Farming with Scissors - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Farming with Scissors

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Harvesting at North Dakota's only commercial herb garden is all done by hand.

"Our scissor is our combine here. We can take and actually move through the fields fairly quickly, keeping everything clean. And our scissor allows us to short trim everything," says
Barry Mawby.

Barry Mawby and his family cut herbs a couple times a week.  The specialty crops grown here are also planted at several intervals during the summer, so 15 different types of spices and herbs are always fresh.

"Once that first succession is harvested out and its beginning to get tough or not quite as good looking, its get pulled out of the field and we move to the second succession," says Holly Mawby.

This high tunnel extends the growing season a month by providing extra heat in the spring and protection from frost in the fall.  

"It really keeps us going in the spring, it gets us into the stores earlier in the spring and then it gets us past that first frost.  Basil especially is Mediterranean herb, it likes the hear and it really hates the cold, so if you can protect it from that you can keep going," says Holly.

More than 2000 pounds of basil, sage, dill, cilantro, parsley, chives, rosemary, oregano and seven other spices were grown here last year and sold to grocery stores and restaurants in one once packages.  Everything is washed and weighed before its delivered.

The Gardendwellers Farm currently covers two acres, but the Mawbys plan to expand in order to meet the growing demand for fresh herbs.

"It use to be that if you cooked with fresh herbs, people though you were a real gourmet, not the climate is changing. You don't need to be a culinary genius to use fresh herbs in your food," says Holly.

This herb garden is located on a small section of a former wheat, corn and canola farm.  The growing season runs around 16 weeks, but the Mawbys say they've cut crops some years as late as Thanksgiving.


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