Grove City Gardens
BLACKFOOT – Idaho farmers and gardeners will always tell you the weather is their boss, but Richard Johnson, owner of Grove City Gardens in Blackfoot, recently invested in a new greenhouse and high tunnels that he hopes will significantly extend their normal growing season and show Mother Nature a better way.
“It seems like so much depends on the weather,” said Johnson. “I expect this to add an extra two months to the front end of our growing season and another two months on the back end.”
Johnson, who grows over 150 different varieties of fruits and vegetables on his 20-acre family-run farm says “we start all of our own plants right here from seeds, usually we only have plants ready to start selling in May, but with the addition of the greenhouse we will be able to offer fresh vegetables much earlier in the season.”
Grove City Gardens plans to start seeds in the greenhouse in February and transplant in the high tunnels around March, allowing them to provide fresh locally grown tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, summer squash, eggplant, tomatillos, herbs and more by early May. The 9-foot tall greenhouse that stretches 20x96 feet will also make a second Idaho growing season possible for certain vegetables such as peas.
“People are always so disappointed when they can’t have fresh peas anymore – because they are just so much better,” said Johnson. “I’m excited that a second batch will be ready to harvest in October. There are always those late canners that say ‘Oh I missed the season’, that won’t be the case any longer.”
Grove City Garden’s “on your honor” store will be open and have products available to purchase in May.
“We like to let people exercise their integrity,” said Johnson. “And we know people are busy, so they can come anytime that fits their schedule and be able to enjoy fresh, locally grown produce.”
Grove City Gardens is located at 246 W. 200 N. on Porterville Road, just west of the overpass and across from the greenbelt. For more information visit www.grovecitygardens.com.