Dunton Family Farm News

What's Happening Around the Farm as well as a Soapbox for head farmer, Mike Dunton

Hoping for Summer

Although the countdown to the Summer Solstice is literally down to hours, it still feels like spring here.  And that is actually a step up from it feeling like winter!  It was so cool and rainy on Saturday (two days ago) that we had to list a fire in the furnace.  Interestingly, one of the headlines in today’s paper read, “Oregon Endures Second-Wettest Spring in 117 years of Record Keeping.”  I for one am hoping and praying that the weather changes, we actually get a decent summer and growing season, and that it lasts well into October.

We have finally made a big dent in our planting.  Our potting shed and greenhouse are finally about empty of plants.  Tomato, pepper and tobacco plants are all in.  Corn, beans, squash, melons, etc., are sown.  At least the main production varieties.

We are now actively figuring out what small samples of rare seeds we have in the seed bank that need to be grown out for comparison to the historical record and then if accurate, scheduled for seed multiplication grow outs.  That process typically takes anywhere from 2 to 7 years from the time we receive a rare heirloom variety to when we have seed available for home gardeners.  This is also the whole foundation of our mission.


This is the biggest of our gardens this year. It is a little under one acre. You can see this view from our field camera, watch us work and watch the progress.

Speaking of mission, if you have recently discovered us and would like to learn more about what we do and why we are here, you can learn a lot by following the links below:

About Us

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Summer is Here?

We went from cold, wet weather (that felt like winter) to Summer overnight here in the Northern Willamette Valley.  This happened on Friday and Saturday.  By yesterday (Sunday), the clouds started coming back in and it is considerably cooler today.  The nearly 90F temps on Saturday, combined with a breeze, allowed me to get the small tractor and tiller onto about 75% of the field yesterday afternoon.  And although there were serious thundershowers last night in our area, we were spared.  I will get the remainder of the field tilled today.  The rest of the week looks overcast with a chance of showers and highs in the mid-60s.  Frustrating for a farmer but nearly identical to the hand we were dealt last year.

Small orders are still trickling in (Thank you!!!) and we are able to get them quickly mailed out.  Typically we are sending them within one business day.  Folks here at the Victory Seed Company are taking advantage of this slow time for early vacations and catching up on home maintenance tasks.

Thursday we are moving our son back home from college for the summer and starting first thing Saturday morning, we plan to focus on planting.  So far the forecast looks promising.  The plants in the greenhouse are holding out but they are beginning to look a bit stressed and need to be out in the ground.

Not a lot else to report.  Blog posts may now start to be more sporadic than normal as I am required to spend less time in the office and more time out in the fields.

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More of the Same

Man I can’t get warm!  It is so cold and wet here and all of the immediate tasks that I need to get done are outside.  It has poured with few breaks, has been in the 30s in the past 24 hours, and a few minutes ago, proceeded to hail and knock blossoms off of the fruit trees that are in bloom.

Pile of Hail - April 28th

Almost May and we are getting temps into the 30s and hail.

But all this is nothing compared to the horrific and devastating outbreak of tornadoes that are hammering the Southeastern United States.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

After working in the office in this morning, I resumed my work in the potting shed.  I am now about two-thirds of the way done and will finish up with the tomatoes tomorrow.  Not the best looking plants to say the least.  I am tardy in getting the seedlings potted up and the cold weather is not helping any.  I also sure wish that I had gotten that big new greenhouse built in time for this season.  My poor little greenhouse is already packed.  I am going to have to clean out the potting shed and utilize that (less than optimum) space as well.  I just hope that things dry out and we can get plants in the ground early this season.

That is about it from the farm today.

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Some Nice Kudos Expressed

“Spiritual Growth – A Gardening Journal” did a nice write up of our packaging and sent us some nice kudos in a post entitled, “Heirloom Tomatoes and Where to Find Them.”  It is always great to get feedback from folks, especially publicly like this, that the work that we do is appreciated!

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Click for Heirloom Tomato Seed Selection Save Seeds - Victory Horticultural Library matersearch.com - online tomato resources