The Goings On – June 2021

Hello garden buddies! We have be growing a whole month since we last updated you on the farm but so much is happening!

Fruit Harvest

As we mentioned last month this year has been a real struggle with our fruit crop. Our nectarines are officially done for the year. We are sad to see them go especially since we had so many losses. Our one nectarine tree produced more than 30lbs of fruit this year which is far more than last year! However we only go the benefit of maybe 12 of those pounds. I want to cry. It is so disheartening as farm life can sometimes be. We lost quite a few early on with heavy rain and wind associated with thunderstorms. These fruit were no where near ready to harvest. All I could see after the rain was my blackberry nectarine jam laid out on the yard. Ugh! Weather is beyond our control but what was more in our control was treating for pets, the plum curculio to be specific. It wreaked havoc on our nectarine tree for the first time ever! For three seasons we have not had any issue with pests whatsoever and I guess we were being naïve to think that would continue be the case. In reality we are always fighting some pests on everything else and we thought we were catching a break with our fruit trees. WRONG! In conversation with a friend who had a peach tree for many years it was expressed that her family had lost many of their peaches to a bug that lays its larvae inside the fruit. She wanted to give us a warning since we had told her we had a couple of peaches on our young peach trees. We researched the bug and what do you know – THEY LOVE NECTARINES TOO! OH NO! Sadly there are not many options for organic growers for peach, plum, and nectarine trees. So we tried an option we are already using on our other crops. It was too late however. Lesson learned! Next year we will treat as soon as the buds begin to appear and again when they start to swell and color. We also hope to incorporate the use of these fruit bags as was suggested by our contact at the local extension office to protect our valuable crop. Hopefully applying these techniques will mean a much healthier harvest come 2022!

Also our blackberries were a bit of a disappointment. Well not them, the timing of life really. Just as the majority of them were ready to harvest we ended up on a 4 day hospital stay with our baby girl and we forgot all about them – JUST FORGOT! Seriously though our mama, papa, and brother bear were completely activated as we all did our best to stay calm for Ms. Thai as she recuperated. It is what it is! Blackberries will without fail be back next year and we will try this again.

On the brighter side of things our muscadine vine is finally producing for us! It was installed in 2019 and we were told that the following year we should be harvesting our first muscadines. Well 2020 was just a wild year – I think we can all agree to that. So with all the madness it was actually around Fall that we realized the vine didn’t produce. The leaves were beautiful and healthy but no grapes. I did notice that the flea beetle and stink bug had took up lodging in the leaves so we treated for that successfully. Just about a week or so ago I noticed itty bitty grapes forming on our vine! So exciting! You best believe we opened our Farming Basics app immediately to see what pests we needed to look out for! Thankfully they are the ones already common to our neck of the woods.

Our strawberries are really confusing me with their production. We did plant out more this year in strawberry tower instead of a second row in the high tunnel. We are finally over the hump with the slugs and now it seems just as quick as the production rose it has slowed. We are researching more to see if we can get a real grip on what is going on with them. If we can then Spring of 2022 we will start a second row in our high tunnel but that remains to be seen. What we have harvested we have used in oatmeal and for fresh eating. We really want to be successful next year because you all deserve to taste these organically grown, delicious local grown berries!

Flowers

We could not be more pleased with how well our new flower varieties are doing! We have already begun to make these available to you in our Spring Flower Bouquet. These will remain available throughout the early Summer at the very least. We are not quite sure how the new flower will respond to our HOT HOT Summers so we will wait and see if we can keep these available through Summer right on to Fall.

Vegetables

Zucchini varieties are up for harvesting! We have already added these to our listing page and we have helped ourselves to some ourselves. Last Fall we researched deeply the various Zucchini varieties trying to find a second one that will remain tender and flavorful even at larger dimensions. We are happy to say that we found what we were looking for! We have grilled them and skewered them with shrimp, sausage, and roasting peppers. This week we will be freezing them in different styles to preserve for the year. Man I love the flavors of Summer!

Cucumbers are next to be harvested and although I’m typing this in May for our June blog I’m sure by May 31st we will have harvested our first cucumbers from our field areas and following closely is our high tunnel cucumbers as well. We are growing all our usual fun varieties of cucumbers and look forward to making pickles again!

Potatoes are growing very well and our early potatoes are up for harvest this mid-June and late potatoes the end of July. As soon as we pull these the cycle continues with Sweet Potatoes which ironically is more closely related to the Morning Glory flower than a tuber potato!

Garlic is not due to be pulled till nearly August (based on seed to harvest days) however it is showing signs of nearing harvest earlier than projected. Along with the scapes we are noticing some of the leaves dying back and falling over. We pulled just one just to get an idea of the size of bulbs. What we found was very interesting! What is going on here?! It could be the heavy rains that we have gotten or inconsistent temperatures we really don’t know but that is another research project. The smell is amazing though. We have placed this harvested garlic out to cure with our onions. We grew more garlic this year than we ever have because we wanted to have enough to store for the entire year. If these bulbs are sizeable enough we should have enough for our spice blends and for storage.

Squash is already under attack by the dreaded squash bug! We have diligently searched them out and have been removing them by hand along with their eggs so here is hoping we can harvest a few before having to pull them altogether!

Long beans are back in production and should be in full swing by the end of the month along with snap beans. In addition to our usual varieties of beans we are adding this beautiful Blauhilde bean. I’ll give you one guess as to why this German heirloom caught my attention. Yep. IT IS PURPLE! In addition the pods are stingless and remain tender even at larger sizes. This is important to us as we eat snap beans several times a week! We planted our crop in the high tunnel as well as in an uncovered bed. For the first time we actually treated our seeds with an OMRI Listed inoculant. We think this will become a common practice for us as soil health is very important so if we can add a little to our black gold – why not!?!

High tunnel eggplants are in some production but we are storing these for the family use for the year. As they get into the swing of things they will be made available to the public. Field eggplants will likely not be available till the end of July. Why? Because Bain Home Gardens eggplants are straight DIVAS! Peppers on the other hand are killin’ it! Field peppers (jalapenos only) will begin being harvested this month. We began preserving some of our peppers by making a very hot Cowboy Candy with our Serrano Peppers. We will replicate it with the jalapenos as they become available.

Still there is corn, herbs, tomatoes and more all to be harvested in the upcoming months!

What Is Going In the Ground

This time of the year we are scheduled to plant at least one thing a week. Arugula, lettuce, Asian greens, and radishes to name a few. I like this time of the year because we are basically on auto pilot. We know if something is being harvested then something MUST GO INTO THE GROUND! The only big crops to plant for the season and that is Sweet Potatoes and peanuts and we hope to tackle them this month. We also have a couple of beds to turn over for planting, tomatoes that always seem to need pruning and beds that always need weeding! Ah – farm life!

High Tunnel Happenings

Hoopty has been getting much attention this season; primarily because we are making needed adjustments from information we learned last season. We are learning as we grow. We have often talked with you guys about the Alabama Beginning Farmers Program has be so beneficial to our growth over the last few years. This year we are working very closely with Dr. Ayanava Majumdar on our pest exclusion system for Hoopty. You more than like have already seen our video of the upgrade on the side walls. Now we have the front and the back as well with this improved netting. Air flow is so amazingly improved and this will benefit our crops especially as the months get warmer. Dr. A also has set out insect traps for monitoring different moths and pests on our farm both inside and outside of the high tunnel. This data will be collected biweekly and used to map the flow of pest throughout the state giving farmers a heads up for the seasons to come. I love being a part of this! Networking with like minded individuals and empowering growth with knowledge is such an amazing process. Our farm cat Lucy really likes Dr. A as you can see in the photo. Thank you Dr. A for being such a good sport! We think she just wanted to say thank you too.

Upcoming Videos

What can you expect over on our YouTube channel for the month of June? Well one of our hens (Shrill-x) went is broody and we are allowing her to hatch a few of her own eggs and some of the other hens donated her some eggs to hatch out too. We have been recording the process thus far and whether she is successful or not we will be posting the adventure. You can also expect that video. At some point this month we will also be posting a video featuring our cattle panel trellis and raised bed set up. This idea was born to create a bit more curb appeal for our family garden. Lastly we hope to post a potato harvest video as well. There is so much going on you best stay tuned – from our family to yours!


The Goings On – May 2021

Welcome back folks! Much has happened in the last month!

Fruit & Veggies

We have been working diligently to create more than a farm on our 3/4 acre corner of the earth. What we really want is a food paradise full of perennial plants and fruit trees. This legacy in the making is certainly an investment of time and energy and so much research! We know it is worth the effort though. This year watching our perennials return – mint, lemon balm, asparagus, strawberries, and thyme – was so rewarding. Just a few less items we have to worry about starting, hardening off, and then surviving transplant shock. Perennials really do make life easier. We plan to upload a video about perennials and self sowing flowers this month so look out for that over on our YouTube channel.

The fruit trees & vines fall into this perennial life that we love. This growing season we expect to harvest figs, nectarines, muscadines, and peaches. We are already harvesting (though rather sporadically) strawberries and blackberries. Sadly the Spring storms with their heavy rain and high wind have knocked down many of our nectarines. The trees were loaded twice as much as last year and we had plans to sell these CNG nectarines to our customers who specifically asked about them last year. Between that and the new pest that has found our tree, time will tell if we are able to do so with the losses as we use these for fresh eating for our family and to make our jams and jellies for the year. Strawberry production has picked up so we hope to be able to offer these to the community in the upcoming weeks.

As far a veggies go EVERYTHING IS IN FULL THROTTLE! Even with the temperatures being unusually low during most of the month of April we are thankfully not too far behind. We had to really hustle when the temperatures got close to freezing the first of April but we saved the seedlings. See what we did here. This month we will begin to harvest zucchini and squash from our field areas and cucumbers are not far behind. On the other hand the field peppers and eggplant have got quite a bit of growing to do. Corn and okra are also doing well but will do better now that the lows seem to be leveling out to warmer temperatures. Potatoes, although planted later than usual, are up and doing well. This year we purchased enough seed potatoes to do three plantings in succession to each other. The rain has already thrown off the schedule and that, although not ideal, is okay since our planting schedule was a tad bit aggressive anyway – gotta’ love over achievers!

Veggies in the high tunnel of course are thriving on the humidity. Eggplants have been producing flowers for a while now and now we are harvesting them. Pictured to the left are our Thai Long Green Eggplant. They are not very productive but they are kind of show stoppers if you ask us! Peppers – bell and roasting – are doing very well. They are on our listings page and we often go shopping ourselves since we love using these in our weekly meal prep. We have had to double stake some to keep branches from snapping from the shear weight of the plants. Hot peppers are also being harvested. Among the most productive are the Serrano peppers we planted last year. You can now find them on our listings page and our Square page. Our Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Peppers are producing again. We over wintered them in our high tunnel (along with the eggplant) and as a result we are harvesting them 3 months earlier than last year! We weren’t sure if it would be successful so we started more and trust us when we say that they will not go to waste! Last year we learned how to preserve them by making Jamaican Jerk sauce and dehydrating them – SPICY!

Hoopty Gets a Makeover

You heard us talk about increasing the airflow and balancing out the pest population simply by changing out the netting on the sides and adding it to the front and back. Well we finally got it done. On warm days there is a notable difference in the temperature inside as more air is free to flow. This will surely increase our productivity as we will be able to work for longer periods of time. This too will help control fungus that breeds from improper airflow. Our biggest goal however is to increase the number of beneficial insects so as to increase our yields this growing season and doing so while working with nature rather than against – it is a process! See how we did it here. The high tunnel is will be monitored and data collected so as to help us and future farmers in Alabama to increase methods of pest control specific to high tunnel growing here in Alabama. We are happy to be a part of this program. We have already learned so much!

Spring Bouquets

We had planned to have our bouquets ready to go the first of this month. Unfortunately that will not be the case. While we have flowers in bloom we do not have enough yet to commit at this point. It seems that we will though by the middle of the month, the end at the latest. Then we will have Sunflowers, Calendula, Zinnia and more in full swing! We love this wonderful opportunity to share a little more of Bain Home Gardens with our community.

Livestock at Bain Home Gardens

April was quite historic for us in more than one way. On April 13th we picked up chickens! You heard right CHICKENS! Perhaps I have shared with you before how badly I have wanted chickens for a while now. Even before I actually got back into growing food I met a Silkie chicken at a petting zoo and fell in love. I started pleading my case to my husband as soon as I could get home. Of course you know he thought it was just another hair brained idea of mine and it was at that time. As the years progressed I had an opportunity to taste fresh farm eggs for the first time. The color was amazing and the flavor was too! What had I been eating all this time?! I again pleaded my case but even I realized that there was too much going on in our lives to take on that responsibility. I sadly had to admit that we were not ready. Fast forward several more years and now we are growing food. We have a little farm and it has a name… NOW, NOW IS THE TIME FOR CHICKENS! I again pleaded my case off and on for about a couple of years as a friend endeavored on her chicken journey. As she did I actually applied myself to learning about what it actually took to raise chickens. Finally I got the go a head to get my chickens. We had some goals that needed to be reached as a family but that we could do. Fencing in of our property was one of those goals. When COVID hit things just got so complicated that we had to back table this goal. It made me sad but considering what was going on all over the world – it could wait. At the same time COVID made us realize how important it was for us to have chickens. Many trips to the store to pick up groceries ended up with us coming home with no eggs. Meat prices went up in our area. We kept thinking that if we had our own chickens this wouldn’t be an issue for us. Then we were heart broken as we watched the masses lining up to buy chicks with no research or real preparation only to realize after the fact how long it would actually take for them to lay eggs and that those hens would be living rent free in the meantime. Who knows what happened to all those birds.

Then on April 10th, 2021 I got a text from a farm buddy looking to thin their flock. “Are you guys ready for chickens?” the text read. I knew how I felt and how I would answer the question. However since hubby is the master mind behind much of what we do and he works so hard for the family and gives so much of himself to us all, I do my best to seek his direction at every turn. After some conversation and reflection on what we had and hadn’t done in our unwritten plan to have chickens I was given the go ahead to get the chickens! I was so elated! It was literally a dream come true! We got a lot done in the 3 days that would follow. We started modestly with 6 hens and a rooster. I usually do way better with documentation but this was so momentous that I failed in a lot of ways to photograph and video. What I did record will be made available over on our YouTube channel later this month.

It has been about two weeks and I love being a chicken mom. I love their personalities and quirks. We observed them and yes we gave them all names! Even more I love the beautiful and healthy eggs we get to harvest at the end of the day. These chickens were cared for very well and as a result they never skipped a beat with egg production. The very first evening of having them we collected 3eggs!

As momentous as that is, just a few days later yet another animal would find its way into the Bain Home Gardens lifestyle – rabbits! We are very excited to add 4 to our farm. They technically belong to the Jarod & Thai but you know we supervise and and have researched all things rabbits so as to assist. The most exciting thing for me I think is seeing them actually forage relationships with their little furry friends. There is something so rewarding about nurturing a life, loving that life, and getting that love back in spades!

Who knows what exciting adventures await us the month of May! We are buckled in and ready – come what “may”! (couldn’t resist)

Check out our April vlog here!

Check out our review of the Burpee Pop-Out Tray here!


The Goings On – April 2021

So it is officially Spring! Feel free to insert your own personal happy dance here! Seriously no matter what is going on nothing seems to lift my spirits like a clear blue sky! We have been very studious over the last month or so as we have enjoyed the weather. Check out what we have been into!

Planting

We have throughly enjoyed getting back into the swing of things. Daily watering, weeding, bug inspections, and such make us feel like real farmers again.

In addition to farm planting, this year we are really working towards creating more curb appeal at our home. Our home is one of two homes you get a visual of when you pull into our neighborhood. While we love growing vegetables and think that they are just gorgeous, we know not everyone may feel the same way. Therefore we have decided to dress up our raised beds a bit to create a little visual interest. We also added vertical trellises using cattle panel. These will be used for pumpkin and smaller melons. We also are working on a little farm retreat off the front porch. It is in this area that we have established a second asparagus bed. We planted the standard crowns but also ventured on the wild side and planted a purple variety as well. They both came up in a weeks time. This area also boasts our perennial flowers. They were so beautiful this year. It seems they bloom earlier and earlier each season. To this bed we will be adding aromatic herbs such as basil and lavender. Inter planted in this bed is also a new eggplant variety – Casper Eggplant. It doesn’t look like much now but give it about 2 months!

We also planted zucchini  plants in this retreat area. As you can imagine with the cooler night temps we had over the last few days we were a little concerned about them. We used a tried and true method to protect them and we are happy to say that all survived unscathed. You can see what we did here.

This month Hoopty got beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. We grew some great varieties of these last year and see no need to change them up this year. We did learn NOT to plant okra in Hoopty so that was planted elsewhere.

Lettuce, spinach, arugula, turnips, and snap beans have have been planted. Potatoes are going in the ground… finally… this week.

More compost is being worked into the remaining beds that need planting. Into those beds will go potatoes and corn.  Peanuts will be planted in the high tunnel (this is a first for us) this month too. In addition our new pepper plants are about to find their forever home in the high tunnel this month. We are adding 4 new pepper varieties to the farm this year. These new varieties will take our pepper jellies to the next level this Summer!

What We Are Harvesting

Monday morning we began to harvest the early carrots. They are so good! After this batch is harvested it will be another 3 weeks (more or less) before the next batch is ready. Grab yours while you can. We harvest to order so fresh it is!

For the first time (successfully) we planted our fennel in succession. We also planted leaf and a bulb type. Currently they are both being harvested. We love to freeze it when we have more than we can get to quickly. We just pull it out when ready and add to soups and smoothies.

While our flat leaf parsley has gone to seed our curled variety is hanging in there so it is up for grabs.

Swiss Chard, eggplant, and pepper varieties are all being harvested from the high tunnel. As soon as the temperatures warmed the flowers started appearing and now life is just doing what it is programed to do and I absolutely love it!

YouTube Channel

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We announced a little while ago that we have started a YouTube channel. Most of our video content is being uploaded there as opposed to IGTV. There you can follow our journey and learn with us. We also share tips and tricks we have learned on our little farming adventure. Included in these are helpful tools, equipment, soil amendments, & fertilizers etc. We appreciate your support of this endeavor. Eventually we hope to grow our brand even more so please to like, subscribe and share!

Pest Management

You may know that recently we integrated ladybugs into our high tunnel to assist us in getting the aphid population down. It worked very well. The next step in our pest management program is to remove the current netting and replace it with a looser one that will allow for beneficial insects to come and go. We hope to get that up this weekend. Of course this will mean more access to pests however minimal. We are so thankful for the assistance with this from our entomologist Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, aka the bug doctor, for helping us work out just what we need to do to improve our pest management program. If you access to an extension office in your area we advise you to take advantage of all the knowledge that exist there. It could save you time, money, and a lot of heartache.

Shena’s Baked Creations

We really enjoyed having this shop page open for you guys this past Fall – Winter. We have contemplated if we wanted to continue it throughout the Spring & Summer. While we would love to we have decided to take the modest route and not. We plan to reopen in the Fall. We will let you know as soon as we have an official date.

And Now This…

You may notice that this blog is a few days late. On Monday morning I was attempting to finalize it but time got away from me. I had some errands to run. We left the house to do these around 9:20 a.m. About 10 minuets later we were involved in an vehicular accident. I have to say it was very frightening. After seeing all the airbags deployed and the condition of the the vehicle after the fact I can honestly say that I don’t think I would ever drive any other minivan besides a Toyota Sienna. The safety features all worked as they should have and I’m know that had a lot to do with our lives being preserved. All parties involved are fine.

We adjusted our deliveries for a few days in order to get a grip on what happened, to heal both physically and emotionally. No one likes to talk about the trauma that occurs emotionally when an accident happens. Some even experience a sort of PTSD and it is so understandable. In 2017 we had an accident in the same vehicle pictured below. For months I tried to avoid the intersection where it happened as I got very tense when getting close. It felt silly. I felt silly. I prayed and prayed about it as the intersection is in the route of many of our daily destinations. Over the last few years it has gotten easier and easier to travel that stretch of road without feeling nervous. As I have talked to others who have had multiple accidents or a really bad one, they say that it left an emotional scar. They express that it is not something you ever really get over, rather you just learn to cope. Several of those lost dear loved ones and friends while others suffered serious injuries and then others miraculously escaped with little injury at all. Whether extreme or not these things take a toll on our existence. So if you ever experience this don’t feel ashamed at all. I certainly do not.

The very next day after our recent accident I had to complete the business I was leaving to complete the morning before as it was time sensitive. As I got into our truck and adjusted the seats, steering wheel, and mirrors, I admittedly felt some nervousness. I prayed. Being in a big Ram truck certainly made me feel a little better too. The soreness is real. I type this blog 2 days after the incident and everything hurts but what a small price to pay!

We wish you and yours well and we will catch you in May!


The Goings On – March 2021

Hey there folks! We hope this blog finds you and yours well. Things have been a bit upside down for us as we caught COVID – UGH! Still there is so many positive developments!

Spring Plant Sale

Here on the farm Spring is in the air as our perennial flowers are blooming, the fruit trees are budding, and the bees are buzzing! Smells like Spring to us! It is always around this time (sometimes sooner) that Spring fever kicks in.

2021 Clean Starts

Now I know we are prone to at least one cold snap between here and April but the fever takes over and we plant away! This year we are planting more than ever because of our Spring Plant Sale. We have had some adjustments to our listings – removed somethings and added others. We are really excited to offer everything from flowers to pumpkins this year. Our tomatoes had to be restarted so there will be a slight delay on those but trust us when we say the selection is well worth the wait! However eggplant, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and leafy greens are right on track for our April 1st start date. We have decided not to create individual listings for these plants as we previously stated. Instead please contact us with the plants you want and quantity and we will send and invoice. Once invoice is paid your Clean Starts will be delivered & you will be well on your way to a tasty 2021. Pre-ordering is now open until March 31st.

Our Flower Bouquets

Flowers are quickly becoming a new love for me. At first it was purely scientific – flowers = pollinators & pollinators = food. Now, however, I am in love with Zinnia. They come in so many different colors & shapes that it is like a new flower every time you plant them. Zinnia self sows which is THE BEST! It also looks so beautiful in an arrangement all by itself or accompanied by other flowers. Having said, that we will be making our flower bouquets available to the public as soon as our cut flowers are ready. We will not be doing the subscription service with our flowers this year but next year is looking quite promising. If you are wondering about when these will be available our projections are around May 1st… tentatively.

Early Morning Flower Harvest

We know that in our area there are many choices for bouquets so we do our best to bring you the highest quality farm fresh flowers. Our flower bouquets are arranged with at least one edible portion. That may be an edible flower or an herb. They last anywhere for 5 – 10 days depending on variety. Each bouquet will come with suggested instructions for longevity. In addition, we are considering offering standard bouquets this Spring as well. These would be all Sunflower or all Zinnia. Both would be very beautiful. As far as flowers are concerned we have already planted:

  • Sunflower varieties
  • Zinnia varieties
  • Gladiolus varieties
  • Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth
  • Calendula
  • Marigolds & more!

We have Hydrangeas patiently waiting on their forever home as well as more Gladiolus. Where will we find the TIME?!

Coincidentally about half of the flowers we are growing will also be available to you in the plant sale. Don’t miss out!

What About the Produce?

Okaaaay! So – things are growing very well in the high tunnel. Peppers, eggplant, mustards, lettuce, carrots, dill, bunching onions, parsley, Choi, peas, snap beans and strawberries are have all made themselves right at home. If you are looking for kale then you will have to wait a bit longer. Our crop was decimated by aphids. We implemented some measures but it was too little too late. Kale varieties will be replanted in the field beds. On the other hand, bunching onions are up for harvest in a week or so. This is a new variety that we think will have a permanent home at BHG. Choi is nearing its harvest day & Swiss Chard is growing beautifully so look for them over on our weekly listings page next Monday (March 8th).

In the next couple of weeks we will be setting out cucumbers & squash in Hoopty and one more planting of lettuce and spinach (well we hope we can squeeze that into Hoopty before it gets too hot).

Field planting areas are on the docket have their cover crop (Crimson Clover) mowed down in preparation for Spring planting. We are a bit late but given the circumstances I think we are doing all right. This green manure will certainly be beneficial in our okra, squash, and kale beds. We are toying around with the idea of planting our corn with clover this year. The idea is that the shaded clover will drop its leaves and the leaves will breakdown and feed the soil which in turn feeds the corn. We are still researching this technique so there’s still a lot to learn. Isn’t that the fun part of this adventure though? We are so glad you have joined us!!!

For more details about what is growing on check out this video. Speaking of videos have you checked out all of our YouTube content? We are still uploading as we have time and will continue to do so. Be sure to thumbs up, subscribe, and share (specifically the Weekly Tip videos). We can learn & grow together.

Shena’s Baked Creations

Just a quick note. We are allowing another month to roll by before reopening the Baked Creations Shop. It will reopen April 12th.

Well that’s all folks. See ya’ in April!


We Survived Covid!

To be able to say those words is a privilege that I do not take for granted. We have done so much to prevent this horrible disease from entering our home and yet it did. Every time we speak to someone and they discover we had COVID, the questions ensue. Did you lose you smell? Taste? What was your worse symptom? We answer happily because we believe in the free flow of information. If something we have experienced can help any of you then we are happy to share. So let us tell you a bit about our experience.

Exposure

This is one of the first questions that we have been asked, “How did you get it?”. The honest answer is we just do not know. This is what we do know. We have limited our interactions to the public in numerous ways. For one we have put a pause on farmers markets to protect our family and to do what we could to protect our community. This was a great cost to us financially however what price can one put one put on life? So we adjusted our business model and continue to do so. We practice contact-less delivery with our microgreen delivery service as well as with all our deliveries. We have also implemented changes in our harvesting of produce, with mask and gloves. That is just the business side of it.

Home life has changed for us as it has for most of you. Most of our groceries are ordered online and picked up. They are then sprayed or wiped down with disinfectant before being stored. Even the counters on which these items are set are then also sanitized. It is tiring but well worth it. Our youngest is growing so fast thus visits to clothing stores have become a necessary evil. I’m not much of a shopper so even this task is delegated to Mr. Bain Home Gardner. Those clothes too are then washed before wearing. Being that our guys work in the public we also have routines in place for them as they come home and get situated. We wear our masks everywhere and on occasion even gloves. Some how despite all this COVID made its way into our home.

Realizing We Were Sick

So the first person to show symptoms was our son. Body aches and a sore throat. That was it. No fever or anything else for that matter. Since he has asthma we assumed he was having symptoms associated with the weather change. See that particular week was particularly damp and cold which usually triggers symptoms for him. He treated with the normal regimen. Cautiously though we decided to suspend all deliveries until he was better. We are so glad we did! About 4 days later I too began to show symptoms and our daughter about 2 days after me. For me it started with a tickle in my chest that made me cough. Thai had a fever with body aches. Jarod, though having the pre-existing condition of asthma had very mild symptoms. This is the irony of this situation. Terry, who also has a history of asthma tested negative for COVID. WILD! As a mother I have to say how thankful I am that Jarod & Thai (though she was never tested) did not suffer as I did with this virus. I really wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy.

My symptoms were by leaps and bounds the most severe. I have never smoked. I do not have asthma. In fact, my lungs are probably the most healthy operating body system! I began with a fever about 3 days after the tickle in my chest and subsequent violent cough. Since at this point I didn’t have anyone to get me there, I had a Telemed visit with my doctor. He decided that since I hadn’t had any exposure I likely didn’t have COVID but a respiratory infection. Meds were called in which I started right away. Around day 2 I began to suffer with nausea and diarrhea and by day 4 I couldn’t eat. The cough was so violent that my chest and back hurt constantly. I couldn’t walk from the bed to the toilet (20 feet ish) without a coughing fit. Talking – coughing fit. Drink – cough… you get the idea. Day 5 I seemed to improve some. I thought the meds had finally begun to work. However I was so wrong. Day 6 was the worse day yet and on day 7, after passing out from literally not being able to breath between coughing, my husband took me to the ER. I was very weak, unable to walk without support. I took several breaks walking to the van in our driveway. I simply couldn’t get enough air in my system. Suddenly I was able to empathize with my asthmatic family members. It hurt to breathe, even shallow breaths.

When we reported to the ER and was triaged I could tell the nurses were having a hard time believing me. I can’t even blame them. It just didn’t add up yet it was happening. The severity of my symptoms lined up with someone who had a compromised respiratory system. They let me know that it was up to the doctor to decide if I needed to be tested for COVID but with my symptoms and they were sure I would be. I was positive. My O2 sats were a little below normal but didn’t warrant hospitalization. I was warned that I was at the point where things could turn badly rather quickly. I was also cautioned that things were going to get worse before they got better and that they did! Smell and taste both began to be affected around day 9.

Sun bathing

My fever lasted for 10 or 11 days. It went down but never went away. My cough remains to this day though I am 2 days out from the two period this virus runs. Things that are sweet and savory taste odd. Salty flavors are pretty clear. Around day 12 Jarod and I both had a shared phenomena where everything tasted like okra for a day. Smell is oddly still off. It is really the thing I miss more than the taste even. My nose is very sensitive and has become my best friend! Now though the smell of some things will trigger nausea not because it actually smells bad but because I’m not smelling it as it actually is. It is still uncomfortable to take a deep breath but I finally can. Fatigue and brain fog is the order of the day. This blog alone took several days to complete. As soon as I could I went outside and just laid in the sun. Vitamin D is said to help with recovery. I’m not sure on the science of that but I do know it did me great good to just feel the sun on my skin. It certainly did me some good emotionally! Physically things are moving slower. However we have the very best friends and spiritual family! So many calls, text messages, and cards have really touched us. We have had food dropped off at the doorstep, errands ran in our behalf, and even still friends are bringing dinner until I’m back on track. We as a family want to take this time to say thank you to all of you. Truly we are blessed.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

Vaccinations

This is yet another topic that has recently come up. “Are you going to get vaccinated?” Hmm, we are watching the scene for now. We think it is a good idea for each family to research the vaccine ahead of time and prayerfully make a choice based on your own circumstances.

This experience has helped me to realize that how pervasive this virus really is! We will continue to implement practices that protect our family and our community. It is the only thing we can do for now. We hope that soon COVID-19 is just a distant memory. In the meantime, stay safe guys – from our family to yours.