At last, the air is feeling as it should. The temperatures have dropped, and it is officially SWEATER WEATHER! As I pull out the turtlenecks and hoodies, I reflect on 2022. There was much more abundance and less complications. We are behind yet again, and it’s all on me.
These Hips Do Lie
I mentioned health issues in the previous blogs. Specifically, spina bifida, which comes with a host of other issues. One currently being monitored is my bilateral hip dysplasia, which isn’t all that uncommon. It basically means that my hips grew abnormally. This condition is graded in stages 1 – 4, 4 being the most severe. To help you better understand, my hips are at a stage 3. Stage 4s are usually only seen in developing countries. Follow?
As a result of the dysplasia and other congenital deformities, arthritis and pain are just a part of who I am. Hubby called me tenacious smany years ago when we were dating, and it is a fair representation of who I am. I’ve desired to be at the helm of my own ship, not cocaptain to pain and my many imperfections. So, I’ve worked with orthopedists, neurologists, and physical therapists over the years. With their help and the awesome support system I’m blessed to have, I’ve been able to manage these symptoms and lead a fairly average life. Recent event though have required some, how shall I say, reevaluating. Th3 hip pain is with juzt cause as there is much degradation shown on x-ray images. Thus, my awesome team of doctors have determined that these hips need to be upgraded. Tentatively, the most problematic hip would be taken care of first, likely in late spring/early summer 2024, followed by the next hip the following year. Since recovery will likely take longer than most, due to my medical history, we are having to seriously plan and adjust to make sure the farm doesn’t suffer while the BHG team aides me to recovery.
Adjustments To Our Services
They say nothing good comes without some sacrifice. Unfortunately, this seems to have merit within evaluating what we can and can not do the upcoming year. With heavy hearts, we have to let you know that we will not offer the Flowers by BHG for the 2024 season. I am the primary arranger of the bouquets, and there is no way to really know how well things will go. Also, most of our flowers are not consistently ready until late spring. Additionally, our 3-6-5 by BHG will not be available for 2024. Not all is lost. Howeve
Our Eggs by BHG will be available but offered separately in the spring of 2024 as a stand-alone service.We felt that the family could handle this as they have already shown their aptitude for caring for thr flock, knowledgeable of egg shell law, and efficiency at washing and packaging our eggs.
If our flowers are something you look forward to each yearnwe have a little light for you too. We will make our flower bouquets available on our shop page as we have them for those interested. This takes pressure of me and allwos me to work as I have the strength to do so while recovering.
Given the approximate timing, we have decided to offer a Winter 2023 (December 18th – January 29th) & Spring 2024 (March 18th – April 29th) microgreen session. The family is already in training for these sessions to ensure your microgreens continue to be top noch!
We will take summer and fall off to recuperate, recalibrate, and hopefully resume the Winter 2024. We just want to emphasize the word tenative! The Winter 2023 session of our MICROgreens by BHG is now open for those interested.
Lost Time & Lost Plants
As aforementioned, limitations in my mobility have really cramped our farming style here at BHG. We have lost time crucial to ensuring our spring & and summer crops are successful. This includes putting beds and rows rows to sleep. That in itself can be time-consuming. One has to remove existing plants, ammend soil, then cover with leaf (which needs to be raked up first) mulch or weed barrier fabric.
Also, our bulbing plants, like garlic, are planted this time of year (October 1st for the last couple of years) to allow for cold stratification over the winter. This year, we ordered more garlic than we ever have! It is important to plant a few weeks before the frost so plants can get themselves established before dealing with harsher winter temperatures. So far, we have only planted a fourth of what has arrived in the mail. The delay? Well, we need to prepare the location. This area was covered with soybeans during the summer as a cover crop, for soil enhancement, and a small section for eating. However, when time came to mow and tarp the plot, issues ensued! The short version – it did not happen. So the area is more than a bit out of control and is in need of some serious taming before we can plant anything! We saw the chickens scouting for bugs this week. Hopefully, they took care of any pests for us. That is one less thing to worry about!
Days confined to the bed also affected our seedlings. These tender babies need more care than larger established plants. Water but not too much; light but not too much heat; cool but not freezing! You get the idea. Well, Mama Shena was not able to do these things, and as a result, we lost some important trays. Our artichokes died. We lost our Brussels Sprouts as well. These were most disappointing because timing is everything with artichokes and Brussels Sprouts in our particular zone. We may try it again, although chances for success have dramatically decreased.
Preparing for Tea Season
What is tea season? Well, for us, we use the winter and fall months to process our summer and fall grown herbs for teas and spice blends. Although we grow year round, we have less activity in the winter because, as of yet, we are not enrolled in any Farmer’s Markets outside of the summer. This time of year, it is also much cooler, so it is not uncommon for our dehydrator to run nearly nonstop with various tea ingredients. We have a few gallons yet of Roselle to process. We have completed Goldenrod. Mint and lemon balm are yet to be harvested. This makes me nervous as there will be some just above freezing temperatures this week! Hopefully, we will be spared frost and be allowed to gather these goodies soon.
We call this time of year tea season for another reason. As the cooler wind blows, it beckons one to sit with a warm drink, hoodie, and book on the weekends. Why not a nice herbal tea? For our fellow tea lovers out there, we will be releasing our roselle tea in loose leaf packages. These will be added to our store sometime in the month of November.
Our tea garden has grown to include various herbs over the last few years, and we will continue to expand. It has become our little apothecary of joy. For instance, I tasted a stevia leaf for the first time this month. It was so sweet! Green but SWEET! I’m hoping this plant especially survives the winter and returns in spring.
Are there any particular herbs you’ve been looking for? We are happy to include them in our growing plan! Just let us know.
This is the first year that our fig tree (aka Figgy) began bearing fruit around the same time as other fig trees in our area. It is normally later in the season before we can enjoy the fruit deliciously sweet fruits . This year, we rejoiced as our bounty came in earlier & in abundance. Oddly enough, Iggy also decided to give us a second harvest of fruit. This second round is not nearly as sweet as the first round but still delicious. We are new to fruit trees, so we are curious. Is this a normal occurrence? No complaints from us for extra fruit, of course, just broadening our understanding.
Harvesting & Planting
We made time to harvest our sweet potatoes from our Ollie raised bed. Given the fact that they were fairly neglected, we are happy with what we were able to glean.
All roselle has been harvested and almost all has been processed for storage. This was an intense undertaking as it is twice the amount we harvested last year! Yet again, we were caught red-handed. That never gets old!
Garlic, peas, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Swiss Chard have all been planted. Still carrots, beets, fennel, cilantro, collards, mustards, spinach, arugula, kohlrabi, celery, onion, and leek – to hit the popular veggies – are yet to be planted. Since it is fairly late into the season we, we likely will not get a large harvest until spring. And that is just fine. Taking each day as it comes, with all its amazing drama, joy pain, and mischief, means our schedule may not look like the average farmer’s, but then again, have you met the Bain family? Not on purpose, I assure you, but we are an out of the box family for sure! We really would not have it any other way!
Fall is going to be as busy as ever! We better get to work! Catch us on our on the next adventure!