Fall Plant Sale 2022

Fall is has arrived with all its windy glory. Shades of orange, brown, and red cover most of the once green landscape. Some days it is believable that the current season is Fall, however, others, like today, not so much. Temperatures climbed to the mid-eighties today. Certainly Spring was a more believable season today. It was an ideal day for garden work. If you have prepped an early Fall gardening space then you are likely harvesting select varieties of your bounty already. We admire your diligence and effort. You inspire us! May you and your family enjoy the fruits of your labor!

If you, despite your best efforts, are just getting your Fall garden ready then you are not alone! We too struggled more than we ever have lining up all of our ducks! The goal? To get started early enough to be harvesting now. As you have followed our social media outlets, you know this is not the case for Bain Home Gardens this year! What is that famous saying, “Better late than never!” For us, much Fall planting is just beginning. Although we have more time on our clock due to living in the Southernmost part of Alabama, time was still running out!

In an effort to ensure that this, our last shot at planting before the first freeze, we OVER PLANTED! This purposeful and decisive action worked just as we expected! Plants are growing in ground, in raised beds, and in starter trays! We have an abundance to be sure. We would like to extend our abundance to your gardens this Fall. We had hoped to offer our Clean Starts plants earlier this Fall however issue after issue took out our plant babies. It was very disappointing. Now, however, we do have beautiful , healthy plants looking for their forever home. Our Clean Starts plants are given the same love as everything else we put our hands to. As we continue to plant we may add more plant varieties to the shop depending on space needs. For now we have the following:

  • Purple Caulioflower
  • Yellow Onion
  • Red Giant Mustard
  • Collard Green Mix
  • Chinese White Celery

We will possibly be adding cabbage, kale, and chard in the upcoming weeks. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions! Happy growing – from our family to yours!


The Goings On – November 2022

As the leaves change hues, the wind wakes from her Summer slumber blowing them to the ground. There they find their purpose. Their fall gives life to innumerable microorganisms and insects over the next few months. This is what we’ve witnessed over the last 31 days. Although they have been unbelievably chaotic, this is the way of the farmer.

Planting

Immersing my hands wrist deep in the very elements I am created from brings me a unique tranquility. As I prepare each furrow to receive seed, my mouth naturally forms a smile as I think of my Creator using this soil to craft the first man. The life-giving gift of soil, the blessing to grow – He wanted me to understand the gratification. I do.

October was an exhaustive month of planting. On this, the tenth month, we planted Collards, Kale, Carrots, Fennel, Mizuna, and Lettuce, to name a few. Of these, we are the most eager to harvest Carrots & Kale. These are the choice vegetables of our family. We appreciate their versatility. Carrots may be eaten fresh or cooked, may be shredded into fresh a salad, or baked into an appetizing dessert. Kale is much to the same tune.

Garlic found its place just yesterday. As the many moons circle our great blue ball floating in space, these cloves will secretly spawn something amazing, aromatic, and flavorful just beneath the surface. In just eight moons all secrets will be exposed.

It is a rewarding feeling to attain our planting goals. We take the victory with hands held high and humbled hearts. But rest not, there’s more yet.

Mating Season

Life begets life. That is a fact we have come to appreciate as growers. Expanding our growing knowledge and skill past plants to our farm animals has been enlightening! As our chicken flock has grown, there is a sense of pride as we observe paternal and maternal traits rise to the surface. I think, “I know who your mama is!”

Now we are expanding that love and care into our rabbits. Our rabbits are our babies and they are truly a part of our farm family. We obtained them to eventually breed although in the meantime we have appreciated the donations they readily make to our compost. We have mated our Giant Chinchillas (Sonny & Cher) to each other and our Dwarf Angora to our Lionhead/Angora mix (Domino & Sweet Pea). All signs point to kindling in our near future. In fact, by the time our next blog post is done (December), we should have welcomed the kits into the world. A few of them will be available for forever home placement if things go as planned. We will make an announcement on our social media platforms at said time.

Harvesting

Roselle continues to grace us with bountiful calyces the brightest of scarlet and leaves from fern to emerald. Although harvesting is an arduous task it is well worth the effort. This month the flowers will finally halt blooming and harvest will come to a climactic end giving us further reason to look forward to Spring when we will embrace this bounteous flower yet again.

Arugula & mustards are among the leafy greens the ground has chosen to offer us. Both are peppery, both delicious & dual-purpose. As we harvest it is a reminder to replant. Succession planting ensures there are no gaps in harvesting. Schedules are challenging to adhere to however the benefits, the benefits sustain the farm and this family’s grocery budget.

As November’s 30 days come to pass, we shall have the joy of harvests from our flat-leaf kale varieties, Dill, Red Giant Mustards, radishes, and Snow Peas. Fall potatoes will also be lifted from the earth. We desire to see results far surpassing the meager Summer harvest. Undoubtedly, we will make use of whatever we gain. Whether it be enough for one meal or one serving the fact remains that we laid our hand to do the work of planning, planting, and cultivating. We now have something that we did not have before. For that, we will show ourselves thankful to our Provider.

A Gentle Push or a Shove

This evening was beautiful. White clouds scattered on a blue canvas with orange highlights surrounded us as we began to tackle November’s planting – Cauliflower & Cilantro. Here at my home, fully immersed in my happy place, my garden, I would have a terrible interaction with a neighbor’s dog. For reasons unbeknownst to me, our neighbors choose to walk their aggressive and disobedient (quite possibly untrained) dog off-leash. What this entailed for me this evening is standing frozen on my own corner of the earth listening to the snarling, growling animal state her case. Her owners ran behind her unable to tame or capture her in all her wildness. Laughingly they reassure me she is not aggressive and will not bite. As they continue attempts at apprehending her, my observations are quite contrary to their statements. The hair on her neck is raised. Her tail, straight. Her teeth, bright. All the language of her furry body is deafening, blaring over her barking. I choose to heed her unspoken communication rather than her owners’ dialogue. I stand still. Shortly our daughter charges outside, angry, wearing pieces of a fur suit which confuse the dog long enough to bring our situation to a screeching halt. Everyone is safe. The neighbors and their canine unapologetically exit. I share this story because afterward, I dove deeply into fencing options. It is quite a costly undertaking. We are painfully aware of this as it has been our aspiration for many years. Now, however, faced with such an unsafe set of circumstances we are being forced to consider this option more seriously. We are being shoved. Do we have a choice?

There is a faint message to be heard here. Take the gentle push. Do not wait on the shove. If you have been thinking about growing food for your family, start today. If you want to expand your homestead to include livestock, now is that time. If you want to learn how to can your harvests or what you pick up from the grocery store – hello! In life we often get gentle nudges guiding us in a good direction – not always right or wrong, just appropriate for us at that moment in time. Due to the hectic nature of life and our tendency to reason, we can do it tomorrow or next year we will make the dive, we wait. Procrastinate no more.

As for our shove, we have a plan in place to approach it efficiently. It is our hope you are able to do the same – from our family to yours.

Support Our Farm


Handcrafted Signature Tea Blends by BHG

What is it about tea that says, “sophisticated” & “pinky up”? It just seems to have that air about it. I personally have not always been a fan of tea. I may lose my Southern card for this one but even the sweet tea just never really did it for me. I do like half and half (lemonade & tea) pretty well as it seems more refreshing and not so syrupy. So if tea is not my thing then why on earth are we crafting our own? In a word – WISDOM!

Wisdom could be defined as the application of knowledge. In this case, even an infant is wise. It comes to understand that if it cries needs will be met. Likewise, we have come to learn that certain herbs are particularly beneficial for our bodies & can easily be ingested in the form of tea. Now tea is not the only way to avail yourself of the wonderful antioxidants and free radical seeking benefits herbs and flowers can provide. Simply cooking with them may be useful as well as tinctures , salves, infusions, etc. We utilize many of these techniques as well. However tea is that soothing warm drink that soothes a sore throat and cools a burning tummy. It just feels good when your are ailing. Tea and healing have become synonymous with each other over the centuries. Likely it is because of the of wholesome nature they can be.

We started using herbal teas years ago at the suggestion of a friend who was also a holistic doctor. She of course recommended her favorite brands but her requirement was that it was organic. We followed her suggestion and as a result many years later tea is our first line of defense when we feel cold or flu symptoms coming on.

At some point we did begin to examine the ingredients closely and realized many of the ingredients could easily be grown right here on our farm. This is why perennial herbs and flowers are so important to us. The healing properties they contain just go on and on! Many can be use prophylactically without any negative effects unlike so many meds we take after the fact which cause a whole list of other issues! We definitely are not knocking pharmaceuticals because we depend on them! However, if we can avoid using them – WE DO!

Now that you know why we decided to get into growing teas and crafting them we would like to briefly explain the work that goes into each bag of tea that you purchase from Bain Home Gardens.

Selection

When it comes to our apothecary garden, we want every crop that can be used medicinally growing on our farm but that is wishful thinking and quite frankly impossible! We farm a very small space so we have to be very selective about what we chose to plant, especially in the way of perennial plants that will retain their space for years to come. So we love to use dual purpose plants. Such plants as muscadines, figs, and roselle all yield a fruit that is commonly held to be edible however in all three cases the leaves are also and are outstanding in tea form! Others such as rose, raspberry, fennel are also dual purpose and take up little space. These are definitely on our future planting list! Herbs like fennel, dill, and cilantro can be grown for their leaves and bulbs but also the seed! There are SO MANY MORE! Depending on your zone, your apothecary could be enormous if you have the time and space!

Much emphasis is also put on the durability of the plant. How will it hold up to Alabama Summer? Will it draw pests? Will it deter pests? Can we also use it as a trap crop? There are so many considerations!

The practical people that we are, we are more partial to plants that will add some type of décor to our home as well. The beautiful flowers of the Bee Balm Wild Bergamot for instance were strikingly beautiful and had the added benefit of drawing and feeding the pollinators. That is music to any farmer’s ears! Most of these are also utilized in our Flowers by BHG subscription.

In our quest for more sustainability we also strive to use herbs that can be used in spice blends for our family. This year we had to please of sharing a lot of these blends with the public at the Summer Farmer’s Market . These will definitely make a return next Summer so if you are local to Dothan then be on the lookout. If you are not local, no worries, our spice blends and our teas ship throughout the US.

Growing

As a Certified Naturally Grown Farm all of our produce is grown using NOP practices. From fertilizing to treating for pests all of our inputs are organic. This definitely comes at a cost to us but it yields a reliable product. There is definitely a fight with pests! They like organic produce too! As most of the organic pesticides are water soluble they need reapplying frequently. Much diligence is required. Often time you can find me in the garden squealing as I manually remove pests from our produce! Mr. Bain Home Gardener often teases me about being a farmer afraid of bugs. I am unique, what can I say?

Ensuring that we have organic compost/garden soil to plant in can often result in great expense as this is difficult to source. What we make here on farm is not enough at this time to sustain our planting space. We hope to attain that level one day however it is not today! What we are able to source we generally work into existing beds prior to planting. We find that if we plant in a healthy soil then our perennials do well with a quarterly fertilizing and of course being watered regularly, depending on the plant.

We have worked really hard to grow everything from seed on our farm. However in the way of some items as fruit trees and tea trees we have had to outsource. Doing this even needs to be done within the rules and regulations of CNG. It can be a lot to keep up with but it is rewarding to do things in such a way that is better for the environment and certainly better for us!

Because we are growing all the ingredients in our teas a lot of our blends once the produce is out of season generally we will not have the blend again until its back in season. The exception is if we had a bumper crop of said item and have some left over later in the season. That does happen occasionally. Another caveat is if that particular crop fails for the season then that ingredient will not be available for tea blends until the following year. This is why we encourage our customers to stock up on blends that they really enjoy because although we may plan to have it the following year there is always that unpredictable part of farming that no one can account for.

We have found recently that we actually have a lot of native plants that would be considered weeds because of their invasive nature. Of these is Goldenrod. Despite our attempts it comes back yearly so we have decided to make use of it!

Harvesting

Isn’t this the best part about growing food – the pay off! The interesting thing about a lot of items used in teas though is that you usually do not harvest all at once. You have to leave enough on perennial plants for the plant to remain healthy, grow, and store energy to return the following year. In a lot of cases it is even best to not harvest from the plant the first year (later for some varieties) at all. It can be a waiting game but it is worth it!

During the Summer a lot of herbs come to harvest at the same time so we generally give ourselves a week to deal with each as needed.

Preservation & Storage

Once harvested we have to figure out the best way to preserve the harvest. If you homestead then this is a common issue you may face each year. Some items dehydrate very well just hanging out of the way others need to be dehydrated. In some cases the way you plan to use the herb comes into play. We can infuse olive oil with rosemary, goldenrod, or lavender to use later in salves and or lotions. However if I want to make spice blends then obviously we need to dehydrate. If you have a freeze dryer you may find that to also be beneficial. We hope to be in a position to get one soon. For now our Cosori gets quite the workout!

Once our items are dehydrated we store them in one of two ways:

  • Mason Jar – When storing in a Mason jar we usually will vacuum seal the jar. Afterwards we place in cool dark location
  • Mylar Bag – When storing in a mylar bag we simply heat seal the bag. If you chose to do so you may include an oxygen absorber.

Crafting

This is such an enjoyable part of making your own anything – making it just the way you want it! Burger King has no idea what that phrase really means! Let me tone down the excitement …

When we are crafting tea blends one of the things we do is become familiar with the herbs we are working with. We learn what we can about what they are beneficial for and even what issues they may cause. We want to know because many of you ask and we want to be able to pass that information along. There is another reason too. Just because something is herbal or organic doesn’t necessarily mean it cannot have negative side effects. IE opiates, just saying. Having said that, we advise anyone purchasing tea blends to research! Make sure these herbs will not interact adversely with medications you may be taking, interact with health conditions, etc. For instance, some studies show that Goldenrod may reduce blood pressure. While that is an amazing benefit, one that is on blood pressure medication would want to be cautious or may chose to not use Goldenrod tea at all due to the risk of bottoming out their blood pressure. This is just one example so please my friends, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

The other side of becoming familiar with a plant is knowing what it tastes like. We generally run many tastes test on blends before we will release to the public. It is important to us that you have a very pleasant experience while drinking our tea blends. If we can give you healthy and appetizing, why not?!

There are so many other considerations as well. What flavors pair well together? Which flavors do we what to highlight? Which flavors take the backseat to be the undertones? In some cases we have not been able to get the flavor just right for you so we hang on to those herbs until another one comes up for harvest that may bring out flavors more interesting and palatable. That is a rewarding moment!

What Teas Are Brewing

Right now at Bain Home Gardens we are Brewing Roselle Hibiscus Tea and Bee Balm Bergamot Tea. This week we will also be releasing our Goldenrod and Goldenrod Basil teas. We are busy testing out more blends each week and hope to add more flavors of our home grown, hand crafted teas to the store soon! Till next time – PINKY UP!


The Goings On – October 2022

In just 2 more months we will be in a whole new year. It is quite hard to believe. They year isn’t over yet! There is still much to do!

Out with the old…

Rotting Raised Beds

At the outset of the year we knew we were going to need to replace our raised beds. As we have mentioned in pervious blogs, we used non-treated wood for these beds and knew their life would be short. The hope was that in the meantime we could grow our business and later be able to sustain purchasing cedar raised beds which would last longer. However COVID hit our farm hard! So we had to pivot and adjust. We began researching galvanized raised beds which seemed to be the most practical investment since this is a life-style for us now. We will grow food forever! When it comes to galvanized raised beds there are many companies out there. It can be hard to know which way to go. Well recently a fellow vlogger, Lazy Dog Farm, shared a video about the Olle raised garden beds and we were intrigued! The prospect of not having to replace the raised beds for 20+ years was very appealing! Although it really is a pretty large investment, we made the dive and received our first Olle raised bed just a few weeks ago. You can watch us put it together here. It has since been planted with beets, turnips, radishes, and Swiss Chard varieties.

One thing I really appreciate about the configuration we went with is the height. At 17 inches, it is the perfect height for me to sit on my stool and plant! On bad body days this will be crucial! Over the next year we plan to install these in all the places where our wooden raised beds were previously. At a minimum of $199.00 per bed it may take a while however we have time! If you would like to make the dive into galvanized raised beds you can purchase through our link and get a 10% discount.

Simba’s Pride

It has been a while since I referred to our rabbits with the above title and honestly it makes me a little sad. I really miss Simba! He opened my heart back to they young girl that had her first spoiled rabbit. I’ll always remember him for that. Lionhead rabbits in particular just have wonderful personalities. So when I saw the cutest Lionhead Angora YOU ALREADY KNOW MY HEART WAS ON FIRE! We are proud to add Sweet Pea to Simba’s pride! She is absolutely hilarious! Our boy Gizmo has been trying diligently to get her attention but as you can see, she cannot be bothered! The hope was to breed her to Gizmo but there seems to be a size discrepancy. Yikes! We haven’t given Gizmo the opportunity yet however if it doesn’t work out for Gizmo then Domino is also an option. Either way we will have some really cute babies hopping around and joining our fertilizer team!

Preserving the Harvest

I have complained enough about all the crop failures 2022 has had for our farm anyway. When the #everybitcountschallenge came around in August I was so discouraged that we really didn’t have much to preserve. Well that has taken a sharp change over the last month! We have harvested basil, bee balm, fig leaves, figs, goldenrod, grape leaves, roselle calyces and leaves. Once all of these are harvested then they have to be processed in one way or another for storage. Let’s just say that the dehydrator has not been off often. We are using these items to build our stash of teas, tinctures, and spice blends. Right now you can find two tea blends on our shop page. We are happy to be able to ship these to you if you do not live local to Dothan, Alabama.

Herbalism has become quite an interesting rabbit hole for us! Late nights spent on YouTube researching have proved very valuable! Along the way we have learned quite a bit about the benefits and medicinal uses of what may seem to be weeds growing right here on our property. Goldenrod is a great example! For years I have mistaken it for Ragweed and wrongly thought it was the culprit aggravating our allergies. How wrong I was! One thing Ive come to observe is that bees REALLY love Goldenrod. Turns out there is a reason for that! See, unlike Ragweed, Goldenrod contains nectar that draws the pollinators. Whereas Ragweed is wind dependent. Its literally blowing in the air which is why it aggravates us so much UNLIKE Goldenrod. We learned that it was actually just the opposite – Goldenrod actually offers relief to allergy symptoms when used as a tea or tincture! How ironic! We harvested a full basket from around just two of our raised beds and still have a section behind two more decommissioned beds we need to harvest. There is so much of it on our property. We have used some of it already to begin a tincture that will be ready near the end of November. Don’t worry though, we left plenty for the bees!

What About Produce

As we look back on last months blog we are actually pretty proud that we have planted nearly all we said we would and then some! The majority of the planting we have done over the last month has been in Hoopty primarily because of our raised bed issue. We have interplanted a couple of mustard varieties that we think will look quite beautiful growing together. We love the versatility mustard greens offer. Young greens are a fabulous addition to salads and more mature leaves are great cooked! More on the farmer side of things we can get multiple cuts from the plants as they grow.

Every year we push to make sure we have plenty of collard greens for the community come Winter since it seems to be the leafy green of choice for our area. We do struggle though with growing them for some odd reason. We always have a few, however, it is never enough! This year we are not taking any chances and we have planted triple the amount we would normally and thankfully we can say that we already see them coming up!

Snap peas are growing nicely and we are considering growing more outside of Hoopty but aren’t quiet sure if maybe we have waited too close to the first frost. In our zone the first frost is predicted to be around mid November. Although most of the peas we grow can handle frost, they do need to be well established. If we do plant any outside it will definitely need to be in the next day or so.

Fall snap beans just seem to have the very best flavor ever! We are harvesting the long beans from Hoopty and the standard green bean from the field areas. Both delicious! We have had to fight with the aphids in the high tunnel for every bean we get but it is definitely worth the fight!

Arugula is growing well and should be up for harvest by this time next month which means we are already behind in succession planting but what else is new! We will get more arugula planted this week. It pairs well with almost any green in our opinion and can hold its own! So we like to keep a steady supply of it!

Kale is also growing ! Then again no Fall garden is complete without it! We have planted a couple different flat leaf varieties thus far. Curly, Lacinato, and Red Russian Kale is on the agenda next. While we do have some Curly kale that has survived the Summer, we will not begin harvesting from it again until after the first frost.

Carrots, carrots, and more carrots! We have planted so many varieties of carrots over the last month! This is yet another item we can never have enough of! Over planting cannot really be an issue! We love to put carrots up for ourselves but we also love having them in the Spring for Farmers Markets. They are the most beautiful thing to see laid out on the table!

Kiwano Jelly Melons are coming on late this year as we were late planting them. We think we may get a few before the first frost arrives.

We experimented with growing Sorghum this year to get to know it a bit. We have been impressed with how durable it is. We definitely neglected it but it still thrived! We hope to use it as a trap crop next year but this year we may be experimenting with using it as a grain particularly for our chickens. Nutritionally speaking it’s close to corn. We plan to see how our girls enjoy it in the near future. It seems also that the grain and leaves can be used as fodder for rabbits. We are doing further research on that. Stay tuned for those videos over on our YouTube channel.

We thought we would sneak in a planting of dill before the weather got too cold. We used nearly all of our dehydrated supply in spice blends over the Summer! We are happy we had it! However, we don’t want that jar to stay empty too long so we interplanted some dill with our leafy greens. Additionally, if we can grow it now then we can dehydrate and experiment with more spice blends for you over the Winter having them ready come Spring and Summer when cucumbers and in full swing!

Fennel has also been direct sown in the high tunnel. We are growing a different variety this Fall and hope that this isn’t a mistake. We desired to find a variety known for larger, rounder bulbs. We hope that we find success. If not we have time to fall back to our OG variety.

We are continuing growing our microgreens and we also grow them for the birds and bunnies. Wheatgrass is definitely a favorite of theirs!

Roselle is STILL GROWING and we are STILL HARVESTING it! We are now offering the tasty leaves over on our shop page so you can enjoy this delicious treat as well. Our family has tried the leaves as a side salad and thoroughly enjoyed it!

As far as produce available to you now, we have our rosemary, oregano, roselle leaves, and microgreens available over in our shop. Oh and dont forget our CNG eggs!

Upcoming

By the time we talk again we hope to have set out our very own, grown from seed, onion starts along side the sets we will purchase. By the end of the month our garlic should have shipped out to us as well. Lettuce needs to be direct sown. Cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage will be set out. Chinese Pink and White Celery are nearly large enough to be set out so they will soon need a home. We also hope to get some sort of Asian green planted. If all goes well we hope to bring our Greens Box back no later than January 2023. This will be helpful in reaching those health centered new years resolutions! Stay tuned!


The Goings _ On September 2022

September – the month that Summer turns to Fall. Let’s just say it is the month it is supposed to turn into Fall! August was a whirlwind for us. Between pest issues, health problems, and scorching heat, and extreme humidity it has been one wild August!

The Flock

The chickens are doing so well. They have been the one positive throughout this season. Our girls are growing very well and have the sweetest demeanor. They have now been merged with the 4 that we hatched out in May and our two Welsummers. For our largest flock yet! Twelve! That may not seem like a lot to you but building a run to ensure there is plenty of space to keep the peace was an undertaking to say the least. But using recycled goods, some new fencing, t-posts, and some pallets – we got it done!

There are two cockerels in this flock – Hope & Faith. Faith being the larger of the two and most outgoing has already begin to assert his dominance with the younger girls. It is quite interesting to watch. Hope on the other hand stays out of the way and occasionally will let the girls know he’s a dude. You may remember that Hope is the chick we almost lost. Our daughter took the task of hatching him out herself. We are so glad that we made that decision. He is just beautiful! He takes after his father and grandmother with the adorable feathered feet! And in the blackness of his feathers there is the most beautiful reddish brown coming through. Yes, him is a handsome fella! We are loving learning animal husbandry first hand by watching these traits pass from one chicken to the next. Best of all, we love that fact that each hatchling set seems to become more and more personable with us. As we observe them grow we admire our Creator more and more!

Right now we are at a whopping 25 chickens! That may not seem like a lot for a farm but just remember we are a microfarm. We started with 6! You could say this getting out of hand but we wouldn’t. While we didn’t intend to ever have this many, we have found something we love. Raising chickens is a dual fold benefit for us. We get beautiful eggs weekly that we can share with the community as supplies allow. When hens are past laying age we get meat and of course we use those bones for broth. We really can’t see why everyone doesn’t have chickens. Just saying!

When Spring 2023 comes around we will have a total of 21 laying hens. That is a lot of eggs! We are tossing around the idea of a small member egg CSA late Spring or early Summer. I mean who wouldn’t want a dozen Certified Naturally Grown eggs delivered to their door weekly?! If that is something you would be interested in please let us know. It would be nice to know what kind of market we have for it before diving in.

Fall Planting

Fall Planting has continued though not quite as planned. Our brassicas were doing very well, that is until They got leggy. After reviewing last years garden notes we think the culprit may be our favorite peat pellets! Last year we were able to save a good bit of the seedlings so we thought we could save these as well but when trying to set them out it was clear they were beyond saving. This is a real set back for us. This likely means that we will not be harvesting in Fall harvest on our brassicas. While that is disappointing it is not all a loss as we can still harvest in Spring. Those brassicas included – Collards, Broccoli, & Cauliflower. Late is better than never – right?

For the first time ever we are growing out our own onion starts. We decided to do this because there are more varieties of short day onion seeds versus short day onion starts. We really wanted to include some Granex varieties in our planting this year and we were having a difficult time sourcing starts. Ergo we are starting them from seed ourselves. We have started these so that by January they are hopefully at a sufficient size to set out.

We are not going to put all of our eggs in one basket though. Since this is a new endeavor we will still order our starts as usual. This will ensure we still get harvest if our starts somehow fail.

We planned to do a video but when the time came we totally forgot. We were in JUST GET ID DONE MODE! This is what we did:

  • We labeled 4 cups – one for each variety:
    • Timon (yellow, Grano)
    • DP Sweet (yellow, sweet, Granex)
    • Chianti (red, Grano)
    • Sapelo Sweet (yellow, sweet, Granex)
  • We poured the seeds in to each cup – about a teaspoon each variety
  • We covered with cool filtered water
  • We allowed to sit on the table uncovered for 3 days.
    • By day 3 all had began to sprout except the Chianti (red onion). If your seeds have sprouted be sure to plant sprouted portion down into the soil and part with seed attached up.

We will keep you updated on this journey!

In the Way of Available Produce

There a few times of the year where our farm is looking a little rough. Those time are usually times of transition. Now we are transitioning from Summer to Fall. Sadly there is just not a lot of produce items currently available. Our tea blends, infused oils, spice blends are in stock however. We hope to add fresh produce items to the shop page within the next 30 – 55 days as we have planted some fast growing leafy greens and root veggies. For now our microgreens are available to grow to order and we have opened subscriptions for Fall MICROgreens by BHG. Deliveries will begin October 21st and run through November 9th. We will remain open to accept subscribers until September 30th.

Life Changes

As we all grow and age we come we learn to adjust to the different changes our lives throw our way. Whether we like change or not it comes for us in some fashion or another.

Many that know our family know that I, Shena Nicole, deal with chronic health issues and have from birth. I don’t discuss these issues often as I have chosen to not let them define me. I just live my life. In fact, I forget sometimes that I have limitations and those are the occasions my body will rudely remind me. Recently I have had to deal with far more pain & limited mobility than I have in the past making it more and more challenging to accomplish even the most basic activities of daily living much less homesteading. Not being able to monitor the farm as needed has sadly even accounted for some of our crop losses this year. This in turn just made me an emotional wreck! Something needed to be done! A couple of doctor visits & tests later and we have a potential culprit but only time will tell. In the meantime chronic pain is being managed with new pharmaceuticals. While I am not one who cares for taking pills this is absolutely necessary for my quality of life. It is taking a lot to adjust to the new regimen. At first focusing was an issue which is why this blog is so extremely past due! However, I have already noticed some improvement in pain levels & mobility. Along with exercise & more diet adjustments, I am hopeful that with this improvement will come with more freedom to do what needs to be done to run a farm, a home, a family. Backing down is just not something I know how to do. With many prayers and the support of my friends & family, I do hope to put this phase of life in the rear view soon. There is just too much to do!

By the time we come back to you next month we hope to be installing new raised beds, planting garlic, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, Carrots, & more! Like I said, THERE IS JUST TOO MUCH TO DO!