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Greentree Naturals, Inc. - Certified Organic Produce USDA Organic Farm Stand Beets Big Organic Tomato Big Organic Tomato Organic flowers Organic flowers Organic multi-colored corn Organic vegetables Organic carrots

Greentree Naturals Newsletter - 2023 at a Glance

Colorful FlowersWe hope this finds you in good health, enjoying winters embrace.  Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got, so why not make the most of it and enjoy every moment!

Here is 2023 at a glance:  

We took the train over to Snohomish, Washington to visit friends last February to celebrate Thom's 74th birthday. Such a lovely way to travel with lots of leg room, you can get up and walk around and no stress of driving on winter road conditions! The train has such a relaxing rhythm to it as it moves down the tracks and is way less stressful than flying! We wandered around Pike Street Market in downtown Seattle which reminded us of the country bumpkins that we are! Thankfully our hosts were THE BEST tour guides and got us through the city without a hitch.

March was a whirlwind of educational activities. Diane traveled to Salem, Oregon for a working retreat with the team of folks from Oregon State University partnering Extension Educators with small acreage farmers. I made my way down to the south coast of Oregon for an ocean fix and to visit friends. Upon my return home, I jumped right into facilitating an educational webinar series for University of Idaho that paired with a Guide for Small & Direct Marketing Farms in Idaho that I helped to develop for farmers across the state.  I have signed up with a USDA Oregon Tilth Mentorship project to partner with new farmers transitioning to becoming certified organic. I love having the opportunity to be involved with programs that are growing new farmers and farmer educators!  I read somewhere that knowledge is like compost; it does no good unless you spread it around.  This "working retirement" supplements our social security and lets me feed my passion for mentoring.

I presented a workshop session at the Food Summit in Moscow, Idaho put on by the Palouse Clearwater Food Coalition in March and at the Selkirk-Pend Oreille Food Summit in Sandpoint last fall. I was interviewed for a podcast on our local public radio station about the Sandpoint Food Summit. Here is the link to it should you want to listen and learn a little bit about what a food summit is:

The on-farm organic gardening workshops continue along with in the classroom sessions for University of Idaho and local garden groups.  The gardens produced over three thousand pounds of produce (1,046+ pounds of tomatoes)! Yes, we weigh all of it as harvest records are an integral part of being certified organic. We are grateful for the bounty to share with our community! Downsizing to only sell at our Farm Stand during the peak of the season has been a very positive change.

Growing and saving vegetable and flower seeds keeps us on a more sustainable path. If you raise and save seed, you are producing seed for your garden, and, by careful selection over several generations of plants, you can produce plants best suited to your climate and your gardening conditions.  No one else but you can do this.  We are finding success with assorted vegetable varieties that are adapting to our northern growing environment.  We mostly grow seed for ourselves but continue to grow a small mix of vegetables and flowers for Snake River Seed Cooperative. The photo below is of Bright Lights Cosmos. The bees and pollinators love them so we have them sprinkled about throughout the vegetables too! We sell a small selection of seeds directly from the farm as well.

Cosmos Flowers

Thom has fully recovered from the 3 knee replacements (on the same knee), managed to find his way back to good health and keep his sense of humor intact. It was a rough couple of years but he endured it all to return to being the renaissance man he's always been. He's been improving his charcuterie skills, brewing beer from our own hops, making assorted berry jams and drying garlic to make into powder to sell at the Farm Stand. It is said that overcoming challenges makes us stronger and helps us in becoming better versions of ourselves. So happy to have my darlen husband back being the extraordinary farmer/grower that he is. Greentree Naturals success is largely because of farmer Thom and his perseverance to keep things growing. He's been cleaning up the forest around the house to reduce fire danger, cutting fire wood, and managing all the ongoing maintenance of living in a 100-year-old house.

It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.  Yes, our house needs painting, we drive old vehicles and we live frugally.  We've found peace in savoring the ordinary pleasures of life and are thankful we get to share this life journey together!   Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  Our vision is to keep on farming and teaching for as long as we are able!

As we move into the new year, we contemplate abundance in our lives. We are content to spend more time at home on the farm and really prefer being here more than most anywhere else! A friend recently referred to us as "social introverts" which is right on!

We wish you a heart filled with hope, love, and gratitude, good health a joyful journey and all good things in 2024!




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