Agrarian Harvest

Wholesome, Organic, Experience. Our small farm, food, and simple life.



Low Tunnels

We are getting the low tunnels up and cool weather produce transplanted in the field. We decided to use low tunnels this year to extend our growing season, being able to plant earlier and then to allow our produce to grow later into the fall. Although, this spring has been warmer than usual and so far have not needed the low tunnels covered. We only have one row covered, thinking we would not need to cover them this spring since the temperature has been warm and staying about normal. Then last night it freezes. But so far all the plants have tolerated the frost and are doing fine.

The low tunnel technique seems to work well and we are very excited to be using them. This will allow us to be way more productive, which makes life a whole lot less stressful and allows us to laugh more often. We have started thousands of cool weather tolerant plants like broccoli, cabbage and kale in the cold frame several months ago and are now able to plant them outside. This frees up space in the cold frame for thousands of more seeds to be started of our later season plants like tomatoes and peppers. This has allowed us to start thousands of more seeds than in previous years. We are getting them planted in a timely manner and in stages. This makes us feel so much more efficient. We are so excited about this growing season.


Produce And New CSA Opportunity Available

Farmers’ Market may be over, but you can still get fresh, local, organic produce all winter long!

AGRARIAN HARVEST has produce, eggs, meat and other products available all year round. At the moment, we have organic eggs, winter squash, pumpkins, kale, swiss chard, garlic, broccoli, turnips, diakon radishes, cabbage, celery, pork, chicken, herbs, soap, laundry detergent, herbs and more. Visit our product pages to get a full list of products and availability. We will have whole, frozen chicken; pork by the cut; whole pigs and eggs all winter long. As for all the produce, it will be available until we sell out of the pumpkins, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, cabbage, turnips, diakon radishes, celery, beets and herbs. The broccoli, kale, swiss chard will be available until it freezes too hard for these plants. Some winters, like last year, we have kale all winter long.  We start growing greens and radishes in our cold frame during the winter so they will be available in early, early spring. So whenever you are in need of fresh produce, check with us first.

Also, we will be offering CSA shares this coming year. There will be two different sizes of produce CSA and a meat CSA with multiple pick-up locations to pick from. If you are interested in buying a CSA and want to the guarantee that you will get a box of fresh, organic, wholesome produce every week, contact us to sign up. Watch for our CSA page later this month for details.

E-mail us at or call/text us at (208) 308-5332. You can visit us at our farm in Buhl to get product any day of the week or we deliver to Twin Falls on Wednesdays.

Turning A Shed Into A Walk-In Cooler (Refrigerator)

Now that we are picking hundreds of pounds of green beans at a time we needed someplace to put them. It was fine with the neighbor to allow us room in his walk in cooler when we didn’t have that many pounds of green beans or produce that needed to be refrigerated when it is picked. But with having so many pounds of green beans and other produce we felt the need to have our own place to put them . The neighbor (he is a very generous and helpful man) didn’t say we couldn’t use his walk-in anymore, but we felt bad using so much room in his walk-in cooler. And the other half has been dreaming of building a walk-in-cooler, saying it’s simple, I can do this!

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So we cleaned out a small shed we were using for storage, ordered an air conditioner and cool bot, bought insulation and went to work. The shed was insulated. Then the hole was cut for the air conditioner. It was installed and the cool bot had to be hooked to the air conditioner. A cool bot hooks into the air conditioner to control the temperature allowing it to go below 60 degrees. We had to do a little work and insulating of the door since it was an old screen door with no latch. Next, turn the air conditioner and cool bot on, program it to proper temperature and we have a walk-in cooler.

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I’m the skeptic about everything. So, of course, I had my doubts about trying this method of making a walk-in cooler. And every day is so busy I didn’t know when the other half would have time to make it happen. But he did and I’m impressed. It is really an easy, cheap way to have a walk-in cooler vs buying an actually walk-in cooler or refrigerator.

Green Bean Picker

One of our new ventures this year has been buying a green bean picker and growing three acres of green beans. The thought and talk of it was crazy to me when the idea came up. The picker saves a lot of work and back ache, but when it picks the beans the plants are done. It leaves the plant in the ground but strips the plant of most of its leaves. So you get one picking off a plant instead of one picking every week on all the plants from July to freezing. I honestly didn’t think it would be profitable to pick the plant just once. I’ve always loved hard work and have always been willing to work. So my thought was to just get out there and pick the beans by hand to get the most out of every plant, the old-fashion way. I’m not sure about new technology. But with picking by hand we can’t raise several acres or even one acre of beans, it was more like ⅛ acre of beans and then it took both of us several hours every week to pick the beans. I could average picking about 30 pounds of beans in an hour, the other half is slower so the pounds of beans added up slowing with hand picking. Then your back would start aching, we would stand up and stretch looking toward the end of the row and it seemed so far away.  Hand picking beans would get old in hurry every year, but in my mind that is the only way to do it. So I just buckled down and got it done, even if my back ached and it looked like I would never make it to the end of the row.

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The other half was not sold that hand picking is best for us. There is also the fact that we are growing acres of a large variety of produce that needs to be harvested on a weekly or even every other day basis. The other half starts doing calculations, throw numbers out there about profitability and how good this piece of equipment can be. And it will save me lots of time since I won’t have to pick the beans this year. Well, that was an enticing thought. So we bought the Pixall BH100.

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The plan was to start planting as early in the spring as possible and plant 4 to 12 rows every week. That way we would have beans ready every week from July to freezing just like if we were hand picking the same rows all season long. Except with the beans picker we have a lot more beans to sell every week. With the picker, we (it takes two people to run it) can pick around 1000 pounds of beans in an hour instead of the 50 pounds or less that the same two people would of picked by hand.


It is very exciting to pick so many beans in a short amount of time. We are able to fill more orders and that is very satisfying. The downside is that I still have to be involved with the bean picking and boxing. Since it takes two people, the other half drives the tractor and I ride on the picker picking out the few leaves, stems or weeds that make their way through with the beans. I also switch the handle from one shoot to the other and stack the crates of beans as we go through the field.


Another downside, or maybe it’s a learning curve, is timing the picking just right. We go out to check the beans and there are too many pin beans on the plants which means we need to wait for them to mature to a good sized bean or if we pick them then there is lots of sorting the pin beans out. And if you pick the beans too small like pin beans then we are losing beans and money. Wait four days and then there are too many overly mature beans on the plants, which also means lots of sorting to get them out. Or the beans are so far gone that we have to just leave rows of beans in the field to disk under. That is very discouraging and disheartening to do when you are trying so very hard and working so hard to make a living at small organic farming.  We are still working on mastering the art of timing the pick to that perfect time and praying we can perfect it before we have to leave any more rows of beans in the field.

Since our bean picking season won’t be over until it freezes, we don’t know how profitable it is yet. We have to sell enough beans to cover the cost of the picker, our time, expenses of regular maintenance and then have money left over. We are not sure that is going to happen this year, but the picker has been nice to have. My back doesn’t hurt and I don’t look at those rows like they are never ending anymore.The discouraging part now is having to clean, sort and box hundreds of pounds of beans every time we pick, which has been three days a week. That is still better than having to pick beans by hand for three days straight every week.

Kids, Gardening and Growing

The attraction between kids and the soil just fascinates me. It’s like there is some higher power that pulls kids to that space of earth where there is no lawn growing and there is bare soil showing, like the natural attraction there is between cats and a sandbox. They just can’t resist the urge to get their hands dirty, digging, flinging dirt all over themselves and anyone near by, probably eating a little too. Our kids have always been interest in all the work going on in the garden or maybe it was just that urge to cover themselves in dirt at a young age, but they now show a real interest in growing food. I’m actually surprised that we haven’t plugged any pipes with a buildup of dirt from all the baths to wash off all the gardening and dirt digging fun off the kids. It is a regular occasion to bathe the kids during the summer and have the tub lined with dirt when the water is drained. We have said more than once that our kids are like chickens, they have to take their dirt bath or dust themselves daily!

They were all drawn to dirt at a young age and still love it. And now that our gardens have become fields there is a lot for them to be involved in. They get to do more than just dig and smear it all over themselves. And they want to be more than just involved in all we are planting, weeding, tending, and harvesting. They want their own garden space and they have it now. It has been amazing to watch them plant seeds in their own arrangements or designs, carefully and diligently weeding, watch it all sprout and grow into seedling. Then get excited to harvest the fruits or vegetables of their labor. Life is so thrilling!


Farm boy loves all aspects of it. And others like farm girl gets excited talking about gardening, but not so enthusiastic to actually do the work tending a garden. Our little farm princess loves to be involved and once again loves the dirt, but doesn’t have the attention span to tend a garden of her own yet. She is always there helping everyone else though, even if that means hoeing out the vegetables or watering the driveway and then yelling when someone step on her imaginary plants.. She’s helping, she’s dirty and she’s happy!


So give your kids a garden to create, grow and eat or at least a piece of dirt to dust themselves in. You’ll be amazed at what they can grow. And how they grow and learn with it. It doesn’t matter if they are proud of just that one plant or even if it is just weeds that they grow, lots of them are edible too! Happy gardening and growing!

The Beginning of Summer


It’s beginning to look a lot like . . . .  summer! The most wonderful time of year! I feel like I’m singing a Christmas carol or maybe I sound like Olaf singing In Summer on that very popular kids movie this past year.


Well, at least, summer is my favorite time of year. And the beginning of summer is great; when the work winds down and the fun begins or maybe I should say the planting winds down and the eating of fresh produce is abundant. The planting is almost done, there are plants that are just sprouting and ones that are up are thriving and starting to produce. A time of year when we can really enjoy the vegetables of our labor. This past week we were able to start harvesting and eating parsley, fresh dill, and garlic scapes. The sugar snap peas are soon to come, possibly this week, along with the swiss chard. I just love DSCN7003watching plants grow and produce, not that we get time to actually sit and watch the plants. It’s more of a quick observation as we are passing by them or a meandering look as we are working close by.

Although, this time of year also means we will start weeding for hours a day to keep them pesky weeds at bay.  Besides using plastic ground cover, we are trying areas with wood chip and hay mulching to keep the weeds at bay. If this works, those areas will go to no-till. I also hope this means less weeding for this year and in future years and more free time to go hiking and fishing. Or time to sit in shade on those hot afternoons sipping ice tea reading a good book or blogging.

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