Spring Means Planting at Threemile Canyon Farms
Despite the late spring snowfall, the sun is shining, ground temperatures have risen, and that means it's time to start planting at Threemile.
Greg Harris, Threemile’s Director of Farming and Agronomy, said that each growing season is unique. Now in his 21st year at Threemile, he still looks forward to spring every year.
“One of my favorite parts of working on the farm is the changing seasons. You are never bored, and every day is different. It’s exciting to start planting each spring, see the crops grow all summer, and then watch our hard work come to fruition in the fall,” Greg said.
Before planting begins, team members participate in several training sessions geared to keep them and others safe throughout the growing season. Team members are trained in personal, equipment and food safety, all of which are top priorities at Threemile.
Typically, planting begins in early March, depending on weather conditions. Each crop has its own soil needs and preparing the soil to provide a proper growing environment is the first step in the planting process.
Strip-tilling is a ground prep method frequently used at the farm, where tillers make single passes across the fields, as opposed to tilling the entire field. This reduces disturbed ground and topsoil erosion while leaving a wind barrier for new crops and is just one example of the environmentally conscious practices used at Threemile throughout the growing season.
“We take the best possible care of the environment at Threemile. Whether it is strip-tilling, planting cover crops or managing water resources, we use sustainable farming practices and keep our closed-loop cycle top of mind,” Greg said.
Threemile plants more than 50,000 acres, including more than 15,200 acres of organic crops. Conventional crops include potatoes, wheat, corn, alfalfa, grass, wheat and corn silage (feed for our dairy). Organic crops include field corn, onions, potatoes, carrots, alfalfa and blueberries.
Greg and his team carefully plan out where each crop will be planted based on the rotation schedule. Some crops will be harvested early in the summer and some will be later in the season. Having a variety of crops growing at different stages is one-way Threemile team members manage water usage across the farm.
“There’s a lot that goes into our row-crop operation and I’m grateful we have a dedicated team in place to manage the farm, protecting the environment and producing the best crops for our customers,” Greg said.