Purple Sage Products
Out in the rolling hills of Middleton, Idaho, Purple Sage Farms sits on 45 acres of land. 10 acres are dedicated to growing organic herbs, greens, and vegetables. When we visited early this spring, we learned that this year they will focus less on greens and vegetables, and be more dedicated to growing culinary herbs. You'll find the common ones like basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, and chives, but they also grow many lesser-known but equally delicious varieties like sorrel, papalo, spilanthes, and more!
An Organic Pioneer
Purple Sage Farms is one of the cornerstones of organic farming in the Treasure Valley. Before organic was a household term, they recognized the importance of cleaner alternatives to conventional farming and paved the way for organic in Idaho. They helped start the Idaho Department of Agriculture's organic certification program back in 1990, and were one of the first farms in the state to be certified organic.
A Family Affair
The farm was started by Tim and Tamara Sommer back in 1988. These days, the eldest Sommer son, Mike, has taken over operations of the farm. Tim and Tamara are still very involved, and may see them along with their other son Kelby at the farmers' market booth helping out, as well as their daughter Arlie doing behind the scenes work designing signage and labels.
After the epic storms of the early 2017 winter ravaged some of the greenhouses, the community rallied together to raise funds and go to work to help rebuild damaged greenhouses at the farm. The overwhelming support from their supporters is a testament to their involvement in the Treasure Valley community and the respect people have for them. You can read more about the rebuilding efforts here.
Commercial Kitchen Expands Options
Since the completion of the commercial kitchen in 2016, Purple Sage now offers several varieties of herbal kombuchas like lemongrass, basil, and bronze fennel. Purple Sage Farms is also adding lamb meat to their list of products. In December of 2016 they started making lamb meat available for purchase to consumers. They raise lambs on a small scale, so the meat is not available at any stores. Just talk to them at the Boise Farmers' Market if you are interested.
Purple Sage Snapshot
- Started in 1988, certifiend organic since 1990
- Specializes in culinary herbs like basil, mint, sage, thyme, chives and more
- 10 acres in production, 7 operational greenhouses
- Added artisanal kombuchas and lamb in 2016 (find their kombucha at the Co-op, but lamb is farmer's market only)