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North Star Farms
P.O. Box 164
Carpio, N.D. 58725
(701) 720-2635

gardendwellers FARM

long, tough, satisfying

Thursday was a rough day. It was a long day. It was dusty and dirty, grueling and difficult at times and Ilene and I were either on our feet or our knees all day. But we harvested some mighty fine organic produce.

We started picking at 9 a.m., and didn't finish until straight up to midnight. Ilene actually stayed up later than I did to wrap up the peas.

It was a bonanza day but we certainly earned it. When nature decides to mature the bounty, it needs to be harvested. We don't have totals for the day just yet, but we had to be close to 500 pounds. If so, it would represent two-thirds of what we picked for the entire 2005 season.

There were 50 pounds of peas, 52 pounds of carrots, 90 pounds of cucumbers, 24 pounds of beans, 22 pounds of radishes and 135 pounds of potatoes. And that's just what I picked. Ilene has a whole host of items that I don't have logged. 

Oh, by the way, I also picked garlic on Wednesday night and Thursday morning and wasn't able to finish. I still have about 400 plants remaining, which is about a fifth of the total. 

Heat and timely rains are really making things pop and that's really good for our shareholders and customers. Some of the garlic is incredible. I found one bulb, a softneck, that is about the size of a baseball. Many others, larger than golf balls.

We've found some large cucumbers and potatoes too.  As far as zucchini, some of them look like dirigibles. We just have to learn to pick the zucchini five or six times a day to get the right size.

Squash, cantaloupe, tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, parsnips, etc., etc., are all getting close. 

It's overwhelming for two of us to harvest this much produce, but Ilene said it right. She said it's all worthwhile to see the smiles on the faces of the shareholders when they receive fresh (within 24 hours), certified organic produce.

I am too. We're rapidly building a business, we're learning about marketing as well as behavior of plants and pests and we're picking a lot more than we ever imagined. 

This is probably the hardest work I've ever done. But I can't find a more satisfying job; first because I want the shareholders to get the best produce they can and second, because there is nothing better than working in nature on the North Dakota prairie.


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