69. Jason Hirtz on Profitable Greens Production

How would you go about running and maintaining a USDA certified vegetable farm using tunnels to grow your crops?

Jason Hirtz of Box Turtle Farm in Mount Vernon, Missouri joins us today to discuss what he does and why he does it the way he does it! Box Turtle Farm passionately believes that consumers deserve the choice to feed their families the best food possible. Jason shares with us the ins and outs of his modern tunnel systems, the specifics of the biosolarization methods, seeding techniques (and much more), in order to reap only the richest, freshest, and healthiest organic crops in town!

You’ll Hear:

What Box Turtle Farm is all about 0:45

What Jason did before farming 2:44

What working at Box Turtle Farm was like in the beginning 5:59 

Why Box Turtle started using tunnels 7:10

Why they began using smaller tunnels 9:59 

How crop rotation works with the tunnels 11:13

What  they seed with 14:43

How Jason keeps the soil saturated 19:39

How Jason is looking to expand his operation and further modernize it 23:18

What tip Jason gives for someone putting up their first growing tunnel 28:57

Where Jason sources his tunnels from 31:06

How many crop turns they typically get in each tunnel per year 33:18

How Box Turtle does their harvesting and potential future plans for the harvesting process 39:25

How Jason washes and packs the crops 44:06

What a typical day looks like on Box Turtle Farm 48:54

Who Jason’s mentors were on his farming journey 58:04

What systems Jason would put in place earlier given the opportunity to start again 59:48

Why Box Turtle doesn’t deal in clam shells 1.02:31

How Jason is handling promotions for Box Turtle Farm 1.05:03

The biggest mistake Jason sees new farmers making 1.06:38

Jason’s favorite farming tool 1.09:01

Where you can find out about Jason and Box Turtle Farm 1.10:47

About the Guest:

Box Turtle Farm started on a suburban lot outside of St. Louis in 2009, growing vegetables for farmers’ markets and a small CSA. In 2011, they moved to our current location in Mount Vernon, MO, in order to expand our operation. In 2013, they were able to certify their products USDA organic and are inspected annually to maintain this certification. They strive to produce the best possible vegetables, usually harvesting within two days of delivery. 

In addition to growing salad mixes year-round, they also grow bunched greens and other field crops seasonally.  Their bagged greens include Spring Mix, Avant Gardener, MaMa Jean’s Greens (a signature mix only available at MaMa Jean’s), Arugula, Baby Kale, and Spinach.

Resources and mentions:

Website – https://www.boxturtlefarm.farm/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BoxTurtleFarm/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/boxturtlefarmer/

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.