A message from Bill and Peggy:
As we prepare for the coming season there are many business decisions that we are considering and many legal and environmental regulations which may impact us in the near future.
Each year we listen to our customer’s comments and their desires for new and different vegetables, berries, and fruit. For 2013, we are adding swiss chard, kohlrabi, leeks, bok choi, and a type of Chinese (napa) cabbage to our planting list. We are also adding another type of lettuce, buttercrunch or “bib.”
We are considering the use of new agricultural and environmental practices. One thing that we are considering is the addition of high tunnels. High tunnels are a light weight greenhouse that are placed directly into the soil and are able to extend the growing season both earlier and later by adding that little bit of frost protection to the crops. Depending on the year, it could start the season a month earlier and extend the season a month later into the fall. We are also considering growing crops in the greenhouse – not hydroponically, but rather in movable raised beds of soil when the greenhouse is otherwise unused.
Every year we attend numerous classes during the winter months to keep abreast of any new varieties that would be a good addition to the crops we offer.
We are not a certified organic farm, however, we do use many organic-type practices. Contrary to popular belief, being labeled organic does not mean that no spray has been used. Many of the same chemicals labeled for organic operations are used by conventional farms such as ours. It is common practice now for chemical companies to sell a product under one name at a certain price and then rename it an “organic product” – it is exactly the same product with the same chemical makeup but can be up to triple the price. We cannot claim to be organic as long as the documentation we receive with the chemicals does not specifically identify it as “organic”. Please know that we will continue to be extremely conscientious when selecting anything applied to our fields, crops, and the food that you feed to your family.
So where do we go from here? We have been toying with the idea of growing more of our own fruit to sell. That would mean the addition of growing tree fruit instead of bringing it in from Hood River, Yakima, or other local areas. We know that our soil(s) would do well for growing trees so we will see what the future brings – possibly cherries, apples, peaches, and pears grown right here on Bi-Zi Farms.
One of the issues that will affect us sometime in the near future will be Clark County’s plan to expand 119th Street to four lanes and to include a bike lane with sidewalks. That will mean that Clark County will be buying some of our property along the road frontage for this expansion. We are not sure what that will mean for our farm store and/or barns. Stay tuned…