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

Greentree Naturals Newsletter Winter January 2023

Diane loves tomatoesI am not the greatest at keeping up with posting a newsletter as it often keeps getting moved down my to do list. One thing that being a small acreage farmer has taught me is there will always be more things on the to do list than there are hours in the day. I admit that maintaining an active website isn't high on my list. We appreciate your interest in our little piece of paradise here at Greentree Naturals.

We hope this finds you enjoying winter in good health. As we reflect on the past year, we are humbled by the loving support our family of friends have given us. We are reminded that life is about the things you can do and adapting to life's challenges with a grateful heart.

Greentree Naturals celebrated 30 years of being certified organic in 2022! We are quite proud of being the oldest certified organic farm in the region. This was a year of changes for us and we are enjoying "retirement" farming. For the first time in 33 years, we did not have deliveries in town, no restaurants, no CSA (our produce subscription program) and no sales to the local health food store. We did supply assorted edible flowers to one restaurant on the lake with delivery only a quarter of a mile from the farm. I've always joked that retirement for farmers simply means "I was tired today and I will be tired again tomorrow." That said, we thoroughly enjoyed the summer of 2022 transition to simplifying and downsizing our markets. We were a little nervous about dropping the income from those market outlets and were happy to find that our Farm Stand sales increased to make up the difference!

We had been talking about downsizing for the past couple of years and finally and so happy that we succeeded! We are still cultivating a couple of acres of gardens, but now selling everything at our one day a week Farm Stand and increasing seed production sales to Snake River Seed Cooperative. It was wonderful not to have to go to town every week for deliveries! With gas prices at an all-time high last summer, good time to stay close to home!

We had good timing for letting go of the local farmers market the before covid came into play. I haven't missed loading up the van, driving to town, unloading, and taking an hour for setting up, then standing there for four and a half hours only to have to tear down, pack up, load up to go home and unload again. The farmer's market is a terrific venue for selling your produce and it was great while it lasted. So happy to have that behind us! Our Farm Stand continues to thrive and is very well supported. We are only open 3-5:30 on Thursdays in July, August, and September.

This is doable for us as we have found our way into adjusting to a less strenuous farming season. Farming in your 70's is quite different than it was when we started out. We have found a slow and steady pace with naps works well for us!Diane and Thom

Thom had a rough year. The knee replacement he got in the fall of 2021 resulted in a serious staph infection that went systemic throughout his body. It put him in the hospital for a week where they removed the artificial knee and put in a temporary knee followed by six weeks of antibiotic injections three times a day which I administered here at home. Thankfully, the VA took care of everything including home health with a nurse and physical therapist coming to the house twice a week. By springtime, he had kicked the infection and jumped right into the farming season with some limitations with the temporary knee and sheer determination to have a successful farming season. He has now recovered from his third surgery where they removed the temporary knee and put in another knee replacement. Whew, what an endurance ride! They tell us 1% of all surgeries get infected. He is building his strength daily and just received a clean bill of health from his doctor.

Our community of friends rallied to support us through these difficult times and gave us so much love. People were volunteering their time in the gardens, bringing amazing prepared meals, keeping the driveway plowed, cutting firewood, helping keep the wood box filled, tuning up farm equipment and pretty much anything that Thom usually does but couldn't. We are filled with gratitude and appreciation for the love and kindness.

We remind ourselves that we have a choice of how we react to whatever comes. Resilience is also known as inner strength. It can get you through the most difficult challenges you face in life. There is a South African word "Ubuntu" that translates to "I am because we are." I love this concept!

I continue with my contracting with University of Idaho small farms programs, teaching and consulting and am currently contracting with Oregon State University on a project with regional extension educators. Our on-farm organic gardening workshop series resumed after a two-year pause due to covid and was well received and sold out. As our community grows in population, I've been doing more land consultations with the idea of empowering new landowners to live a more sustainable lifestyle as well as helping them figure out where to plant their gardens and steps they need to take to meet their goals with their land. I will continue to teach for as long as I am able to. I have found an equal passion for growing new farmers and gardeners as I do for gardening! I think that growing some portion of your own food is one of the most important things anyone can do for themselves.

Thank you for your interest in our little piece of paradise!

Thom and pumpkins



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