Before Emily and Landon Knowles had a farm, they started a farmers market. It was 2017, and they had just purchased a home and “a bit of land” in Carey when they decided to launch a Friday market to serve the local community. They raised chickens, sold eggs, and maintained a garden, but the farmers market was the jump-start to Itty Bitty Farms. “First the farmers market…and then the farm,” explains Emily.
Five years later, and Itty Bitty Farms is an essential agricultural anchor for Carey and our area’s foodshed. Emily, Landon, their five children, and Emily’s parents are now part of the farm operations. You can find their micro-greens on store shelves and menus throughout the Valley and their pickled eggs have a devoted following. They also run the Itty Bitty Farms Store on Main Street in Carey, providing neighbors and visitors with fresh local produce, locally raised meats and dairy, and pantry staples.
In January 2021, Itty Bitty Farms received one of the first investments from Sun Valley Institute forResilience’s Impact Idaho Fund. The funding allowed them to purchase two large growing tunnels, labor-saving farm implements, and a merchandising freezer for the store.
The two tunnels have expanded their growing space and extended their season. In 2021, Itty Bitty Farms sold 25 different crops totaling over 1,600 pounds! This year, they started growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and other warm-season crops in April. “We get frost in June and September, so the tunnels are a huge help in bringing warm-season vegetables online earlier and keeping them later,” says Emily.
The freezer has been a”game-changer” for their business inside the store. Now locally grown meats and even frozen regional berries are available year-round. As Emily explains, We’re serving the whole community with the store. People come down from Sun Valley to shop, and we’re the neighborhood market for the growing Carey community.”
According to Emily, “The Impact Idaho Fund has given us the resources to continue developing our business. But more than that, it has helped us get our name out there and connect people with the farm. It’s a big morale booster to know that people are out there rooting for us to succeed!”
Emily and Landon have barely scratched the surface of their Itty Bitty Farm. It’s taken them a few years to figure out their niche and what crops work and sell best. Now Emily thinks it’s time to take the next big step, putting new land into production, diversifying their crops, and expanding their markets. “It’s going to be the year of the farm,” she exclaims.
The Itty Bitty Farms store is open Monday through Friday 12–7 pm and Saturday 12–5 pm. Look for them at the Ketchum and Hailey Farmers Markets this summer, on Kraay’s Market & Garden, and atNourishMe for pop-up farmers markets during the winter.