Growing Now! (June 2020)

Hey guys! How are you? I guess this one could be called the late edition because I promise you that all this chaos in the world has my head spinning! Thank you to Shena at BHG for inquiring about this monthly article. If it had not been for her, I may have never written it! 😞 I am grateful that “everyday is a fresh start.” I surely needed it today! 

So now that we’re into June I hope everyone is holding up well. It’s been a year hasn’t it?? Now the heatwave has begun and will probably be here until at least October. I read an article this week about record breaking temperatures in Siberia of all places! With so much happening it’s hard not to get lost in it all, but I try more and more to increase my prayers for everyone. This brings me peace of mind and allows me to focus on my own circle of crazy here!

With the heat it’s so important to stay hydrated. Not just you, but pets that are outside too. Consider dropping ice cubes in their water bowl. I promise they will thank you for it! Although they’re not pets, each year we do this in our chicken waterers. We’ve even prepared frozen treats for them and enjoyed watching as they pecked away to get to it. This keeps them from being bored and getting dehydrated too!

In pet news, we recently received Teddy back. He had originally moved out with our girls, but since they were unable to properly care for him, he’s back on the farm with the biggest water bowl ever! 

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Coal is an expert at drinking water! He likes to stick almost his whole face in the bowl and then come and slobber all over you. 🤣😂. I guess that’s his way of saying thank you!

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Here on the farm it’s the end of the season for some vegetables. We have said goodbye to beets, turnips, broccoli, and will soon say farewell to most greens too. After all it’s almost officially Summer so we’re happy to see those new veggies grow and thrive in their place.

Piggy is one happy camper! He has so much organic goodies going to him each day. Be sure to check out our social media for updated pictures of him. 

We ate our first ripe tomatoes last week and I’m happy to report that more are ripening as we speak! 

Tomatillos are harvested daily. These are special treats that grow inside a husk. They can be eaten fresh or used to make your favorite salsa. We’re growing a few different varieties here on the farm. Our CSA members get first dibs, but we anticipate there will be more for you as well.

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Spring cabbages have grown so nicely this year and they will be listed on the site soon. If you’re into fermented foods, this is a great way to support local and enjoy something great! The one shown went out to one of our Fullshare CSA members yesterday. 

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Carrots are almost gone too! Spring carrots are the absolute best. We love just how sweet they are. Plus the smell of a fresh carrot is amazing! We use them in so many ways and they freeze well too!

Grab some soon to use now or later. The ones pictured below reminded me of how being quarantined (stuck together) has brought us and many others closer. From this we’ve grown into beautiful families. (We kept these for ourselves)

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Since we won’t be participating in any Farmers Markets this season, the best way to get our products is direct. Our Seasonal Farm Boxes this month will include a variety of Spring and Summer vegetables like the ones listed above and more!

The poultry news is Fantastic! The new flock has started laying! We set up the boxes exactly 10 days before this first egg was laid.  It’s always slow at first, but now that they’ve started it’s full speed ahead! We anticipate there will eggs added back to the site as of next month. For now if you’re in need, please contact us.

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We give our CSA Eggshare members priority. Most of them patiently waited since last year for these eggs! Then we have regular weekly, biweekly, and monthly customers that we are providing for, in addition to our family. Hence the “party” for the new layers. Just think we started with only 6! 

We have a few broody hens again this season and Farmer Brandon is contemplating hatching more. Seems like we hatch a lot of roosters, but I won’t complain. A successful hatch is a good one, no matter what they turn out to be! Plus we were very fortunate to pick up an incubator from Gaucho at their sell out, so we hope to use it well!

In other fantastic poultry news, we announced that we are now offering our chickens in bulk!

Here’s how it works: When you order a minimum 5 birds not only do you get the discounted rate of $5.00 per pound, but you save on the deposit as well at only $10.00 per bird. This is being offered by request to you as an alternative to the grocery store. You can find the listing and all its details here

Turkey orders have been placed and invoices will be sent out at the end of this month for deposits. We always order extras for our family, but found this time that even the breeders we use were almost sold out. So thankful that we decided to look and book a bit earlier this year!

Thank you to everyone that has contacted us to reserve yours. What we have left for Turkey Day orders will go live first week in July until sell out. I will send out announcements on the website, by email, and on social media. Maybe you can still get one!

In past years we have not had any come November. We field a lot of contacts and turn down many, so if fresh, local, organically raised birds are on your menu, please grab one quick! Even if you’re ordering other items, pay for the turkey first!

There’s always more I could say, but I will end this month with an update on SeedFolks Family Farm. They are in the middle of a garden turnover, but should be back with more to offer soon.

We appreciate all of you and hope to see you next month, if not before……Until then!

Growing Now! (May 2020)

Hello families! Is it May already?!? Just about…..Did you guys hear and see our sister farm, Bain Home Gardens on the news?!? They are the FIRST farm in our area to become Certified Naturally Grown and we’re so proud and happy for them! Join us in congratulating them and check them out over on their page as well.

To say this year has been crazy would be an understatement for sure! Our new normal is social distancing along with not leaving the house without wearing masks, gloves, or both. One thing we’ve noticed is that more people are also wearing masks and we’re glad to see so many taking precautions. Especially since not all people infected with COVID-19 show symptoms.

As we reach the millions, we will continue to pray for those who’ve lost so many. Please be safe and remember that just because some restrictions are being lifted, doesn’t mean there isn’t still a real threat out there. Check on a neighbor, help where you can, only go out when necessary, and stay safe!

Did you hear about SeedFolks Family Farm?

They are a lovely family who we recently welcomed to our page. They will need your community support so jump over to the shop page and check them out.

What’s happening here at our farm? Well let me tell you…. Kith and Kin CSA Spring Season began this past Monday and as always we were nervous, scared, and hopeful. Our members received baskets full of delicious goodies and we couldn’t be more thankful that week one is in the books!

If you missed out on becoming a member this season, you may want to take advantage of our Seasonal Farm Boxes. Fashioned after our half shares, these baskets come stocked with fresh organic produce that was grown right here in our area. Harvested within 24 hours of being delivered to your doorstep, they are local at its finest. Choose one with fresh eggs or without. Grab yours starting tomorrow, May 1st! Quantities are limited.

Growing now on the farm are tomatoes, peppers, herbs, potatoes……you know everything we looked forward to when the days were short and the weather was cold. Watching everything grow from seed, blossom, and then produce fruit is so amazing!

As the weather grows warmer and the bugs attack we’ll soon say goodbye to Fall and Winter crops, so let’s enjoy them while we can.

Our site will still be limited for now, but please reach out to us if you’re in need.

In poultry news, our new layers should be dropping eggs any day now. We’ve received many inquiries for eggs, so as you can imagine we are looking forward to those! We are being patient with them, so we ask that you guys are too!

We are harvesting whole birds this weekend and as of this writing there are some extras, but we don’t expect them to last long.

At the end of the month we will be placing our turkey order for the Fall. If fresh turkeys are on your menu this year, get on the list.

I’ll end this month by sharing the picture below of my parents garden. It’s the first one they’ve had in years and I’m happy and thankful to give back to them! It’s been a pleasure teaching them what I know and laughing with my Dad while my mother says “Wow you really are a Farmer,” over and over again!

I hope everyone of you can grow something too!

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Let’s catch up again next month. Until then…..

SeedFolks Family Farm!

It’s not often that we get to see and help a farm be built from the ground up, but this is one that we have!

Sherry and Jason along with their beautiful family have embarked on a journey to grow food for their family and all of you too! Sherry is a survivor in every sense of the word and Jason is the loving and caring husband who is always at her side. We are so proud of all that they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short period of time.

The name of their farm is SeedFolks Family Farm and although they don’t take visitors, you can follow them on Facebook to see all that they’re growing. Plus their cute kids too!

SeedFolks will also have a home here on our site as we will be hosting their farm to give them a safe space to sell their produce.

Of course they are following organic practices, guidelines, and standards. We wouldn’t endorse them if they weren’t. One of our goals is to inspire a coalition of organic farmers in our community.
So along with Bain Home Gardens, and now SeedFolks, it’s coming together.

Be patient with them as they are new farmers, but they are doing great so far. Very soon they will have organically grown strawberries and squash with okra to follow. Please join us in welcoming SeedFolks Family Farm to Hawkins Homestead Farm! We hope you all come to love them as we have.

Growing Now!(April 2020)

This past month has been a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least! You can’t watch TV or read the news without seeing or hearing about this pandemic that affects each and every one of us. Yesterday we even received something in the mail about it. Our farm has addressed it and the changes we’re making in another post so I won’t discuss it further here. Instead this post will be about what it always is, an update on what’s happening here.

April came in with some unusual temperatures. I for one was so happy to welcome the cooler weather. Hopefully you enjoyed it too.

This month marks the start of our Spring CSA. If we had to list out everything we have growing now, you would be reading for hours! 🤣 So we’ll just say that our members have ALOT to look forward to.

Trees are in bloom all over the place now. Our son, Joshua and I have been busy here on our farm, at our land, and helping my parents plant and maintain their own gardens.

Pears! These developing fruits are what we create our pear jams and preserves from each year.

Kumquats! When our kids were younger my parents would load them up with these little sour fruits whenever they came to visit. This tree reminds me of those times.

My Dad’s favorite tree is this peach tree. Last year it started producing, but only a few fruits. This year with all its blossoms, we’re hoping for a good bounty.

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Mulberries are a favorite around here. We use fresh berries yearly to make our mulberry jam.

Herbs are in season year round here, but this one is a perennial that comes back every Spring. Lemon balm is part of the mint family. Want to grow your own? It is part of our Spring Starts line and you can find it here.

We are currently out of peppers and cucumbers, but there are some tomato varieties left for your garden.

In chicken news, we have welcomed eight baby chicks to the farm. We posted their picture last week on our Facebook page, but here it is again. They are doing very well and growing up nicely.

One thing we do with our keepers is try to handle them everyday. We call it “socializing.” We talk to them and hold them so they can get used to us. Yes….they’re spoiled chickens, but it helps once they’re older because not only will come right up to us, but they’re not flighty.

Our pastured birds went quick, but more are being moved to grass this weekend. So from there it’s just about allowing them to eat, grow, and enjoy life. We will keep you posted.

Last month I mentioned getting on the list for our pastured turkeys. I also want to send out a reminder again as we will not have last minute turkeys. They won’t be posted until July, but if you know that you want one, please get on the list ahead of time. Once they’re posted, they don’t last long.

In pig news, Mr. Piggy has turned out to be quite social himself. I am the “treat lady” so whenever he sees me, he squeals and makes all types of noise until I acknowledge him. Then he lets me know that he’s impatiently waiting and what has taken me so long anyway. Mind you, I’m out there several times a day and he wants his treats every single time. Yep….he’s spoiled already. Good thing he doesn’t know that some of his treats are weeds from the garden and we won’t tell him.

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If you’re shopping for fresh local produce and more, you can find it on our shop page.

As always, we appreciate your continued support of our family farm. We hope to see you back next month. Until then….

 

 

 

 

Changes for COVID-19

Since our farm is a producer of local food, we feel it’s important to implement some changes in order to prevent the spread of this virus that has changed so many lives. We have been and will continue to pray for the families of the many that have been affected by this crisis. We know that many of you are praying too.

Each year Brandon and I take some time off and close the farm for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We usually have a trip planned, but long before this outbreak started we decided to focus on developing our land in order to expand the farm. As a result, we were home. That decision turned out to be more of a blessing then we could have imagined. It not only kept us home, but it also gave us time to sit down and talk about what is best for our farm, our family, and our community during this epidemic.

Since there are now confirmed cases locally, we have to be extremely cautious! The decisions we’ve made came about through many prayers and we trust that you guys will understand.

In order to keep in line with CDC guidelines and practice social distancing effective immediately, we will no longer accept cash as a form of payment. Cash does not allow us to maintain 6 feet of distance between us. Making these changes may hurt us financially and those of you who pay in cash, but it’s for all of our safety.

All orders must be placed online through our shop page. 

This is in effect until further notice. Your orders will be packaged in a sealed bag and we will be sanitizing and hand washing the whole way through. Please don’t surprised if we show up with a mask and gloves. It is for our protection and yours.

We will still offer both local pick up (where we meet you) and local home delivery but both of these will be without contact. Details will be worked out for local pick up and home deliveries will be left on the porch unless another location is specified. 

This should go without saying, and please don’t be offended, but we ask that you please don’t order if you or anyone in your family is ill, has been around anyone who is ill, showing any symptoms of COVID19, or has been confirmed of having this deadly virus. Again, this is for the protection of everyone. We are doing all we can to prevent the spread and we ask that you do the same. 

We are committed to keeping clean local food in our community! 

In the past 2 weeks, we have received many inquiries from people looking to join our Kith & Kin CSA. With grocery stores limiting hours and items, we understand the need to secure food. So we prayed about this and a decision was made with our sister farm, Bain Home Gardens to open up a limited amount of shares.

We contacted those who inquired to see if we could accommodate their needs. Some we could, others we could not. Even though our farm is still on break, it’s important that we let everyone know about these changes. The CSA starts on April 27th, but after today we cannot take on anymore families for our Spring season.

Farms are essential business so we want you all to know that as long as we deem it’s safe to do so, we will be here for you.

As always, we thank you for trusting us and for supporting our local family farm.

The “Spice” of Life

With each passing year, we learn many new things. Some are lessons, others are skills, but we are always growing. Last year was no exception and as a result of our growth there is a lot more to preserve.

Take for example basil. This is a culinary herb that we grow in abundance every year. We make all kinds of prepared foods from it, but last year we have also started dehydrating it.

Rosemary is another example for us. Around here rosemary is such an important herb because not only do we use it in cooking, but we use its oils in our Bath and Body products as well.

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How about lemon balm? This little herb packs a powerful punch and can add flavor to salads and even be used to make teas.

Just about every herb we grow can be preserved and made into something else that adds value to our everyday life and so that’s exactly what we are bringing to you.

Last year our son, Joshua and I made some great dehydrated herb blends and this year we’re going to introduce them to all of you! We will be debuting them as we get closer to their release, but some of you got a sneak peek. Thank you for keeping these blends under wraps!  We appreciate having people we can count on to give us their honest opinion when it comes to our new releases. 

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So as we and our sister farm, Bain Home Gardens grow things like fennel, dill, cilantro, and more we hope to send some excitement your way about some special seasoning blends coming soon!

 

Growing Now! (March 2020)

Hello there! It’s March and you know what means right?!?! Spring!! Yes, Spring is when everything wakes up from its Winter slumber and comes out to stretch and say hello. The trees began to bloom, the flowers blossom, the grass turns a beautiful bright green…..should I continue?

It’s really a time to take in all of God’s beautiful creations. A time to be really be interested in it.

“To do more than just exist in this beautiful world,…..be amazed by it!”

Wondering how you can do this? Well you can start by planting something. Watch the birds. Take in how the bees work. Look up at the beautiful glistening stars on a clear dark night.

These things are what I look forward to. I like to get up early in the morning before anyone is awake and just take it all in. The sounds of our roosters crowing and the bees buzzing brings me so much happiness. There’s a scripture at Romans 1:20 that speaks about how you can see Gods qualities through creation and for me this is so true. So take it all in! Enjoy the beginning of Spring and the entire season to come. I know I will too!

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So here’s what’s going on at HHF…..At the start of March we’ve usually got potatoes planted a few times but, this years weather has been such a struggle! Most of you know that in addition to farming, I also work full time so my schedule is very rigid at times. In February almost every single day off for me was a rain day. This virtually killed not just my timelines, but some of our crops too. We got potatoes in the ground, but just off schedule. Although I’m not looking forward to the hot humid days of Summer our rainfall this Winter has been out of control and we’re in need of a nice balance.

March also begins the start of our annual plant sale. We grow everything from organic and heirloom seeds, then we harden the plants off so that when you’re ready to purchase them, they can go right into the ground or into a pot of your choice.

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This year we’re starting off with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplants. Herbs will be ready as of March 15th and we’re planning to add some additional pepper and tomato varieties as they become available. We hope you will consider purchasing plants for your Spring/Summer gardens from your local farmers. Remember that by supporting local farms, you’re supporting your community, and helping to keep fresh chemical free food growing locally. You can find some of these plants here.

We have some really nice broccoli that is heading up now. I’ve been posting a few pictures of it here and there, but our main bed is now starting to bud and we’re excited to offer it to you. Look for it soon on our shop page.

Thank you to everyone who ordered chickens! We received such great feedback and it’s so nice to know that all the work we put in to raise and feed these chickens the right way is paying off. More are being harvested so we can keep you all in chicken as needed. Whether you’re in the market for a larger sized bird or just want to try a small one, we’ve got you covered.

Since we’re speaking about poultry, I know that it’s March, but inevitably every November we receive so many calls about fresh turkeys. So before they sell out, I want to remind everyone to get on the list for them this year. Turkeys are really big birds and we only do a limited quantity. We already have orders for 10, so if you know that you want a fresh bird for your big meal, please let us know EARLY!

Spring is when everything that we have growing inside will be transplanted to its permanent home. This means that soon we will bring back our basil and our basil pesto. Then once eveything starts making we will have bruschetta and my personal favorite, cucumber and tomato salad, it’s just so good!

We’ve closed our Kith and Kin Spring season. We are excited at all this season will bring to our members and look forward to the start in April. Thank you for allowing our families to feed yours!

In this last year especially, we have received lots of requests for sweet corn.  As a result, we are going to try to grow more of it this year to accommodate those requests. We grow it yearly, but just enough for our family. It will go in the ground this month.

Eggs are back! We took them down at the end of January when we saw the slow down happening. Although we still had some laying, it wasn’t enough to support outside of our family and friends. My Dad is a major part of HHF and I can’t have him be without his eggs!!!

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Yesterday was a huge work day here on the farm. Hence the delay in this update. We cleared, we planted, and we even introduced you to Mr. Piggy. He is the newest  member of HHF. Porkchop as my Dad calls him will not be for sale. Although we don’t eat it, my parents love pork and so we’re “finally” going to raise a pig for them. As always we’ve prayed, researched, and planned. I have to say that he has already figured out how to escape twice so we’re going to hot wire the fence so he will learn. The squeals of a baby pig as you pick them up is beyond words. If you’ve heard it then you definitely understand. We will try to keep you informed as he grows.

We appreciate your continued support of our family farm and look forward to updating you again next month. Until then….

 

 

Spring 2020 Plant Sale

Are you a home gardener? Would you like to be one? Love growing your own food and knowing where that food came from? Well we have got some plants for you!

2019 was the start of a new tradition for us when we held our first annual plant sale in the Spring. That sale was a success and we are ecstatic to do it again this year for its second season!

The last frost date for our area jumped a few days to March 13th and our plant sale will start just before then on March 1st. We’ve partnered with our sister farm, Bain Home Gardens to offer you a chance to grow your own garden.

This year we are offering a variety of tomatoes from cherries to big juicy beefstakes. Both mild and spicy peppers, eggplants, and a few herbs too! We will even be offering some mystery tomatoes for those of you who like a surprise.

The sale will be for the entire month of March and possibly into April if we don’t sell out before then. More varieties will be placed online as they become available.

Pre-order your favorites or try something new. Hop on over to our shop page and check out the garden section to choose yours today.

 

Growing Now! (February 2020)

How in the world is it the end of January already?!?! I promise you that the year just started and tomorrow it will be February. It’s almost like I blinked and the whole month flew by.

There is SO much going and “growing” on with us in the new year. We’ve had an influx of new followers to our site, so I want to take out some time and introduce myself to you, our family, and our farm. This is not something we normally do, but as our farm grows, we still want to keep that personal touch so here goes….

My name is Rachel and Hawkins Homestead Farm is owned and operated by myself and my husband, Brandon. We have 2 boys at home and they help as well with day to day operations. Although we live in Kinsey now, we’re original New Yorkers having moved here in late 2015.

I believe in all things organic! Not necessarily USDA organic, but more like created by God. Like found in nature or naturally occurring. This carries on through the food we eat and what we put on our bodies. This belief has guided our farm practices here and so we grow and produce vegetables, eggs, fruit, and poultry that is always chemical free. 

We don’t have an agricultural background, so everything we’ve learned has been through prayer, research, planning, preparation, and of course trial and error.

We are avid supporters of local farms and small businesses. Especially those owned by women and people of color!

We try our best to know our customers by their names. This is important to us. We want you to know your farmers and your farmers want to know you! If you’ve been around for a while then you know that you can always text, call, or email. Text is best though!

Ok so now that we’re formally introduced or maybe refreshed, let’s get into the growing portion……

As we usher in February we get into Spring mode! Of course it’s not Spring yet, but we are definitely planting for it. Last year we had our very first plant sale and I’m happy to tell you that our “Spring Starts” will be available this year again as well. We have found that many of you like to grow your own food and since our area has very little to offer by way of organic and heirloom plants, we’ve got you covered. The dates will be announced soon.

In the coming month we are also gearing up for our Kith & Kin CSA Spring season. Speaking of, did you know that Kith & Kin now has its very own website?!? Well now you do! We invite you to check it out here. All future updates for the CSA will happen over there so if you’re interested, we ask that you follow us on that page as well. Kith & Kin is also offering a “try it” session that starts on February 6th. All the details for it are here.

By way of poultry news, the chickens will continue to be harvested in February to fulfill orders. At each harvest we are also harvesting a few extra for those of you who need a last minute chicken. These are available through our shop page. Here is one that we seasoned and prepared to be roasted. The seasoning is a mixture of organic rosemary from our farm and one of our favorites from 2 The Olive Fruit. If you visit there, tell Louis you want Rachel’s favorite seasoning. He’ll know which one it is!

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If you’re looking for eggs, they’ve been taken down from the shop page temporarily. Our birds are finally taking a break with the colder temps and rain and since we always let them, the eggs have been removed from the site while they are on hiatus. We still have eggs, just not as many. If you need some, please contact me and I will update you on what we have. This is something that happens every year, usually in the Fall but since it was still so warm, some laid right through it. Not to mention the birds that hatched in the Spring, are still laying even now.

In veggie news, so much is growing in the farm. Some of our mustards and Asian cabbages were lost in the big freeze, but we still have plenty of other greens growing. What was lost will be replanted this weekend.

Peas started showing up in January and they will be listed soon. Broccoli has also shown up with these beautiful florets that look like individual baby bouquets. It’s just so pretty.
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There’s kohlrabi, kale, beets, radishes, and carrots. We are growing in plenty. We are even growing a special request that we’ll tell you more about later.

As always we thank you for taking time out to read about our family farm and we look forward to welcoming you back next month. Until then…..