The Goings On – February 2022

Hey there February! We missed you! While there is plenty to do in the month of February much was done in January as well. Check out what went on in the last 31 days.

Planting

January has been cold and boy do we welcome that! It is also the month we try to get our bulb onions planted. We are happy to report that we have checked this off our planting checklist! This year we planted two varieties: Texas Sweet & Red Creole. In addition to those we also planted Lancelot Leek. We have never grown leeks before but man do we love a good leek and potato soup! Onions are a staple food for our family. I cook at least one meal a day using them and sometimes we have them raw in salads and salsas! We love to have our own of course but last year just was not the best year for onions for us. We hope that this year will be much better.

We also added a few more perennial flower bulbs to to the ground. We have many already established from previous seasons so we are only adding varieties now that are new to us. This year we are adding Lilly and Allium to the flower garden. Although we have not planted them yet we are also adding flowering herbs to the flower garden. These will be used in our flower bouquets but also used in this seasons tea blends and tinctures we plan to make. Speaking of the flower garden, if you would like to have beautiful home grown flower bouquets delivered to your door then the Flowers by BHG subscription is just for you! You can secure your Spring subscription here. This year delivery for Spring subscription begins May 2nd and will run through the entire month of May. Dates for the Summer subscription are tba.

Back to planting. We have started many seeds for the 2022 growing season! Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are started and are growing nicely. We hope to have them ready to be planted in the Hoopty by March 15th at the latest and March 1st at the earliest. Although we are preparing for the Spring and Summer we cannot forget to plant those more cold hardy plants such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. All of these have also been started. While we have been blessed to harvest Winter cauliflower this January, we want to get a second harvest early Spring so we are starting these plants now to set out in March. Some of these will go into the high tunnel and others will go into raised beds. Carrots, fennel, and kohlrabi will be direct sown this month. We want to plant more green mustards and collards however we are at a loss as to where we will plant them as we are already running low on space! Ah the life of the micro-farmer!

Harvesting

January was a big month for harvesting here! We harvested salad turnips and for the first time ever we had enough to share, eat, and freeze and dehydrate! It was definitely busy a couple of days getting them processed but we are so thankful to have had an abundance to store for our family for later in the season. After all, have you seen grocery prices along with the supply chain issues?! Cauliflower heads for the Winter were small but again we are thankful to have these tucked away for use at a later time. We also continue to harvest snow peas and brussels sprouts leaves some of which we have also had the pleasure of storing. We even processed the stems of the brussels sprouts by dehydrating them and then using the food processor to pulse into a powder that we can now use in smoothies or anything! Side note – WE LOVE FRESH SNOW PEAS! We have eaten more than we have frozen! Oops! Our field snow peas have definitely dropped in production due to the below freezing nights we have had but I have confidence they will pick back up.

Our hot, HOT peppers died on one of the below freezing nights simply because I forgot to cover them with the frost blankets. Silly me! This meant that loads of peppers had to be harvested and processed for dehydrating! I am so thankful that the Cosori dehydrator puts off less fumes than our previous dehydrator since it was well over three pounds of peppers we had to process. We find doing this at night while everyone is sleep and while the temperatures are lower in the house is great because no one is effected by the slight odor that does result and the heat it puts off helps warm the house. Win-win! Honestly the dehydrator has been a real work horse lately. We processed a pound and a half of parsley in it over a matter of a few days taking breaks in between. It takes about 7 hours at 145 degrees to get the parsley at the desired texture.

Special Announcements!

We have tried our very best to protect our family, friends, and community by wearing our masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated. We feel good about our efforts as a family. Thanks to having been fully vaccinated and boosted and a slight change in family dynamic we are ready to attend farmers markets again! We are not sure yet exactly what markets we will be supporting this coming season however we will keep you posted.

While we look forward to entertaining farm visits in the near future we have to slowly get back into the community so we are not there yet but when we are you will be the first to know!

Several of you have already reached out regarding our Annual Spring Plant Sale. We are so glad that you know where to go to find healthy organic plant starts! Unfortunately, this year we will not be doing an official plant sale as we have done in years past. If and when we have extra plants we will create listings for them and inform you over on our Instagram and Facebook pages. We did learn that Hawkins Homestead Farm will be doing their plant sale this year so please do check out their organic plant start offerings!

Finally, we have been reworking our website behind the scenes to build a shop instead of a listings page. This is taking some time to be sure (just learning Woo Commerce ins and outs) but we “hope” to have our new and improved shop available for you by March 1st. This will allow you to create an account and have a cart to which you can add items to rather than having to purchase one item at a time. I know that has been frustrating for many of you but we thank you for your patience as we have attempted to get ahead of the learning curve with this new software.

YouTube

We are proud to say that we are back on track with regularly uploading videos! It feels good to be back on track. This Summer we hope to have reached enough subscribers to start doing some giveaways. So please do like our videos, subscribe to our channel, and share our content with someone you think would enjoy our journey. Each time you do you support our farm as we work hard to support our community. We appreciate you! Below you will find a list of videos from January. We hope you enjoy!

It was short and sweet but now you know what is going on over at Bain Home Gardens. We will touch base with you in March!

This Weeks Listings

We have plenty of greens for you guys from mustards to collards to kale – WE GOT YOU! Take advantage of our Greens Box or or Farm Sampler baskets while we have an abundance to share!


The Goings On – March 2021

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

Spring Plant Sale

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

2021 Clean Starts

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

Our Flower Bouquets

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

Early Morning Flower Harvest

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

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

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

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

What About the Produce?

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

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

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

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

Shena’s Baked Creations

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

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


The Goings On – January 2021

Hello 2021! If you are like us you maybe waiting to see if you are happy to welcome 2021 or not! Having said that it is our hope that this calendar year will be less stressful than the last!

2021 marks the fourth “official” year that we have been growing for the public. We have really come a long way. We have learned quite a bit and continue to add to that knowledge to ensure we are making the best use of our corner of the planet. Recently we have taken several online courses about soil health . These have been so very informative and we have some new techniques that we hope to implement in the upcoming months. Caring for the soil is something that we all can do a little bit better with. Whether you are a home gardener, conventional farmer or organic it is our responsibility as stewards of the land to care for it. Soil care is an investment of time. Benefits are often not seen right away but when they are seen they are in fact undeniably REAL! Let me get off that soap box! What’s been going on?!

Peppers Finally Slowed!

This year we dedicated more space that we ever have to peppers and eggplant. We made this space in our high tunnel (Hoopty). We planted Jamaican Scotch Bonnet, Red Hot Cherry, Serrano, Orange Habanero, Early Jalapeno and Aji Amarillo peppers along with 3 varieties of sweet peppers. WOW! We had an overwhelming success with Scotch Bonnet and Orange Habanero peppers. These have certainly earned a permanent home on our farm. They took a while to begin to fruit (June) but once they got started they totally killed it! They love the heat of Summer which makes sense considering their natural tropical environment. We have harvested around 15lbs of Scotch Bonnet Peppers from only a few plants! We have made jerk sauce, hot sauce, pepper jelly and all kinds of other creations. We recently launched Terry Spice Shop page and are adding new creations monthly. Today we are releasing the Mango Jamaican Jerk Sauce & Orange Jamaican Jerk Sauce! These were a long time coming since some of the authentic spices needed were a little hard to locate but we found them! You can find them over on Terry’s Spice Shop page. With the last cold snap the peppers finally slowed down. Maybe we can catch up with them now!

Fall Planting & Winter Trials

We have almost completely planted Hoopty up! Every row except two are currently growing home grown goodness! We have planted peas, kale, chard, mustards and carrots in the last few weeks. Left to plant is are successional planted items like lettuce, arugula, salad turnips and radishes. It will get done as we find the time and energy to do so. In addition to that we have also planted beans – THAT’S RIGHT BEANS! You may have seen our Weekly Check-In video were we showed the row of water bottles. We used them to create mini green houses over the individual seeds to give them a nice warm environment to germinate in. We still cover these when temperatures are below 40 degrees. We have planted these for a couple of reasons. For one we wanted to add some nitrogen back to the soil and this is a nice way to do that. If we allow the beans to fruit it will drastically reduce the amount of nitrogen to be released back into the soil. We are not quite sure what we will do but it will be largely determined by how well they fair in the hoop house. The second reason we planted beans is we love fresh beans! We hate being limited to one season for them so this is a nice trial to see if it is reasonable to grow them in the Winter. Stay tuned!

Farm Sampler Basket

As promised, our Farm Sampler Basket in now available! Your farm basket can be customized or we can build it for you.  To customize just purchase and contact us to let us know what you want in your basket. You get 6 produce items from what is currently growing on our farm. Check the flyer below for details!

Our YouTube Channel Is Going Live!

At 4 p.m. today the Bain Home Gardens YouTube channel goes live. If you have been following our journey then some of this content may be familiar as some has been posted on our Instagram and Facebook pages. You can expect videos from our From Our Garden to Your Table, Weekly Tip, Weekly Check-In and Our Garden Adventures series. We also have created a silly little family show we call Bain-boozled and it will be exclusively available on the channel. We encourage you to subscribe! However this is our disclaimer: THIS IS OUR JOURNEY & WE ARE LEARNING AS WE GROW!  We make mistakes, we have failures and  we certainly get tongue tied! Too many times we see farming being painted a perfect craft – IT JUST ISN’T! Bloopers are the theme of the day nearly everyday at BHG and we are okay with that! We just love having fun being happy doing what we love! We are also sharpening our skills when in comes to video editing & production as well so if you notice issues – we apologize ahead of time. Though we are growing in our skill and understanding we still thought it would be exciting to bring others along. You will most certainly get a laugh or two! It is our hope also that you may learn something too from our successes and our failures.

Flowers by BHG

Flowers benefit any farm and garden simply because they draw pollinators. Though I am allergic to many of them, pollinators are the life of any farm. So flowers are a dual fold purpose in both beauty and functionality. We told you that we are working hard to determine if we are going to provide a flower subscription service for 2021. We are currently working on planting and cultivating new areas on the farm for even more planting and we are exploring more seed variations. We will have a final decision for you in our February Goings On blog post. Even if we do not open the subscription service you will still be able to buy our bouquets as they are available on our listings page.

We have really enjoyed growing new varieties over the last few years and more of the old stand by varieties. Our bouquets are unique because we add at least one edible item to your arrangement, usually an herb but it could be an edible flower. Our Farm Fresh Bouquet arrangements are also picked the day of delivery and most will last a 7 day minimum. They include anything from gladiolus, sunflowers, zinnia and cosmos to name a few. We will be expanding our selection in 2021. If you would you be interested in a flowers subscription please let us know!

Well “that’s all folks!”! Check back with us next month for more goings on at Bain Home Gardens!

Next Month’s Blog Post…

  • How much space will we allow for potatoes for 2021?
  • We are building hinged covers for our raised beds!
  • Will there be a Flowers by BHG subscription for 2021?
  • What plants will be available for the Spring 2021 Plant Sale and can I pre-order?


Veggie-ghetti

Have you ever had so many vegetables you just do not have any idea of what to do with them? This is an issue many home gardeners will run into several times during peak harvest season. It is also an issue we were facing over the weekend. If you want to see how we turned a mess of veggies into a tasty vegetarian meal then keep reading! If you wanna get straight to the recipe, we understand that too!

This past Sunday it became abundantly clear that there was a need to have a veggie chop and freeze day. Baskets of produce on the counters and in both refrigerators spoke the same exact story. Things have been so busy as we have done final preparations for the Fall CSA that we hadn’t been able to work it in weekly as normal. So I got the youngsters to wash up all the produce and set up the chopping station. Ironically it was also time to prepare dinner. As I chopped hubby observed to see what he could use to add to our meal for the evening. I readily offered the three eggplants that I had chopped up. If you could have seen hubbies face as he said, “No. I don’t want those. It takes too much to get them to taste good.” Yep, he said that! See, unlike me, he doesn’t like the natural flavor eggplant offers. That is ok, many of us feel that way about various veggies. So he quickly grabbed up some Italian Roasting peppers and stuffed them while I continued to chop. Four quarts of okra later I was finally left with the remaining peppers, eggplant and long beans. I decided to do a stir fry mix. One contained eggplant, beans and peppers and the other contained eggplant and peppers only. I diced the eggplants into fairly small pieces. I wasn’t sure when I would use these mixes so I froze these as well.

The next day marked vegetarian week for me. So as I mediated on what to prepare to please me and my carnivorous family members I thought back to the eggplant stir fry mix and had an idea! I began to prepare the following. It was totally made up as I went however I’m sure that someone somewhere has done something similar before. So let’s get cooking shall we?

The Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Spaghetti Noodles

The Prep

You will need to chop your veggies into a suitable size. Although I had no idea that we would be using these veggies for this meal when they where initially chopped, it just so happened that the size mimicked pieces of ground meat. So if you are going for a fake out then be sure to consider chopping small. If you are going for more of a ratatouille vibe then chunky is good.

Tip: Before you start chopping go ahead and fill your large stock pot with water for your noodles and put it on and medium high. Add salt if you prefer.

Let’s Cook!

This is so easy peasy that you really do not need the instructions but since this is after all a recipe we thought we better.

  • Add two tablespoons of olive oil to your pan and bring to a medium heat. Add all of your produce at the same time except the basil. Fry for 10 – 15 minutes while stirring frequently
  • Add seasonings (always to taste)
  • Add fresh basil
  • Add tomato sauce and allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes. Within this time add your pasta to your water which should be at a nice boil.
  • Add sauce to noodles & enjoy!

Click the photo for a short video of our preparation!

While eating dinner I asked hubby what he thought of the spaghetti. “It’s real good.” he mumbled between bites. I, feeling quite surprised and impressed with myself, had to tell him, “It’s those 3 eggplants you didn’t want to eat yesterday.” To which he laughed saying, “Touché, touché.” Mission accomplished!

Are you going to experiment with our Veggie-ghetti recipe? If so we would love to see your creation. Share your photos in the community section of our Facebook page or tag us in your Instagram post – #bainhomegardens. From our family to yours!


How Can a CSA Help Me?

After the holiday season most of us make resolutions to eat better and to exercise. “This year will be the year!” we convince ourselves. Week one and two are usually gravy (pun intended). However, if you are among the few that make it to weeks three and four then you already know how this short story ends. Now I’m not saying that all are unsuccessful but let’s be honest people – most are!

I am no health guru by any means but in the last year I have lost more weight and kept it off not by dieting by making lifestyle adjustments just as in my “Journey to a Healthier Me” series. Growing food is not light work by any means. Working outside growing the vegetables, having fresh vegetables on hand, learning how to cook them in tasty and creative ways, and having the understanding support of my friends, has been life changing for not just me but the entire family. Our children, particularly our daughter, loves eating foods raw right from the ground. It really is our new normal. The family is now overly critical of any store brought vegetables all because they now understand how it is “supposed” to taste!

The Bain & Hawkins Family are the first shareholders of Kith and Kin CSA. We both got into growing food because we wanted to feed our families clean, wholesome food. So when Kith and Kin CSA is in season we harvest for our families as too! As a side effect, our quality of life has improved. Kith & Kin can be just as beneficial for you and your family! How?

Having fresh vegetables on hand is really a huge step in the healthy direction! As a fast paced society, we generally eat what we have on hand. Old habits die hard! If our cabinet and/or fridge has junk foods then that is what we will go for. You know I’m speaking TRUTH! Let’s say it is a Thursday evening after work. Are you inclined to go to the grocery store, fight the 5 o’clock rush and buy some fresh veggies for dinner (and cook them), would you make due with what you have, or pull through a drive thru and get the family meal? Obviously none of these choices are wrong. We do what we can to provide for our families! Having said that, why not make it easier? When we harvest our baskets, we prefer prep by cleaning the produce and storing it in the fridge. So when the above mentioned situation comes around we can prepare a hearty home cooked meal fairly quickly!

Learning how to cook fresh vegetables may seem like a “duh” sentence but is it really? Did you know that a fresh cut head of broccoli may require more cooking time that one that is frozen? If you cook it longer then how do you preserve the nutrients? What if you are making a stir fry? When using fresh vegetables you are in control. No cooking or prep has been done at all. To some that maybe somewhat overwhelming but to us we like knowing that we are in control of our food and as a direct result our health! The salt content, tenderness, and nutritional value – all in your hands!

Rachel, I and our families have been homesteading for some years now. The mistakes we have made do not have to be yours! When we prepare our meals we are always thinking about our members so we take photos and I personally take notes (because my memory is unreliable) so as to be able to share our successes with you in the form of recipes and tutorials. Even in the off season as we are working with the fresh picked produce, we are creating recipes to share with shareholders in Spring or Fall.

Having the understanding support of friends is INVALUABLE! There is a support group for nearly everything! This is rightly so. A support group is defined as (according to the google search engine) “a group of people with common experiences or concerns who provide each other with encouragement, comfort, and advice.” I personally called up my mom when I was making a new recipe or one she had taught me and I’ve forgotten a step or two. When we shifted to trying to eat healthier I found that I needed to adjust ingredients here and there but I didn’t always know how to do so without ruining the recipe. I failed many times. I learned from those fails and I am happy to share that knowledge with our CSA members via our private Facebook group. I have only my knowledge to share however in our Facebook community of friends, in our private group, there are many who are vegans, vegetarians or even ova-pescatarians. There are some who eat exclusively organics and ones who mix it up. All that experience is there for all of us to tap into. Let’s face it, not everyone understands the journey of eating, no, living healthier. So having the encouragement & support of a group that does, is priceless!

So yes, a CSA can be beneficial for you and your family too. The above areas are just a few of the many ways Kith and Kin can benefit you. If you think about the unique needs of your family, we are sure you will come up with a whole host of other ways Kith and Kin can improve your lives. So rather than being among the thousands that go on fad diets and secure gym memberships that will only occasionally be used – CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Kith and Kin offers two options for you. A half share feeds a family of two (2 adults). Each week you will receive 5 to 6 items. A full share feeds a family of four (2 adults and 2 children). Each week you will receive 6 to 8 items. Our feature image above is from week eight of the full share. Among the goodies were Thai Eggplant and Fennel which are not commonly found at farmers markets in the area. Our members did not have to fret about how to prepare because we already shared recipes earlier in the season!

If this seems like something you want to be a part of then we invite you to join us before December 31st when our early bird special concludes. Early bird members get a free jam or jelly as a nice sign up bonus! If this does not seem like something you want to be a part of, that is just fine. We understand that this is not for everyone. We will continue to offer our fresh produce at farmers markets and online via our online shop. However, our shareholders come first and will always be given priority when it comes to what we have growing during our Spring and Fall seasons. Our expansions do allow both Bain Home Gardens and Hawkins Homestead Farm to offer more than we ever have so stay tuned as we bring quality produce – from our family to yours!


2018 Fall Re-Garden

Well sometimes you get a clean slate in the garden such as the start of Spring when the ground is warming and you finally have the chance to scratch that itch you’ve had for all of 2 months (here in our area, planting is basically a year round thing)! Sigh. It has been my goal to not be too negative about crops lost to hurricane Michael. In fact I’ve attempted to get this blog done for nearly two weeks! The reality is that what we lost pales in comparison to the thousands who are still without power and many others without homes. Also on the agriculture front here in the South there were millions of dollars of Cotton crops lost. I never paid too much attention to local agriculture prior to becoming a homesteader. The truth of the matter is that on the small scale of which we operate, it is easier to recuperate than if we were larger. For that, I am thankful. So how do you get over losses of crops? Here is what we did:

  • Inventory: This was perhaps the most depressing part of the process. Just walking through and seeing things wilted, leaning, dying – so NOT cool! This however is a very necessary step. During this particular time of the year we still had some summer vegetables that were still productive. These were not included on our list since they were already at the end of their life cycle.  What we did include were plantings relevant to the Fall growing season.  In our case this meant that our Swiss Chard, Peas, Scarlet Kale, among others, needed to be added to this list.
  • Organize:  This step is all about the numbers.  Now its time to see if you can get the lost crops replanted and to a suitable size before your fist frost date. Get your seed organizer out and read the backs of those packetsFortunately for us, since most of our crops are ready for harvest in about 50 days, we had time to replant. Here is an area you can prioritize if you are running short on time. We were still cleaning at this point and as areas became clear we replanted. If this happens to be your case then prioritize planting in these are by 2 criteria:
    • What you need – Plant things you absolutely need for your family, your farmers market, or wherever you are sourcing your produce. This could be your cash crop or even a member of the dirty dozen that you never buy commercially.
    • Seed to Harvest time – Plant those crops that have a lengthier harvest time  right away! Even if your dates for first frost and harvest date overlap it is OK, especially in the Fall crops. For us these included our root crops – Carrots and Rutabagas.
  • Plant: Put all your research and planning to action! Get those seeds in the ground with the confidence that you did your best, despite the challenges, to have a successful crop!

Down Sunflower

Sunflower Down!

When I am down, I turn to my soil, my garden beds, and plots for solace.  When they are down I just feel awful! I’m sure you agree. So for a change, let’s help our gardens to regrow & rejuvenate. That is what our 2018 Fall Re-Garden is all about! Follow our journey on our Facebook & Instagram .


The Going Ons – June 2022

June is known for a lot around the world but we here at Bain Home Gardens know it for graduation parties and oh yeah – THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER! Before we get into June let’s review what happened in May!

Flowers By BHG

May started and concluded our Spring Flowers by BHG subscription. It was definitely a whirlwind of a month of harvesting and arranging the bouquets. We won’t complain since we rather enjoyed creating these living works of art.

We harvest arrangements for our home as well and we were very impressed at how well the flowers held up. Even when delivery day was extremely hot and humid our subscribers report that their arrangements perked right back up once indoors.

Particularly have we been thrilled to add new selections to our bouquet this year like our Bee Balm Wild Bergamot. Unfortunately our lilies are being little divas and the majority of them have not opened. Not to fear Summer subscription is here! That’s right, Summer subscriptions are open now and will remain open till subscriptions sell out or until June 15th. Deliveries begin July 4th and will continue for 5 weeks. You can expect zinnias, lilies, petunias, marigolds, and of course SUNFLOWERS! Grab you subscription while they are still available or grab one as a unique gift for that flower lover in your life!

MICROgreens by BHG

Microgreens subscriptions are also up for renewal and open for new subscribers until June 15th as well. We have adjusted our model since we first begin growing microgreens for the public. You can read about the changes here. Like everyone we are having to make adjustments in how we manage things due to the increasing cost of supplies and shipping. For example we bought a package of seed for microgreens to try. After realizing we really enjoyed them we decided to purchase again. The cost had already gone up significantly in only a month! We have found that buying in bulk for our seeds as we do for our pantry does of course save us a few pennies. We accounted for that savings and inflation when adjusting our prices for our microgreens. As we work to grow from sustainably sourced organic seed the cost sometime can be prohibitive. We do not want to give up on growing our microgreens however so adjustments have been made to continue this journey. If you would like to join us this Summer, you can join here.

Big News

You guys joined our journey back in April of 2021 when we got our first flock of chickens from our friends at Hawkins Homestead Farms as they were thinning their flock. Since then we have learned so much! We love our chickens so much! They each have so much personality and their own preferences. It been such a joy having them. Only a couple of months into being chicken parents, our resident brooder, Shrill-x hatched our first two chicks, shortly after, one and just recently, FOUR! Needless to say our flocks has really grown! We have no complaints either since farm fresh eggs are definitely at the top of all of our favorite things to eat! The flavor, the color – what’s not to love?! Ensuring the eggs have the highest quality possible for us and our customers is a bit of a challenge now a days as the economy shifts. Organic feed is really expensive but we’ve carried that weight because we know its worth it. We recently even found ways to stretch our feed which decreases our feed bill while actually increasing the quality of the feed!

That’s all good and well you maybe thinking but what’s the big news? Well you know that our farm is CERTIFIED NATURALLY GROWN. This includes our microgreens as well. We are very proud of that! As of June 2, 2022 our chickens & eggs are too! This means our eggs & meat (if & when we begin meat production) all CNG! This feels so good as we already know that we put forth great effort to ensure our girls are VERY well taken care of. Now when our customers see that CNG seal on our carton of eggs they too can feel like confident in what they are buying. If your are curious about CNG and their standards please feel free to check them out here. Also here is our CNG profile. Today we will be combing through the millions photos we have of the chickens and eggs & uploading some! Truly exciting! What do you think of these above?

New Product Line

We are excited to offer a little bit of our homestead with the public by creating a name for what we already do! Introducing Real Simple Surface Cleaners by BHG! Around our homestead we commonly use vinegar to clean our counters and stove. We sometimes infuse with orange peels and at other times we use our herbs that are grown right here on our farm. The first in this line is our Lavender Infused Vinegar. I love the label on this because there are literally 2 ingredients – vinegar and lavender! It really does not get any more simple than that! You may wonder if the vinegar smell is still there and I have to say that yes it is but not as strong as vinegar on its own and it has undertones of lavender. Each 16 ounce jar makes a total of 32 ounces of cleaner. The next in the line will be Basil Infused Vinegar. We will have these at our table at Farmer’s Markets but you can also purchase from our shop.

Trials

The Three Sisters trial area is growing WILD! Beneath the large leaves of the Winter Squash are beautiful fruit. I honestly cannot tell if its pumpkin or some other squash but the good thing is time will tell!

The beans, although started a couple of weeks behind the corn, have managed to outgrow the corn! We think this particular variety may just be to vigorous for this set up. In the future we will choose a variety that does not grow quite as densely. You can see that the corn is setting nicely although the plants themselves are rather short. We are not sure what that means as the actual ears of corn but we do remain hopeful.

Our heirloom tomato trials are going nicely too. Orange Accordion and Pink Fang have set fruit and we are just waiting for them to ripen. They have held up nicely through high winds and are standing up to the Summer heat well. We are already in the 90’s here in Alabama and it isn’t even officially Summer yet!

This heat is desirable for some plants such as okra. Our Motherland okra has not done very well. The initial plating died except for one plant. We replanted it in the high tunnel and that planting is still very young so it is too soon to tell how it will do. We are really hoping that it is successful!

We also planted for the very first time Roselle which grows a lot like okra, in fact they are cousins of sorts. We acquired this interesting plant from a fellow organic gardening enthusiast. We hope to be as successful as they have been but if not we know who has the goods!

Planting

We have recently planted sweet potato slips, 3 types of potato, grape vines, final plantings of peppers and tomatoes, beans, arugula, sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, & more! Up for planting this month is succession plantings of dill, basil, squash, and cucumbers. We have a lot of work to do!

Harvests

We have harvested and cured the last of our onions. This onion harvest is our best to date! Have we found the recipe? We are afraid to say yes as these things can be so fickle. As with our Garlic harvest which was just terrible! We actually know what the problem was. We made two mistakes. One we didn’t trim the tops as we normally do which lead to the tops falling over and the bulbs not growing as large as they could have. Second we did not trim the trees around the bed we grow our garlic in . This meant the area was shaded out far too much. The bulbs are so very small that peeling them is going to be a real nightmare! Trust me next year – WE WILL DO BETTER!

The Bee Balm Wild Bergamot was harvested. We noticed that some were so top heavy with blooms that they were falling over onto the ground! So these are the ones we started harvesting first leaving the upright ones for the bees. We are preparing them now for tea blends.

Fruit

We have enjoyed using our Blackberries in our tea blends. The flavor was quite amazing! We will welcome them back next year so we can do it again!

Blueberries are coming in nicely. We have planned to add more blueberry bushes to the farm for a couple of years now however more pressing issues have take precedent. Lets see what Spring 2023 holds.

Muscadine vines are pretty loaded this year. We hope to make more muscadine jelly this year with our harvest! You know we also will be eating more than our share too!

The Nectarine tree sadly will not be yielding any usable fruit this season. We are sad about it however this was beyond our control. This tree sets fruit really early in the season. The late freeze we had destroyed all the fruit that had set and the secondary fruit was tiny. The chickens enjoyed them.

The Fig tree is doing great! We do however have a concern. We have noticed an increase presence of squirrels on the side of the property that holds our fig tree. We are hoping that they do not rip us off as they did with the Loquat tree.

Lemon trees are growing very fast however we have noticed no blossoms again this year. Someone said to us that there is a chance that it may blossom in the Fall but we are not sure if that is accurate or not. We will see. What did bloom and has fruit is our Grapefruit tree! For the interesting story about this tree click here. We aren’t expecting these to reach maturity but its nice to see some signs of fruiting.

Well that is all folks! if you are local to the Dothan, Al area then we hope to see you at Farmer’s Markets throughout the Summer!


The Going Ons – May 2022

Hey there guys! April is gone and May has arrived! We have so much growing! Along with all the growth there is also some disappointments. Come along and we’ll tell you all about it!

Trials & Pollination Issues

This year we are running a couple of trials. First let’s talk about the tomato trials. We started several new varieties of indeterminate varieties along with our standard varieties back in January. Among these are: Pink Bumblebee, Purple Bumblebee, Green Zebra, Sun Gold, and Sweet Million. All of these have been planted in the high tunnel. Here lies the problem… In our First Farmers Market In Years video we finally figured out what was happening with our bees! We have a large tree that flowers on the end of our property. It is as far from the high tunnel as it can be. THAT IS WHERE THE BEES ARE! This is nothing new as the bees always swarm this tree. This year however they seem to be totally satisfied STAYING RIGHT THERE! Imagine that. So what we have been forced to do is to hand pollinate our plants in the high tunnel and even some in the raised beds! This has meant more work for us on the farm and time that we really do not have, however, the farmer does what she must.

As far as health of these new tomato plants they are great and very vigorous! They are also full of flowers! Each morning that we hand pollinate we are looking for tomatoes but nothing yet. We are however optimistic.

The Three Sisters trial is looking really good! For our squash we planted pumpkins, yellow squash, and some zucchini. At first the squash seemed stunted. After a couple of rains however they have really taken off! We planted a purple bean for the pole bean so we can see the beans easily when harvest time arrives. If you follow our journey then you know that we have struggled year after year with growing corn. We are hoping by doing this trial where our compost pile was will contribute to the overall health of the plants here and hopefully increase our yields.

Harvests

We have harvested all of our carrots! We didn’t have the abundant harvest that we had last year but of course we are happy for whatever we can get! Onions on the other hand are looking better than ever! This is quite ironic since we thought our onions were not doing well this year because so many were going to seed. We did find that the ones that were not are indeed growing quite well. In fact, we began harvesting them this week for a farmers market that we participated in yesterday! Most of those sold and what was left will be used in my very first home grown vegetable broth and our first onion salt blend! We have at least two full beds of onions left to harvest and they will be harvested this month.

We sampled the leeks and they are just not as big as we hoped. We likely wont be selling many but what is harvested will become a part of our home goods for the year – sauces, salsas, spice blends, and broth.

Growth As A Homesteader

It is one thing to learn to grown various vegetables and fruits but we have learned that it is whole other thing entirely to learn to use convert those items into something your family needs and will really use. As a business entity too we must convert these things into something that the general public needs and will buy. It is a challenge to figure this out but over time we have really grown in this regard. Over the last week we worked hard aggregating several produce items in to marketable products and also something we can use as well. We used our dehydrated spices to make seasoning salts. We used fresh herbs to make bread, used dehydrated herbs and berries to make tea blends, and we used frozen peppers to make hot sauce. We featured all of these at the farmers market we attended yesterday. They were a hit! Of course we saved some for ourselves, however, what what was left for the public is being added to our online store. Along with the aforementioned items we also butchered a hen for the first time and used her to make 11 pints of chicken broth seasoned with our own homegrown herbs. We then used the meat in a pasta dish for dinner. Win-win!

Taking what we grew ourselves and making pantry products that we can use to save money at the grocery store is so rewarding! There is the unfortunate result of becoming a bit of a food snob… nobody is perfect.

Planting

On this months docket is potatoes – sweet and fingerling, Asian greens, white onions, succession planting of squash, zucchini, green onions, basil, and cilantro.

I cannot mention planting without mentioning that we are delayed on our planting. We decided to support another source this year for some seeds and seed potatoes. In January we made an order to Urban Farmer. We just received our sweet potatoes yesterday ahead of the fingerling seed potatoes which we prefer to plant by mid-February. We found that Urban Farmer’s shipping schedule is a little later than what we are used to after the fact but that is on us. We had resigned to the fact that we would be planting them late due to our error. We tried calling, leaving messages, and sent emails trying to speak to someone in customer service about shipping concerns as the potatoes were not all we ordered. Kiwi plants and grapes were included on this order. We also ordered onions which are, as you can see above being harvested now but by their schedule are only being shipped mid – April for our Zone. Again this is our error as we assumed that as a seed company they would have accurate growing information and ship accordingly as have every other source for the staple items.

Yesterday when we opened the sweet potato slips we were very disappointed. We know plants don’t look great when they arrive but this has to be the worst any plants we have ever purchased on line have looked. We have since placed them in water and are trying to determine if we should even bother planting them.

I want to mention that all the seeds that we have ordered from Urban Farmer arrived promptly and are growing very well we just cannot recommend them for live plants, seed potatoes, or onion sets. As of today I have not received a call in response to the two voicemails or a response to the email. They do advertise a 100% satisfaction guarantee but I’m wondering how does one go about this process with no communication.

Gift Boxes

We hope to make these gift boxes available each month with varying contents. These little boxes make great gifts for that special someone in your life. This months contents are one votive candle and two of our 4 ounce spice blends. These can be delivered locally to the address you choose within our city limits or we can ship them for you. If you require shipping please contact us prior to purchase.

Videos

We have really dropped off with our video production this month and we want to apologize. We are looking to be back on tract with that this month!

By the next time we communicate, we will have attended our first big farmers market and we hope to have much good to report from it! Till then – from our family to yours!


Our First Farmer’s Market in YEARS – LITERALLY!

It has been quite some time since we have been able to say, “WE WELCOME YOU TO JOIN US AT THIS SATURDAY’S FARMERS MARKET”! Well that felt great!

You can find us at 2 The Olive Fruit Saturday, April 30th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. We are thrilled to be hosted by Louis & Jackie Cameron the owners of 2 The Olive Fruit! They have organized a fun event with food and music. There will be other vendors there from other farmers (Hawkins Homestead Farm), arts and crafts (Too Cute 2 Craft) vendors for those looking for the perfect gift for that special person in your life, and MORE!

We plan to have good variety of products for you to choose from:

  • Eggs
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Spice Blends
  • Tea Blends & more!
3-D Banner Sign by Too Cute 2 Craft by Therri C

The owners of the @ The Olive Fruit are rewarding purchases from vendors on site with 10% off coupon at their store! Just bring in what you purchased as proof! This really is shaping up to be a great event! We have noticed the weather forecast has been fluctuating over the last few days and we are keeping a close eye on it. If plans change we will most certainly let you know – from our family to yours!


The Goings On – April 2022

Hey there friends! We hope that your and yours are doing well! As for us – whew have things been busy on the farm! Check out what has been going on!

Flowers

April showers bring May flowers they say and we can really appreciate that since we will begin delivering Flowers by BHG on May 1st! We have planted flowers in succession on the farm to ensure that we have a steady supply of flowers ready to go! We have planted Lilies, Dahlias, Marigolds, Zinnias, Sunflowers, and Calendula just to name a few. We will continue to succession plant through the Spring to ensure we have plenty of variety for the Summer.

We plant flowers for many reasons. Primarily we want to attract and feed the pollinators. We are working hard to understand the native pollinator varieties and get them established on the property. In turn we hope the pollinators thank us by doing what they do – pollinating! We have literally changed the way we grow for them. For instance, when brassicas go to seed, we used to be quick to pull them and replant. Now we leave them to allow the bees to feed for a bit first.

Another benefit of planting various flowers is the attraction of beneficial insects. The property above ours (from which we are down hill) has a ravine that collects water. You know that this is a breeding ground for mosquitoes! Every year we fight with them as we work in the high tunnel. It is not fun. We now have added reason to be concerned due to our chickens and rabbits sharing this space with us. We have to protect them as well! Therefore this year we are hoping to get Rudbeckia varieties established that are known to attract dragonflies such as Giant Coneflower and Black-Eyed Susan. Yarrow too is a perennial on our list that also attracts the dragonfly. We are also considering planting Cattail along the perimeter separating the two properties. That plan however is still under research.

We also want to do what we can to attract ladybugs and lacewings. Fortunately, most of the herbs we usually plant yearly help out here – cilantro, fennel, thyme, and dill are all frequently visited by ladybugs. We are finding too that they love marigolds and sunflowers. Lacewings and ladybugs share a common interest in yarrow. In fact it seems all of the good guys love yarrow! I wish I had done a deep dive into this research when we first started farming because if I had many of these plants would already be established. We cannot change the past. We can only effect change to the future. Let this be a lesson to you though!

Hummingbirds too enjoy eating mosquitos. So we have been planting with them in mind. Hummingbirds are said to love red flowers so we have kept that in mind when planning things out. We already have Red Cypress growing wild all over the farm which the hummingbirds visit regularly. However, it is not in the location that is heaviest with the mosquito population. We are looking into Trumpet Honeysuckle for this purpose. We also have established Bee Balm or Wild Bergamot. Although it is not red it seems that hummingbirds enjoy it as well. We are working on a video that will go into more detail about this particular farm journey. Stay tuned for that.

Planting Delays

If you will recall that last year we simply forgot to order sweet potato slips for the season. That was very disappointing and we were determined to not allow that to happen this year so we ordered early. We did order from a new supplier which has proven to be a problem. Our sweet potatoes as well as standard potatoes are not here YET! Needless to say we are pretty annoyed as we expected them to be here no later than mid-March which is late for us but given that we were starting behind for the season we were okay with that. However its now April! I have no idea how this is going to impact our plan for the year however at this point there is nothing we can do except remain adaptable and go with the flow. Along with the shipment of potatoes our grapes and kiwi plants have also been delayed. While the kiwi is more of an investment of time, the grapes could potentially yield fruit this season IF planted soon enough! Time will tell.

Raised Bed Issues

When we first started farming we started in pots and raised beds. Many of our raised beds are at least 4 years old. Last year we noticed some deterioration of a couple of beds and knew they would need replacing this year. Well now that the season is in full swing we have realized that more beds than we thought need replacing! This is not the time to buy wood. We have been slowly rebuilding our front and back decks/porches as hubby has had time to work on them. As we have we have noticed the prices steadily creeping up. So we are at a loss when it comes to rebuilding these raised beds at a reasonable cost.

One option that came to mind is to make the switch to modular metal raised beds. This would be a very costly investment however these beds have a 20 year life expectancy. That is appealing in itself! Another option is to stay with the wood beds and switch to a longer lasting wood like cedar. Cedar raised beds are said to last 10 – 15 years however, it too is cost prohibitive. As the season get into full swing and we are able to get back to farmers markets and increase revenue for the farm we will be in a better position to be able to address this challenge.

High Tunnel Planting

March was busy for Hoopty! We moved in a bunch of home grown compost on 3 and a half rows for planting. On those rows we planted tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tomatillos. They are all growing very nicely. In fact we have already had to prune the tomatoes! About a week after they were pruned they started to put on blossoms. By the time this blog is published I’m sure they will have opened and there will be plenty of yellow flowers in Hoopty! Last year we harvested our first tomatoes in June but I do believe we will be a tad bit earlier this year! That is fine by me! We are growing so many new varieties this year and honestly there is a bit of nervousness with that especially since we are all out of our home canned tomato products. We are hopeful that things go well. If the health of the tomatoes at this time are any indication then I think we will be just fine!

This weekend we plan to get squash, zucchini and cucumbers set out in the high tunnel. We are planting our squash on the same side we had our Marigolds on last year. This is an adjustment but it will assist us in adding another layer of protection for our zucchini and squash. We will also be planting basil along with these cucurbits to reduce pest pressure.

Once the zucchini, squash, and cucumbers are planted the high tunnel will be nearly full! It feels so good to look at it and see all the transplants and know we grew each and every one of them from seed ourselves. We gently cared for them and nurtured them till they were ready to be set out. Now Hoopty has taken over their care. Something tells me she will do a great job!

Pest Control

As you can see from the above paragraphs, we really prefer to use natural means for pest control. Even though we always use organic pesticides we really prefer to NOT to use them. Our first line of defense is crop rotation. See, most of the pests we are fighting each year actually live right below the surface of the soil. They live there and instinctively lay the eggs for the next generation. In this location the generation has the best chance of having food. By using crop rotation, when the next generation of pests emerge in a particular area they will not find the desired vegetation the previous generation did. The idea is that these pests will move on out in search of their next meal thus decreasing the population of said pest in the area. If however you plant the same crop in the same location over and over it is almost asking for an infestation of some sort. We unfortunately have experienced this. However, since implementing crop rotation things have improved drastically!

Crop rotation also limits reemergence of certain fungi in much the same manner. If host crops for particular fungi are not there then the spores will decrease thus reproduction of fungus is limited. This means we do not have to add organic antifungals to our farms ecosystem. We still have yet to mention the benefits to the soil of crop rotation! It really is good practice that just takes a little planning.

We also incorporate companion planting. We plant herbs and flowers all over the farm and in the high tunnel. The idea is to throw the bugs off the trail. Some herbs and flowers throw of certain aromas that pets do no like so they avoid them! Other companion plants do just the opposite, they draw the pests. This may see counterintuitive but if the pests are on the flowers they aren’t on our valuable crops! We call that a win! Not only does this increase the biodiversity of the farm but it also adds to the beauty of the farm. We find these techniques work very well until the season get to be in full swing. By July or August, depending on pest pressure for the season, we usually have to resort to using some sort or organic pesticide in order to ensure we can harvest our Summer crops. Some crops we strive to grow early enough in the season instead of fighting with the pests later in the season. Others are so important to our pantry that we just have to put on our famer pants and fight!

What’s Growing & Harvests

We have lots of produce growing on the farm! Our Chinese celery is ready for harvest and will be harvested this weekend. Oh, and speaking of pests, our celery had a pretty intense fight with spider mites. We nearly lost the entire crop! Thankfully we caught the infestation in early enough to get it under control. Unfortunately many of the leaves have suffered damage and had to trimmed back. So while it is still celery, it is not the beautiful product we like to share with our community. As a result we will not be selling it this season. Instead we will be dehydrating it to make our celery salt and other spice blends for the year.

Onions and garlic are coming along too. We have noticed that some of our red onions are going to seed which we find quite interesting but the weather has been quite erratic. Yellow onions seem to be fine at this point. We should harvesting these next month. The garlic is looking beautiful as ever! We are excited to see if we top last years harvest!

Mustard greens have been replanted as they too have gone to seed. The new planting is growing well!

The asparagus bed has come alive and is looking amazing! The purple asparagus is obviously my favorite and what I am most excited about. This is season two for this new bed of asparagus. We will not do any real harvesting (I have to taste one or two spears) this season. Season three however should yield well for us. We realize that as much as we love asparagus we are definitely going to need to add second, larger bed at some point.

Speaking of perennials the strawberries are growing very well. We hope to have enough to make a few quarts of jam this year. We’ve gone back and forth on it and have finally decided that we will be planting a second row of strawberries on the opposite end of the high tunnel. This should increase our harvest two fold next season giving us more berries to share with our community.

More Updates

As far as the chickens and rabbits, we hope to get you more updates over on our channel throughout the month!

Well that’s all folks! See you here in May with more updates!


The Goings On – March 2022

March – the month that welcomes Spring – is here! Before we get into Spring, let’s talk about what was accomplished in this last month.

Flowers By BHG

A large portion of this month has even spent preparing for our Flowers by BHG subscription. We have planted so many flower varieties and still have plenty more to go! In the high tunnel we have planted our ProCut Sunflowers and Marigolds are reappearing from seeds dropped from last year. We will allow most of those to grow while those that are in the walkways will be relocated to more suitable locations.

Our in ground beds have been topped off with Tulips, Gladiolus, and Lilies. Our Daffodils are already gracing us with their beauty as they, along with the Periwinkle, are the first flowers to bloom on the farm. Still to be planted (in succession) are Calendula, Aster, and Zinnia. Fillers such as Basil and Snapdragons are already growing nicely. This season will have the largest variety yet and we cannot wait to begin arranging stunning bouquets! We still have slots open for new subscribers. Sign up closes April 1st!

Planting

Last month we informed you that we planned to plant fennel and kohlrabi the month of February. Unfortunately that was not accomplished. Those items have been moved to this month’s planting. We did however get to plant two rows of carrots in the high tunnel. Both of which are showing signs of life and doing well.

February is usually the month that we plant our potatoes. Somehow though we did manage to order them with the wrong shipping date! They won’t be here until sometime this month. We’re a little disappointed by this however given all we had going on this month I highly doubt that we would have had the time to get them in the ground anyway! So they also get moved to the March planting schedule.

So what did we actually plant the month of February? We did manage to get green onions, Asian greens, radishes, and carrots planted. We hope all of these to be ready to harvest by next month for our first farmers market appearance at 2 The Olive Fruit April 30th. There will be various vendors and lots of home grown goodness along with music! It is bound to be a good time! Watch out for the details on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

We also started many trays of plants to install in the high tunnel and into raised beds. Among these are our herbs of which we are very excited about! We finally had success starting Thyme, Sage, & Garlic Chives from seed. These will get raised beds just for them as they are perennials in our area and we look forward to having them established once and for all on the farm! We have also been blessed to get a few Lavender and Culantro seeds to germinate! We are hopeful that they will continue to grow for us.

As we mentioned in our Hoopty Transformation video, we are also growing several new Jalapeno varieties this year that will be great for our salsas we plan to make this year.

We again over did it with the tomato plants! We of course planted the ones we know we needed for sustainability but we also added a few new ones that we are excited to grow. Among these are the Pink Fang, Gezahnte, and Orange Accordion – all from Baker Creek! As you can see from the photos in the links, these are beautiful heirloom tomatoes. We hope that they grow well here at Bain Home Gardens!

Harvests

We have been harvesting our Purple Cauliflower throughout the month. It definitely brings us great joy to be able to finally grow this beautiful crop after several years of trying. Carrots & Lettuce were harvested from the high tunnel as well. Due to how quickly the temperatures are changing on us we will not plant anymore Lettuce in Hoopty till the Fall. However we will be planting in our raised beds once more before Summer heat sets in.

The month of March we hope to begin harvesting our Pink Celery, Brussels Sprouts, and radishes.

The High Tunnel

The majority of the month of February was spent working on Hoopty! Out with the old and in with the new! So far we have applied our own home grown compost to 3 rows of 13 and have covered with ground cover. These three rows will house our tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and cucumbers. We still have more of our compost to move into the high tunnel but will need to supplement ours with an outside source to complete Spring planting in the high tunnel.

Each year we struggle with having a strong enough of a support for our cucumbers and tomatoes. This year we are not playing! We decided to go ahead and install a more permeant solution – cattle panel trellis. This week we plant to install the t-posts to attach our cattle panel trellises to. This should make the job of harvesting and pruning less strenuous. As Mr. Bain Home Gardener would say, ” I can get jiggy with that!”

MICROgreens by BHG

Our microgreen subscription is again open for new subscribers! We love these tiny powerhouse greens! Like all of our produce, our microgreens are Certified Naturally Grown. This year we celebrating microgreens week with our friends over at CNG! Why not ?! As a part of our celebration, we are offering those who sign up this week (through March 6th) one free week of microgreens with your order!

The Animals

It really hurts to even type these words. However we said we would share with you the good and THE BAD so here it is. We are very sad to say that we had a sentinel event on the farm in which all of our Lionhead rabbits were killed. Kimba, Nala, and the guy who started it all , Simba have all been laid to rest. I know that these type of things will happen when dealing with farm animals but my heart is so broken. I cried like a baby upon discovery of this event. Of my rabbits Gizmo (Holland Lop New Zealand) and Misty Blue (Standard Rex/Single Mane Lionhead) are the only two survivors. I will begin to rebuild my flock but only after certain precautions (such as a completely enclosed electric area for additional protection from predators) are completed. This of course derails the plans we had for breeding but that is really the least of our current concerns. If you are however among those that were looking to adopt a kit from the Lionhead family then we apologize for that delay. We will also mention that Thai’s rabbits were thankfully unaffected and she will continue her breeding schedule as planned.

While the rabbits have decreased in number our chicken flock is growing. We have adopted another rooster who we appropriately named Oogly. We have also added 3 new girls Trixie, Blue, and Summer. For the latest news with them feel free to check our our Flock Update which will be posted on our YouTube channel later this week. Zig’s flock is doing great in fact all the girls are now laying – even the youngest – Noisy! Kong’s flock is also doing well as some of them have almost fully recovered from molting.

We are happy to report that we are certifying our chicken flock as Certified Naturally Grown. They are fed USDA Certified feed along with organic produce from the farm. They really are spoiled and that is just fine by us!

YouTube

This month was a weird month for videos. Between our video editing app malfunctioning and upgrading devices, serveral videos we had planned to upload were not uploaded. We have started getting these up and will be uploading more over the next few days! We appreciate your patience and support while we work through these issues.

This Week’s Listings

We are so happy to offer for the very first time Wheatgrass! We grow this as a part of our MICROgreens by BHG line. The best way to ingest this super food is by extracting the juice. The simplest way to do this is by using a wheat grass juicer. If you do not have one here are some other techniques you can use. We will be utilizing some of these as well until our extractor comes in the mail.

This week we continue to offer Leaf Broccoli, Kale varieties, Collards, Red Giant Mustards, and Rosemary. We are also adding a few orders of the Winter Salad blend back to stock. We have also added our tender garlic tops which we have been using ourselves for seasoning – SO TASTY!

With all this home grown goodness it may be hard to decide just WHAT TO GET! Then let us help. By ordering our Greens Box or the Farm Sampler Basket you get a nice variety of our Certified Naturally Grown produce!

Well guys that is it in a nutshell! Till next time…