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.


The Goings On – Feburary 2021

Holy smokes January went by fast! Time really does fly when you are having fun! Just what fun have we been having?

MICROgreens by BHG

Today marks week 3 of our microgreen subscription service. So far our members have received pea, broccoli, and mizuna microgreens! We have enjoyed growing all these varieties but much more is in store for the next 5 weeks! Our members will receive sunflower, cabbage, wheat grass & we hope to squeeze in some basil as well!

Our microgreens are a source of pride here at BHG. Since they are grown indoors we watch them everyday. Watching them grow has been a really special treat. Even Mr. Bain Home Gardner (who doesn’t excite about much in the farm world) has expressed how nice it is watching them grow. About a week ago he installed a Wi-Fi Smart Plug just for our microgreen lights. This splendidly takes the place of a timer and if for some reason the lights need to go off earlier than we have already discussed with the Google Home device then we simply say, “Ok Google, cut off the plant lights.” and viola! It is pretty neato!

We are excited that many are embracing microgreens! They are packed with nutrients and really under rated in our neck of the woods. It brought us so much pleasure to see this article in the February issue of the Alabama Living magazine! It has some great tip and info for those who want to grow microgreens for themselves. If you need anymore assistance we would love to be of assistance to you. Just email us any questions you have and we will do our best to help. If you want us to grow them for you we can do that too! This week we have pea microgreens available over on our listings page – so GOOD!

YouTube Content

You may already know that we have started a YouTube channel. This is something that has been in the works for quite sometime. I remember the first time the idea was presented to me. I was completely adverse to it! I was like, “NOPE – WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?!” What happened? Well in short, COVID! Of course as farmers we do not have more time. However, with so many moving towards digital shopping, even for produce, we wanted to show our customers where and how their food was being grown so we began to record “Weekly Check – Ins” since we are not accepting farm visits. This allows us to be as transparent as possible with our community while remaining safe! Then we realized so many were joining the grow your own food movement and we wanted to help so we begin recording “Weekly Tip” videos. All these were posted to our IGTV channel. It was only one more step to make it official at this point – so we did! We still upload content to IGTV but some of our content is exclusive to YouTube. Have you subscribed? We would love to have you join & follow our journey!

Clean Starts

This year we are doing our plant sale bigger than we ever have before and the star is of course our Clean Start plants! This year we are even including flowers! We have already begin to plant peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and tomatillos since they tend take a bit longer to fruit. By the end of the month we will have started leafy greens, flowers, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini! Keep in mind these are the very same starts we use here so you best believe you are getting some high quality starts! You can see our tentative list of Certified Naturally Grown starts here.

Planting & Growing

We have planted nearly everything in the last few weeks! There is no way we can list it all! However here are some honorable mentions:

  • Lettuce has been nearly completely devoured by pests each time we have planted it. We always manage to get a family salad or two but this past year the pest pressure was HORRIBLE. This year may be no better but we are focusing more on examining our crop daily to hopefully stave off disaster. If it all works out we should be adding our salad blends to our listings no later than mid-March.
  • Carrots are growing nicely. EVERYONE loves a homegrown carrot! We hear you Wiregrass and have doubled our carrot planting this year! Come Spring there should be plenty enough to go around for everyone!
  • Kale has been planted and we love watching those little curly leaves grow! We direct sowed it because it is the easiest for us to grow. The lacinato, rainbow, scarlet and flat leaf varieties will be started this month along with our other starts and transplanted in about a month.
  • Turnips are growing nicely. If however you are looking for the larger Purple Top turnips, you will have to wait a bit longer as they take twice as long as our salad turnips which will be ready in March. Purple Top will be ready in April IF all goes well.
  • Beets are the least favorite food we grow. We grow it because we know it is good for us and if we are in a pinch (experiencing anemia or fatigue) we will blend it into a smoothie and chug it! We cannot deny the health benefits. We really plant beets for YOU! We are experimenting with some new varieties this year and hope to be able to bring you some sizeable ones this Spring!

Updates

We regret to inform you that Shena’s Baked Goods page will not be opened this month. We have some training to do this month for which we have to prepare for so we are removing some things off our plate so that we can benefit 100% from our upcoming program. We will promptly reopen March 8th. This is also why we are not doing any weekly newsletters until the week of February 22nd. We will, however, post what is available on our Facebook page. Our Farm Sampler basket should return that week as well.

This Week’s Listings

We just did a farm walk through as the sun set. While walking the dog we came across this interesting little fungus called Stinkhorn. We find it kind of cool and kind of creepy at the same time. Our eldest just stopped and yelled out, “Umm, mom? What is this upside down carrot looking thing?” as he bends down to touch. Getting close I immediately recognize what this is from the many posts I’ve seen on Facebook. I exclaim, “NOOOO! Don’t touch it! It stinks!” Well it is supposed to but there is no noticeable odor as yet. Still it sits in the front yard just as pretty as you please! Now on with the produce…

This week we are taking Cilantro down from the page. We will be harvesting what is left and drying it over the next week or so. We will have the following available for ordering:

  • Parsley
  • Swiss Chard
  • Mustard Mix (in very limited supply)
  • Dill
  • Sweet Snap Peas
  • Pea Microgreens
  • & our host of jams, jellies, and spice blends & sauces

Remember if you are ordering multiple items we can supply you with an invoice.

Well that’s all folks. See you in March when it officially BECOMES SPING! AAAAAAAHHHHH – FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!