Goff Organic Garden

Goff Organic Garden grows a wide variety of fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers in nine 1000-square-foot growing areas, 14 raised-bed boxes of cut flowers and an herb garden.

Each large growing area houses a different family of vegetables. Crops are rotated each year in a regular pattern.

All produce is organically grown. No synthetic herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used.

A fundamental principle of sustainable, organic methods is Diversity. We grow as many different crops as possible, rather than growing a lot of a few crops.

Spinach is one of our earliest crops, planted as soon as the soil can be worked, and harvested by mid-May.

Once our spinach is harvested, our tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbages, and eggplants are transplanted into those raised beds.

By planting and harvesting spinach early, then transplanting Nightshades in, we can harvest a second crop.

Garlic is the first crop to emerge in the spring.

Garlic is planted in the fall, later in October, when the garden is put to rest for the year.

Our garlic is harvested at the beginning of July, and tied in bundles.

Bundles are hung in the barn until dried for sale or donation.

Onions are an early spring crop.

Onions sets are planted as soon as ground can be worked.

These early onions mature around the beginning of July to mid-July, and are then pulled from the soil and hung to dry in the barn.

Leaf Lettuce
Green, red and romaine leaf lettuce are early spring crops, but can be grown in summer with good soil and waterings.

Lettuce is planted direct from seed, or transplanted from seedling flats, as soon as ground can be worked.

The section in this photo was planted before we started using recycled plastic lumber to make raised beds.

Lettuce for salad is a very popular and profitable crop, and our intensive market garden can produce a lot of this nutritious, high value food.

Carrots are planted directly from seed as soon as ground can be worked. These seedlings must be thinned.

Carrots are harvested throughout the growing season, beginning at the middle of July.

Carrots are harvested again at the beginning of August.

A fall crop is planted for our fall farmer's market in October.

Two plantings of beets from seed are done—one for spring harvest, another for the fall.

Beets are easy to grow, and provide us with beet green tops and large, tasty beet roots.

Basil is a culinary herb, not a conventional vegetable and is a popular summer seasoning both fresh and dried, and goes well with tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash -- summer's other popular vegetables. Basil is direct seeded in mid-May, and harvested from July until frost.

Parsley is commonly used in many dishes for flavor as well as for a garnish. Parsley can take the cold weather so transplants are planted in the early spring.

Dill is a tender plant with very fine leaves.  It is used in many salad dressings and especially in pickles.

Oregano & Sage
Oregano and sage are two perennial herbs. They come up every year and can be picked throughout the growing season. In the fall, they are cut back and harvested. Oregano is found in Italian and Greek cooking.  Sage is commonly used in sausage and stuffing.

Swiss Chard is a close cousin of beets. They have the same type of multi-seed clusters.

Chard is a colorful summer vegetable with dark green, curvy leaves and bright, broad multi-color stems. It's color and form make it a beautiful addition in salads, but it is often eaten cooked as summer spinach.

Chard is sown from seed early in spring in a raised bed, and harvested throughout the year.

Summer Squashes
Cucumber, Yellow, Patty Pan, Zucchini
Two plantings with summer squash are done each year which provide us with continual zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers throughout summer and early fall.

Summer squash is planted is mid-May directly from seeds, and harvested July through September.

The plastic pipe at the bottom of the picture is the header to provide water to drip lines for the squash plants.

Row covers are draped directly on the young plants early in their growth to keep away squash beetles.

Cabbage, Broccoli, Collards, Kale
Red and white cabbage are grown with our Nightshade plants.

On the right you can see tomatoes

On the left are eggplants.

Nightshade Family
Pepper, Eggplant, Tomato, Potato
Pepper, eggplant, tomato, and potato are the principal members of the Nightshade family that are grown by humans. This family is primarily grown for its fruits.

Pepper, eggplant and tomato are grown, each in their own raised bed, all in the same growing area, along with Brassicas.

Red and white potatoes are grown in their own 1000 suare foot area. Potatoes are actually not true roots, but tubers—underground fruits.

Winter Squash
Winter squash and pumpkins are planted at the same time as summer squash, but it takes longer for the fruit to mature.

Winter squash is a fall crop that ripens in late September, and develops its full sweetness in early October when nights are cold.

Our winter squash is donated to local food pantries and used by the 6th grade cooking classes. Some of it was even donated to the Questar III classes for a Thanksgiving Feast.

Cut Flowers
We also grow a wide variety of cut flowers in 14 raised-bed boxes.

This bucket of snapdragons are our most popular and prolific cut flower, and blooms from mid-summer right straight through to the first frost in October, and provide continuous stems of beautiful, multi-colored flowers.

A large section of sunflowers are grown for our fall farmer's market in October.

  Grains & Legumes
Grains and legumes are the basic crops for our food system. More products are made from corn than any other grain. Corn and soy are fed to most animals and even some farm-raised fish. In the Goff Garden, some of the raised-box-beds have been planted with wheat, corn, barley, oats, buckwheat, rye and soy beans. These grains are for demonstration purposes and will not be used for food.