coming up: spring plant sales

A Spring Plant Sale on the farm! Mark your calendar! Tell your friends! We’re excited to be hosting a fancy pants fancy plants sale this spring, offering a selection of what we find works best for us in this area as well as a few new-to-us varieties of garden vegetables, herbs, and flowers. All of our plants have been started from seed on the farm, they are all open-pollinated and grown using organic practices. Come by the farmstand, explore the gardens, peek in the greenhouse, and take home a few plants.

Farmstand sale days will be Saturday April 30th, 9 to 1, and again Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday May 7th, 9 to 1. Starts will be available for purchase and pick up at the farm during the week as well and throughout the month of May, please give us a call to arrange a time to come by.  Initially we’ll have herbs, flowers, brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.) for sale; tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, additional tender herbs and flowers will be available starting in mid-May. We are delighted to be offering tomatoes grown from our own saved seed, as we’re working on regionally adapting several varieties.

We will also have fresh vegetables for sale – lettuce, radishes, mustard greens, scallions, bok choy; as well as eggs, farm flower seeds, and fun, hand crafted goodies, including pot holders and wooden spoons.Also, friends! Check out this great introduction to soil health, a presentation given at the 2012 Quivira Coalition Annual Conference by Jill Clapperton (just about a 1/2 hr). She offers insights on nutrient cycling, cover crops, mycorrhiza, no-till – both educational and entertaining. We think you’ll enjoy this. And as you’re planning your garden this spring and readying beds for planting, think about your living soil and what a privilege it is to steward.

Thanks for your support and happy spring!

a spring update

Off we go and the pace is quickening. Here’s an update on spring farm happenings. Mostly photos, miscellany, and muddled chronology.

Seed trays are filling up. We just started an early round of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. We’ll get some of these planted out in the tunnel, and we’re also planning a fancy pants/fancy plants Memorial Day Plant Sale (mark your calendar!) with lots of great vegetable, herb, and flower varieties. Stay tuned for more details on this.soilblocksWe’ve re-arranged our beds in the greenhouse, replacing the long rows with key-hole style beds. This has nearly doubled our growing space and will give us more flexibility with crop rotation.key holesAnd a few more shots from the greenhouse – clockwise from upper right: scallions, mixed lettuce, beets, spinach.green in greenhouse A few weeks ago we got a chance to visit with our neighbor/farmer friend, James, of Lookout Gardens and Gage’s Gardens; he showed us the germination chamber they use to get seed trays started. It’s elegant, efficient, and brilliant. With theirs in mind, we built one. Slightly less elegant, rather more clunky, but it should do the job alright.  It’s a 6’x6’x2′ frame box lined with blue foam (leftovers from building the walk-in cooler), and wood slat shelves. The door is plastic sheeting (leftovers from the tunnels). In the bottom, we’ll set a metal tub with water and a heating element to try and keep the chamber at 75-80 degrees with high humidity. We’re looking forward to being better able to take care of these little ones as they get started and hope to have more consistent germination rates (last year’s cold, wet spring was a challenge for us) – and we truly appreciate our clever, thoughtful, supportive farmer friends’ sage advice and inspiration.germination chamber As regards germinating, we’re experimenting with stratifying seeds. We are growing bunches and bunches of plants this year that we’ve never grown before, extra-specially for a good friend of ours who is studying for a certificate in traditional naturopathy. We just started 23 different varieties of flowers and herbs, all tenderly tucked away in bags with wet sand and set aside in the fridge, some for 30 days, some for 60 days.  Jeremy, in particular, is excited about this because it’s given him an excuse to order things that have been on his dream seed list for years.  So now we’ll get to have things like Compass plant (aka silphium, admired by Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac) and Maximilian sunflower (a perennial sunflower!? yes please!), Angelica (a key ingredient in drambuie) and Joe Pye Weed (beneficial to pollinators and people, plus it’s got a great name) growing on the farm.cold stratifying seedsWe lost one of our field tunnels in a hearty wind storm, mid-February. The wind lifted the tunnel, pulling five of the twelve 30-inch earth anchors and sending the structure off like a dervish across the beds, nearly somersaulting over the adjacent tunnel. This second tunnel didn’t budge. We heard reports of 75 mph gusts, though haven’t verified this. On the positive side, we’ll be able to salvage and re-use about half of the frame and this was the tunnel we needed to move this spring anyway, to follow our crop rotation.  tunnel catastropheSo we’ll be building another tunnel. Along with a few other construction projects underway and pending: we are establishing a new raised bed up at the farmstand for you-pick herbs. In order to accommodate more starts, we’re adding on to the front of the greenhouse. A starter annex to replace our living room. We’re building up the vegetable wash station, creating a space that’s both efficient and pleasant to work in. And it looks like this year we’ll have to replace the fence and hop trellis posts.

We just finished pruning the grape vines, a process that has progressively become more streamlined since the Big Buzz Cut of 2012 and developing a pruning/trellising system that we like. There are a handful of chickens that routinely make like Houdini out of their run each morning. They join us as we’re working, at times helpful and at times ripping out entire beds of freshly planted strawberries. And Jeremy found this incredible skeleton this past weekend while cleaning up grape vine trimmings. Woah.spring chores and skeletonAnd lastly, the garlic is up! We expanded out garlic planting last fall and are trying a few soft-neck varieties as well as our favorite hard-necks.  The garlic are planted in alternating beds with a rye and vetch covercrop in between. The covercrop will be crimped and laid down in place as mulch and we’ll plant winter squash into these beds.  We should be able to harvest the garlic in time to give the squash plenty of room to spread out.

With wind tussled hair and big smiles,

Your farmers, Trish & Jeremy

Pi(e) Day Index, 2016

In celebration of irrationality, community, and deliciousness, we present to you 2016 Pi(e) Day, in numbers:

  • 3.14 mile run/walk loop from the farm (in truth, it may be closer to 2.96 mi)
  • 7 people walking, 1 immeasureably awesome umbrella, and 1 good dog with near infinite earspan
  • 17 pies; 8 savory, 9 sweet
  • 13 featuring locally grown ingredients (including, but not limited to, eggs, beets, honey, rhubarb, cherries, green tomatoes, Hidatsa Shield Figure beans, tomatillos, wine cap mushrooms, kale, shallots)
  • 5 gluten free
  • 1 featuring lambs quarters(!)
  • 1 jar of pi-ckles
  • 26 people, 5 of these = lil’ squirts, all cozied up in our little home
  • 2 months, youngest pie celebrant
  • 3, most generations together to celebrate pies
  • 5 people on the couch at one time
  • 0 empty chairs
  • 4 soggy wet tables, abandoned outside; approx. 16′ wet bunting
  • 0″ rain in gauge (psssh. clearly we need a new rain gauge)
  • 1 lost pair of rain pants
  • 3 dishwashers, tag-teaming
  • 2 exceptionally happy farmers
  • 364 days until next Pi(e) Day!

walk routepie day festivitieslittle onespie day pie chartpieshot

A big, heaping thank you with whipped cream on top to all who were able to join us last night for our 4th annual Pi(e) Day transcendental merry makings! We feel honored and grateful to have had the time with you.

With full bellies and gratitude, your farmers, Trish and Jeremy

panoramdemonium 2015

Another year, another panoramdemonium. So far, each year, we’ve been recording happenings, growth, messes, projects, seasonality through a series of photos at monitoring points around the farm. We have 13 monitoring points, some with multiple photo directions or panoramas. During the winter, we compile the photos and use them in reflection on successes and failures of our previous year(s) and planning for our next season. Previous pandemoniums can be found here(2014), and here(2013), and here too(2012). You might think that after four years we would have established a pretty solid routine. Nah. This year we forgot to take our mid-summer photos. (insert Captain Haddock exclamations of bewilderment and frustration here.) We could fuss around conveying all sorts of pitiable excuses, but in the end, there you have it. It will forever be a mar in our record keeping.

So in the theme of the Library of Alexandria, the lost films of Georges Méliès, and Schubert’s unfinished symphony. The Nixon tapes. Perec’s A Void. And the Dear Kit letters of 1976. We present to you: panoramdemonium 2015.

A view of the orchard and hop yard from the beehives over the course of the year.[whoopsie. June 2015]

And a view of our main vegetable beds from the north gate.[…June 2015…]Some mid-summer gaps can be filled in pretty easily, with our keen powers of interpolation and because Trish takes a crazy number of photos. For instance:

The greenhouse over the course of the year (w. a stand-in photo from 7/8)greenhouse panoramdemonium

and the chicken yard (w a stand-in photo from 6/6) *note, our new solar panels.chicken yard panoramdemonium

the farmstand (stand-in photo from 6/15, photo credits to our buddy and wicked-good writer, Sean Prentiss)farmstand panoramdemonium

It’s neat to see the farm change over the course of a single year, but the real strength of photo monitoring is tracking how the farm changes, long term, comparing seasons over the course of several years.

Here are photos of our front herb and flower beds taken on September 21st, 2012 through 2015. Progressively, we’ve been adding beds, putting in perennials and reducing lawn.sunnyherbbeds panoramdemonium

and photos in (of) the greenhouse (September, 2012 through 2015). Jeremy and Dave are putting in the frost-free hydrant, in this 2012 photo; straw bale walls went up the following month. We replaced roof polycarbonate (from 8′ to 12′ sheets) this summer (2015) to increase light. Cobbing is still not quite yet complete (more Captain Haddock exclamations).Sept greenhouse Pandemonium

Days are getting longer as our to-do list grows. Before too long, we hope to share more reflections on our 2015 season, namely farm finances, our experience with pastured poultry, and additions to farm infrastructure. Happy pandemonium.

save it for later, storing vegetables

Yesterday’s super special bonus CSA share included heaps of potatoes and parsnips, garlic and carrots. There were a number of good questions on how best to store things, so we’ve put together some quick tips. Don’t fret about not having a root cellar. Here are some ideas on and tips for vegetable storage in a typical home:Your refrigerator, usually set at about 35-40 degrees F, is a great spot for roots and greens (beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, radishes and cabbage, kale). Store these in a plastic bag (the fridge is a great dehydrator); if you prefer, wrap roots in a paper towel to wick away moisture, then tuck into a plastic bag. For roots, cut off the greens and store separately.An unheated (but freeze-proof) room, closet, garage, entryway, attic, usually between 40-50 degrees F, is a great spot for garlic, winter squash, onions, and shallots. Keep onions and shallots and garlic in a dark spot, or they’ll sprout. For winter squash, make sure they are not touching and they have good airflow between them. If you want details as to why not to stack your squash, we’ll be happy to show you the squash soup stains on the floor of our basement. Completely nasty.

A cool damp area (between 33-50 degrees F), like your basement, is a great spot for storing potatoes. Keep these guys in a dark and ventilated area, a cardboard box, a wooden crate, a mesh bag (not a sealed plastic tub, or plastic bag); and don’t store potatoes with apples. Apples give off ethylene gas that will spoil your potatoes.

Visit your stores every once and a while and check things over. If anything has gone soft or funky, get it out of there quick.

Put it up!

autumn update, in photos

The sandhill cranes have been flying over in super high vees these past two days, with their rolling, gurgling, chortle calls. The robins are gone, replaced by blue jays. Elms are doing that amazing yellow thing they do. It’s nearing mid-October and we’re still picking cucumbers in the field. We had a few wet, rainy days that teased us with fall and sweaters and cold hands harvesting greens, but this evening, as we unloaded compost onto next year’s winter squash beds with the sun setting, the thermometer read 75 degrees.

Here is an abbreviated autumn update from the farm, mostly photos.Acidanthera, fragrant gladiolus, blueberries milkweed chickens octoberWe tried out some bulbing flowers this year, testing our interest/ability/capacity for cut flower production. It’s incredible fun to include flowers in the CSA shares and it would be great to offer local, organically grown flower bouquets throughout the season. This is something we’d like to work on, figuring out the timing and diversity. It’s on the range, but shoved over on a way back burner …behind weed management and finishing cobbing in the greenhouse and a new gate for the chicken yard and… The mushroom logs responded well to this recent wet spell. This year we tried out shiitake, oyster and wine cap. For being somewhat neglected, they’ve been doing well this predominantly wet season. Despite our best intentions to curb superfluous farm projects (tangents? whims?), Jeremy somehow snaked in a patch of hardy blueberries this spring. They plants look great and we even got a crop of fruit this summer (like 7 berries).  We just wrapped up our final batch of pastured chickens last weekend. We raised 4 rounds of 50 Freedom Ranger chickens, took pre-orders, and sold chickens fresh from the farm the afternoon after butchering. This process worked well and we really appreciate our customers’ flexibility in scheduling and enthusiasm for good meat.cucmbers CSA grilled tomato seeds october The summer season produce just seems to keep on coming. The shares this year have been heaped with greens and cucumbers, summer squash and roots. We’ve been struggling to get peppers and eggplants to ripen before the slugs get at them and we lost out entirely on winter squash, tomatillos, broccoli. Our meager two rows of cucumbers have far outdone themselves, some of our CSA members have been canning and we’ve even been able to deliver cucumbers to the Spearfish Food Pantry. The farmstand has become a routine part of our week, with both the CSA pick-up and our Friday night market. It’s such a good space. And we just rotted, rinsed, and dried oodles and oodles of saved tomato seed. Still need to chase out the last of the lingering fruit flies.collecting bales As part of our no-till bed management, we stocked up on a whole heaping mess load of strawbales. We’re immensely grateful to have found a source for untreated oat straw to use. Plus we got to spend some time tossing bales in the shadow of Bear Butte.october bedsThis extended season has graced us with more time to tackle our absurdly long to-do list. One extra big check off the list was getting one of our field tunnels covered. This summer we constructed two modular low tunnels that we’ll be able to move with our crop rotation each year. With these tunnels, we should be able to increase our early spinach and other spring greens yield and help give our peppers and eggplants longer frost free time in the fall.installing solar panelsAnother big check off the list was getting our new PV array installed. With enormous help from Jeremy’s father, Dave, our new friend and comrade in clean energy, James, and our solar sage in Bozeman, Sarah, we are now able to produce good food AND electricity using sunshine.krauting workshop with Cis and RadishThis week we got to host a sauerkrauting workshop led by our friend and comrade in krauting, Cis Rongstad. We learned so much and are appreciative of Cis sharing her experience and knowledge on the chemistry, biology and good flavors of kraut. Cis brought 6 different types of kraut to sample(!); lemon dill, cortido, classic kraut w apple, kim chi, and a zucchini relish with fermented tomatoes(!!)… My favorite was one with curry spices, Cis’ recipe is shared in the Cycle Farm community cook book here.kale diverisityAnd lastly, here are some photos from our 4th annual Harvest Party celebration just this afternoon. We appreciate having the chance to share our farm with friends and neighbors, snuggling the lambs and taste-testing garlic varieties, gorging on a flight of potatoes, rainbow pico de gallo, ciabatta and chocolate beet cake. Conversing over edible flowers and a kale breeding project, guinea recipes and raspberry production, broom corn and sauerkraut. To all our Cycle Farm family: your support and enthusiasm means the world to us. You inspire us everyday. Thank you. potato flight and beet cake

Wishing you all a happy harvest season! Full bellies and big smiles, T and J

farm animals and harvesting beetles, garlic

Our schedule on the farm, day to day, has been quick-paced and varied. At any given time there are twelve things that need to be done. One urgent task may require four other things be done before finally getting to what you originally set out for. Some things are reliant on weather. Trays of succession plantings to seed, fall transplants to get in. Weeding carrots, thinning beets. Looming infrastructure projects that need tackled before the weather turns. Just as you feel settled into an every-other-day snap pea harvest schedule – BAM – better get those summer squash, quick! Each week’s CSA harvest brings something new. And now: potato beetles. The swelling to-do list evolves with the season, the length of the days. It’s a little shotgun, a little roller coaster.

However, there is also an underlying constant, a reliable rhythmic structure to the farm cycle – animals. Looking after the lambs and the chickens provides a very routine heartbeat to our growing season on the farm. Moving the tractors, grinding feed, carrying water buckets, tending to the brooder babes. Every day. Time spent watching the animals, checking in on how they look, their behavior. What are they eating? How much are they eating? This time is necessary and can’t be rushed – we work on their time.  Caring for the animals provides us a solid rock steady beat to our otherwise Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew farm schedule.

Pasture management proceedings. Pasqual, Isidro, and Ambrose are doing a great job, mowing, feasting, ruminating. Spirited, endearing and affectionate, each with very distinct personalities. We have them in a 10×16′ hog panel tractor (pronounced lamborghini) that moves (typically twice) everyday through the pasture ahead of the chickens. The hog panel tractor helps protect our young fruit trees from being wantonly pruned, it also ensures an even grazing of the pasture. By the time we move them, the lambs have generally mowed down everything evenly within their tractor area, rather than picking out just the best bits and over time selecting for a junky pasture forage profile. They avoid flax. They devour dandelions. Everything is trimmed down to chicken-friendly height.  A few days after the lambs, with the pasture grass newly mowed, the chicken tractors move through.Here’s a link to a short video of Jerm moving one of the tractors. The birds quickly figure out what it means when the walls start shifting. They line up on the forward edge and chase the tractor onto fresh grass and new buggy breakfast. The area they leave behind is covered in a healthy coat of chicken shit, all the grass has been pecked away. It seems pretty bleak. But then, in a week or two, the grass is back, dark green and lovely. The diversity and vigor of what grows after being swathed by the lamborghini and chicken tractor is gratifying and inspiring.  We’re excited about this for a variety of reasons, including: healthy, happy animals, providing good meat for our community, soil carbon sequestration, growing pasture diversity and nutrient cycling.In the brooder, we have our season’s last batch of little peepers, now not yet a week old. These will move out to pasture in a tractor at four weeks old and be butchered come late September/early October. If you are interested in, or would like more information on, pre-ordering some of our delicious pastured, non-GMO chicken, contact us.

As relates: we have a handful of brand-spankin’ new little keets on the farm as of this morning. The tiniest, most adorable, fluffball-things you ever did see. Soon to be obnoxious farm buskers, self-trained tick assassins.Also this week: we are defending our potato crop from an attack of potato beetles at the Eddy field. This involves hours of hand-picking bright orange larvae and stripey beetles off of our nearly denuded plants. Every other day. We haven’t yet made beetle pepper, but we’re thinking about it. We have seven different varieties of potato planted in about a 1/4 acre area. Some of these varieties are holding up against these little villains much better than others. One section of this field is being hit harder than others, this same section had been planted with potatoes last year. The Russian Banana Fingerling are holding strong, but unfortunately, the German Butterballs are getting annihilated. The gbs are in the section of the field that had been planted with potatoes last year. So we’ve got new potato butterballs in the CSA shares this week. Since starting our beetle collection and squishing strategy, we’ve noticed new, green growth on previously sorry potato plants – things are looking up.

This is a field we are leasing, north of town – an acre of dry beans, popcorn, winter squash, and potatoes. We have potatoes planted in our own field (at cyclefarm) and have never had this type of potato beetle pest problem. There are so many different variables that might explain this (land management, tillage/no-till, crop rotation, resident predator insect population, varying soil nutrients, moisture, and plant health). It’s been a great learning opportunity and has given us a whole lot to think about; we’re feeling appreciative of our healthy plants and the management decisions we’ve made here on our own fields.Between routine potato beetle collections, we harvested our garlic beds. Garlic is a special crop to Cycle Farm, our first seed planted and this best-yet harvest has us feeling hugely rewarded. There is something earthy-magic to the stinking rose. A mysterious gift to unwrap. The wily shrunken head, lleno de dientes. Toxin-buster cluster. Sticky fingers and the thick, enduring smell.  Four different varieties of garlic (nearly 1500 heads) are laid out and hung up to cure in the shed. Some of these are saved from seed originally planted in 2011 – great granddaughters – by our friends, Obi and Jill, at the very very beginning of Cycle Farm. Much of these we’ll set aside as seed for next year in the hopes of expanding our garlic production. Half the fun of harvesting garlic is getting another chance to peek in and explore this amazing soil – what thankful farmers we are.


The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life. – from The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry (..and here’s another good read, The Pleasures of Eating from What are People For?)

midsummer farm update, in photos

An update from the farm, mainly photos. Our crops and hearts got crushed earlier in July with a hail storm. We’ve re-trellised and planted out new flats of greens and brassicas. Some things are rebounding brilliantly, other things (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants) still look feeble and sorry. We’re offering them gentle encouragements, spread with a thick layer of hope. field tunnels leeks squashWith the storms and the slugs, we got a bit mopey. To combat this, Jeremy took me around on a special “there’s lots to celebrate here despite the mess” farm tour. He brought the camera. The following are shots from the tour: the St John’s Wort in the orchard, showy milkweed in the herb bed, a soon-to-be sunflower by the compost, and rudbeckia blooming by the farm stand.july flowersAnd greens, so many greens. New lettuce plantings are filling in. The peas are sending out new flowers.July greensLast Friday, we had a chance to visit with Linfred and Ron Schuttler on the porch of the farm stand. With vegetables on the counter and glasses of ice water in hand, we heard stories about their family farm, Lumbago Acres, the farm stand, and agriculture in the valley during the 50’s and 60’s. There’s a great article in the Black Hills Pioneer sharing some of these wonderful stories from our conversation together.visitingThe first batch of pastured chickens were butchered and sold last weekend. We feel enormously appreciative about how everything went. The morning slaughter and butcher went smoothly, everyone calm and happy – both the birds and the people. We had great help. The birds averaged 4 pounds. We’re very grateful for having sold out of chickens. If you are interested in reserving a fresh chicken for next time, please let us know.  Thank you so much for supporting small-scale, thoughtfully raised, and humanely slaughtered meat.Additional celebrations! My niece has been visiting this week. Getting the chance to share the farm with an inquisitive, brave, and energetic nine year old is awesome. Thanks for coming, Elora – and thanks for rallying your Dad and Gamma to come too. elora ann on the farmAnd celebrations continue! A wedding on the farm! Our friends and all time number one farmer-inspirations, Eowyn and Jacqui, were married in the shade of the grapes, between the blooming valerian and the lemon sorrel this past Saturday. Thoughtful words, joyful smiles, and beautiful bouquets of wild carrot. So much love.

For our CSA, we put together a weekly newsletter with an update on farm goings-on. If you are interested in finding out more of what’s happening at Cycle Farm, check out the newsletters posted online here each week. We also have a new CSA cookbook, an ongoing online collection of recipes and kitchen inspiration you might like to poke through.

Happy summer, happy feasting!

-t

 

agrarian riddims, side c beats

Originally inspired by Grist’s mixtape love letter to the parks, we’ve been putting together annual summer mix tapes featuring agrarian-inspired riddims. Check out these links to our previous mix-tapes, Volume 1 and Volume 2. This year, we’ve pulled together some great tracts to accompany our particularly tempestuous season. We hope you like these melodies as much as we do. Turn it up, up, up.

Burning Spear – Man in the Hills

Proper King – Farm Di Ground

Mungo’s Hi Fi – Bike Rider

Sarah Lubo and Kabaka Pyramid – High and Windy

Protoje and Chronixx – Who Knows

Buju Banton – Not an Easy Road

Dezarie – Hail Jah

Protoje and The Indiggnation – Hail Rastafari

Shabba Ranks – Tough Life

Lee Scratch Perry – Rainy Night Dub

Webby Jay – In the Rain

Martin Jondo – Rainbow Warrior

Promoe – New Day

Israel Vibrations – Mud up

Sister Charlotte – Weeding Dub

Beany Mann – Insects Nuh Bother We

Clinton Fearon – Better Days

Winston McAnuff and Fixi – Garden of Love

Big beets, big thanks, t and j

farm stand

We have been having much deliberation about the season, a lot of ruminating on time, finances, and the Farmers Market. Right now we’re feeling enormously swamped on the farm, too much to do, only two people, not enough time. We’ve decided we have to miss the Saturday market this summer. This has us feeling torn and disappointed, we love the market so very much. However, we’re also really looking forward to having the additional time to spend in the field and finishing projects. One of the projects we’re especially excited about is fixing up an old farm stand, which we’re planning on using for our CSA pick-up and for on-farm sales. Our hope is that we can still make our produce available to customers while being here to manage the farm, care for critters, tackle chores, etc. We’re still finishing construction/repair on the farm stand and haven’t yet set open hours. Please stay tuned. We hope that you’ll stop by the farm stand and see us! Of course, you should also hop on your bike and go visit our friends at the Farmers Market too!

A bit more about the farm stand: This farm stand was originally built by the Schuttler family in the early 50’s on their farm property at the corner of Evans Lane (then Lower Valley Rd) and Old Hwy 14.  They sold everything from honey and canned jams and jellies, eggs and herbs, potted plants, and a whole array of diverse vegetables and fruits. All seasonal and local and amazing. This is a photo courtesy of Linfred and Ron Schuttler of their parents’ stand in operation.   The Schuttler’s family farm was called Lumbago Acres, aptly named because it had a ‘crick in the back’ – before the highway was built, Spearfish Creek flowed along the north property boundary, through the back of the farm.  The stand was last used as a market space in 1976. Here is a shot of the farm stand at the original farm, circa 2013. When we first moved to Spearfish to start farming, Ron Schuttler graciously offered us the stand if we could figure out a way to move it. For three years it’s been on our to-do list (indeed it’s printed on our business card). This spring, we contacted a couple big-truck towing, fork-lifting, hauling companies to see about having it moved, but were repeatedly warned that due to rot and age, moving it would crumple it.  Jeremy and his father, Dave, were confident in it’s structural soundness. Jeremy had already transplanted the lilac hedge. It would move just fine. Together, the two jacked it up, corner by corner, on bricks and beams and coffee cans and marbles. Such a good team. Once it was up high enough, Dave backed a trailer underneath. Once here, in the driveway, they reversed the process jacking it down, corner by corner. Finally, setting it down on boards. Using pipes as rollers and fun trigonometry, a tiedown strap to lift a crab apple branch out of the way, a come-a-long and moxy, the farm stand found its way into place at Cycle Farm.on rollers Between time on bed prep and planting in the field, we’re working on getting the farm stand usable. The rot is cut out. It’s now sporting a fabulous new porch, with great rocking chair potential, and new roof boards. roofing Even after 40 years unused, the farm stand is in remarkably good condition. It’s such a great space. Everything so smartly laid out and built. Complete with, hinged counters, shelves, hanging produce signs, and a wonderful, little sliding glass window in the back. The counters and shelves inside are all preserved well under a generous layer of dust, spider egg casings, and cob webs. Newspaper comic strips stapled to the walls, and photos of brown trout and bass, and pretty ladies with horses tacked to the ceiling. There’s an incredible, rich history to this space, as part of Spearfish Valley agriculture and small family farming, and we feel honored and privileged to get to be a part of it.40 years of dustWe’re planning having the farm stand ready for our first CSA pick-up on Thursday (oh sheeesh). We’ll also be selling produce fresh from the farm through the farm stand all season long. Look for updates on our facebook site as to what’s available. Or check out the smart signs posted on the side of the stand. We hope you’ll come by and visit us.


An update! Since posting this, we had the chance to spend an afternoon (July 3rd) with the Schuttler’s on the porch of the farm stand. Some of this great conversation, history of the farm stand and agriculture of Spearfish Valley was recorded in this great article from the Black Hills Pioneer, Restoring — and restocking — a Spearfish farm stand.