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To market, to market…

…to buy buy some lean greens!

Broccoli Raab on the market table in a bunch.

Saute broccoli raab lightly with butter or olive oil (3 minutes) and add salt and citrus for a little extra kick. It’s a tasty spring treat.

A woman sells greens to another woman at the market.

Stop by and say hello, and thanks to those of you who bring your own bags to the market.

Mike Sommer selling greens at the farmers market.

This is our booth on the inaugural opening of the Boise Farmers Market, April 6, 2013.

a pile of collard greens, bunched.

Have an authentic Idaho dish this spring. Soak beans over night, put in crock pot with broth (2 to 1 ratio), or boil 30 min on stove and simmer 2 hours in broth. After beans are cooked, cut collards into thin ribbons and mix into the hot beans to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste. You can also do this with a ham hock (an Idaho one!).

A bunch of blooming chives with a sign.

Chive blossoms make a really fun addition to a vinaigrette -chop in the whole plant for a great allium flavor. Sprinkle these fresh on anything, really.

Man puts sauce on a line of tacos at the market

A taco stand at the market is filling their tacos with Purple Sage Farms Siberian Kale, it’s great to have vendors sourcing local ingredients.

Mike Sommer stands behind a table of fresh herbs for sale at the farmers market.

We love getting the chance to visit with you at the market. It’s a great time to hear people’s recipe ideas and share good food stories.

A pile of Kale raab, purple and green at the market

The raab of kale tastes like the leaf, but floral and sweet. It’s great steamed with a pad of salty butter on top. Indulge yourself and leave the stem whole -eat it as finger food.

PS, Here’s what we have this week at Purple Sage Farms: Chervil, Chives, Garlic Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Mojito Mint, Chocolate Mint, Oregano, Flat leaf parsley, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Ruby Streaks, Tatsoi,Mizuna, Giant Red Mustard, Nettles, Gourmet and Spring Mix Salad, Dino Kale, Siberian Kale, Red Russian Kale, Collards.

A farm visit in the spring

Arlie here, and I’m enthused to be able to share some spring images from Purple Sage Farms. Just before the April showers began I took a lovely stroll on the farm with my family and I wanted to share it with you. With all of the babies decorating the pasture at this time of year, we often host friends on the farm and have them help bottle feed bummer lambs. It really feels like a spring salutation to see a green field full of frolickers, be they lamb, kid or human.

Arlie with lamb in the field

Me, Arlie, with a lamb I scooped up to bottle feed. It was so warm on this day that many lambs sought refuge in the shade of some machinery in the field.

One of my favorite things to do on the farm is watch the lambs playing. They hop and wag their tails, giddy for their mother’s milk. Some of the newer mothers need a little extra help, so we bottle feed their 3rd lamb or kid.

Here’s a link to a video of the Lambs herding up at Purple Sage Farms, enjoy!

Shovels hanging on a wall at the front of the greenhouse.

A look at the various hand tools we use.

sprinklers in a tractor tire

This old tractor tire lives out a second life as a sprinkler wrangler.


Rows of lettuce in a greenhouse.

Our lettuces are the happiest in this cool spring weather.

a broccoli plant in the greenhouse.

An exciting new realm for Purple Sage Farms, Broccoli in it’s sophomore year at the farm. Since we have been so successful with Brassicas, we decided last year to expand the varieties we grow.

Arlie Sommer and Tamara Sloviaczek stand in front of a grain bin.

The sky was blue, and our dresses too! Mom and I are in front of an old grain bin from the Sloviaczek farm where Mom grew up.

Happy spring and hope to see you at the farm soon!

PS, here’s what we have available this week: Sage and Thyme are new crops this week. We have other herbs too: tarragon, oregano, lemon thyme, mojito mint, parsley, sorrel, chives, garlic chives, cilantro. Lots of Mustards this week, Ruby Streaks, Tatsoi and Mizuna. Arugula, Dino Kale, Spring Mix, Collards, Stinging Nettle. Spinach – the plants are starting to flower and we will be low or out by the end of April.

An Introduction, Mid Winter

This is the first entry of the Purple Sage Farms blog. We want to let our customers and friends know what is going on here on the farm and share our experience with our food community. Check here to find out what is going on at Purple Sage Farms each week.

We have 12 large hoop-houses that help us grow crops that are not typical of Southwest Idaho. We specialize in growing fresh culinary herbs during our growing season and we have dry herbs available for the winter season and throughout the year. We also grow salad, spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli and many other greens. Check in to this blog regularly to see what’s available.

Kelby Sommer feeds the sheep in december.

Kelby Sommer, feeding the sheep this winter.

Our herd of hair sheep help us make our own certified organic compost for the greenhouses and we harvest lambs for meat in the winter when the grass isn’t growing.

The herbs we harvest and dry in the summer are sold for winter cooking and many of the varieties we have are great for hot tea and sun tea. We also brew a fermented tea called kombucha. It’s certified organic and features the dry herbs from our farm.

Frozen fog crystals on trees in our back yard looking at a sheep pen on a cold January morning.

This past month has been one of the coldest Januarys in  a long time. Even my grandmother, who grew up in Idaho, says it’s the coldest she can remember. I took this picture after a foggy night with lows near zero. I’m standing on the patio of “la casita,” where I live, looking out to the sheep pen where I’m about to put out hay for the sheep. They start calling for me as soon as I step out my door in the morning.

I’m standing at GH1 looking down the line of 12 houses after feeding sheep on a snowy day.

The farm looks frozen now, with snow piled up on the greenhouses, but we are coming out of the winter , starting to transplant greens and spread compost, in this last week of January 2013.

Michael Sommer