Walking into the Blue Sky greenhouse feels like walking on a beach in Florida, but it smells like a forest after rain. Built over the summer, from May to July, the greenhouse is now fully functional and has become a huge part of the organic farm-to-table process.
This time of year in Arizona is too hot for putting seed into the ground. In years past, Blue Sky has sent seed to a nursery in California where they started the plants and them shipped them back once the desert cooled down. That way, plants are four to six weeks old when they go into the ground, making us that much further ahead.
Although this has been a successful process over the years, the plants can get stressed out on the long trip from California. Having a greenhouse on site allows us to keep an eye on our plants from germination to harvest, ensuring a high quality product for our customers. (Plus, most nurseries don’t use compost in their tray mixes, but we do. We want to get a healthier plant right off the bat.)
The greenhouse was also built so we could grow delicate items like cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil that might not make it through the colder Arizona months. We are experimenting with greenhouse growing. There’s always something new to learn on the farm!
Farmer Jake spends at least an hour or two in the greenhouse every day. Although we do have an automatic water system, Jake makes sure each tiny plant gets adequate hydration. He keeps an eye out for diseased plants and fertilizes with micronutrients at least once a week.
We’re thrilled to add “Greenhouse Guardians” to our repertoire!