The Realization of a Dream

Our Vision is becoming a reality here at Fruit Hill Farm!

We’ve been busy getting our nursery, garden, and Front Porch Store ready for our Grand Opening May 12th.  Let’s take a tour so you can see what we’ve been up to.

house

Our gorgeous sign is finally up in front of our newly acquired farm house, which is over 100 years old!  We are making plans for the space (check back with us for updates on that) but for now, check out our Front Porch Store, located behind and to the right of the house.

Front porch store

When you step inside, you’ll find all natural products to help you live your best life.  We also carry books and items made by local artisans- it is very important to us to support local businesses and independent artists.

Exiting the store, go ahead to the back to see the progress! We’ve put a ton of work into what will become our espalier orchard, pumpkin patch, and demonstration garden.  This area is truly the heart and soul of FHF as it represents our commitment to sustainability and healing the land base.  We’re 100% committed to turning this once weed-choked, neglected field  into a place where people can learn and see exactly how to plant the garden of their dreams.  Take a look at these before and after photos and remember- we are a small company and we do all the work ourselves (with some help from friends and family!).  Our determined crew of 6 people have accomplished so much, and we’re still going!

Here is the back area just one month ago…

Last week, watering our newly planted orchard…

Yesterday, our trees all lined up and ready for sale!

Speaking of plants for sale, I’ve definitely saved the best for last.

We’ve (literally) been growing our inventory for months, and we have plants and starters for everyone- from the novice gardener to the seasoned homesteader.

Store is open

Herbs, tomatoes, and berries- oh my!  We’ve stocked a huge variety of edible perennials, fruit trees, vegetable starters, any herb you could possibly need (including several varieties of lavender), and a plethora of berry bushes- both the usual (raspberries and blueberries) to the exotic (goji berries anyone?).  You could say we’re berry proud of our selection.

Of course our real passion is education.  We want every aspiring gardener to have access to the information they need in order to create the garden of their dreams.  If you have been yearning to turn that unused patch in your backyard into a sustainable garden full of delicious food, if you want to reduce your grocery costs, or if you’ve ever envisioned yourself picking fresh herbs to really make your dinner pop- well we want to help you get there.  We walk each and every customer through the planting process, giving them the tools they need to make their garden flourish.

We also host events, in fact as you may know we’ve already had several.  In March we hosted the amazing Donel Barlow, author of ‘Medicine Tracks’,  for a talk on Food as Medicine.  February we hosted Dr. Brian Wickstrom to share with us Toxicity: the Ticking time Bomb and illuminated us on the effects of environmental toxins on our health.  Two weeks ago we had a gardening event for kids where they each got to take home their very own seed to grow that we helped them plant in pots they got to decorate. We love kids here- families are always welcome!

So that’s our farm!

But why not just see for yourself?

Our FHF Dream is coming to fruition, and it is our mission to ensure that anyone who wants a garden- be it a small container garden or a large piece of land- can succeed.  Our commitment to urban farming and living local will never waver.  With us, your garden – and your life – will flourish and grow.

Home and Yard Show 2019

In this video, pictures of our experience at the Home & Yard Show 2019 provide the backdrop to my summarization of the 500-1000 rich conversations we had over the 4 day event!

Topics include:

* Sustainable food production
* Transforming our homes into productive homesteads
* Re-localization of our economy
* Our work on the 25% shift
* REAL wealth creation (primary vs. secondary vs. tertiary wealth sectors)
* Neighborhood community building

The Productive Homestead

The best way to ensure your place in the new economy is increasing the productivity of your home.

How do you increase your home’s productivity?

True productivity is the creation of products of the 3 economic sectors.

Primary Sector (raw material resources)

*  Land capable of growing food
*  Forrests and biomass
*  Produce and livestock
*  Unpolluted bodies of water
*  Mined minerals and metals

Secondary Sector (manufactured goods)

This is everything we make, process, manufacture, or ‘finish’ from primary sector resources.

Tertiary Sector (services)

These are all the things we do for each other through commerce, including financial instruments that ‘represent’ primary and secondary sector wealth.

Household Productivity Index

Present Productivity Index =
100 (past household cost of living / present household cost of living )%

For example:

If your pre-homesteading annual household cost of living last year was $56,000

But now your monthly food costs have gone down due to gardening and building an effective larder system, and you’ve even made a little money you make selling surpluses from your homestead and now your annual household costs this year are $49,500…what is your present productivity index?

100 (56,000 / 49,500) % = 113%

Indexes >100% are excellent and reflect your increased household productivity!

How to Build your Household Food Stores

On the homestead this weekend, I am taking inventory and updating our larder.  In this video I share:

* Why it is important to establish a larder in your home

* A 90 day shopping list that will feed your family -AND- establish the foundation for your household food stores

* A shopping guide and considerations for ongoing quarterly larder maintenance

NASDA 2019 Women Farm to Food Contest

Did you know that every year we import 1.5 billion dollars of food to the Spokane area?  Meanwhile we only spend 4.2 million dollars a year on food locally grown!  At Fruit Hill Farm, LLC we are working to reverse that trend.

We recently submitted an application to the NASDA 2019 Women Farm to Food Business Competition.  Please take two and a half minutes and see how we are trying to change how we buy food in our region.

Keeping it Covered

Soil thrives best with minimal topsoil disturbance and live cover whenever possible…

No and Low Till

Reduced and no till practices for Fruit Hill Farm consists of several strategies, with the ultimate goal of being no till.  Our main goals are to conserve and improve soil quality, and reduce erosion by wind and water.  Reducing or eliminating tillage also prevents disturbance of the mycelium network.

The use of light tillage may be needed under certain circumstances such as; compacted soil, weed suppression, cover crop incorporation, or initial site prep.  Light tillage is defined as only disturbing the top 1-6 inches of soil.  No deep tillage to be used on Fruit Hill Farm property or customer properties.

Cover Crops

Fruit Hill Farm uses the goal of 60%-80% soil coverage year around utilizing mulches, cover crops, crop residue, and increased planting density as part of our soil management policy.  Keeping the soil covered and protected helps to conserve soil tilth, increase water infiltration, soil microbe biome, and reduce weed/crop competition.

Cover crops and green manure are utilized to help keep soil covered to reduce erosion, increase soil organic matter, reduce weed pressure, and improve soil structure and fertility.  These crops can be planted into the garden before or after the vegetable is actively being used for production. Cover crops and green manures can be divided into two categories, warm season and cool season.  Warm season is defined as late spring and summer planted crops, and cool season crops are planted in early spring, late summer or early fall.

Children’s Garden Workshops

How do we get children to LOVE eating healthy food?

Get the them out into the garden, helping grow their own food!

Not only are there health benefits to eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but it teaches our children where their food comes from and how it’s grown.  Having children take an active role in growing and harvesting, teaches responsibility.  It also increases their environmental awareness…perhaps even sparking a love affair with the natural world!

At Fruit Hill Farm, we are excited to announce that coming in the Spring 2019!  These workshop will specifically designed to introduce children to the love of gardening.

Buy or Plant Your Own?

The age old gardener debate to buy seeds and start your own plants, or buy seedlings?

The seed catalog season is just around the corner, and we anxiously for those first catalogs to arrive in the mail like children on Christmas morning. Certain plants like tomatoes need to be started well ahead of the last frost date, and a lot goes into sprouting those tiny seeds. Not only do you need seeds but also, potting soil, containers, nutrients, light, warmth, and regular care. Money, time, and space are some of the first things to consider when starting your seeds.

The correct answer is what fits your lifestyle and schedule!

Do you start your own seeds, why or why not?

A Season of Giving

Give the gift of a garden this holiday season!

Take the work out of setting up a raised bed garden by ordering the entire setup to be installed at your home next spring.  We provide everything, and set it up, to get your garden growing!

Raised beds are a great way to get started gardening.  They are also great for children to easily reach and help in the garden, raised gardens are also great for individuals with accessibility issues.

What’s included?

*  4’x8’x22” cedar raised garden bed

*  Premium top soil, compost, and micro and macro nutrients

*  Vegetable plants and seeds of the clients choosing

*  Setup and installation of raised bed, soil, plants, and seeds

*  Watering, harvesting, and plant care plan for customer

One follow up site visit can be scheduled, to make sure everything is growing well.  Also, you will get unlimited follow up e-mail support, and trouble shooting to make sure your plants are growing great.

Timeline and Next Steps

Order your garden gift for the holiday season, we will provide you a lovely gift certificate and information pamphlet to present to your loved one.

In January we will set up a consultation phone call, to facilitate the selection of their favorite vegetables and garden plants to be planted in their new raised bed garden. At this time we will also schedule a date for spring installation.

This gift keeps on giving year after year!