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Sheila Bird is our friend Sheila Miller. She was born on a farm and always had a vegetable garden and flowers. She isn’t able to do much farm work now, but she kept us all fed and full of sun tea when the farm was on 1.25 acres 55 miles south of Laramie, near Waverly, Colorado. We had two more months of growing season down there than we do in Laramie, and much warmer nights, which allowed us to grow and harvest a wide range of produce.
In 2013, we began to farm on the Prairie Monarch Bison Ranch outside Laramie, and traveled between the ranch and the farm in Waverly to grow and harvest the same wide variety of produce for the Thursday and Friday markets in Laramie.
In 2014, we moved all operations to take place on about an acre right outside of Laramie, WY, on the Prairie Monarch Bison Ranch. We signed a lease with the owner to farm here and constructed two large hoop houses, or high tunnels, on the farm to extend the growing season earlier in spring and later in fall. We continue to provide produce to the Laramie community through the Laramie farmers markets and regular donations to Feeding Laramie Valley and The Eppson Center, as well as with a CSA program, and have ventured to the Cheyenne Saturday morning and Tuesday afternoon markets, where we found a small niche selling fresh greens and other organically grown produce. When we have extra produce, we enjoy hosting "pop up" driveway sales at the house as well.
Ricky Kent, the man behind watering hose, the wheelbarrow, and the table at the farmers market, says, “We grow damn near everything, veggie wise,” with the help of seasonal employees and friends. We sell our produce at the Thursday Local and Friday Downtown Markets in Laramie, and at local establishments, including Big Hollow Food Coop, Alibi Pub, Sweet Melissa Cafe and Front Street Taven, The Cavalryman Steakhouse and Night Heron Books and Coffee.
At Sheila Bird Farms we are committed to employing organic practices, such as crop rotation, cover crops, and the use of beneficial insects to control pests. We use absolutely NO chemical agents (pesticides/herbicides/fungicides). In November 2015 we achieved National Organic Program (NOP) organic certification through Global Organic Alliance (GOA.)
People often ask us if Sheila Bird Farms participates in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. A CSA program is a great way for us to get our money up front and to be able to distribute our excess produce (every farmer’s wish). Our CSA program, begun in 2014, enhances our ability to provide our communities with the finest quality vegetables from a local source. We offer CSA shares: single, double, and family size, so Laramie area residents can support local agriculture.
In addition to CSA we say SCA. Please buy from local growers, ranchers and artisans who live, eat, shop, and play in your community, as we do, that’s true community support. Again the best way to do that is to meet your local growers at the market, shake their hand and find out where they live. Our farm and our home is in Laramie.