The Goings On November 2021

Is that November, complete with losing a whole hour of daylight? Why yes it is and with it those cool nights perfect for a bonfire, marshmallow or wiener roast, or just plain star gazing. Just be sure to bundle up.

November came like a whirlwind for us! It is quite shocking to believe that the year is less than 60 days from being over! Then again, the whole year has really been like that – just flying by. We have been busy but doing nothing new, just much of the same – plant, weed, harvest, and repeat. This month’s newsletter will be quite brief as there isn’t really much going on.

Hoopty Goings On

We are happy to report that the high tunnel is nearly full! There are a total of 12 rows in the high tunnel each with the potential to be double planted (one row on each side of the drip tape). If you are wondering what that looks like, perhaps the outline below will help.

  • Row one – Here we have an established row of strawberries that have been there since the Spring planting of 2020. This is there home. We fertilize them quarterly. This year we added some Rosemary to the row in a gap where several strawberry plants died.
  • Row two – This row housed our Swiss Chard which gave way to pest pressure. We had planned to leave it until it went to seed but the pests had other plans. The row has been cleared and weed barrier has been laid down to aid in weed suppression. Carrots, radishes, or beets will be planted here within the month.
  • Row three – This row has bell and hot peppers planted. It will be over-wintered in the high tunnel with the aid of frost blankets on the really cold nights.
  • Row four – On this row you will find basil, kale, Asian greens, and green beans. The last of the green beans will be harvested this week and this part of the row will be replanted with some lettuce or spinach after some amending.
  • Row five – This row holds a trial we are running. We have planted on one side of the tape parsnips and on the other side lettuce. If you have ever grown parsnips you know they can be particularly difficult to germinate. This has meant that we have done a couple of plantings to ensue that as much of the row as possible is being utilized. Time will tell how parsnips grow in the high tunnel.
  • Row six – This row houses more hot peppers, in fact the hottest that we grow – The Carolina Reaper. These will also be over-wintered. We also have some banana, serrano, jalapeno, and Italian roasting peppers on this row. These will be pulled and the soil amended to prepare for planting brassicas.
  • Row seven – Holds our beautiful parsley – flat and curled leaf and more, you guessed it – peppers! The peppers will be removed and we hope to plant more curly kale along with more parsley on this row.
  • Row eight – This row was just planted with turnips and a few short season artichokes that we are experimenting with.
  • Row nine – On this row you will find peppers and eggplant which were over – wintered last year. It is amazing to me when I realize that this entire row was planted in Spring of 2020! Most of the plants actually increased in production and the Bell peppers are far larger than last year! Unfortunately, we are finally seeing signs that these guys are ready to rest. We hope to harvest the remaining peppers and eggplant then pull the plants. This soil will definitely need some amending. We will likely add compost and allow it to lay fallow till the Spring.
  • Row ten – This row has been planted with new Swiss Chard and Snap peas.
  • Row eleven – This home to our established mustards and marigolds that will soon be tilled under to serve as green manure and natural fungicide.
  • Row twelve – This end row has our carrot varieties. Also on this row we have Greek Oregano.

Do you now see why we are so happy to have the high tunnel full? Hoopty is a lot of work to be sure but we have thoroughly enjoyed working in it and learning how to be productive in our growing practices. We will soon be hosting a field day through the Beginning Farmer Program through the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. If you are interested in learning how to grow in a high tunnel, control pests in a high tunnel, or even learn about grant opportunities to build a high tunnel of your own, this field day is for you! Be sure to follow our social media outlets for all the details.

As temperatures are dropping we will begin closing the sides of the high tunnel at night and opening in the morning. This time of the year is hard because a normally self maintaining system needs a bit more attention. It is important that we do so however because this will keep the soil from getting too cool which would really slow the growth of the Fall veggies aforementioned. Once we get back into the groove it won’t be so bad.

Despite all of the planting we have done we still have not planted our flower bulbs or onions. The good thing about most of our flowering bulbs is that they are perennial and will be returning on their own. Each year we like to add a new variety to add to the beauty of the farm and to harvest for beautiful arrangements. This Fall we are adding yellow tulips and a peppermint tulip. If they look anything like the photo I’m sure you will love them as much as we do! It brings us much joy to harvest and arrange a fresh bouquet and deliver them. If you would like to know more about our Flowers by BHG service click here.

More Fall Planting

As far as onions we didn’t order any bulbs this year. This opens the way for us to try to grow our own from seed. We recognize that t is rather late to be doing so as most onions take up to a week to even germinate! Still we are going to give it a go. If we find success great; if not, well now we know! Either way we will take you along on the ride. We plan to plant both white and red varieties.

This Week’s Listings

We are happy to offer our Purple Stemmed Mustard for the first time this week! This first harvest will be small so if you are interested we suggest you jump on these before they are gone. Along with those greens we also are offering Arugula and Chijimisa. The season has almost come to an end for most of our eggplant as most of them are not planted in the high tunnel however we will have them for one more week. In addition to our herbs we also will have sweet peppers. If you are wanting a bit of everything then the Farm Sampler Basket may be more your speed. All available to you from our family to yours.

Jalapeño Hushpuppies

When it comes to cooking I often have been the “skip to the good part” type. Let me just say THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! Now that our family has entered the homesteading arena we tend to look at things quite a bit differently though. Cooking now feels more rewarding somehow. I’m thinking the entire time I’m cooking, “I grew this. My family grew this.” The feeling is really hard to describe. The flip side of growing your food is being ready to use it when it is ready to be used. Many times what you grow a lot of may not be what you had anticipated having a bumper crop of. This is really the case with us the last two years with the many pounds of peppers we are harvesting weekly. These include hots and sweets! The issue then becomes what to do with them all?! Enter Google. While searching for a vegan hushpuppy recipe I came a cross this idea. Now I’ve made Mexican cornbread many times but to shrink that into an hushpuppy now that seemed fun! So below you will find the modified version of the recipe along with the completely made on the spot dipping sauce. You know we always adapt recipes to our tastes and what is in our cabinets. As a result it ended up not being vegan. However, it can easily be adjusted to such. Let’s cook!

The Ingredients

  • Cooking oil of choice (we used avocado)
  • 5 small to medium jalapeños
  • 1 cup corn meal (we used self rising)
  • 1 cup flour (we used all purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I’ll tell you about this mistake later!)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3 tablespoons plant butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Cajun spice blend to taste
For the Dip
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 3 large leaves of basil
  • 2 tablespoons pickled banana peppers with juice
  • 1 clove pickled garlic

Now before you go mixing all those ingredients up let me just suggest leaving off the baking powder if your meal is self rising of course. I did not realize that my cornmeal was self rising! The first batch of these more than doubled in size by the time they were done. I reduced the size of the next batch to accommodate. You may notice too that water was used instead of milk. Look y’all (all my Southern just came out), if I can substitute something without sacrificing quality to avoid a trip to the store best believe I am going to do it! I added the butter to compensate. This just keeps the texture from being too dry.

The Prep

There really isn’t much prep to this recipe which puts it in the win category for sure!

  • Jalapeños – Wash, de-seed, remove ribs, and then finely chop.

Let’s Cook the Hushpuppies

Add oil to frying pan or deep fryer. Put on a medium-high heat. While that is coming to temperature we will begin mixing our ingredients. Mix dry ingredients separately from liquids mixing both together after they have been thoroughly mixed separately. I added the jalapeños into the complete mixture slowly so as to distribute them as evenly as possible through the mixture.

I like to test the readiness of the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into it. You will quickly recognize whether or not it is ready. We used avocado oil as it has become our favorite oil for frying. It has a higher burn point which means you can cook at higher temperatures without smoking up your kitchen. Cooking at higher temperatures means less oil absorbs into your food. Win-win! It also means that you have to pay even closer attention to your food! You have been warned! In the above directions it was suggested to cook over a medium-high heat however we cooked ours on high. If you have not experimented with frying with avocado oil just know it comes highly recommended. The upfront cost is a bit more than the oils commonly used for frying but I feel like avocado oil makes up the difference. Do the research. When you do buy be sure to get a good quality one. Back to cooking…

On a medium-high heat it will take about 4-5 minutes till your puppies are golden brown. This of course is variable depending on the size you chose to go with. I initially used a tablespoon size which is what I recommend. Since we accidentally added baking powder I decreased the size to half a tablespoon. Depending on the depth of your pan you may need to rotate halfway through that cooking time so that they brown evenly. We got 15 puppies out of this recipe. These stay hot for a minute especially if cooked on high heat! They will be just the perfect temperature once your dip is completed.

Let’s Make the Dip!

This dip was completely made on the spot by items we readily had on hand. We recently began propagating basil in a jar on the kitchen sink to fill in rows in the high tunnel so the basil was literally at arms reach. I simply added all the ingredients to the food processor and processed until smooth. Initially I added the pickled peppers without the juice. The sauce wasn’t saucy enough for me so I went back and added the juice. It gave the texture and a nice spicy tang that I was looking for. The garlic clove was in with the peppers. We made these a couple of months ago for use on sandwiches and have actually used them for everything BUT SANDWHICHES! The family really loved the sauce, dare I say, MORE than the hushpuppies!

It occurred to me that this could be a good game day snack. Also if you wanted to you could add frozen corn and/or Vidalia onions to the batter for a bit more sweetness. Just do you! Make this recipe yours and remember to have fun while in that kitchen – from our family to yours!

The Goings On – October 2021

Why hello October! We are excited to see you! For a change we can actually feel it in the air. There has been so much activity here on the farm!


When I look back at The Goings On for October 2020 I realized that this is the common thing this time of year for us. Last year it seems we had an abundance of eggplants as well. Our Scotch Bonnet Peppers reached their peak harvest period this month last year. This year, however they have been super productive since around June. This explains why we have several quarts in the freezer at the moment! I think the reason for this is that we over wintered some in Hoopty. We also replanted more in the high tunnel and in a raised bed. Yeah man – there’s plenty to go around!

Looking back I also see that we were harvesting Sweet Potatoes as well. I’m so hurt that we didn’t even plant them this year! What kind of homesteader am I – NO SWEET POTATOES?! See what happened was – of course this is how every outlandish story starts – I started the process of trying to order them super early. It must have been too early because the company we usually order from wasn’t even sure they were going to be able to order them this year because of shipping issues so they referred me to their supplier who quickly informed me that it was a couple months too early to order but to let them know what exactly I was looking for and they would email me once the slips are available to order. Here is the problem… once I sent them the information, my brain checked “buying Sweet Potato slips” of the to do list. So I’m sitting wondering where my slips are when I NEVER ORDERED THEM!!!! (FACEPALM) Yep, that happened. I blame it on the increased complicated nature of life due to COVID. This Fall/Winter we are building a deep raised bed that will be primarily used for root crops and planted with cover crop when not in use. I hope seeing this be will remind me to order appropriately! As a result I will not be able to offer the sweet potato bread this year in the Shena’s Baked Creations shop. Apologies folks. On the brighter side the shop will open on October 25th for preorders and stay open (baring unforeseen circumstances) till January sometime.

Last year our Asian greens where doing great! We already had one round in harvest mode while the next one had already been planted. This year we are one batch behind. We are also using a different variety of this year as well in an effort to find one more resistant to the beetles. We think we have found exactly what we need! They grow a tad bit slower but are holding up nicely!

Last year we started a few new crops to experiment with. One of these was Artichoke. We planted it in the high tunnel as well as in the field areas but neither did great. The most success was in the field areas which we will be trying again this month.

Last year our supplies for the community were more limited because were also planting for the Fall CSA. Since we are not currently participating in the CSA we have more options for our community and that in of itself is a reason to smile just a bit. We hope you guys take advantage of all our offerings over on our listings page or our Square Site. If you prefer you can always email or text us with a list of items you want to get and we can create a farm box for you and send an invoice. There are plenty of options for getting your home grown goodness!


Well if you haven’t noticed by our various Instagram and Facebook posts & videos peppers and eggplants are really overt the top right now! From sweet peppers to spicy peppers – all of them our growing so well right now. As a result we have been freezing the peppers to give me plenty to do this Winter when the farm chores are a bit lighter. As for the eggplant, the preservation technique of preference has certainly become dehydrating. We are using them quite a bit too in our weekly meal prep and also at breakfast. We also just learned how to make Baba Ganoush. Its a hit with this family!

We did get to harvest the potatoes and it was such a disappointment! The seed potatoes themselves weren’t even there! How is that possible?! Best we can figure is that due to the excessively wet season, perhaps they rotted and broke down in the soil. It was definitely one of the the strangest things to ever happen here on the farm. Our son, who was assigned the job, seemed to think I was pranking him because even at the worse harvest we have had in the past – SOMETHING was there. If you guys have any ideas as to what could have happened please do send me an email!

We just harvested arugula again and will be harvesting it once a month (if the planting schedule holds) through the Winter. That number could extend to every six weeks as the cooler months take hold.

Although it wasn’t a large harvest, in fact it was one single solitary pepper, we are so excited about it that we have to share with you that we harvested our very first Carolina Reaper pepper just this evening! You can celebrate this Bain Home Gardens first by watching the harvest here. Also the Fish Pepper plant that we found at Whole Foods is bearing beautifully! There are many peppers on the bush but we are waiting for them to turn red.

I am proud to say we have harvested the very last of the Thai beans for the year! These things have be so super abundant in their production this year that I literally became tired of harvesting, cooking, and preserving them! This is our third year planting them and I’m suspicious that they must just love the rain and heat we had this year because this is the by far the best year to date! We pulled them primarily because the leaf footed bugs and aphids were becoming an nuisance but I cannot say I was sad to see them go.

This month we also harvested a small soybean harvest. We had planted them with the mail purpose of serving as a cover crop but the harvest was a nice bonus.


This month is the month to plant our flowering bulbs, onions, and garlic. Although in our zone you can plant later, we find the most success when we plant in October. Beds are currently being amended to accommodate these heavy feeders. We are sticking with the garlic varieties that were successful for us this harvest season. We are primarily using our own seed stock to replant for this season while supplementing with a few we ordered. Finding success with the garlic crop this year means that we are in a new position to possibly offer our community Certified Naturally Grown seed stock come Fall of 2022! That prospect is absolutely mind blowing! Stay tuned!

As far as onions go we weren’t able to order sets before our sources were sold out. Now I am relegated to creating our own starts. For this I am late as well which leaves me no choice other than to plant these in the high tunnel. Besides that, I’m not very excited to plant onions because they are such a struggle for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that we use them so much I would probably would just give up on them altogether. Then I am reminded of the struggles I had with carrots & garlic – both of which we had a bumper crop of this year! The moral of this story is DON’T GIVE UP!

Last month we planted fennel, kale varieties, lettuce, parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, mustards, collards, peas, leaf broccoli, and swiss chard. You would think with all this planting we would be done for the season but that is just not the case! Some of these plantings were not successful for various reasons. We start early so as to allow enough time to restart if need be. Cabbage and broccoli are being stubborn for me so far but all a farmer can do is regroup and replant! I should coin that because that is quite literally my whole life these days!

Of the leafy greens we like to plant we have yet to plant spinach. Of the root crops yet (besides the aforementioned) to be planted is beets, turnips and a succession planting of carrots. As beds have been cleared and amended its clear we have the space to get these items planted, however, we just have to find the time!

We are taking what we learned last year and we are trying our hand at the artichoke again. I will be starting these indoors this evening!

The Flock

The flock is doing very well. I am very happy with just how well they are flourishing! Our brooder, Shrill-x has done it again and hatched out another chick. This one is not biologically hers but there is no telling her that! She does very well protecting her new chick and training it too. She gives Zig and Zag a run for their money at every feeding! Besides the newest chick she is the smallest chicken in the coop but it doesn’t matter – SHE IS MAMA! She trusts us with the chicks which is absolutely amazing! The chick on the other hand as you can see in this video does not! It is by far the noisiest chick I have ever heard! It was natural of course to name it Noisy! You can check out this video for more flock updates.

The Rabbits

Diamond on the way to the vet

We sadly lost 2 of our adult rabbits. It is amazing how quickly you can get attached to the little fur balls. To be on the safe side we took our doe to the vet. Did you know that rabbits are considered “exotic”. I find that ironic considering they are randomly in the wild all over our community. There is only one vet in our city that will see rabbits – one! Thankfully he is very knowledgeable and patient. He put her on a four week treatment & she is all clear. For those that have asked she has been mated to the buck and we should have kits available soon.

This Week’s Listings

This week we are making our Rosemary and Lemongrass available for purchase. The Lemongrass is only being offered the first two weeks of this month as we need to trim it back and mulch it soon to prepare it for the first frost. So if interested please grab it while it is available. Jalapenos were accidentally removed but have been added back. Arugula has also been relisted and Green Mustards remain this week until supplies are exhausted. For a full list of what is currently available head on over to the listings page.

Well that about covers it! See you in November!

The Goings On- Spetember 2021

Hello farm family! We hope that you and yours are doing well. On the world scene things have been quite tumultuous. We want to take a moment to send well wishes and condolences to those who have experienced loss in the wake of the latest disasters. Although we do not know, you we pray for you.

Fall Planting

So September is the month that most farms are succession planting those leafy greens and earthy root crops and we are no different. We began Fall starts back in July and they will be going into their planned spaces this week. Just what is on the docket?

Mustards planted with Marigolds
  • Kale – Since we started farming we found that kale really is our favorite leafy green! We love all types so it it ALWAYS included in the planting for Spring and Fall. Last Fall and this Spring we struggled horribly with pests and had a very minimal harvest. This year we are at it again! We have already implemented some prevention techniques that we believe will be very beneficial to the crops going forward. One thing is we are covering with mosquito netting from the start. This will protect from pests that prey from above. As for those that tend to live in the ground we plan to use pyrethrin as needed. So far we have started curly and flat leaf varieties. This week will will succession plant those and also start Lacinato & Red Russian varieties as well. Kale chips here we come! We also need to restock our greens powder and Fall is the best time to do so!
  • Mustards – They are our second favorite green. We like all varieties! This year in addition to our Red Giant & Curly Mustard we are planting a new variety called Ultra Violet. I’m so excited about this green I can hardly stand the wait! Our mustards suffer terribly from the beetles each year. They are notoriously hard to control. This year will try pyrethrin for them as well alternating with neem as needed. Alternatively we have interplanted some of them with Marigold flowers which we hope will distract some pests.
  • Collards – While we know most Southerners love collards we are not in as close of a relationship but what garden is complete without them! Of course you know we will be making these available to you as they are ready. We planted a small leaf variety and the standard large leaf variety and will continue to succession plant these until Winter. Worms target the collards like nobody’s business and can decimate a bed in no time! BT works wonders when applied regularly and reapplied after heavy rains.
  • Leaf Broccoli – A few seasons ago we planted broccoli in our high tunnel but we planted it too late or something. Either way, most did not form heads but we took advantage of the beautiful, tasty leaves. So this year we decided to plant leaf broccoli to have plenty to go around. Leaf broccoli tastes like a mix between kale and broccoli to me. We cook them the same as we do collards. Our first planting should be available by the end of the month.
  • Beets – We do not like beets, plain and simple but we cannot deny the health benefits so we always grow some to have in the freezer for smoothies. This year we are expanding the square footage planting more. If we get sizable roots we will be sure to let you know when we harvest.
  • Carrots – Again we are adding to our variety this year by adding more colors to the standard orange carrot we normally grow. Carrots did so well for us this year and we hope that means we have found the secret to the sauce. What is it you ask? Plant in Hoopty! The humidity of the high tunnel gives us the best germination for carrots that we have ever seen! We are also noticing sizeable roots and beautiful tops! What else could a farmer want?! I can say with confidence that the rabbits appreciated them!
  • Parsnips – When we first started growing for the public we had accidentally grew a bunch of parsnips. Accidentally because they came in an organic cover crop mix we used. That was our first encounter with the “white carrot” as our daughter referred to them at the time. We loved the flavor and have since tried to grow them unsuccessfully a few times since. They can be a little challenging to germinate. This year I think we have found a variety that will work. Time will tell.


Pepper Harvest

We had planned to harvest our last round of potatoes but the rain had a whole other idea. As soon as we have some dry days we will hopefully get around to that. We are still harvesting peppers like crazy! We have come up with meal plans to include them in the weekly meal prep and we have also preserved them in many different ways. Two new varieties are finally coming into production and that is the Carolina Reaper and the Red Habanero pepper. Both pack a serious put you in the hospital punch, so we hear. The bushes are loading up with babies as I type and I should be able to harvest before the month is out.

White & Green varieties of eggplant are also in mass production. I have to say after trying for 3 years to grow the white eggplant IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! I find it extremely funny that the eggplant varieties that most people love and commonly grow refuse to grow well on our farm. So you won’t find any Black Beauties (besides the humans) growing here – nope! You will however find those out of the ordinary varieties and we are just fine with that!

Long Beans are killing it! They have become quite the okra here of the farm. You best pick while your are looking at it because tomorrow it will be too big! Granted long beans are still edible after they reach longer sizes but not as a snap bean which is how our family uses them. This is the time of the year we prefer to grow the Thai Long Beans as they stand up best to the leaf hoppers, ants and (get this) wasps! Wasps love these vines! They hover around the flowers all day so harvesting must be done with care – not by me of course as I am deathly allergic. Our son harvests them for us daily and he observed that they are extremely docile after exploring the blossoms. His thought is that some chemical calms them to the point that he’s touched them with no consequence! There could be some truth to that after all who doesn’t feel calm after sniffing flowers – just sayin’.

We are always harvesting arugula this time of the year. It is our go to green of the Summer since the heat does not seem to be an issue for it. Succession plantings ensure we have plenty to go around!

Every Little Bit Counts Challenge

As we mentioned we participated in a yearly challenge that we just found out about whereby one preserves food items every day for the entire month of August. This is great because August can be a month of Summer abundance for many. This makes one more cognizant of finding creative ways to preserve their harvests. It did for me anyway. THIS WAS A LOT OF WORK! I did not actually make it every single day but only skipped maybe 5 days – one because I was simply too busy with other projects and the other days because of health and energy issues. I will definitely do this again. I can personally say this month forced me to grow as a homesteader. This month we tried so many things for the very first time:

  1. Raisins
  2. Eggplant Chips
  3. Honey Fermented Garlic
  4. Potato Flakes
  5. Ground Cherry Salsa
  6. Dehydrated Muscadine Leaves & MORE!

Home Life

Things have been a bit crazy here as far as home life. One huge adjustment our family is making is unexpectedly having another family member move into our home. At the end of March my brother came to stay with us. He is younger than me. He is also a special needs individual. This is where the crazy comes in. Our life is very busy as it is. Adding another person has just added a level of wild that we haven’t had to deal with in quite some time. We do not know how long this living situation will be but I have to say although it has been complicated he is adjusting nicely to our farm life. He has his farm chores which he looks forward to handling each morning and he has come to love the rabbits and chickens. It has almost been therapeutic for him. I have been working on a blog about how farm life can be beneficial for those with special needs. So many times we tip toe around these facts of life as if ignoring them will make them go away. I find addressing some issues head on is best. Many are caring for aging loved ones, sickly loved ones, or in our case ones with special needs. If we share ideas and techniques it creates a community where we can all find a little success. Who knows when I’ll get that blog done but be on the lookout for it.

The family has been very accommodating to my brother. Living with someone who has special needs requires compromise and structure at the same time. It is a tight rope to walk but this family with God’s help has done excellent. Our crazy silly attitude has risen above the challenges and created even stronger bonds of love and friendship.

Upcoming Videos

As we decided to join the every bit counts challenge last minute we were honestly way to wrapped up to get the videos planned for last shot, edited, and uploaded. So we will try all those again this month. Stay tuned!

The Goings On – AUGUST 2021

She sighs as she comes in from the steaming hot dessert and runs to the refrigerator to get water! This has most certainly been the experience this past month! It was wet and muggy for so long that these past few dry days have seemed like such a gift! It was so hot but no rain means we have been able to weed, cultivate, and plant. These things a much needed here on the farm and we have been really excited to do so. Check out what we have been up to!

This Week’s Listings

Before we get to far into this week’s blog we just wanted to let you know what home grown goodness is available for you this week!

  • Arugula – last week for it till September
  • Swiss Chard – back up after a nice pruning and fertilizing
  • Salad Tomato
  • White Eggplant
  • Purple Snap Beans and more!

For a more detail listing of availability please check our out listings page.

Red Bell Peppers From Hoopty

Hoopty Updates

Working in the high tunnel in the Summer requires some creativity! Thankfully Mr. Bain Home Gardener anticipated the complexity of growing in the Summer and added motion sensor lights to Hoopty. This means that early morning before the sun fully rises is the ideal time to get to work! I personally do not prefer it as I do not want to run into any spiders who may be still on the hunt from the night before. However when it is needed – AND IT IS – I do what I must! Working early in the morning has made it possible to get all 13 row 20+ foot rows in Hoopty replanted or ready for Fall planting. It looks phenomenal! We will show you later this month in our Hoopty Update video. We have to take these moments in and really enjoy the labors of our hard work because the cycles change so quickly. Before you know it Hoopty will be overrun with weeds again. It just is what it is. Some of our rows have had cardboard placed down under the mulch to slow the regrowth of grass. See Hoopty was planted on top of a grass covered field. Had we understood solarization we would have done that the first Summer. We have learned as we have grown. We have implemented it in certain areas of the high tunnel (This just includes laying out a heavy tarp and weighing it down for a couple of months. The idea is that the heat will kill any weed or grass seeds beneath it) but since we grow year round in Hoopty it hasn’t been possible up to this point to solarize the entire 936 square feet.

In Hoopty we have done quite a bit of new planting. We have replanted our cucumbers, Asian greens, cut sunflowers, Bells of Ireland, and Delphinium. The month of August we have plans to set out a few more Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes as we lost many early in the season. Along with that we will be planting Swiss Chard, Kohlrabi, Carrots, Fennel early this month while collards, mustards, and kale MAY be planted this month. The greens are iffy because that means installing some shade cloth to keep these cool season crops from bolting or just stunting altogether. We did this last year and it worked very well but was time consuming. We are working on a more efficient way to accomplish this task. One idea is to use the rebar and pvc pipe we used over the winter to hang frost blankets over our peppers and eggplant. The idea seems feasible and will likely be implemented very soon. We will keep you posted. In the way of herbs we will be restarting basil, dill, and bunching onions.

Soy Beans being planted

Field & Raised Beds

We have gotten a lot done in our field areas this month. Among these tasks include prepping beds for Fall planting, planting winter squash and a succession planting of Summer squash. Summer squash could literally be planted every month on our farm. There are so many stink bugs, squash bugs and aphids that even with diligent care these become overrun quickly. What has extended the life of our squash and zucchini plants more than anything is companion planting. Planting them with flowers and basil has been a real success. Just guessing, I’d say that we get an extra month out of them with this method.

Our second planting of corn was eaten by birds – we literally watched them eat the seeds. The irony there is last planting had no issue with this problem. I just took it as a sign to leave the second planting off for the rest of the year. In that bed we will be succession planting more Arugula. Speaking of Arugula it is now up for grabs over on our listings page.

This month we will also be planting turnips. Each year we struggle with keeping the bugs off our turnips. This year I’m sure will be no different in fact looking at the projections it could actually be worse. We will implement covering with insect netting, regular spraying with BT, as well as dusting with DE in hopes to get our turnip crop to maturity without it looking like a victim of WWIII! Hida Beni & Salad Turnips are thanking us already!

We are dedicating one of our raised beds to Rhubarb this year. This should have been planted in the Spring and we do not even know if it will be successful from a Summer planting but we figured it was better than holding on to the bare roots till next Spring.

We a proud to say our Winter Squash varieties are in! We planted spaghetti, acorn, custard, and even pumpkin! It will be very interesting to see how successful we will be this year!

Farm Sampler Baskets

Farm Sampler Baskets are back and from the way things are growing here they will likely be around for the remainder of the Summer. These baskets contain goodies grown right here on our farm. If you want to include a jam or jelly in place of one of your produce items please let us know when you order. If there are specific produce items you would like in your basket, you can let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you depending on what is currently available. Also keep in mind that some items do not harvest well in the heat of the day. These items include herbs and leafy greens. If these are in your basket then expect that your basket will arrive late in the evening as we want to deliver long lasting produce to your door.

Food Preservation

One of the fun ways to preserve food is jams, jellies and preserves. We have been working on these and have made one of each this far this year. I was actually inspired by a fellow homesteader on Instagram who has the goal of preserving one food item a day for the month of August. I thought – wow how awesome and now I’ve joined the challenge! August 1st we canned our Blueberry Pear preserves. We already have used it on pancakes and used it as pie filling in a dump cake and it is sooo good! It is now listed on our listings page. Today we will be dehydrating basil and garlic for spice blends we will be making this week. What the rest of the month holds – WHO KNOWS – but this is exciting! You can check out our journey over on our IG channel under REELS.

Blueberry Pear Preserves while cooking

BHG Fresh Flowers Subscription

We are thrilled to announce that we are offering a Fall Flower Subscription. Sign up begins today and remains open until August 30th! Those that sign on or before August 15th will qualify for Early Bird sign up which awards you with a bonus delivery week! Deliveries will potentially begin September 30th and end October 4th. We are still flushing out the details for the dates so bear with us. What we do know is that these bouquets will be gorgeous containing anything from Zinnia to Sunflowers! As with our arrangements in the past each arrangement will have some edible portion whether it be an herb or flower. So your arrangement is not only beautiful but functional too!

You may have noted that in our Hoopty plantings mentioned above there were several flowers and filler plants have already been started for this subscription. We will continue to do so in succession to ensure you have your beautiful bouquets all 5 weeks of your subscription. If you do not think the subscription is for you then you can always buy your arrangements as they are available on the listings page although they will be at a higher cost. If the subscription is for you then you can find out all the details here.


We are so happy to have gotten almost all of our planned videos recorded, edited, and uploaded for your viewing and learning pleasure. Just what can you expect to be uploaded the month of August?

  • All time favorite flower and why
  • Hoopty update
  • Chicken update
  • How to grow cucumbers and melons in containers