The Goings On – December 2020

Old man Winter took a deep breath and blew and boom it is Winter if only for a brief moment. We are happy to have the pests put back in some type of balance so that hopefully 2021 will be a little less challenging in that arena. We do need more cold though so come on old man… do your thing!

Thanks for checking in with us! Come on, let’s see what’s been going on!

Garlic

Garlic has literally been planted EVERYWHERE! We are not looking to gain viable bulbs from all that we have planted however we are using them as a companion plant to most of our brassicas. So far so good. We have a lot to make up for in the way of losses to pests this year. Now that the cold weather has come we have a little help from nature with the pests and man let me tell you how welcome it is! In the photo below you can see some of our Asian Greens hiding comfortably in between the garlic. Let keep their location top secret!

Onions

For the very first time we planted 50% of our onions from our own seed stock! Sustainable – I think so! We are very excited about this and again we aren’t counting on any real bulbs out of this but we do love onion tops in just about everything! These too have been interplanted with leafy greens for a little witness protection… if you will.

Hoopty

Hoopty is a hot mess and I mean that literally! Eggplants, peppers, and cucumbers are among the last remaining Summer crops and they are doing exceedingly well. The peppers in particular have been out of control! We are using them to make homemade blends of hot sauce and my oh my the flavors have been amazing! We have also been working on seasoning blends! Most of these have already been posted on our listings page however the seasoning blends are still being perfected. Mr. Bain Home Gardener is our taste tester and thankfully he is brutally honest. This means whatever comes out of the kitchen is sure to please!

Okra was finally pulled just yesterday and squash will be pulled and possibly replanted. Swiss Chard, green onions and celery are brewing nicely! With all the new areas to plant in Hoopty we hope to get more kale, mustards, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower planted before the month is out. I just realized just how much work that is!

Restructuring

You may be aware by now that Bain Home Gardens has begun restructuring our business dynamic. This has meant many adjustments already. You can read about most of those here. Much of this process has already been placed in motion and more is yet to come and it will certainly be an exciting transition. As we close the doors on some journeys more open up to us quicker than we are able to travel. Our job is now to decide which roads to travel & for how far. It’s ok, we have our backpacks and are ready to go!

MICROgreens by BHG

Our new subscription service is now open to accept subscribers! You can get the details here. This is one venture that we are so very excited about. See we have a love of microgreens and use them often here at home. So to be able to bring you yet another product that is near and dear to us is just the best!

Flowers by BHG

Our flowers delivery service with Kith & Kin CSA was really enjoyable in the Spring. Just watching the the flowers growing and watching the pollinators hard at work was a wonderful treat. Our farm fresh bouquets will be available throughout the year in 2021 in our Flowers by BHG line. We have yet to determine if we will resume our bouquet subscription service in the Spring and/or Summer but stay tuned. We will have definite news on that in our January 2021 newsletter.

A Special Month

You may recall that this time last year we completed our high tunnel who when affectionately call Hoopty. To be exact we completed it on our 20th wedding anniversary! As the year rolls around again we look back with awe and appreciation for year 21. We had no idea what the year 2020 would be for us! We were hopeful and positive about the possibilities. A pandemic was certainly not on our radar. Things certainly did not go as planned this year but it many ways they went better and other ways, well we are all the more stronger as a family and as a brand for enduring. For that we are so grateful. As we celebrate year 21 of us & year 1 of Hoopty we look forward to many more!

December 11, 1999

This years familyvesary feels a little different … no trip & no gathering with friends for a celebratory meal however the most important part is soild – us.

Sorry to be so brief this month but there is so much to so and so little time that we must really get to it even at this hour (9:30 p.m.). Bundle up – from our family to yours!


KIth & Kin – The Sunset

Growth happens for everyone. Growth although required for the survival of most species can at times be painful. We believe that is where the age old term “growing pains” comes from. One must acknowledge that growth and act accordingly. Today, this is where we at Bain Home Gardens find ourselves. Let us explain…

For several seasons we have worked in association with and through a co label of Kith & Kin CSA along with Hawkins Homestead Farm. This partnership has been a staple of some of the growth on the Bain family farm, after all that is the reason behind the CSA model. This growth has been steadily increasing & had nearly gotten away from us! What to do? Sit back and rest on our laurels. No, growth is change. This change has inspired us to take stock of our operation and restructure our production dynamic. Efficiency while maintaining a quality product is our top priority. This is not a challenge for the faint of heart and we embrace it wholeheartedly. However, as a result, this (Fall 2020) will be the last season that Bain Home Gardens is a part of Kith & Kin CSA. Bain Home Gardens will continue in operation, following different passions. Our items will be exclusively on our website and social media outlets. Thus the sun sets on Bain Home Gardens association with Kith & Kin CSA. This decision came at great deliberation & for sure some growing pains. We understand that Hawkins Homestead Farm will continue with the Kith & Kin brand. We wish them the best in their endeavors!

We have appreciated all of the love & support from our customers who fully advocate our brand and products. Therefore we will continue to provide excellent produce and service to you and anyone else who would love to join our journey towards self sufficiency and sustainability.

What You Can Expect

Many of you reach out to us regularly in search of clean produce. Since the CSA ran for most of the growing season, we were very limited in what we could supply you. That will now change. In fact come mid-January we will have Farm Sampler Baskets added to our listings page. These will have 5 produce items freshly harvested from the farm. You may choose to add milk or beef from Working Cows dairy for an additional cost. Also we are currently accepting subscribers to our MICROgreens by BHG service from now until January 1,2020 . You can read all about it here. These are just two of the new adventures Bain Home Gardens is already engaged on! We are buckled up and ready – come what may. Look out for more new and interesting things – from our family to yours!


MICROgreens by BHG

As mentioned in our live Facebook video we are re-structuring things here at Bain Home Gardens. Another chapter begins in the novel of us and we are more than excited to write it! We are thrilled to introduce to you our new subscription service – MICROgreens by BHG!

Microgreens are tiny greens that pack a real punch of flavor and nutrition. Since they are harvested far earlier than other mature produce items they are said to have up to 40x more nutrients! Use in smoothies, in salads, as salads, on sandwiches – the possibilities are endless!

Like everything else we grow our microgreens are grown from non-GMO, certified organic seed. It is cared for with the same high standard as all of our other Certified Naturally Grown produce.

How Does It Work?

This is a 8 week subscription that will run for 3 seasons. Sign up will ONLY BE OPEN FOR A LIMITED TIME for each season. Once sign up closes – IT IS CLOSED. You will pay for the entire 8 weeks in advance. This allows us to secure seeds and supplies for your membership each season. As the year progresses we will offer customizable subscriptions that will allow you to choose which microgreen you want for each delivery. For now microgreens will be delivered to everyone based on what is grown. Your delivery will be made promptly every Monday. We offer 3 subscription sizes:

  • Small is best for single individuals or ones who are new to microgreens and are not quite sure how to use them just yet. This subscription size offers 3 ounces of microgreens delivered weekly at $48.00 per season.
  • Medium is good for small families and couples that are already familiar with the microgreens and know just how to use them. This subscription size offers 6 ounces of microgreens delivered weekly at $96.00 per season.
  • Large is for large families or health enthusiast. This subscription size offers 12 ounces of microgreens delivered weekly at $168 per season. You save $24 with this subscription.
  • Food services is designed for businesses who want to secure a steady supply of microgreens for their establishment. This subscription size offers 1 pound of microgreens per week. Contact us for pricing.

Delivery of microgreens is included in the subscription service. Delivery is within the Dothan City limits only. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we will deliver using our contactless method. Please leave a cooler on the porch to receive your microgreens. We offer mail in subscriptions also however cost will be on a case by case basis so please contact us for details before purchasing. Payment may be made through our listings page or you may request an invoice be sent instead.

Winter Sign Up

Winter sign up is open now and will close on January first 2021. Deliveries for the Winter will begin January 18, 2021 and will end March 8, 2021.

Update!

We are happy to announce that with the Winter 2020 subscription we will be offering a sample size oil (pictured to the left and right) or vinegar with the medium subscription and a small sized (200ml bottle) with the large subscription! Subscribers will get one each month of the two month subscription. We hope to continue this addition in the seasons to come but we are super excited to be able to offer you hardworking folks of the Wiregrass a little special. We know it isn’t a huge gesture however it is our way of saying thank you.

Is It For You?

If you are not sure about microgreens, we understand wholeheartedly. We suggest you try them out first by purchasing them from our listings page. This is a harmless way to give them a shot without too much of an investment. If you know someone who would just love our subscription then why not gift them a subscription?



The Goings On – November 2020

Hey there folks! How are you? We are doing, well, ok I guess over on our corner of the earth. Things have been better to be sure but things could also be worse. This is just the highs and lows of farm life! When we started this blog we decided to be honest and share with you our successes and failures since we know farming is more times than not, not always pretty. Those disappointments happen! So let’s talk about some of them shall we.

Pests

Pests have been at an all time high! We knew it was going to be a bad year when entomologist Ayanava Majumdar communicated to us early Spring that the bugs were weeks ahead of schedule for the year. That is never a good thing! Later in June when he visited Hoopty it was abundantly clear to him and us that we were all the way in it! UGH! Ugh really is an emotion that readily describes 2020. So we have been fighting all season long & even harder than usual. In Hoopty white flies and spider mites were terrible at the height of Summer! At the top of the list of aggressors this Fall are flea beetles! They seem to love every crop that we are growing. In particular our Mustard & Asian greens varieties. Of these they have destroyed half the crop planted for the Fall! Some crop losses are inevitable but this year, when things have already been so rough, another loss just wasn’t what we needed. We have and continue to fight these pests by using mechanical and organic remedies. However these become nearly ineffective when yet another element comes into play…

Rain

It may seem odd to list rain as a problem however in our case it has really worked against our pest management program. While we know rain is absolutely necessary to grow healthy crops we are griping, if you will about the days on end of heavy monsoon-like rainfall. You see for Diatomaceous earth rain is a huge deterrent. DE washes a way easily and becomes ineffective when wet. Days of heavy rain fall are taken advantage of by the flea beetles and before you know it entire beds have disappeared literally over night!

Devastated Red Mustard Greens

There has been a joint attack on many of our crops such as our Turnip leaves. There seems to be some sort of an alliance between the Flea Beetles and Fall Army Worms. Although we use BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) for worms, heavy infestations require application every other day and is far less effective if done in the rain. Speaking of the dreaded Army Worm, do you know why they are called “army” worms? One source says, “They are so named because of their habit of crawling in large numbers from field to field when they have exhausted their food supply.” We have witnessed this to be the case as they have moved from one permanent bed to another and leaving much devastation in their wake in a matter of 24hrs! This year, after just one day of heavy rainfall, for the first time we found them eating our Zinna as well as our Fennel! Fortunately we did catch them before those items were lost too.

Someone enjoyed our Salad Turnips

No rant about pests would be complete without mentioning the dreaded fire ants! This year they have given us grief in our raised beds and in the high tunnel! Not only do these pack a powerful bite but they too are army-like in the swiftness in which they can damage a crop as they build alliances with other pests! Our okra and corn have fallen victim to the ants this year.

Ants on okra bud

Although we have lost time, we continue to plant and take advantage of the long growing season our region offers. Currently re-growing is cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, mustards, lettuce and more!

TRIAL UPDATES

Cucumbers

If we had any idea the cucumbers would be so beautiful in the sea of green that is Hoopty, I’m certain we would have planted far more than we did. They are doing very well! The next set of data is to determine for how long they will grow into the cold months in an unheated environment. We chose two varieties for our trial. However, we have had 3 volunteer plants from a variety planted over the Spring pop up so that brings us to a total of 3 varieties. Of these we will see which yields will be the best under the cooler temps.

Cucumber Trellis

Squash & Zucchini

Consider my mind 100% blown when I went into Hoopty and harvested squash this month! I know others are probably like, “Yeah, yeah…you’ve got a hoop house – duh!” For me, however it will never stop being so amazing! We planted one variety of squash and one variety of zucchini for our season extension trials. We have harvested a couple of squash thus far and the zucchini isn’t far behind! We have already determined that we will allow for more space next year for Fall squash and zucchini! I can already taste the roasted zucchini and sweet potatoes!

Squash

Corn

This one gets logged in the fail colum unfortunately. We feel the failure was due to a combination of pests pressure from ants and late planting. We are not however giving up on corn. We will be planting again in the Spring.

Herbs

This year the herbs have really been the shining stars of the farm. Lemon balm & Lemongrass have really grown far better than they have in years past. Also Fennel, Purple Basil, Thai Basil, & Cilantro all really left their mark! We enjoy learning to cook new and exciting recipes with these herbs. Our trial with Fall Dill is underway and so far the results are a bit inconclusive. Stay tuned on that front. However the Fall propagated basil is doing fantastic. If things go as planned, we should have fresh basil right up until January meaning there will only be 4 months instead of 5 months we have to go without fresh basil.

Fennel

THIS WEEK’S LISTINGS

With all of the issues we have had the last few months we are honestly quite proud of our listings that we offer to you each week. As we have mentioned recently, seasonal farm boxes and a wider selection of produce will be available January 2021. This week the Bain family farm has the following home grown goodness to offer your family:

  • Lemongrass
  • Scotch Bonnet Peppers
  • Hot Pepper Basket
  • Sweet Pepper Basket
  • Jams Jellies

What’s To Come?

It seems that COVID is going to be sticking around a bit longer. So we remain vigilant to keep our family and community safe. We will continue the contacless methods of delivery for the foreseeable future.

On the farm in the upcoming weeks we will be pulling okra from Hoopty, planting turnips, beets, onions, tulips, carrots and rutabagas. We will also finalize winterizing our strawberries and other fruit bearing plants that require such. I’m tired just thinking about it all! On the brighter side, next month is yet another special month for our family. Do you remember why? Check back next month for more goings ons at Bain Home Gardens!