Missoula
62° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Kalispell
55° F
Rain
Rain
Bozeman
57° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Missoula community farm has bountiful season

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Oct 08 2012 06:15:53 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 08 2012 06:20:18 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

An urban community farm in Missoula reports a bountiful season.

Despite a drought and weeks of wildfire smoke, the irrigated property bloomed with produce.

River Road is one of Garden City Harvest's four neighborhood farms.

Garden City oversees programs to work with, and for, low-income people, at-risk youth, and educates the public on sustainable agriculture.

A volunteer at the farm is digging red potatoes.

The reds are just one of 10 varieties River Road raises.

"Corn, winter squash, onions, garlic, hot and sweet peppers did amazing," said farm assistant manager Dave Victor.

River Road Farm produced 30,000 pounds of food this season from 25 different vegetables.

Missoula isn't called the Garden City for nothing.

Victor saves the farm's seeds for future crops. "To locally adapt the vegetable varieties that we grow here to local climate conditions, and soil conditions," said the farmer.

Customers pay for a share of River Road's harvest.  Other food is donated to local agencies that serve the poor.

The tomato  harvest was down 15%. Wildfire smoke may have filtered the necessary sun that tomatoes need to mature.

"We were hoping for a bigger harvest," said Victor. But he said it was OK.

There are fat bunches of onions and it was a good year for pumpkins.

Victor shows off beautiful cobs of a Montana-bred Indian corn.

"It's a flour corn," said Victor. "You can grind it for flour."

The farm is wrapping up the season. But there's a lot more work to do.

They'll be spreading manure here, putting the gardens to bed and planting garlic so it has a head start in spring.