Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Number, please?

We place a high value on building good relationships.
We are thrilled with the number of visitors we have had to our site in the short time it has been up. We have received wonderful feedback and helpful suggestions from many people. Thank you!

One thing that some have noticed is the lack of a phone number on our contact page. This is not an oversight. We are so busy tending to the needs of all of the living things depending upon us--children, animals, and plants--we simply aren't available to take calls during much of the day. That is why we have chosen to use email as the primary means of communication between Dannik Gardens and its shareholders.

However, we realize that sometimes it is preferable, and even necessary, to speak to someone directly. To address this, please note that we check our email at least three times throughout the day. If you wish to speak to us on the phone, simply send us an email with your name, number, and a brief message. We will call you back as soon as possible. We promise.

Our email address is We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CSA Update

We can't wait to get growing!


Response to our transition from a farm-to-market business model to that of a CSA program has been incredible. Just by word-of-mouth, nearly 1/3 of our shares are already spoken for!

In the last few days I have had a chance to talk with several families about our CSA, and based upon these conversations, we have decided to amend our original pick-up dates/times/locations to better accommodate our members.

Instead of having two pick-up days here at the farm, we will now have one at the farm and one in Kalispell. As before, we will have to limit the number of shares available on each day. The new pick-up dates/times/locations are as follows:

OPTION 1, Columbia Falls:
When: Tuesdays   5:30--7:30 pm
Where: Dannik Gardens farm

OPTION 2, Kalispell:
When: Saturdays   9:00--10:30 am
Where: WalMart parking lot adjacent to the Farmers' Market

Be sure to mark your pick-up preferences on your application. If you have already sent in your application, and had chosen the original Friday option, we will contact you right away to update your choice.


Another issue that we have discussed is the challenge many families may have coming up with the full share cost within one month. Established CSA farms often set up monthly payment plans that begin in December/January so that share costs can be paid-in-full before the growing season begins. Because our decision to change to the CSA model was made within the last month or so, we are not able to offer as much flexibility as we would like. However, as it is our earnest desire to make farm-fresh, local produce as affordable and accessible to as many families as possible, we have decided to provide a modified payment plan.

Option 1: Full payment by May 30, 2014--$475.00

Option 2: Half-payment by May 30, 2014--$237.50
                 Half-payment by June 30, 2014--$237.50

If the full share amount is not paid by June 30, membership will be cancelled and the first installment will be non-refundable. For more information about our financial polices, please see Dannik Gardens CSA: Become a Member.

We hope these changes are helpful. As ever, if you have any questions, please send us an email at

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pest Control

Pest control is a boundless topic of conversation for all gardeners, especially those trying grow their crops naturally. Despite all of the strategies, recipes, and planting techniques, some pest damage is unavoidable. This week we lost dozens of foxglove seedlings to a particularly destructive pest. Our options for both pro-active and defensive damage prevention are limited. Looks like we'll just have to keep living with it.

Catticus Pesticus Maximus: otherwise known as Shaun, flipper of seed flats.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

First Outdoor Planting

The sun broke through late this afternoon, drawing us all outside for work and play. It's incredible how motivating a little bit of light and heat can be after a few days of clouds and chilly weather.

After supper, we took advantage of the lingering sunshine to set out some strawberries. This year we have rotated them from the north garden to the southwest garden. We think the plants will have greater success in this garden's rich, loamy soil. It was such a joy to be outside working together. In about an hour, we had 200 strawberry plants nestled snugly in their new beds.

And Then There Was Life

It's only been ten days since we planted our seed starts in the greenhouse. How exciting it is to see new life, vibrant and vigorous, pushing up through the soil. To the kids, it still seems miraculous: how is it that these miniscule seeds so rapidly transform into real-deal plants? To be honest, it still seems a bit miraculous to me, too.

Miss Rose inspecting some of the seed starts.

It won't be long until we are planting these in the ground and setting up trellises for them to climb.

I am already browsing through books for new salad dressing ideas. Yum!

Friday, April 18, 2014

In the Beginning

Visions of things to come.

Pictures of promise.

Many hands make light work; even little hands are helpful.

What could be more fun to a little boy than a wheelbarrow full of soft dirt?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Season for Change

Three of our young farmers in the south-west garden, 2010.
Dan and I both grew up in gardens. For him, it was an essential part of his life growing up on his family's farm here in the Flathead Valley. Not only did it put food on the table, but it also provided an additional source of income, as surplus produce was sold at the local farmers' markets.

For me, being raised by my widowed grandmother in Northern California, gardening was a means of survival. Apart from Nana's beloved rose garden, nearly every square inch of our half-acre back yard was given over to the production of fruits and vegetables. The temperate climate allowed us to raise an astonishing variety of produce. We grew every type of vegetable, and our little orchard gave us abundant fruits and nuts: apples, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, figs, cherries, almonds, walnuts, pecans, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, persimmons, and even pomegranates. We also had strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blue berries, and three types of grapes. It was a suburban Eden.
Ben, Rose, and Abbi in the south-west garden, 2010.
As we have grown our own family together, we have always maintained a garden of some sort, often from necessity, but always for pleasure. Not long after returning to Montana in 2007, after ten years away, we were further motivated to commit ourselves to cultivating as much of our own naturally grown food as possible as a means to address the autoimmune issues of four of our six children. It hasn't been easy, but it's been totally worth it. We love the peace of mind we have knowing that the food our children are eating is safe and healthy. We are also so grateful to see our children growing up in the gardens. They are learning how to work hard, but they are also experiencing the joy of living close to the earth.

Abbi in her godetia patch, 2011.
Up to this point, we have always sold our surplus produce at the Kalispell Farmers' Market. This year, giving in to the persistent prompting of dear friends, we have decided to transition our business model into that of a CSA. We look forward to the this new venture, and are especially excited for the opportunities it will bring to share the bounty of our gardens with others. 

Spring Dreams

It's hard to believe that the now empty north garden will look like this again within a few months. After the snow flurries we had this week, it's almost hard to believe that spring will ever get here at all. There is so much hope and faith involved in gardening. We must look past the empty plots and see the promise of life that lies within the soil.

After the long, grey months of winter, we find ourselves craving not only warmth, but also color. This picture makes me happy every time I look at it. How nice it will be to see the yard in bloom once more.

Vision from spring-past. How exciting it is each year when we finally see that first blush of green upon the dark soil in the fields. That's when we know that spring truly has arrived.