4 Seasons Farm Market is a sustainable beef and vegetable, century, family farm located in the beautiful Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania. We follow organic practices and crop rotation to encourage healthy soil. We are not certified organic as we reserve the right to use conventional sprays if absolutely necessary. We are growing heirloom and rare vegetable varieties to offer to our market friends. We have built a high tunnel season extending structure and also three passive solar greenhouses for starting seeds and growing vegetables in the winter. We are also experimenting with some passive solar concepts in two small high tunnels. All of these buildings will enable us to grow vegetables year around and offer fresh produce in the off season. We have also built an on farm, farm market to sell our pasture beef, produce, dry goods, handcrafted soap and soap accessories, Hardler Farm Raw Milk, local eggs, local honey, LeRaysville Cheese, Amish Butter, and local hand crafted gift items. Through the farm market, we offer our market friends the opportunity to get to know the people who grow their food.
Growing Vegetables Year-Round in South Auburn
Owned and operated by Gerald and Tina Carlin, the business is located on the Carlins’ farm, which has been in Gerald’s family for 109 years.
The market is located along SR3005 about a mile and a half north of South Auburn and three miles west from where 3005 intersects with Route 367.
A former dairy farmer, Gerald, 48, says when he read about how people in Vermont and Maine are using passive solar greenhouses to grow vegetables in the winter, he thought he’d give it a try himself. “I figured if they could do it in Maine, we could do it here in Pennsylvania,” Gerald says.
He built the 14x62 passive solar greenhouse himself. The key to its operation is a heat collection system that uses 76 black metal drums that each hold 55 gallons of water. The sun heats the water in the drums during the day and the drums give off heat at night. The building is covered with clear polycarbonate panels that utilize an airspace sandwiched between two layers to provide insulation.
Gerald and Tina welcomed customers to their farm mar- ket for the first time last Friday and offered a selection of freshly harvested vegetables, including Mesclun salad mix, which features a combination of tender, young greens, and another delightful salad mix called Rocky Top. They also have fresh radishes, carrots and red beets.
In their solar greenhouse, tomato plants are blossoming and other plants are thriving, so they expect to be adding more fresh vegetables to their inventory as time passes, including peppers, cucumbers, beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and corn.
Tina, who grew up on a dairy farm in Lycoming County, says that in addition to their passive solar greenhouse, they also grow vegetables in a season-extending plastic-covered structure called a high tunnel.
“We are growing heirloom and rare vegetable varieties,” Tina says, adding that they try to avoid using genetically-altered seeds. The Carlins also plan to sell beef they’ve raised, along with hand-crafted items and other locally produced items such as a cheese selection from the LeRaysville Cheese Factory, pancake mixes, jellies, jams and more.
The Carlins say one of the unique things about their 4 Seasons Farm Market is that it “offers customers an opportunity to get to know the people who grow their food.”
The 4 Seasons Farm Market is currently open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. As more crops ripen, they plan to extend their hours to include Wednesdays and Thursdays, when they will be open until 5 p.m. The Carlins plan to hold a grand opening in early May.
For more information about the Carlins and their unique store, check out their website at 4seasonsfarmmarket.com.
4/19/2012 Rocket Courier, Wyalusing, PA
BY STACI WILSON
For 20 years, West Auburn farmer Gerald Carlin researched ways to extend the growing season.
This year, he actually did it.
After selling off his dairy herd earlier this year, Carlin began his new career focused on growing vegetables in three passive solar greenhouses he designed and one high tunnel.
Carlin expects to be harvesting produce into the winter.
“It’s a different type of farming,” Carlin said, “with a different stress level.”
But so far, he’s happy with the way it’s worked out.
Carlin, who along with his wife, Tina, now operate 4 Seasons Farm Market at their Auburn Twp. farm which features their homegrown, fresh-picked produce.
Their work over this past year has garnered the attention of the National Family Farm Coalition, of Washington, D.C.
Through their involvement in the NFFC, the Carlin’s have been invited to participate in the 2012 Farm Aid, this week in Hershey.
The couple will be discussing their family farm experiences using passive solar energy in farming and will also be part of the Homegrown Village, promoting family farms and local food sources, during the annual Farm Aid concert.
In a press conference, Carlin will share the stage with Farm Aid principals Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and others.
Carlin built the high tunnel late last summer; he began planting tomato seeds Jan. 23; and harvested his first crop on May 9.
“A lot of people are surprised that on a sunny day in the winter it’s 80 degrees (inside the greenhouses). They don’t believe it until they walk in,” Carlin said.
Tina said that only heirloom or rare seeds – ones that are not genetically modified, are grown on the farm. Including the sweet corn, the Carlin’s grow their vegetables on about five of the farm’s 110 acres.
“We follow organic practices but are not certified organic,” she said.
And new crops are being planted each week. Recently, Carlin has planted a variety of greens, snow peas, carrots, radishes.
And he expects cucumbers to be available into October and tomatoes into December. Some of the tomato plants in the greenhouse attached to the farm store tower over the building’s rafters.
But he added, “Nothing is guaranteed.”
In addition to the vegetables, the Carlin’s still raise beef cows and have dairy heifers on the farm that has been in Gerald’s family for 109 years. The couple bought the farm off of Gerald’s parents in 1991.
The beef is also available in the storefront, as is local honey, raw milk and dry goods from local suppliers, and some gift items.
For more information about the Carlin farm or 4 Seasons Farm Market, visit http://www.4seasonsfarmmarket.com/
Information about Farm Aid can be found at http://www.farmaid.org/.
New Age Examiner 2012
AUBURN TOWNSHIP — For centuries, farming in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania has always been a way of life, but during the past several years, the economy has forced many farmers to change their ways.
One farm in Susquehanna County is now growing vegetables year-round using solar greenhouses.
Four Seasons Farm Market in Auburn Township, just outside of Meshoppen, grows all different types of veggies, all winter long.
“During the winter, we’ll grow broccoli, and cauliflower, and cabbage, carrots and beets and radishes, and lots of greens,” said Gerald Carlin, owner of Four Seasons Farm Market.
Carlin said it’s made possible by the way the greenhouse is built.
The greenhouses are called passive solar greenhouses.
Instead of all sides having clear plastic paneling, only the south side is open to the sun, while the north side has no windows and is insulated.
Along with the insulation. There are 90 drums full of water that line the insulated side. They help keep the greenhouse from getting too hot in the summer and keep the vegetables from freezing in the winter.
“Water barrels store the heat and it tempers the heat, collects during the daytime, releases at night. Also in the summer time, it absorbs heat during the day. It doesn’t get as hot in here in the summer time,” said Carlin.
Carlin and his family have been farming in Susquehanna County for decades.
They previously owned a dairy farm, but because of the economy, had to switch to grass-fed beef, and raising vegetables.
Carlin said having passive solar greenhouses, is more energy-efficient, and it will save on costs in the long run.
“So far this season, we’ve used 25 gallons of propane for this building, maybe used a hundred gallons during the entire year, which is pretty reasonable,” said Carlin.
Keeping the fresh veggies coming, straight from the farm to the market, while helping out the environment.
Four Seasons Farm Market also has a store on the farm where they sell their fresh vegetables and grass-fed beef, among other goodies. It’s located on State Route 3005 in Auburn Township, near Meshoppen.
If you would like to learn more about 4 Seasons Farm Market, just head to their website.