Growing Now! (May 2022)

Hello Farm Family! Wow! Today has been a busy day! (Originally started this segment on 4/30). Thankfully, it was the kind of busy that we actually enjoyed. Can you guess why? Ok…..we’ll tell you. We participated in our first Farmers Market in over 2 years! It was absolutely amazing to be back out in the community and we quickly realized just how much we’ve missed it. We were both so excited that we completely forgot to take pictures, but we did share a quick live video to our page before the rain came in. We made our crowd pleasing lemonade and were delighted to see some familiar faces who came to get a cup or three!

A huge shout out goes to Louis at 2 The Olive Fruit for inviting us. We want to say thank you him and to all who came out and supported this Market. We look forward to many more this year.

So the next logical question is where right? Well we know for sure that we are planning to participate at The Enterprise Farmers Market, but dates are TBD. Today we learned about many other events and the plan is to fill our calendars up.

Speaking of Enterprise, we learned from the market manager that Thursdays are one of the days that are available for us to choose from. Our question is would we have the support needed to make the drive and spend the time there? Of course its been a while, but if our customers up that way would like to have us, we would love to do so!

As a matter of fact, a new Summer Share was just announced with Kith & Kin CSA, and we could open up membership to Enterprise residents who would like to pick up during the Thursday market. If you’re a family who would love to join, drop us a line using our contact page.

Last month we about talked how ”April showers bring May flowers” and our home garden as well as the farm are just beaming with blossoms. Admittedly, some of those blossoms are crops that have gone to seed, but we don’t mind. Allowing crops to seed gives us the opportunity to feed the bees and add to our growing collection of saved seeds. This is something we’ve grown to love because we are collecting heirloom varieties that can be planted for many years to come and doing so also helps us save money in the long run…..which is vital to small farms like ours.

Speaking of saving money…..Have you started your garden yet? If your answer is no, It’s not too late to start now. With the rising prices of groceries, everyday necessities, and gas one way to save money may be to grow your own garden this year. Remember that the key is to start small. It’s very easy to get over excited which always leads to being overwhelmed when it comes to growing. So with the hot weather on its way think about what plants love the heat and plan on planting them. Of course your local farmers have your back if you don’t have the time or a green thumb to get it done, so don’t sweat it. We do still have a few plants available to help you start your garden and throughout the season and we will be starting more.

On a sad note we saw our very first garden pest of the season the other day while irrigating the farm. It was a pretty good size stink bug hanging out on our tomatoes and that means there are more on the way. With my chemical sensitivities and our farm being Certified Naturally Grown there are limitations on what methods we use to control garden pests. One thing that has been very effective for us has been the use of essential oils in the garden. This is a subject that we’ve studied up on and it’s been both mind blowing and cool to learn about how nature can be used to control….. nature.

OK so let me tell you all about what’s growing. In both our home and farm gardens and we have many tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and beans.

This month we will be harvesting both potatoes and onions. At our house we go through onions super fast so we are stoked about being able to have a fresh batch of our own again this year. The ones shown below are from previous years.

Potatoes never seem to last for long so we are planning to run a trial in the late Summer-Fall in hopes to harvest more this year. We are currently running trials on some new tomato varieties and will be doing the same with peppers over the next month. It’s always our goal to bring something fresh and new to the Wiregrass plus we like a challenge.

Do you have a favorite that you’d like us to grow? Please sure to let us know! For now we say thank you for being here and well see you soon. Until then…….

Growing Now (April 2022)

You know the saying ”April showers bring May flowers?” I feel like it specifically applies to us here in the Wiregrass. I say that because April has really proven itself to be the month of rain. Now please don’t misunderstand, we love the rain. It is absolutely necessary for everything to grow, thrive, and be beautiful on the farm.

The issue is when the rain becomes excessive. Too much water can lead to all types of problems for farmers. Think of it this way…..many of us have had house plants right? You know the one’s that we’ve watered to death. Well in the same way excessive rain could lead to pests, disease, and death.

In previous years we’ve had to secure both our crops and our flocks from excessive rain by setting up rain barriers. You probably read “rain barrier” and immediately went to something elaborate or expensive. Well the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re growing a garden this year, our suggestion is to start small. With just a few pieces of PVC and a tarp you can create your own simple rain barrier. These items are especially beneficial for crops already planted in the ground. Do you own a tent? Well set it up and put your plant babies under it. This is not a long term solution, but it will temporarily protect plants that you want to prevent from taking on too much rain. We go through so much to get this food to grow and the point is to eat it, not see it and all your hard work go to waste.

From the looks of recent news reports, growing a garden will be especially important this year. Fuel is high, materials are higher, and it will likely only get worse.

We would like to thank everyone for coming out to our Plant Sale. We enjoyed meeting you and appreciate your continued support. More plants will be listed over on our garden page soon. So stay tuned.


It’s Spring and for us that means root crops. We are expecting potatoes, onions, and more. Most of which will be stored and saved for use throughout the year. The onions we grew last Spring nearly made it to this season. We were pleasantly surprised and can’t wait to see what this crop does.

Since we farm small, it’s important that we farm smart. This means keeping costs low. Last year we purchased a few pieces of beautiful cedar that we were hoping to utilize for our sweet potatoes. Long story short….the potatoes never arrived and although the box was put together, we have yet to use it. Our hope was to convert all the boxes to cedar as our current ones have ran their course, but of course the cost of wood sky rocketed and we were faced with a real dilemma. After much consideration we decided to convert the boxes into a permanent no till garden space. We are proud and excited to tell you that this is the second one on the farm!! We converted our main garden a few years and its worked out so well. Removing the boxes has not only opened up more space, but the benefits of no till gardening are outstanding and we couldn’t be more happier about that.

We recently said goodbye to collards to make space for Summer crops. We’ve began transplanting cucumbers and will soon begin to add in many squash varieties, herbs, and tomatoes.

We previously shared with you that our flock is older and we weren’t expecting many eggs this season. Well to our surprise, the hens have so far proved us all the way wrong and are laying better than expected!! We will not be posting them on the site just yet, but you can be sure that we will have eggs at any events we participate in this year.

Speaking of events……we hope you will join us along with a few other vendors for Farmers Day at 2 The Olive Fruit on Saturday April 30th. The times are TBD, but please keep a watch here and our Facebook page for updates. This will be our first real event in over 2 years so we’re excited and nervous all at the same. We hope to see you there!

If you happen to be on the search for farm fresh goodness, we have some goodies in store for you with our Seasonal Farm Boxes. The best part about these boxes is that not only are they Certified Naturally Grown from organic seed, but that they are local! This means that you are keeping your hard earned dollars in your community, your farmers in business, and getting what’s in season. Every box we deliver is harvested to order. so it’s always fresh. Not to mention, the less produce has to travel the more taste and nutrients it retains.

As always we appreciate you being the best part of our farm and we will chat with you soon. Until then……

Salsa Verde

It seems like just about everyone has seen the value of growing something for themselves and my Dad is no different. He is the type who has to stay busy! So even while under quarantine that meant finding something to do around the house. For him that was not only building a shed from the ground up, but also starting a garden. Good thing his daughter is a farmer!

With many different transplants and a few seeds in hand off I went. Daddy, as I will forever call him is the construction foreman of every single project at Hawkins Homestead Farm. Even buildings we’ve purchased he’s had a hand in making them better! So there was no way that I wasn’t going to help him start a garden at their new home. We planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra (his favorite), green beans, watermelons, and tomatillos! (I’m sure there’s more….)

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I popped a tomatillo, peeled the husk, and gave it to him. His reaction…PRICELESS!

“What is that? It’s like a fruit….it’s so good! We have to take one of those to your mother. Awe it’s so good! Thank you. Thank you for giving me one of those”

I wish I could have recorded it! Not all recipes have a story, but some do and they produce memories that are close to our heart. This salsa verde is simple, and delicious. You may even already know how to make it, but I wanted to share it with you because it’s a great way to use a fruit that not many people grow.

Of course we’ve already started this years plants for Daddy’s garden and ours as well. Don’t worry we would never leave you out, so if you’d like to grow your own tomatillos, we got them started for you. Our “Spring” plant sale went live even before Spring did. 

I hope you loved the story and enjoy making the recipe below. It’s not my own, but I promise it’s a good one. You can find it here

 

 

Growing Now! (March 2022)

Helllooooo farm family! Are you all enjoying this switch in the weather as much as we are? It’s like Spring has pushed Winter out the way and decided to show up and show out. I say Spring, but really some of these temperatures really feel like Summer.

On the farm there is so much going on. We have our home garden, but over this past year we have began farming another location so we’re so thankful for. Of course, a new year means a new planting season and ours is currently moving along very well. Are you planning to grow a garden this year? Perhaps you’re just starting or maybe you’re seasoned, but would love to expand and grow even more. Well we are super excited to tell you that not only are we bringing back our plant sale, but we will also be offering compost as well. The sale will be ongoing throughout the month of March beginning with tomatoes. We will be updating the site weekly with peppers, herbs, and more as the month continues. You can find what we have available here. We may have a local pick up option, but that is to be determined. If you do decide to purchase and have paid for home delivery, we will gladly bring the plants to you.

This year, we are looking forward to getting back out in the community. I cannot say for sure exactly when this will be, but we are praying about it and will continue to do so. Farmers Markets and vendor events have always been something we’ve enjoyed and so we are stoked to be getting back out there. We will still be taking basic safety precautions such as hand sanitizing and wearing a mask, but we will keep you updated on when and where you can find us as the year progresses.

In chicken news I have to confess and tell you all that I love my birds and I have kept them way too long. As a result, egg production is low so you may not find eggs on our site this season. We are in the process of developing a new flock and are excited to bring the variety of birds and egg colors we have come to be known for. Sadly, the private breeder we’ve used in the past moved on so finding non hatchery birds with good genetics has been more than difficult to say the least.

As far as our pastured birds go I can tell you that no one is more excited than I am to be able to eat our own pastured meats again! We will be running a trial to see how these birds do in their new space, but if everything goes well we will begin offering our birds once again and accepting deposits for them.

Did you know that today is the last day to become a member of Kith & Kin CSA? Membership closes early to allow for us to have the opportunity to plan and grow exactly what we need for our members. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find the information here and purchase through this link.

We thank you for being here with us. Whether you enjoy these articles, the photos, our social, are new to shopping with us, or have shopped with us for years. We hope you will continue to stick around.

We will chat with you again next month, if not before. Until then……

Growing Now! (February 2022)

Hello Farm Family. I hope this Newsletter finds all of you safe and well. You will have to give us a little bit of grace as the start of this new year has been chaotic to say the least. Our daughter and son in law tested positive for Covid which resulted in us being full time Grandparents to a 5 month old and if that wasn’t enough my Mom suffered from a mini stoke and was hospitalized. 

Talk about life getting flipped up side down….

Thankfully, none of us here got Covid, but since we were exposed we had to quarantine so that meant I could not go to the hospital and I could not help my Dad. It was heart wrenching at times, but I prayed, our family prayed, and our spiritual family did as well. Everyone is well now and my Mom is getting stronger everyday. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take the time off from my full time work to help everyone, but as you can imagine I’m a little more than tired. 

The good news is that when I’m not being a caregiver, I’m farming!

We’re gearing up for so many things to come and I’m really enjoying seeing the beauty of planting and watering while watching God make it grow. 

I really DO love farming! 💚

I love growing food. I love learning about different plants and what works well in our soil. I love the science behind it. I love how items can be recycled and then provide life for others things to thrive and grow. I love helping others grow their own gardens and I love feeding our community. 

There is more good news!

I am not the only one who feels this way! For many years, you’ve heard or read about our “sister farm,” Bain Home Gardens. Perhaps you have even purchased from them in our online store. Well now you can continue to support them because they now have their own online store as well! You can find it here

It is my sincere hope that you will support them as they were the first farm in our area to be Certified Naturally Grown and we know and trust their growing practices. You will be able to find fresh produce, dried spices, even EGGS from chickens whose flock began here on our farm. So please congratulate and support them as they too love farming and want to continue to grow clean food for our community. 

Over the next few weeks as the weather warms we will be welcoming all sorts of garden greens, onions, potatoes, just so much to the farm. 

For those of you looking to grow your own gardens, we are bringing back our plant sale and compost too. Be on the lookout for the date to be being announced soon. There will be organic and chemical free tomatoes, peppers, and herbs as well.

If you’re on the spectrum where you’d like us to do the work for you well, guess what? I happen to know that Kith & Kin CSA still has a few spots open for the Spring season and we’d love to have you join. You can find the purchase page here

Thank you for spending a few minutes with us this month. I hope to see you back here again soon. Until then…..

Growing Now! (End of 2021)

Hello Farm Family! I hope all of you and your families are and have been well. Time really has flown by this year and here we are at the very end of it. It feels like 2021 is going out just as fast as it came in and somewhere in there, we got a little lost.

When I take the time to reflect on all that has happened this year, it has been a challenging one to say the least…..hence the long periods of silence.

After many prayers and much reflection along with inquires, phone calls, text messages, advice, and offers of assistance from all of you, our farm family, we are happy to say that we are ready to start off 2022 with a new found joy and determination!

One thing I want to address right away is this: Many of you have sent emails, made phone calls, even texted asking if you can come out and visit our farm. We love the support and we thank you for wanting to visit, but the answer is no.

Although, we had a plan in place for the end of this year, our health and all of yours are so much bigger than a farm visit. You will find that we have already begun to post again regularly so we hope you will follow our farm journey through our social pages.

Everything is different about our world now. Covid has changed us and even though some people still don’t or won’t acknowledge it, it’s very true. I don’t go out in public without a mask…..honestly I don’t visit friends or family without a mask and everyone I am close to is fully vaccinated. So we will be keeping ourselves as safe as we can for as long as we need to do so.

Can you guys believe this weather? Brandon and I were out today and we had this entire conversation about how it’s December 31st and it was 81 degrees. Like woah!! We have lived here since the end of 2015 and I cannot recall the temps being so high at the end of the year. It’s a bit crazy…..but that’s global warming.

Our worry is that the bugs have yet to die off….as a matter of fact, it is quite the opposite as we found many eggs on the produce we do have growing. It looks like next week the temperatures will begin to drop, but not as much as we need them to. I have always said that the one thing we can’t control is the weather, but learning how to work with it can be challenging when it doesn’t act like it should.

The seasons are important when it comes to farming. Some plants need a certain amount of chill hours or cooler temps to produce well and when that doesn’t happen it could lead to crop failure and no one wants that! So we hope things will level out soon.

I know, I know….you are all used to these posts showcasing what’s growing and going on the farm, but not this one. This one will have no pretty pictures.

It is simply to say that we will soon be all settled in and ready to start the new ride we call farming in 2022! So yes there will be pictures, chickens, eggs, produce, and more. We can’t wait to share it all with you and we thank you for being so patient with us!

Growing Now! (Second Quarter 2021)

Hello Farm Family! It’s been quite a while since we chatted and I know in our last update I said that this Newsletter would not be quarterly, yet here we are. It’s been a whirlwind since March so let’s catch up.

Can you believe that we’re in the 7th month? Like it is actually July!! This year is flying by and now a days it seems like we’re literally fighting to stay afloat! Our mulberry tree produces fruit every year in early April and we have become accustomed to losing some of the fruit to the squirrels, wild birds, and the rain, but we did not expect that the rain would still be around this late in the year.

It’s not all bad news though as we did have a beautiful first here on the farm. One plant that has always alluded us has been cauliflower. We can get it to grow, but then it usually turns black before harvest time. This year though, we were finally able to successfully grow it back in April. The picture below shows just one plant, but there were several.

We added a new seasoning to our Herbal Blends line. We decided to call it Fish Seasoning, but really it can be used for fish and so much more! The base is dill, but it has other delicious herbs that were grown on the farm, dehydrated, and mixed in with sea salt. Brandon decided to sprinkle it on his popcorn and the whole family enjoyed it too.

Ground, smoked, and marinated turkey is what we decided to do with the last of the birds from the freezer. We were fortunate to find some freezer paper locally which we happily used to wrap some of our meats into.

Speaking of turkey, it’s that time of year when we accept deposits for that BIG meal later this year, so order yours quick as they go very fast!

The birds will enjoy a whole new space this year and we are excited and happy about the transition.

So far this year onions have stolen the vegetable show on the farm. Our Kith & Kin CSA members got to enjoy them in their Spring CSA, but we also were able to share with family, and store some away. Onions are one of those vegetables that we can’t get enough so we’re grateful to have grown them. Of course potatoes weren’t far behind, with carrots as the runner up.

Fall Season is now open for new members with an Earlybird Special running through 7/16. Not sure if a CSA is for you? Well how about a Seasonal Farm Box? Get the freshest vegetables delivered to your doorstep.

In May our farm was featured in Feast and Field! It was such an honor to have someone else want to tell our story. Here is a little look behind the scenes look, but you can find the full story here.

We recently harvested the most beautiful garlic. Before it was fully mature, we harvested the tops or “scapes” as they’re called. Think scallions, but in garlic form and there you have the most flavorful bites. The garlic is currently curing and as you can imagine we can’t wait to get our hands…..err teeth on it!

Saving seeds has helped us to become more sustainable over the years and this is something that we truly love. To see things start, grow, and then reproduce for the next season is a wonder that we’re so thankful to be a part of.

Just as this sunflower is on its way to opening up and beginning something beautiful, we hope to do the same very soon. Until next time…..

Growing Now (First Quarter 2021)

Hey Farm Family! I hope everyone is well! Did you notice the title of this one is “First Quarter?” Now don’t panic because this doesn’t mean that we will be sending our Newsletters quarterly. It only means that at the end of the day we will have finished 25 percent of 2021 and we have a lot to catch up on!

Sadly, so far this year has been a hard one for many families, including ours. Between December 29th of last year and today Brandon and I both lost our Grandmothers. I’ve lost two Uncles, an Aunt, and had a cousin who was a survivor, but a victim of gunfire. So needless to say it’s been a rough few months.

As I type this my Dad is sick. Thankfully, not from COVID, but sill sick. He’s been sick my whole life and when he’s down, he’s down. I talked to him yesterday and reminded him that even Superman takes breaks. Here’s hoping he listens. 

Announcements:

As our state further loosens it’s mask mandates, I have to tell you that Brandon and I have discussed it and we don’t believe that it’s safe to open back up fully. We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, messages, and emails about people wanting to come to the farm for various reasons and I have to remind everyone that we did not accept visitors before COVID.

We thank you. We truly appreciate the support and that people want to come out to the farm, but before the pandemic we were protecting our privacy, our neighbors, and the bio security of our animals. Now with the pandemic, we have to protect our family as well.

We love our farm family and we hope that we will be able to accept visitors in the future, but for right now this is our stance.  

Purchase and Delivery:

Any purchases made from us are still contactless delivery only. We will not be resuming local pick up until we deem that it is safe. COVID is still very real and although there is a vaccine, it is not gone yet. We want to protect our family just as you do yours and we hope everyone will continue to understand. 

Eggs:

The chickens came off their hiatus with a bang! I mean we have eggs coming out of our ears! The other day when Brandon went out to feed and collect eggs, he sent me a message that there were 98 eggs! 😱

This is our off week, but we have been anything but off as there is so much that needs to be done. The good news is that our surplus of eggs means that there is more than enough for everyone and we would like to move them quickly.

As a result of the hens killing it, we’ve placed our eggs on sale. Whether you buy one dozen or 5, you can take advantage of our egg sale on over our shop page. 

Chickens: 

In the Spring like many farmers we begin to grow our flock by selecting which breeds we would like to have more of on the farm. We then collect their eggs and get them ready for hatching.

We were planning to get started with hatching this month, but then the chickens began laying all over the place and we realized that we had plenty of time. So we are planning to start with hatching next month.

Over the weekend we found the cutest little farm store that gave us a good deal on some baby chicks and we added 15 babies to the flock. They are currently on quarantine, but will be released once we make sure they’re safe. About half of them had had pasty butt so guess who spent their afternoon cleaning them up? If you guessed Brandon, you’re wrong. LOL. It was all me.

For those of you who are new to chickens pasty butt is when poop has hardened on the birds backside and they’re unable to have a bowel movement. This is a usually a simple fix, but if left could lead to their death.

Out of the 15, there was one that didn’t make it, but there are always some losses. Our hope is to buy in about 10 more babies to round it out. Then hatch our own in April and possibly May.

As our farm grows, we will be separating flocks for breeding and to keep our bloodlines pure. We have plenty of roosters to go around and they are happily waiting for ALL the hens!  

Meatbirds:

Brandon and I have been brainstorming and we would like to know if anyone is interested in chicken that would not be organic? We would still pasture raise them with a good quality feed, but it would not be an organic one. As you can imagine, the price of feed has increased right along with everything else and many of you have reached out to us for poultry.

So in trying to open up chicken to more people, this is what we came up with. Of course we would still continue to keep birds that are fed organically and offer both. We would love to get your feedback on this as we are here to service our community.

You can email us at info@hawkinshomesteadfarm.com or contact us directly at 334-595-5128.

Price Increase:

We have always said that we would not charge more for our meatbirds or our eggs unless the cost of feed went up. I’m sure that you have all have felt it and although we don’t wish to raise our prices, we are in business to support our farm and family.

Our initial thoughts are that we are going to try to grow more in order to supplement the higher feed costs and we have started this process.

We’ve seen prices go up over $1.00 per bag which may not seem like much, but when you have about 200 chickens at any given time, it can add up quick.

We’re committed to keeping our standards high, so our plan now is to see if supplementing keeps the birds laying just as well. If it doesn’t, we will have to go up on prices, by .50 cents per dozen for eggs and our organic birds will also go up by .50 cents per pound.

We are still working on the prices of non-organic birds. If we receive positive feedback on them, we will update everyone on that pricing.

Produce:

Many of you know that in the Spring and Fall we grow for our Kith & Kin CSA members. We are happy and thankful that we are going into our third season with our start in April and we could not be more excited about it. This year the biggest difference is that this is the first year that our farm is the sole grower for our CSA.

What that means for you is that we will have produce available as the season rolls in, but the quantities will be limited initially to care for our CSA members.

We have prayed and planted and if all goes well, we should be able to offer our Seasonal Farm Boxes in late April. You never can tell what the weather or the pests will be like from year to year, but just today I was out pruning some young tomato plants and found insect eggs on their leaves already. Additionally the forecast over the next few days is not a pretty one, so we will be working hard to get some plants covered and safe.

As membership closes for each season, we always have people who are interested that we have to turn away and this year was no different. We would absolutely love to be able to accommodate everyone, but we plan and plant specifically for our family and our members first. So we have to have a stopping point to ensure that everyone is taken care of.

The good news is that we are planning to offer our Kith & Kin Try It in the Summer for all of you thinking of joining us in the Fall. This is a great way to get your feet wet and see if our CSA membership is right for you.

Growing Now:

We have SO much growing here on the farm and our expansion to the new farm is coming along nicely. Last year we began to plant at our new location and things grew well. We are stoked about growing our farm and our offerings. We have literally run out of space at our home location and so we’re very thankful that we have more space available to continue to grow on.

Speaking of offerings….we will have a very limited plant sale this year that will consist of tomatoes, eggplants, and possibly a few cucumbers. We were going to release the plants mid March, but with the weather being so all over the place, we’re glad we didn’t. They are ready now and will be listed over on our shop page for purchase starting Friday April 2nd through sell out.

Right now on the farm you will find a mixture of Winter, Spring, and Summer growing. Today we pulled broccoli that has been flowering for quite some time. The chickens were fine with that and would love to get their beaks on our collards, kale, chard, and other greens.

Our salad lettuce is some of the most beautiful that I’ve seen and I promise it’s not because we’re biased.

By way of herbs, our basil was replanted as our initial plantings died with the freeze. We do have clilantro, parsley, and some that we’re keeping secret.

You guys should know by now that we have Spring onions and potatoes in the ground, but of course there is more there too.

Summer veggies are peppers, eggplants, and more.

Our perennial vegetable is asparagus and this is the first year that we’ve harvested more than a little bit. All I can say is OMG we can hardly wait for next year which will be our official third year on it.

Alright now, I believe that we are just about caught up. I say just about because we never did finish out the December Farm to Fork series. We do plan to finish it, but I will tell you now, that we almost made it until Brandon and Joshua snuck off to get pizza at the very end of the month. Then a few days later when we found out that Brandon’s Grandmother was sick, it was over. I have to check our pictures but I believe that the guys official day was December 22nd and mine was the 26th.

As always we thank all of you for being the best part of Hawkins Homestead Farm. We look forward to safe times, hugs, local pick ups, and farmers markets, but for now we will have to settle for virtual hugs, zoom chats, and contactless deliveries.

See you all again next month. Until then……

Growing Now! (December 2020)

Yes…..We skipped the month of November and here we are in December with all types of news to talk to you about, but first let’s just say how happy we are that it’s officially December!! 🎉

Now of course that doesn’t mean that come January 1st, this pandemic is over and everything can go back to the way it was before COVID. We won’t all be tearing off our masks and be free to breathe in everyone else’s air around us, but at least this year will be over.

2020 has seen so much sadness. So many insecurities. So much craziness and so much damage that all we could do at times was pray and have faith that better times were ahead.

COVID Precautions

Now that Winter is upon us and it’s not only COVID season, but also flu season, we urge you all to pay attention to what’s happening around you. Wear your masks. Maintain your distance and if you or your loved ones become sick, stay home. Actual lives are at stake and people are losing their spouses, mothers, fathers, children……you get the point.

You guys know how much I love my Dad. I’m always talking about him and how much he does for our farm. Well do you know that when I visit with them, I seldom go in the house and I always keep my mask on. Why? Because it is that serious!

I recently shared a picture of our daughter who’s having a baby and we weren’t wearing masks for the picture only! As soon as the pictures were done, the masks were back on. Why? Because it’s that serious!

We have turned down so many invitations and said no to event after event because it’s not worth our family being sick or worse. A bit of struggle never killed anyone, but COVID has killed many. So please take care of yourselves. Use caution for you, your family, and those around you.

Our Experiment

We are planning 2021 to be our biggest year yet! At our new farm location we will soon began building our high tunnel. This is something that we’ve wanted to do for such a long time, and now we can see it within our grasp.


We feel strongly that now is the time to grow as much food as possible and to find ways to preserve it. 2020 has taught us that!

In fact since we purchased a half cow, took our pig to the butcher, and harvested both chickens and turkeys, we see that we could actually be our own food supply. So Brandon and I are conducting an experiment for the month of December….

We have decided not go to the grocery store for the entire month! Instead we are planning to eat solely from the farm! Now I’m going to be completely honest and say that we did have a shopping trip before the month started so we could ensure we had some staples that we’d be able to make meals with, but there will be no grocery runs.

I’m writing this in the late hours of December 1st, so technically it’s December 2nd now and we made it through day 1!

This morning I was up a little after 5 am planning the meals for today. I washed and chopped mushrooms and placed them in the freezer.

I also peeled, chopped, and froze bananas to use for smoothies and oatmeal. Tomorrow it will be more of the same because some things just won’t keep for 31 days.

Here is what we ate on day 1:

Breakfast: Beef bacon and scrambled eggs that included onions, green tomatoes, and ancho grande peppers that were harvested before the freeze, then topped with sour cream.
Lunch: Garden salad with beef bacon crumbles, cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, dried cranberries, apple slices, and feta cheese.
Dinner: Baked pork chops covered with green apple slices, rosemary and onion rice with broccoli, and the same salad from lunch with added tomatoes.

Every single meal included something grown on the farm. Brandon said I tried to be fancy with dinner, but I was told that pork and apples pair well together so I tried it.

It will be exciting to see if we can make this happen for us because we would love to try and continue to sustain our family by eating as much as possible from the farm.

Garden News

Yesterday we woke up to 28 degrees and many dead plants. We knew it was coming, but it was still sad to see. There were so many blooms on the eggplants. Even one we saw that had began to grow. The picture below was taken before the freeze.

One good thing is that we waited longer than usual to plant our garlic and then 2 days after we did, BOOM… Winter.

Also in the gardens we have beets, winter carrots, turnips, mustards, and of course collards. Additionally there is salad lettuce, arugula, and more.

By way of flowers, the last ones standing are marigolds. They have turned out to be the surprising winner on our farm this year.

Poultry News

The chickens are still in their Winter molt and although there are a few eggs here and there, what we’re getting can in no way sustain our family or any of yours right now. We will be soon introducing new layers into the flock as we do have quite a few hens that have come to the end of their laying cycle.

We processed most of the turkeys with the exception of 4. Brandon has yet to tell me if we will be keeping those or they will be fattening up for the next big meal in December, but if you’re interested in eating turkey this month, please let us know.

Our meat birds are small and they can’t tolerate the cold, so they are tucked away safely in the brooder pen for now.

Gifts

If you’re shopping this month no matter what the occasion is, we hope you will check out our handmade soaps, body butters, jams, jellies, and other prepared items.

You can order these and more on our shop page.

The next time we write this blog, we will look back on 2020 and then tell it to go kick rocks (preferably while wearing flip flops).

So we will see you soon. Until then……

Growing Now! (October 2020)

It’s officially Fall! The cooler weather has arrived, the bugs are on their way out, and the greens are growing! We are so excited to be past the Summer months and ready for all that this season brings.

September was a whirlwind for us. Hurricane Sally came in with all her rain and flooded a good portion of our farm. Sadly when the water receded so did most of our newly planted crops, so we had to restart and rebuild. Farming has super highs, but at times it can also have super lows. Needless to say this was emotional for us, but we’re doing our best to keep pushing forward. We thank all of you for your kind words, patience, and understanding.

As October rolls in we will see many cold weather veggies come back. We recently dug up a great sweet potato harvest and it’s so nice to see some good news on the farm.

Fall staples like collards and kale we’re re-planted after Sally rolled out. Salad blends will be coming back, as well as spinach, and mustards too.

We will be pulling tomato plants to make room for garlic which will be planted this month. Peppers are hanging around as well as eggplants. Both of which are blossoming out of control right now.

In poultry news, the turkeys are on track for their harvest date in November. With all the rain we had moved them indoors, but now they’re on their way back outside to stay.

With the damages we suffered on the farm, we’re definitely behind with our chicken harvest. We thank you for your patience and will be contacting each family individually to set up delivery.

As the months turn cooler, remember to stay safe. If we’ve learned nothing else from this pandemic, I hope it’s the importance of keeping you and your family healthy. Things can change so quickly!

While we’re on the subject of staying healthy. We have to stress the importance of NOT ordering from us or expecting us to deliver to you if you’re sick, have the flu, showing signs of, or tested positive for Covid-19. Even if you’re asymptomatic and feeling ok, you could pass it to us and we or someone in our family may not be. As a local farm, we want to be here for the community, but we ask that you respect the safety and well-being of our family, as we do the same for you.

If you need us, we’ll be continuing to grow food for our family and yours! Be on the lookout for Seasonal Farm Boxes! They will come back towards the end of October.

Hope to see you back here next month. Until then…….