Growing Now! (December)

Yes that says December, but where did the year go?!? Seems like it was just March and now we’re starting December…..mind blown! Of course in our area, we don’t get that snowy Winter Wonderland pictured, but it fits the month anyway.

If you’ve followed us for any length of time you know that we plant year round for our family and yours. We just ended our Fall Kith & Kin CSA in November so we had a bit of a break, but we’re right back to continuously planting Fall and Winter greens plus so much more for our Spring season which is open NOW.

So what’s growing on the farm? CHICKENS! 🤣😂 Yes that’s right! We have gotten so many inquires from people who are looking for clean, fresh, organic chicken! Our waitlist has grown extensively so while we’re in the off season from our CSA, we are growing chickens to not only fulfill our waitlist orders, but also to have more available on a right now basis. This means the birds will be frozen, but we heard you guys loud and clear. We’re listening to the feedback and more chicken is on the way!

Along those same chicken lines we have also been hatching (with help) and acquiring female chicks. Our Kith & Kin CSA has a new Egg Share for the Spring season and we have many orders to fulfill. So we should be swimming in eggs just in time for the season to begin. Of course you can always order eggs year round as our hens are killing it this year. Their laying slowed a little during their early molt, but even with the shorter days we have been getting so many fresh eggs daily. So grab a dozen or more here.

By way of produce, we’ve had several plantings of garlic and we are so excited about planting it in plenty. We eat ALOT of garlic and onions year round and have recently learned that most garlic grown and sold in the US is imported from China. That’s no where near local! So we are happy to grow garlic right here in Southeast Alabama!

88622119-CA15-47C5-878E-21399E64E91D

Speaking of onions, we have started them from seed and they are growing stronger day by day. Some smaller onions we had leftover from Spring were used as sets and they are in the ground now. We can’t say for sure they they will develop a bulb, but green onions are delicious too so we will take them!

Collards are growing and although the bugs have found them, they are doing nicely. You can expect to see them up on the site in the next few weeks.

10A5FF81-F678-480C-BCF1-9AE12CA8A106

Mustards are planted here each year. We just can’t seem to get enough of them. They go great mixed in a salad or can be cooked in a variety of ways.

Do you guys know about Choi? It’s an Asian cabbage that is delicious! We started growing it last year and it made its way back for another appearance! Choi is extremely versatile and we love it. We hope you do too.

105DBDD5-D7C5-4BCF-954E-20D74F373072

As always, we’re so glad to have you here each month. We are YOUR farmers and without the support of the community, there would be no us! So we hope to see you back next month where will we close out 2019 and fill you in on all that we’re looking forward to in 2020. Until then…..

 

Kith & Kin CSA Earlybird Offer Extended!

We’ve got GREAT NEWS! Kith & Kin Earlybird offer has been extended past Black Friday into the entire month of December!!!

We know that many of you will be looking to eat better in the coming new year and having a basket of fresh produce delivered to your door step should make it easier!

So when you become a CSA member between now and the entire month of December you also get a FREE jar of jam or jelly made fresh with in season fruits then preserved to last the entire year.

In addition, you gain a relationship with your farmers. We are here for you during your food journey.

You also get exclusive access to our Facebook group and weekly newsletters where we provide recipes, farm updates, and teach you storage tips along with how to use the food. The group is a community where everyone is invited to share, asks questions, gain knowledge, and even post your creations. (Side note: You’re not required for share. You can sit back and enjoy, but we’d like you to)

When you’re ready, click here to purchase. We would love to have you as a member!

Black Friday Deal!

Boy oh boy do we have a deal for you! We are opening up our carts this THURSDAY AT 7PM in order to offer you a special EARLYBIRD opportunity from Kith & Kin CSA. If you’re looking to have access to fresh veggies delivered weekly to your home then you don’t want to miss out on this one. Everyone who signs up during our EARLYBIRD gets a FREE jam or jelly of your choice!

 So come back this THURSDAY NOVEMBER 28TH AT 7PM.

We will see you then!

D1C6F94C-2E56-404F-B9D3-33A4264E7537

 

 

Fall Turkeys!

It’s the end of November and that means it’s turkey time! We know that most of you only eat turkey once a year, but on our farm we harvest turkeys throughout the year for our family.

If you follow us on Facebook you may have seen some of these images below where Brandon harvested a turkey for our family and grounded some of it into ground turkey. Also shown are the packages of turkey breasts and wings we marinated and froze. In addition to this he smoked turkey legs which also went to the freezer.

This meat gave us the ability to eat clean food we raised and processed ourselves. Our goal is to eat meats raised solely from our farm. If it’s something we don’t produce, we look to support others that we know and trust. We know that having access to this type of food is important to you as well. That’s why many of you shop with us. 

This week as we harvest birds, some of them will also be processed further into meals our family can eat for months to come. By Alabama law we cannot sell anything other than a whole bird, but if you’re interested in purchasing a turkey for Spring, now is the time. Just as we taught you how you could stretch a whole chicken, we are happy to help you see that you can do the same with turkeys.

Every year our Fall turkeys go quick! We post what we have left after preorders in the Summer. Then once deposits are made, the birds are gone! We are writing this post in hopes that someone who missed out on Fall turkeys this year will get on the list for the next one. We also want you all to know that we will have turkeys in the Spring as well. You can ground, roast, fry, barbecue, slow cook, or whatever your heart desires.

So if you’re ready to place an order for Spring or you would like to be added to the list for next year. Please specify and click here

For the Spring you will be invoiced for the deposit. For 2020 Fall turkeys, we will add you to the list and then invoice you in the Summer for your deposit.

As always we thank you for supporting our local family farm and we hope to hear from you soon.

Growing Now! (November)

Welcome back to another segment of “Growing Now.” If you’re new to our page, this is a blog that is sent out monthly where we update you on not just what’s growing on our farm, but also what’s happening with us in general. Thank you for being here. We hope you enjoy reading all about our family farm.

It came! It’s here! Fall has arrived and brought the rain with it! Was it just us or did anyone else want to scream hallelujah as the first drops fell? These radishes we’re loving the rain. 

F1DF3ED1-0ACB-4E74-9834-F6EF1A10E19C

Along with the rain came cooler temperatures and that means that our cool season veggies can finally thrive. Below you will find just a few items from our Asian gardens.

In chicken news, every Fall we expand our flocks in order to have more eggs for Spring and this year we’re expanding in more ways than one.

Brandon has been hard at work constructing a new temporary coop for our younger flock members who aren’t quite ready for integration.

We have struggled with hatching chicks ourselves so we’ve been letting the hens hatch for us. Unfortunately this takes forever as we wait for them to go broody. It puts us behind schedule and we just can’t be running out of eggs! Here is a close up look at some babies that our special friends hatched for us. They also shared some research and best practices so we will be trying those to see if we can have a better hatch rate.

022472EF-4E7E-448E-B0C0-DA525BF762DB

In other poultry news, thank you everyone who has loyally ordered birds and waited patiently while they grew to harvesting size. We appreciate you all!

As I type this we are beefing up our flocks and they should be ready soon.

Not to worry, if you placed orders for November, they are right on time and we will contact you to set up delivery.

We are super excited about eating OUR own turkey again and we plan to carve and ground some up for our family freezer. We know that a lot of people don’t think of eating turkey outside of the holiday periods, but for us it has been a staple food that we eat regularly.

This month we will wrap up our Kith & Kin Fall season. We had some great baskets and offered produce exclusive to our CSA members. Here is a sneak peek at our half and full share baskets.

Both farms are expanding and we hope to welcome our current members back and add new ones for our Spring season as well. So keep those eyes and ears open!

Having a produce basket delivered to your door weekly is invaluable! Whether you want to gear more towards a plant based diet or are just looking to improve your overall health or eat more veggies, we hope you will give us a try soon.

In growing news, there is so much growing on the farm right now! From greens like Swiss chard to roots like radishes, turnips, and beets. We are excited for all the Fall greens that are coming back like our collards and lettuce blends.

62B4D1EC-654B-438E-8C1F-F29C78BA5AD4

Speaking of lettuce, fresh salad is a force to be reckoned with and this year we will be rolling out head lettuce to those of you who’ve been looking for them.

Carrots are coming back and we can’t wait! The taste of a “just pulled” carrot is unlike any other. So expect many carrots coming your way.

B2EB4EE7-24CB-4CC9-BAAD-D8C37B70ABE6

The sweet potato harvest was a success and there is one more batch in the ground. These will be pulled In the next few weeks. Sadly there wasn’t enough for everyone, so we kept these for our family, but also gave out a sample to our Kith & Kin CSA members.

Our family had baked sweet potatoes the other night and I have to say there is nothing like growing and eating your own food. The funny thing is that as we expand, the more we get asked about beef, and pork. I can tell you now that we are no where near ready for all of that, but maybe someday……I’m still trying to convince Brandon to get bees right now!

As we gain more customers, we love researching, growing, and offering new items. With this year almost coming to a close we start to review our successes and failures. Then the process starts for planning out next year. So if you have something that you would like us to grow, let us know! We’re here for you! We grow for you! Our customers are what fuels us and we love this farm life! See you back here next month!

 

What is Success?

Success. It’s truly different to everyone based on your individual goals, but it’s something everyone wants to achieve. Let me tell you what success looks like for us.

Almost 9 months ago we decided to officially jump out on our own. Hawkins Homestead Farm was growing and that growth showed us just a glimpse of what we could really be. Many prayers are always said before making any decisions and although scary, we had faith in God and confidence in ourselves that if we continued to do things the right way, we would be successful.

As we go into November, I’m in awe of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year. I personally feel the love and support of the community and Im so thankful for each and every single one of you!

I’m thankful to my family, for our sister farm, Bain Home Gardens, thankful to all the Markets that have hosted us, thankful for all the new partnerships and friends we’ve made this year like The Olive Fruit, and Hangry Harrisons.

Of course I’ve learned so much from strong courageous women like Suzanne of Gaucho Farms, and Rinske from Working Cows. Thankful to our special friends in Cottonwood who’ve helped us so much with their knowledge and kindness. I’m even thankful for those who tried to fashion their business after ours. This list is definitely not all inclusive, but everyone of you have contributed to our success and pushed us to be better. So thank you!

I’ve laughed, cried, went through EVERY emotion and had to apologize later for it. I’ve wondered why there are SO MANY bugs and wanted to kill EVERY single one on the property.

I’ve learned that despite every obstacle, there’s a solution, and I am proud to say that we have never compromised!

This year has been one where we’ve grown as farmers, as people, and just overall.

Our CSA, Kith & Kin has such wonderful members and each time we deliver a basket to someone’s door is a “hallelujah moment!”

Our farm isn’t always pretty. It doesn’t always smell the best, but we stand behind our organic practices, we produce clean food, our customers are happy, and we are ALWAYS willing to learn from others.

So we, who will never do everything perfect in this life and who don’t make or have lots of money, we are a success and again we thank you for it.

Growing Now! (October)

It’s officially October today and for us that means lots of planting! Yes, we always plant throughout the year, but since this year has been filled with lots of heat and little rain we staggered some items for later.

Speaking of later, have you seen the projected forecast for next week? 80’s! Who would have ever thought we would be happy about 80 degree weather? Well after the high 90’s, 80 should feel like a cold front coming in from the West. There may even be rain!

Last month we mentioned that our sweet potato harvest would be ready towards the end of September, and it is! We just have to harvest it. So please stay tuned for sweet potatoes…soon!

We are still in the phase of saving some of Summer while waiting on Fall to ACTUALLY begin. This means we still have tomatoes and peppers on the farm. Plus cucumbers, beans, and okra too. Most of these were succession planted so that our Kith & Kin CSA members could enjoy produce from both seasons. The picture shown was from our family garden.

336137DB-EBC6-463B-B79F-93CF088716F4

Radishes are on the Fall menu. You can see them below in our CSA basket from Week 2. Of course Kith & Kin produce comes from two farms, so we can’t take all the credit. Thank you Bain Home Gardens for being our Sister Farm. You can find their produce and more over on our shop page.

306F8EE0-5E91-48AD-BB70-F92DB6EABA17

We have plans for garlic to go into the ground this month. We are growing from our very own organic stock and we couldn’t be happier about it! Every year we’re so thankful for what we learn and to be able to save and plant from our own stock is truly invaluable.

8E5D89A7-5E38-49B4-98AF-580E896D36F7

Of course we couldn’t bring in Fall without staple items like collards, mustards, and kale. Those are on the menu too! By now, you should all know that there is ALWAYS more, but we have to have you back next month right? Until then….

Growing Now! (September)

Growing up in the North, September was always a month that I looked forward to. Summer was ending, you could see and feel the seasons change, school was starting, and the new year wasn’t far away.

I still love September for some of those same reasons, but over the years it became extremely special because this was the time of year that my Mother-in-Law would come to finish out the year with us. She passed away in July of 2015…..right before we moved to this area and we all miss her dearly. She and I shared a love of Fall and so this month is bittersweet.

I think it’s important that you all know your farmer, so from time to time I try to share just a piece of our family. I love learning about people, so if you have a favorite season or a special memory to share, please do!

Alright now for the real reason you all are here…..what do we have growing now? This month the question should really be, what don’t we have growing?

Usually around this time of the year, we’re clearing plants to make room for new ones. This year however, we are letting it “grow!” So we have a mixture of Summer and Fall all around the farm.

Let’s start with sweet potatoes. I told you guys last month that we’re expanding beyond our family to all of you and so we expect our first round of sweet potatoes to be ready for harvesting at the very end of the month. They started to blossom not too long ago and their leaves have grown outside the box so we’re hoping for a nice bounty underneath.

I also told you guys last month that we’re bringing back our Asian garden, only bigger. I’m excited to tell you now that everything is growing well, but mum is the word until harvesting time! The photos below are a small hint…..

The greens come back with cooler temps and we have just a few that are surviving despite the heat. I’m working hard everyday to keep them alive and keep the bugs off of them, but with organic gardening sometimes you just have to share with the bugs too.

We grew okra last year for the first time after Brandon decided he liked it. We didn’t get to share any then and I’m not sure that we will this year, but our Sister Farm has theirs up and ready for all of you to try now. You can find it here.

The last of the pears were picked the other day. I’ve been in the kitchen canning up fresh pear preserves and my personal favorite, Lemon Ginger Pear. They are all available here.

With the pears, jam and jelly season comes to an end. Well…….as I type this I think about the peppers we have growing, so there may be more pepper jelly, but after that I will finish up canning tomatoes and beans and then canning season also ends.

All our Fall root veggies are in the ground and our brassicas were started again (long story) earlier this week. Salad greens are on their way and spinach will be planted soon.

Life is always super busy, but we try to make sure that we take time out for this segment every month. Thanks for being here and we hope to see you all back again next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

plants to make room for new ones