process, from seed selection to soil mix to nutrient delivery and water management. Since we are pursuing a “Certified Organic” certification, we are required (and prefer) to use soil mixes that are free of petroleum-based fertilizers, starters, and chargers. Most transplants purchased at a nursery use a soil mix that contains those prohibited ingredients.
Secondly, growing transplants is part of our season extension plans. By growing our own starts for transplant, we are about six to eight weeks ahead of schedule when, come May 1st, we have a 6” plant ready to be transplanted. With such a short growing season in the Roaring Fork Valley we need all the season extension that we can get.
In addition to several tomato varieties, we grow our own transplants for Swiss chard, kale, collards, beets, onions, peppers, basil, broccoli, head lettuce, and several varieties of flowers. If you’re interested in growing Rock Bottom Ranch transplants in your own garden, we will be selling a portion of these seedlings in a few weeks, at the Ranch and at the Aspen Saturday Market and Basalt Farmers’ Market.
During this time of year, we only have a limited supply of products available for purchase at the Ranch, so we suggest calling ahead to confirm availability – 970.927.6760.
We now have a steady supply of our locally famous, pasture-raised, non-GMO, Animal Welfare Approved, delicious chicken eggs.
Salad and arugula are available at the Ranch and for sale at Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop in Aspen. Silo Restaurant and town. in Carbondale also feature salad mix and arugula on their current menus.
A full pork inventory is available including chops, ribs, bacon, roasts, and several flavors of sausage.
Products can be purchased at the Ranch during open hours, Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM and Saturday 9AM – 5PM. Please call ahead to confirm availability or to place an order for pick-up.
~ Jason Smith, Rock Bottom Ranch Director
Rock Bottom Ranch is open Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM and Saturday from 9AM – 1PM with free farm tours each day at 11AM. For questions about Rock Bottom Ranch please email Jason at [email protected]