Produce and Seedlings
Cate Farm began growing organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers in 1981. We started small and have grown slowly to our present size of 22 acres and seven 100′ long greenhouses under cultivation. Cate Farm prides itself on selling only excellent, high quality produce. Everything we sell is certified organic and always our own.
Each year, many varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers are grown by Sally, Richard, and our hardworking crew. We market our fresh produce to co-ops, restaurants, and stores in Central Vermont. In addition, Cate Farm is a long time member of Deep Root Organic Grower’s Co-op, which markets our produce to stores in Boston, New York, and Washington, DC areas.
Cate Farm grows a wide variety of certified organic herb, flower, and vegetable seedlings, as well as second year perennial flowers. We start everything from seed here on Cate Farm. We constantly trial new varieties, and appreciate any suggestions you may have.
Cate Farm seedlings can be purchased in Spring at Hunger Mt. Co-op in Montpelier, VT, or here at Cate Farm on our Seedling Sale days the last three Sundays in May, and June 4 from 9am to 2pm. We will be open for retail sales at Cate Farm only during the Seedling Sale days.
Cate Farm does not sell seedlings mail order.
- Transplant at the end of the day and water in; or transplant during a cloudy or rainy day. Disturb root systems as little as possible, placing plant gently in soil and firming root ball in.
- Transplant to a healthy, fertile garden soil- use compost if at all possible. At Cate Farm, we believe compost is better than snake oil! Compost retains moisture in sandy soils and impedes waterlogging in poorly drained soils. Compost is full of microorganisms necessary for a healthy soil and healthy plants. For garden analysis, inexpensive soil tests are available from the Extension service.
- Raised beds warm up faster, provide lots of growing depth, and good drainage for air and water.
- Protect frost sensitive plants (basil, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, marigolds, cosmos, zinnias…) from temperatures below 33’F by using floating row covers, or tarps, sheets or plastic. Our frost free season usually starts the last of May and lasts until the beginning/middle of September. Row covers may be used to provide earlier and better yields. Frost hardy plants (lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, onions, leeks, most herbs, sweet peas, perennials…) also benefit from the use of row covers, but are usually transplanted outside unprotected. Cate Farm hardens off seedlings by moving them from the greenhouse to coldframes or outdoors, where wind and rain strengthen the tops. Many plants can withstand a hard freeze, such as onions and lettuce.
- Space plants far enough apart so that when they are full grown they are not crowded.
- Most plants prefer full sun. Ask us which plants are candidates for shady areas.
- Keep weeds under control. Plants thrive with less competition from weeds for light, water, and nutrients.
- Tomatoes: The hairs on the stem will develop into roots , so prune off lower leaves and bury them deep (or lay them on their side in a trench and bend the growing tip up above the soil). Prune off any open flowers at time of transplanting. ( Generally, it is preferable to transplant any plant before it flowers). Row covers and plastic mulch will provide earlier and heavier yields. Keep plants off the ground for better air circulation to aid in disease control. Some gardeners prune suckers to get earlier fruit. Determinate varieties stop growing taller by themselves, while indeterminate tomatoes will keep growing like Jack’s beanstalk! (Pruning the top of the plant will keep it from going through the clouds).