The Going Ons – June 2022

June is known for a lot around the world but we here at Bain Home Gardens know it for graduation parties and oh yeah – THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER! Before we get into June let’s review what happened in May!

Flowers By BHG

May started and concluded our Spring Flowers by BHG subscription. It was definitely a whirlwind of a month of harvesting and arranging the bouquets. We won’t complain since we rather enjoyed creating these living works of art.

We harvest arrangements for our home as well and we were very impressed at how well the flowers held up. Even when delivery day was extremely hot and humid our subscribers report that their arrangements perked right back up once indoors.

Particularly have we been thrilled to add new selections to our bouquet this year like our Bee Balm Wild Bergamot. Unfortunately our lilies are being little divas and the majority of them have not opened. Not to fear Summer subscription is here! That’s right, Summer subscriptions are open now and will remain open till subscriptions sell out or until June 15th. Deliveries begin July 4th and will continue for 5 weeks. You can expect zinnias, lilies, petunias, marigolds, and of course SUNFLOWERS! Grab you subscription while they are still available or grab one as a unique gift for that flower lover in your life!

MICROgreens by BHG

Microgreens subscriptions are also up for renewal and open for new subscribers until June 15th as well. We have adjusted our model since we first begin growing microgreens for the public. You can read about the changes here. Like everyone we are having to make adjustments in how we manage things due to the increasing cost of supplies and shipping. For example we bought a package of seed for microgreens to try. After realizing we really enjoyed them we decided to purchase again. The cost had already gone up significantly in only a month! We have found that buying in bulk for our seeds as we do for our pantry does of course save us a few pennies. We accounted for that savings and inflation when adjusting our prices for our microgreens. As we work to grow from sustainably sourced organic seed the cost sometime can be prohibitive. We do not want to give up on growing our microgreens however so adjustments have been made to continue this journey. If you would like to join us this Summer, you can join here.

Big News

You guys joined our journey back in April of 2021 when we got our first flock of chickens from our friends at Hawkins Homestead Farms as they were thinning their flock. Since then we have learned so much! We love our chickens so much! They each have so much personality and their own preferences. It been such a joy having them. Only a couple of months into being chicken parents, our resident brooder, Shrill-x hatched our first two chicks, shortly after, one and just recently, FOUR! Needless to say our flocks has really grown! We have no complaints either since farm fresh eggs are definitely at the top of all of our favorite things to eat! The flavor, the color – what’s not to love?! Ensuring the eggs have the highest quality possible for us and our customers is a bit of a challenge now a days as the economy shifts. Organic feed is really expensive but we’ve carried that weight because we know its worth it. We recently even found ways to stretch our feed which decreases our feed bill while actually increasing the quality of the feed!

That’s all good and well you maybe thinking but what’s the big news? Well you know that our farm is CERTIFIED NATURALLY GROWN. This includes our microgreens as well. We are very proud of that! As of June 2, 2022 our chickens & eggs are too! This means our eggs & meat (if & when we begin meat production) all CNG! This feels so good as we already know that we put forth great effort to ensure our girls are VERY well taken care of. Now when our customers see that CNG seal on our carton of eggs they too can feel like confident in what they are buying. If your are curious about CNG and their standards please feel free to check them out here. Also here is our CNG profile. Today we will be combing through the millions photos we have of the chickens and eggs & uploading some! Truly exciting! What do you think of these above?

New Product Line

We are excited to offer a little bit of our homestead with the public by creating a name for what we already do! Introducing Real Simple Surface Cleaners by BHG! Around our homestead we commonly use vinegar to clean our counters and stove. We sometimes infuse with orange peels and at other times we use our herbs that are grown right here on our farm. The first in this line is our Lavender Infused Vinegar. I love the label on this because there are literally 2 ingredients – vinegar and lavender! It really does not get any more simple than that! You may wonder if the vinegar smell is still there and I have to say that yes it is but not as strong as vinegar on its own and it has undertones of lavender. Each 16 ounce jar makes a total of 32 ounces of cleaner. The next in the line will be Basil Infused Vinegar. We will have these at our table at Farmer’s Markets but you can also purchase from our shop.

Trials

The Three Sisters trial area is growing WILD! Beneath the large leaves of the Winter Squash are beautiful fruit. I honestly cannot tell if its pumpkin or some other squash but the good thing is time will tell!

The beans, although started a couple of weeks behind the corn, have managed to outgrow the corn! We think this particular variety may just be to vigorous for this set up. In the future we will choose a variety that does not grow quite as densely. You can see that the corn is setting nicely although the plants themselves are rather short. We are not sure what that means as the actual ears of corn but we do remain hopeful.

Our heirloom tomato trials are going nicely too. Orange Accordion and Pink Fang have set fruit and we are just waiting for them to ripen. They have held up nicely through high winds and are standing up to the Summer heat well. We are already in the 90’s here in Alabama and it isn’t even officially Summer yet!

This heat is desirable for some plants such as okra. Our Motherland okra has not done very well. The initial plating died except for one plant. We replanted it in the high tunnel and that planting is still very young so it is too soon to tell how it will do. We are really hoping that it is successful!

We also planted for the very first time Roselle which grows a lot like okra, in fact they are cousins of sorts. We acquired this interesting plant from a fellow organic gardening enthusiast. We hope to be as successful as they have been but if not we know who has the goods!

Planting

We have recently planted sweet potato slips, 3 types of potato, grape vines, final plantings of peppers and tomatoes, beans, arugula, sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, & more! Up for planting this month is succession plantings of dill, basil, squash, and cucumbers. We have a lot of work to do!

Harvests

We have harvested and cured the last of our onions. This onion harvest is our best to date! Have we found the recipe? We are afraid to say yes as these things can be so fickle. As with our Garlic harvest which was just terrible! We actually know what the problem was. We made two mistakes. One we didn’t trim the tops as we normally do which lead to the tops falling over and the bulbs not growing as large as they could have. Second we did not trim the trees around the bed we grow our garlic in . This meant the area was shaded out far too much. The bulbs are so very small that peeling them is going to be a real nightmare! Trust me next year – WE WILL DO BETTER!

The Bee Balm Wild Bergamot was harvested. We noticed that some were so top heavy with blooms that they were falling over onto the ground! So these are the ones we started harvesting first leaving the upright ones for the bees. We are preparing them now for tea blends.

Fruit

We have enjoyed using our Blackberries in our tea blends. The flavor was quite amazing! We will welcome them back next year so we can do it again!

Blueberries are coming in nicely. We have planned to add more blueberry bushes to the farm for a couple of years now however more pressing issues have take precedent. Lets see what Spring 2023 holds.

Muscadine vines are pretty loaded this year. We hope to make more muscadine jelly this year with our harvest! You know we also will be eating more than our share too!

The Nectarine tree sadly will not be yielding any usable fruit this season. We are sad about it however this was beyond our control. This tree sets fruit really early in the season. The late freeze we had destroyed all the fruit that had set and the secondary fruit was tiny. The chickens enjoyed them.

The Fig tree is doing great! We do however have a concern. We have noticed an increase presence of squirrels on the side of the property that holds our fig tree. We are hoping that they do not rip us off as they did with the Loquat tree.

Lemon trees are growing very fast however we have noticed no blossoms again this year. Someone said to us that there is a chance that it may blossom in the Fall but we are not sure if that is accurate or not. We will see. What did bloom and has fruit is our Grapefruit tree! For the interesting story about this tree click here. We aren’t expecting these to reach maturity but its nice to see some signs of fruiting.

Well that is all folks! if you are local to the Dothan, Al area then we hope to see you at Farmer’s Markets throughout the Summer!