The Goings On – May 2023

There’s dirt in my shoes, sweat on my brow, eggs in my apron, and seeds in my pocket. All these descriptions would fit any of the Bain family, especially this time of year. May was no different.

Endings and New Beginnings

May marked the end of our MICROgreens by BHG Spring Session. It was a great season! The flavors ranged from radish to amaranth to even clover! We sampled all of these ourselves, and we have to agree that healthy eating has never tasted so good!

We also loved mingling with customers on delivery days, and we loved surprising them with Shima on one of our delivery days. We are already gearing up for Summer. We have plans to include fruit microgreens over the summer. Yeah, you heard correctly – FRUIT! If you are local to Dothan, Alabama, we invite you to sign up here.

The high tunnel is full of beautiful flushes of red tomatoes. We’ve enjoyed eating them as snacks, on skewers, and soon, we will begin incorporating our Cherry tomatoes into our focaccia bread, which will be available next week at the Poplar Head Farmer’s Market. We enjoyed our first couple of Saturdays with the other vendors, and even when we weren’t attending as vendors, we visited as customers and boy we are glad we did. We restocked our local honey from Providence Farm. We love it in our coffee each morning. We were also happy to find oxtails at the Lewis Premium Beef tent. Hubby showed out with this meal. Although I do not eat meat anymore, I was more than tempted! We were pleased to find a natural bug repellant from Wildcrafted. The bugs are awful this time of year! Gnats and mosquitoes make it particularly difficult to accomplish farm chores, so we were thrilled at the prospect of not having to apply chemicals to our bodies that we can’t even pronounce. The owner actually reached out to us to see how effective the spray was for us. I’m telling you this ain’t happening with OFF! Shopping local to your community is so important. Small businesses are in tune to what your local needs are and will work with you to produce an effective product. Your local farmers work hard to supply the local food chain. Small farms specifically need your support. It means the world!

Eggplants are beginning to ripen. We are so excited for their return as we do not buy these from the store. If we don’t grow them, we purchase them from another organic local farmer, like Hawkins Homestead Farm. Along with organic veggies, they also raise organic poultry and pork. See, local is definitely where it’s at! We learned how to make Baba Ganoush and have been hooked every since! Its been a long time coming and we are ready to welcome it back!

Sweet potatoes have been planted where kohlrabi once lived. We are happy to have the opportunity to experiment with a few different varieties this season. Since last year was a bust for our sweet potatoes we are really hoping to get a sizeable crop this year. The mistakes of yesteryear will be the wisdom of today. You can see what varieties we planted in the video here.

Flowers & Eggs

The sunflowers have really showed up and showed out this year for our Flowers by BHG subscribers. They have gotten larger than ever before. As you know we are a on a corner lot in a rural subdivision. The sunflowers greet you over the top of the fencing as you come into the neighborhood, as if they are saying, “Welcome to Bain Home Gardens.” Since they are so large, the weekly bouquets have been rather large too. Our lady bugs have turned the large leaves into, how should we say, a motel of sorts. We are sure to relocate them before feeding leaves to our ravenous rabbits. In addition to the large sunflowers, our dahlias made a grand entrance as well! Talk about impressive! We really hope to add more color variations to the homestead as the seasons come and go. Of course we are always succession planting everything and flowers are no different. We have started Zanzibar, Zinnia, Daisy, Gladiolus and more for the Summer and Fall sessions. Flowers by BHG Summer session begins August 21st and will run through September 18th. Again, if you are local to the Dothan, Al area, we invite you to sign up while subscriptions are open. Sign up for Summer session ends July 31st.

We will only be offering the 3-6-5 package in the Spring of each year as the egg production can fluctuate throughout the heat of the Summer and decreased light in Fall. However, for now, the girls are laying well. You can purchase their beautiful butt-nuggets here.

High-Tunnel Planting

I was saddened recently as I did my daily inspections in Hoopty. It has never been this empty this time of the year. Numerous health issues and start failures have the high tunnel looking rather empty. What is there is very healthy and beautiful and that is what I chose to focus on. I also set down and came up with a planting schedule that would put us close to back on tract. Before the month is over we hope to have our next planting of tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants set out in Hoopty. As for herbs we do want to get another planting of dill, & basil. Since Parsley overwinters well, we want to get it planted as well but a little later in the year, August perhaps. Our next planting of Sunflowers will also be in Hoopty as we are running out of space in the field areas. Finally we plan to add a few rows of bush beans along the rows with our eggplants and cucumbers to save space. This does leave us with one row still to be planted in the high tunnel. However, this row is in need of some compost so it will lay fallow until we can afford to purchase more compost.

Soon it is going to be beyond hot. We will need to get big planting and big projects done right away to avoid doing them at the height of Summer. Among these projects is completing the kennel for our Brady-Smore. Can you believe he is nearly 6 months already? He is also growing so fast that he’s outgrown two crates already. So when purchasing this last one, we just bought the largest one we could find recently in hopes that it is growth proof. We hope to get a video posted soon on the channel of Brady showing off all the commands and tricks he has learned. Perhaps we can get that uploaded before the month of June is over.

Speaking of our YouTube channel, we happened to notice that we have reached over 100 subscribers. Our daughter brought that to our attention. Our goal is to inspire others with various circumstances to work within those and create their own version of a homestead. We want everyone to know whether you grow big or grow small – JUST GROWING SOMETHING is better than growing nothing. To the 100+ subscribers that we have, we hope we at lest have conveyed that message to you & we thank you! As you watch videos we invite you to share them with others and post to your social media outlets. We’d love your help to grow this channel! Let’s show the world that the homestead doesn’t have to always, if ever, look like a picture from Home and Gardens magazine. However, it can and still will sustain your family! Till next time guys – love those messy yet sustainable gardens!