A snow covered U.P. field is a sure sign that the growing season has come to a close.
"This is a short growing season climate so you have to get in as soon as you can in the spring, and you're lucky to get it out before frost in the fall," said Michael Wixtrom, owner of Wixtrom Natural Farms in Republic.
But just because the ground is frozen doesn't mean the farming process has to freeze, too; it just moves indoors. Yes, an organic farmer's work is never really done. Wixtrom moves inside to prepare potatoes to sell.
"We're a late season grower so this is our big time to sell all our products we grew in the summer, so we're pretty busy grading our potatoes," Wixtrom said.
For an organic farmer, winter is also a crucial time for preparation.
"Usually if you want to be successful in the next year, you have to do a lot of prep during the winter," Wixtrom said.
A lot of research goes into the organic farming process, which can be time consuming.
"The organic industry is not very big yet, and so there's not availability of good products like there is for commercial farmers," Wixtrom added.
Organic farmers with smaller crops, like vine plants and beans, can extend their season with greenhouses, often doubling their growing season.
In Skandia, Seeds and Spores uses greenhouses to stay open year-round. Since the organic farming trend is still very new, most farmers are not able to rely purely on their crops for income. Many use the winter downtime to pick up another job. Still the goal for most U.P. organic farmers we spoke with is to maximize their growing season and farm, full time.