Secrets of Phila. farms revealed

Like the tulips that return so faithfully each year to herald spring, parks and intersections will soon bloom a crop of farmers markets rich with the season’s first local edibles: asparagus, spring peas, garlic scapes and mustard greens. Though the first harvest comes in around the last week of May, farmers are busy through the winter both growing and getting ready for the busy season. We checked in with a few local agriculturists to find out what they do when the earth is under snow.

Build and maintain
“We remake ourselves every year,” says Ryan Kuck, farmer at Greensgrow urban farm in Kensington. “We do lots of planning and prep and lots of facilities work over the winter. Things break, things get taken down and rebuilt. We’re adding a new outdoor kitchen this year, so we can host some of our sustainability workshops onsite at the farm.”

Ben Wenk of Three Springs Fruit Farm in Wenksville “seems to spend a lot of time in meetings in wintertime, keeping up to date and educating ourselves at different conferences, where education ranges from marketing and learning different ways to prune cherry trees to new technology and pest control. We’re doing so many things, you feel you’re missing something you should be listening to when you go to these [conferences].”

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