Growing Now! November 2023

Hello farm family. Here we are at November and we’re wondering how that’s even possible. So much has happened this year in what seems to be a very small amount of time and now that we’re heading into Winter the year will be over before we know it.

So let’s get started. This month is a very sad one for us because it’s the anniversary of losing our oldest son, Jonathan. As I think about him, I really miss hearing him say “Hey Mom.” That’s how he would always greet me. On the phone, in person, over video chat. I just keep hearing his voice in my head and it’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since I haven’t.

To share something personal, I read his obituary the other day. I remember writing the words, but I haven’t read it since. So when I did of course it brought many tears, but it also made me thankful that I got to be his Mom. He was extremely loving, giving, and kind. Plus his smile just lit up the whole world. Now of course as his Mom, that’s my biased opinion, but if you knew him, then you also understand. We’ve took some time off to grieve, but it’s still very difficult. Please pray for us as we all try our best to navigate through it.

Looking back, 2022 started off hard beginning with my Mom having a stroke. Then Hazel Rae’s parents got COVID and we became full time Grandparents for 2 weeks. Sadly, it ended with us losing our son so we’re thankful that, that year came and went.

That was the beginning of FAMILY NEWS, but it’s not all bad. We also purchased our house last year so although there were a lot of downs, there was good as well.

Many of you have heard me talk about our youngest, Joshua. He’s quiet and shy until he gets to know you, but if you saw him in the kitchen you would think he is anything but. Joshua really has found his calling. It used to be all about how spicy he could make well…everything, but really almost since we’ve been in this house he’s been baking from scratch. It started with him wanting something sweet and since we hardly ever have any junk food in the house, he began to experiment with baking.

If you follow us on Facebook, you know that we recently introduced you his personal line:

The Sweet Spot, Cookies by Josh

He has really found a way to make a chocolate chip cookie into something delightful so we named his first cookie just that:

Chocolate Chip Delight

A few weeks ago, he made a batch as samples. This was our market research. Then we sent cookies out to our Kith & Kin CSA members. On both occasions, the feedback was AWESOME! So we knew it was time to get these cookies up on our site. Get ready to be delighted with your own batch by purchasing here. Each order contains six large cookies for you to savor.

It’s really beautiful to see him doing something he enjoys. I should have taken a picture of how much he was grinning at all the great comments about his cookies, but definitely next time.

In CHICKEN NEWS, our Meatbirds are SOLD OUT for our January harvest! THANK YOU!

We didn’t expect such an overwhelming response to these birds, but we are super grateful for it. As we get closer to January we will announce the harvest dates.

Our layers are doing well adjusting to the lower light. We’re getting less eggs, but that’s to be expected.

In PIG NEWS, the other day our youngest hog, Fatback found his way outside of the enclosure. Brandon was at work and Joshua and I had to think fast to capture him. Thankfully, we got him back rather quickly by luring him in to one of our kennels, but once we tried to move him we realized that was a no! I’m not sure how much Fatback weighs, but I do know that it’s more than Joshua and I were able to safely lift. He is one that we’re keeping, but as you guys know we don’t keep farm animals as pets. Everything and everyone is used as production so Fatback is our breeding boar, while many of the others will be food.

I know that people find it weird that we name our animals and then take them to processor, but we’re totally ok with that! We’re looking forward to fattening them up over these next few months. Then in a January, we eat! Don’t forget to order your own pastured pork here.

In GARDEN NEWS, we’re going into Week 7 with Kith & Kin CSA and the garden was beautiful up until the big frost. We’re ok with that because its November afterall, but let’s take a look at what the farm has been producing this Fall.

Pests in the Fall for us include the flea beetle and worms. We’ve been dealing with both since about mid October and within the last two weeks the flea beetles put the pressure on us. Most times these beetles hide at the base of the plant of between the stems. You can also find them on the underside of the leaves. Since they hide so well, this makes the wash and pack a long process for us, but we’d rather fight bugs then wash off chemicals. So we’re extremely proud to be chemical free since day one and counting!

Kith & Kin CSA just announced its Spring season. We always give first dibs to our members and then it’s everyone else. Our produce delivery will be turning FIVE in the Spring and like WOW! It’s crazy to think that an idea born in my head and then shared with friends has grown so much. I’m truly grateful for so many families who have trusted us to feed them! We would love to feed your family as well. Sign ups are happening now. You can find the options here.

Growing Now on the farm are all things Fall with a little bit of Summer left over. The star of both the Summer and Fall for us has definitely been eggplants. We’ve literally grown hundreds of them!

They will soon be pulled along with the Summer Squash plants shown in the photo. This will leave us with mustards, kale, Choi, and a few other greens, but soon we will be putting most of the farm to sleep for Winter. We will keep a small amount of crops for our family and some Seasonal Farm Boxes that we will post soon, but our efforts will be concentrated towards our animals and planning for the new year.

As always we thank you for being the best part of Hawkins Homestead Farm. Without you, there’s no us. Let’s chat again soon. Until then…….

The End of Summer

Hey Farm Family! I know…..I know. It’s been like forever since we last chatted, but LIFE has been crazy in general! There is so much to update you guys on so let’s get started.

I went to visit my sister in Nevada a few months ago and it was 113 degrees in the shade! That sounds crazy I know, but it’s dry heat so it was actually nice believe it or not.

I have to share some photos with you guys of the beautiful mountains. I guess that means we’re starting with FAMILY NEWS.

Both Nevada and Utah (I was there too) have the most gorgeous scenery. Imagine going to the grocery store….just driving along in your car and when you make a right turn there in the distance are these glistening mountains. They are literally everywhere and I laughed when someone asked me what do we have here in our state. Can you guess my answer? I said we have grass, cows, oh and trees. Her response was that she just couldn’t imagine not seeing any mountains. We should all be so fortunate to see a postcard created by God each day. It’s truly captivating!

In other FAMILY NEWS we’ve been keeping a secret. Just over 3 months ago, our daughter and their family welcomed their second child into the world! His name is Ezra. He was born at just 36 weeks with immature lungs and as a result Ezra didn’t come home until his 8th day. This little boy is fighter just like his parents who were committed to being in the NICU with him as much as possible. I’m happy to report that as of today he is one happy chunky little baby boy! He has some definite issues from being a preemie, but the plan is to love him through each and every one.

What makes Ezra so special is not just that we have another Grandchild, but also that our daughter incorporated her brothers name into his. Our son was Jonathan Scott and Ezra is Ezra Nathaniel Scott. The Scott part is a true family name as it comes from my Dad and you all know how I feel about him. My heart is SO full that they wanted to keep Jonathan’s memory alive and pass on his name while still allowing Ezra to have his own identity! I’m crying while typing this, but they are a mixture of happy and sad tears.

Of course we can’t forget about our Hazel Rae! She is officially two and amazingly brilliant. If you follow our social pages you know how much she loves to farm right along with us.

Another OH EM GEE moment for us is that we finally harvested our Meatbirds. You know how you taste something that you haven’t had in a long time and then it hits you how good it is? That’s this chicken for us. With the move and everything that happened after it, we had long run out of our own birds. So now, every time we cook one I am super excited to eat it and I am kicking myself thinking, Rachel you can’t eat them all.

We have had them fried, baked, and grilled so far. I am planning to put one in the Instant Pot so I can make shredded chicken. Of course this is my biased opinion, but this chicken is just so fresh, clean, and delicious. Even Joshua was complaining about the store bought chicken we had in the freezer after eating ours. So needless to say, we are going to try our hardest not to be out of HHF raised chicken in our freezer.

I know eating clean and organic is not for everyone, but it is for us and to literally grow and raise our own meats is very rewarding. You’ve heard or read me say this before, but it’s not something I’d ever thought I would do. As a meat eater though, I would rather shop with us than anywhere else. The next batch has already been listed so you can shop with us too. So that’s part of CHICKEN NEWS.

The other part is eggs. August was the month that we’d been waiting on for our layers that hatched in February to begin laying. I’m happy to say that they’ve begun laying, but since we’re now in Fall and Winter season, the laying is slow. We’ve been directing those of you looking for eggs to our friends at Bain Home Gardens, but our understanding is that their chickens are slowing down as well. As we go into low light, the girls can’t lay as much, but come Spring there will be plenty of eggs for everyone! The picture below is a flashback.

In other chicken news, we’ve learned that we have 3 additional roosters in this group so they will be going to freezer camp soon. At one time we had 7 or 8 roosters and the competition crowing was outrageous! When one began to crow, they all kept it going. Just imagine 8 roosters crowing over and over again. No thank you!

Although the chicken tractor is farther from the house, between the crowing and the fighting over the hens we’ve decided to keep it to a maximum of 1-2 roosters. That way we will have two flocks going and as they age, we plan to hatch more to keep the rotation going. If you ever purchase “Stewing Hens” or “Young Roosters” from us they need to be cooked low and slow. This tenderizes the meat.

In PIG NEWS we added one more piglet to the group over the Summer. His name was Kevin (as in Kevin Bacon), but Brandon re-named him Fatback. We’re keeping him separate and watching him to see if he could be our boar for breeding. This breeding part is all new to us so we have a lot to learn, but we love to do research and we are both great at asking questions. So we know that through prayer and working with those prayers, we will figure it out. The picture below was taken a few weeks ago. Fatback loves watermelon!

It’s not too late to reserve a half or whole hog for your family. See here for all the details.

In GARDEN NEWS I posted some videos in our story a while back of the exact hot mess that we were dealing with. Excessive heat and rain grew excessive weeds and that’s literally what we had on the farm. We had to go in with the push mower, the machete, and the weed whacker to get it all cleared! This was no labor of love….it was a battle and one that we are happy to say that we won.

At our other property we always had natural walkways and wanted to do that as well here. Sadly, we’ve learned that, that is not going to happen. Out here, weed barrier is critical and even then, the grass and weeds try to grow through it. Our plan going forward is to weed barrier the entire gardens. This won’t completely eliminate the weeds, but it will give us a good fighting chance to stop them.

In addition to the weeds the heat bred stink bugs and other garden pests like crazy. I came back from my trip to find that both our Summer and Winter squash had been nearly wiped. It was more than a little discouraging, but such is farm life at times.

Of course, we try not to farm much at all in the Summer months, but some things are just necessary. It’s crazy to think that the temps were in the high 90’s when we began seeding for Fall, but thankfully, the weather broke. It made me think that I really need to get a move on the she shed that needs power ran to it like forever ago. Brandon hates when we have to set up our temporary nursery in the house, but the weather is beyond our control, so we do what we must in order to grow this food we all have come to love and depend on.

Speaking of growing food, GROWING NOW on the farm are all things Fall with a little Summer in between. Think eggplants, different varieties of tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, just to name a few. There are no real pictures to show because everything is growing so slowly with the weather changes. So we’re in transition, but give us a little while and things will be bright and beautiful once again. For now enjoy this little shot of what fullshare members of Kith & Kin received in Fall Week 1.

Thanks for hanging out with us for this end of Summer update. We know it’s Fall, but you are all now officially caught up.

The best way to support our farm is to make a purchase, but when we’re in off season or if you’re not near us, there is a donation link on our home page. You know the one with the big rooster?!?

Chat with you soon. Until then…..

Growing Now! (June 2023)

Did you ever get the feeling that what you’re doing is EXACTLY what you’re supposed to do? I had that realization last month after being invited to Landmark Park to host a class on organic farming. To say that I was nervous about it was an understatement! I literally prayed right up to it because it had been years since I hosted a class and although I have always been huge on educating others I honestly felt all over the place.

The turn out was good and the class was more of an open discussion as I went over my bullet points. I left feeling extremely grateful that I was able to help others learn and it’s my hope that they can take what I shared and literally grow from it.

In Garden News we finally installed the berry bushes last month that had been sitting on the back deck forever. They’re a mixture of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Since they spent almost their first year in a pot, we’re not sure how they will grow, but only time will tell.

We harvested our first round of zucchini and cucumbers for Kith & Kin CSA members last month as well. We love that we can give our members first dibs of what’s growing.

Kith & Kin Summer Season is underway and the Fall season of Kith & Kin is now open for membership.

For those of you who are new here, Kith & Kin is our produce delivery program or CSA which stands for community supported agriculture. The idea was born back in the Fall of 2018 and we’ve been delivering the freshest chemical free produce around since the Spring of 2019. Each year we hold a minimum of two seasons in the Spring and Fall. Some years, like this one, we also have a Summer season. We’re very thankful and proud that we get to do this year after year and now we have the space to take on even more members.

We’d love to have you join. You can find the details of our upcoming Fall season along with the link to join here,

We’ve added and will continue to add lots of new items to the Shop Page as they become available. Buy your veggies a la carte or save money by purchasing a Seasonal Farm Box. Next to Kith & Kin CSA this is the best way to get in season produce from our farm.

In Family News if you follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram, you may have seen our video of Hazel Rae feeding the pigs. When she was younger, we introduced her to the farm as soon as we could and now she loves it. She enjoys “working” with Nana and Pop Pop and her favorite thing is to collect the eggs.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in our new property for one full year! We’ve accomplished so much, but yet there is always more to do. When we lost our son all the work definitely stopped, but between rebuilding the farm, repairing, and trying our best to fix our fixer upper, it’s been a whirlwind of emotions.

One great thing that we all appreciate about our home is that It’s been really nice having space for family and friends. Our house was the hub when we lost our son and it was comforting having everyone together.

It’s also been excellent having the land we need to grow our farm in a way that we’ve wanted to for a very long time. Speaking of growing, in Farm News we added two piglets to the farm and our cute little baby chicks are not so little anymore.

When it comes to the piglets, if it were up to Brandon, everyone would be named Ham or Bacon, but Shena over at Bain Home Gardens dubbed them Pepperoni and Porkchop and we decided to roll with it. We haven’t figured out which is one which, but time will tell.

These babies are of the Mulefoot variety which just so happens to be on the Ark of Taste List for pork. Their meat is red as it should be before commercial growers began to advertise pork as “the other white meat.” We’re excited to add them to our growing farm and look forward to seeing how they fit here. If you’re interested in purchasing your own whole or half hog, check out the details here. We’re currently experimenting with ratios to blend our own organic feed just for them! It’s expensive, but if we can do it, it will be worth it in the long run.

The meat birds don’t have long before they to go harvest. They’re putting on weight nicely and we have enjoyed having them again on the farm. It’s been far too long and we’re thankful to my Dad for completing not one, but two chicken tractors for us. We look forward to the meat and appreciate the manure that is left behind to fertilize the land for years to come. They will be ready to harvest at the end of the month. It’s not too late, to grab one or more for your family. You can find them here.

In Egg News our hens have just about one at a time went broody. This is when they would like to hatch babies so they sit in the nesting box all day and night in hopes to hatch some. So just when we thought we would have enough eggs to begin listing them, NOPE! The girls had other plans. So the wait continues here with us, but by all means check out Bain Home Gardens that we mentioned above. We happened to know for a fact that they have the prettiest eggs hatched by hens who are organically fed and Certified Naturally Grown.

If you follow our social pages, you’ve seen that we recently started trying out reels. After being off social for a while and coming back to see how things had changed, we decided why not?! Brandon has been talking about starting a YouTube channel almost since we started back in 2017, but neither of us have the time. With the reels though, I’m usually recording or taking a picture of something, so its been easy and fun putting them together. We’d love to hear if you guys are enjoying our content. Remember you can use our contact page to reach us.

Thank you for joining us this month for our “Growing Now” section. We appreciate you spending a few moments with us and we thank you in advance for supporting our farm and family. We hope to chat with you again next month. Until then……

Spring news!

Hello Farm Family Whew! A lot has been happening over the past month and a half since we last chatted and there is so much to get caught up on. This update has a few surprises so let’s get right into it.

In House News, most of you know by now that we moved last year, but you may not know that the home we bought is a fixer-upper! You know those shows renovation shows on HGTV? The ones where everything turns out beautiful and terrific in just a short period of time? Well that’s definitely not happening here! There was a lot to be discovered once we got started and although we’ve come a long way, there is still so much to get done.

My parents have owned several properties throughout my life and my Dad has always been a General Contractor so you would think that I might be good at renovations, right? WRONG! I am a hard worker, and I have my strengths, but construction and renovations really don’t fall under my wheelhouse. I love learning though, so I’m not giving up.

Me..covered in ceiling dust

I have always been super thankful for my Dad but, when I tell you how in awe of him and of his hard work I am, like it is so true! Even in his 70’s it has truly been amazing to watch him work and to experience both learning from him and watching him and Brandon work together.

Since our last Newsletter we have almost successfully finished sanding all of the ceilings in the entire house. Why are we doing that? Well, it’s because the previous owners were smokers and they didn’t think twice about smoking up the place. The good news about getting the ceilings done is that next comes the flooring which means that we can finally start putting the house back together and I am so ready for that!!!!

Our living room

OK enough about renovations now onto Family News. You may have seen on Facebook that Brandon and I took our anniversary trip at the end of March. It was just a short trip to Biloxi, but it was extremely nice to not only get away but for us to be able to spend time together.

With all the chaos of everyday life coupled with the sadness of losing our son we NEEDED it! If you’ve never been to Biloxi before but would like to go, we know a good a couple of good food spots to try.

In Farm News the Spring season of Kith & Kin opened earlier this month and things are going well. We are very thankful to grow food and take care of our members, both old and new. With all of the weather changes, including the crazy rain, we know that is only through God’s blessings that we are able to be successful.

Spring will soon turn into Summer and we are excited to announce that we have just opened up a Summer Share for Kith & Kin CSA!!! This is a short four week season happening in June. Then we will gladly take the month of July off and begin planting again in August for the Fall.

Growing Now we currently have squash, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and more. You know all things Summer! On a side note this is actually the first year that we haven’t been able to grow our own potatoes, and no one is more sad about that than I am.

Seems like everyone is attempting to grow their own food (which is not a bad thing) and we could not get the organic seed potatoes that we normally buy in time to plant them earlier this year. It’s not all bad though, because we have decided to run trials on growing Fall potatoes. So stay tuned.

We recently planted melons and cantaloupes and will continue to succession plant more Summer produce throughout the season. Of course we still have things like kale and radishes along with a brand new speciality green that we just introduced to our lineup. We announced it on social media, but if you missed it. It’s Endive!


We’re always looking to try something different. Plus we love learning about and growing new things so bitter greens was a no brainer for us once we realized no else is growing it in the Wiregrass. It’s something that we couldn’t be more excited about and you may be thinking why, WHY would you want to grow something that is bitter right? Well I’m glad you thought that.

One of our major goals is to eat mostly from our farm and greens from the chicory family like endive and radicchio (coming soon) are a great choice because they are high in vitamins and antioxidants. Talk about eating healthy! Yes please! Plus once you know how to cook them, they are really delicious! We’ve learned that finding the right ingredients, the right pairings, and the right cooking techniques goes a long way when it comes to eating farm to table meals.

In Chicken News, the meatbirds finally arrived. Their late arrival puts them ready just in time for grilling season. This throws the scheduling off a bit but, we are planning to keep them in stock throughout the Summer. The listing has been updated to reflect their expected harvest date.

Our new hens had a little bit of a setback between the weather and the new rooster that we added, but they have gotten back into the swing of things and arer pretty consistent with their egg laying now.

We have another set of layers that are about two months old who are expected to begin laying by the end of Summer. Additionally, we have some good friends that are hatching out a new set of birds for us as well so we are slowly build up our flock. It’s really thrilling to see it all come together!

On to the Pig News…It truly had to be a family affair getting the fencing in place, sectioning out paddocks, making sure they had fresh grass, lots of water, wallows, and plenty of shade as Pigs do not sweat and need to stay cool.

We have been hinting about having Hawkins Homestead Farm pork and the BIG NEWS is that we are announcing that our Pastured Pork is now available for you to reserve! They will be sold either by the whole or half hog.

This has been a long time in the making since we trialed pork back in 2020. We shared some of the meat with friends, customers, and family and the feedback we received was so much more than we ever expected! Some even asked if they could buy it then, but we knew at that time that we didn’t have the space that would allow us to raise more. So fast forward to now and our time has arrived!

As you can probably tell there is a lot going on to keep us busy between our spiritual routine, farm animals, produce, home renovations, work, being Grandparents, and just life in general. So we are thankful for it!

We will see what new developments happen in the coming weeks. Chat with you again soon. Until then……

Farm Update

Hello Farm Family. Brandon and I would like to thank everyone for your prayers, patience, understanding, and support during our downtime as we grieved the loss of our son. We’ve been trying to figure out how to navigate this new normal for quite some time now and to say it’s hard is a gross understatement! We know that this process of grieving will take a long time, but we are PRAYING and pushing forward in the best way we know how. So many of you have reached out to our family and to me personally. You have provided meals, sent cards, text messages, emails, and made phone calls.


For me, I have to say that to see the outpouring of love has been overwhelmingly beautiful and even though I couldn’t express it at the time, I appreciate it more than I could ever say! One of my good friends reminded me that our son was known for spreading love, peace, and happiness. “Out of all people,” she said….”you are the last person he would want to be sad.”

So that leads me to this Newsletter. I have been supplicating my God for the strength and courage to get back to doing things that make me happy. Things that will help me to be ok, and things that make me, me. If you know me personally, you know that a huge part of that is having my hands in the soil, raising animals the way they should be raised, and watching God grow food as He allows me to tend to it……also known as farming.

I am excited to tell you all that we are officially back open for business!

Our first step in re-opening our farm has to be us taking care of our CSA members. So we have begun the process of praying, planning, preparing, and planting for the upcoming Kith & Kin Spring CSA season. It begins in one month on April 3, 2023.

To our members from last season, we can’t thank you enough for everything! Brandon and I appreciate your continued trust and support despite our hardships. We are looking forward to connecting with and feeding your families again.

Over these past few months, our farm has received so many inquires for eggs and organic pastured birds. I wish I could say that we can accommodate everyone, but we are still rebuilding our flocks.

Just the other day my Dad and I made a day out of it and went to pick up some beautiful chicks from Bazan Paradise Farms. They raise goats, poultry, and more. Plus they’re family owned and operated and you know how I love to support small farm families! So please click on the link and follow their page on Facebook.

Being on their farm filled me with joy as I carried around a baby goat and reminded me of how much I really do love farm life. You can check out the some of the pics below.

So back on our farm, we do have a few hens that are laying, but priority is given to our family first, our regular egg customers, and CSA members. With that being sad…. eggs are back, but they are LIMITED! So if you see them on the site, grab them quick. I will try to keep them updated each week as the girls lay more. You can find them here.

Fresh eggs! Laid daily!

In regards to our organic pastured birds, their infrastructure is being built this weekend and I know of at least 2 people (myself and my Dad) who are eagerly anticipating their arrival into our stomachs. For all of you that are looking for a better poultry option, we are now accepting deposits for a late Spring harvest. You can find them here!

This is part of a run that my Dad built for his chickens. That’s right! Guess who’s a farmer now?! Sorry Mom….ok not really sorry because she asked for these chickens.

Speaking of animals…..we have added just a couple more to our farm. Meet Ham and Wally (Yes I know they have their faces in a bowl). They are Kune Kune piglets that were bred from registered stock. You may remember our first attempt when we raised Piggy from farm to table a few years ago.

Now before we all get too attached, only one of them is staying and the other is being raised for food. I struggled with the butchering part of Piggy last time, but having him as a food source during the height of Covid, proved to be a wonderful blessing. Since then I have purchased pork from the store and been more than disappointed so I am thankful that Brandon and I are able to raise meat for our family again. If all goes well, we hope to be able to offer Hawkins Homestead Farm pork soon!

In the gardens, the name of the game is build up the soil! My Dad went out to our former location earlier in the week to grab some supplies and all he could talk about was how beautiful the grass was and how fertile the soil is. It made me both happy and sad because it took years to build up that soil to what it is and to see it as a backyard now instead of a place where we grew our food is bittersweet.

The list we have over this next month is very long to say the least, but just a few of our priorities are to finish installing the fence on the animal side of the property, purchase and truck in compost to install into our permanent no till beds, lay weed barrier to protect the soil, and plant our berry bushes to their homes before Spring officially arrives.

Later into Spring, we hope to establish a perennial garden. That makes me ecstatic just thinking about it and although it’s been a long while since I’ve planted flowers, I’m examining the area for a flower patch as well.

All in all, with the space that we have here, starting from scratch is proving to be a labor that I am trying to love. Brandon continues to remind me that it will be worth it and I know he’s right, but I guess I just need those reminders for now. We are currently growing specifically for our Kith & Kin CSA members, but we have planted in abundance and will continue to do so as the Spring comes in so there should be plenty for all.

First planting earlier this year was onions.

We learned in the Fall just how much pest pressure there is here and we are sure there will be even more as everything awakens in the Spring, but this time we are ready! We have loaded up on insect barrier and have already began covering plants that need no pollination to grow. Additionally we are armed with our pots of boiling water, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon to ward off the millions of ants that we find ourselves fighting with almost daily.

So that’s it guys. I typed that with tears because things that were once easy for me are now difficult, but these are happy tears because I got this Newsletter done!

The last time I wrote a Newsletter was on November 3rd and it was also that evening we found out that we lost our son. So to complete this one four months later makes me truly thankful!

I am healing. Slowly, but getting there and I am so grateful to share and connect with all of you again. So thank you!

Let’s chat soon. Until then…….

Growing Now! (November 2022)

Hello Farm Family. How are you guys? Did you make it through those unseasonably cold nights a few weeks ago without issue? Typically weather patterns in October don’t lead to freezing or near freezing temperatures so you guys were probably just as surprised as we were.

After the big freeze we lost a lot of crops that we would normally have through mid or late November. Of course it was an unexpected circumstance, but after much prayer, watching the temps rise, and seeing how the plants reacted to those temps, we decided not to immediately pull everything.

Instead we tried pruning to see if these plants would bounce back and some of them have done just that! We know they won’t last for too much longer, but as long as they continue to grow……we will let them!


Fall is a favorite season for us and now that we have moved, it feels more Fall like in our neck of the woods. Maybe it’s the trees or perhaps the environment, but it’s really beautiful and it reminds me of growing up in New York where we truly had all four seasons.

November is usually when we begin to have a couple of cold days as the days get shorter. I am all for getting rid of that Summer heat, but the shorter days I could do without. Do you feel like that too?

Pest Management

Since we moved I have seen quite a few bugs that I could not immediately place. One that has really hit our produce hard is a beetle with a red top and a black bottom. It’s a variety of a flea beetle, but not one that I had ever seen before.

I shared with you guys before that we like to take an out of the box approach to pest management. This can be simply picking the pest off the crops or using items found in nature to control well….nature. This is sometimes an arduous task, but totally worth it!

Growing Now

Growing on the farm now are mostly cool weather crops. Those that laugh at freezing temps and can take the heat as well. Just a few of them are below.

We absolutely love being able to grow and cook with Asian vegetables. This is especially true with our son, Joshua. He affectionately refers to Brandon and I as “geriatrics” because most of his cooking is just too spicy for us to handle. Joshua and our older son are both the main reasons why we started growing the hotter varieties of peppers on our farm. Now that his older brother is out on his own, Joshua gets to have most of them all to himself.

If you’ve checked out our shop page, you will find that we recently created a category dedicated especially to our love of Asian vegetables. We’ve name it Asian Gardens.

Poultry News

We’ve received more than a few inquires for those of you looking for eggs and pastured raised meats. We wish we could accommodate everyone, but this year we will not have any more eggs, whole chickens, or turkeys due to our recent move.

We are literally rebuilding our farm from the ground up and that takes tons of time, hard work, and money to do so.

A few months ago we put out a call to action for anyone willing to add a helping hand and/or a donation to our farm. That offer still stands! You can reach out to us through our contact page to help locally. There is also a donation box located at the bottom of our home page.

A Look Ahead

This month we will finally be planting our trees. Over the Summer we purchased a good variety of fruit trees and have been fighting hard to keep them alive. Most have survived and we are planning to rent a machine to assist in breaking up some of this red clay. Once that’s done, it will be a planting party from there.

Additionally, garlic will go into the ground and we are building out more spaces to made permanent beds to house the many plants that were started from seed and are ready to get to their final home. Our biggest issue is that we NEED so much compost and since everything has gone up in price this year, it’s taking longer to get it.

All in all it will be a busy month for us as we build out better infrastructure for our chickens to make sure they are safe as well. We’ve found more than a few hawks out this way, raccoons, and we’ve seen an owl up close and personal. If that’s not enough, just the other night we heard howling that we could not place so we want to make sure our birds are protected.

We have so much planned and loads more to share as the months continue into the Spring, but for now we will stop there as we don’t want to spill all the beans!

Available Now

If you’re shopping for some Certified Naturally Grown produce, there is quite a bit over on our shop page. We even brought back our ever popular Seasonal Farm Boxes!

In closing we say thanks for being the best part of our farm. Thanks for supporting us and sharing our little family business with others. We appreciate each and every one of you and hope to see you again next month. Until then…….

Growing Now! (October 2022)

Oh Em Gee!!! Our favorite season has come in with a bang and we are loving this weather!

October is a month of new beginnings. We started to harvest our first crops in our new space, the Fall season with Kith & Kin CSA began just a few days ago, new birds will be arriving soon, and we are building new infrastructure for the farm. All of that in the middle of a home renovation. (Yes! We are a little crazy)

Part of getting the homestead ready is developing the land. We thought this was going to consist of a lot of tilling, but once we began to do so we found that the virgin soil here is very much hard clay. Our hope was to mix those truckloads of compost we told you about last month into the soil, but that went out the window very quickly!

So what are a couple of farmers to do when a plan fails? Pivot! We prayed, took some time, and formulated a new one.

Our next move was to plant on top of the virgin soil, but we needed to kill off the grass and weed seeds. Out came the flame weeder!

You can see Farmer Brandon in action below as he carefully prepares the space. He really deserved a hand for all his hard work! It was around 93 degrees that day.

To keep up with the work that we’re putting in to rebuild our space follow us on Instagram. Much of it is being documented there.

Starting over takes time, money, hard work, and patience. We’re no strangers to hard work, but we find ourselves having to re-learn what being patient really means. Plus money and time are always an issue!

We know that many of you are patiently walking this journey with us and we thank you for being here. Soon you will be able to click on the shop page and order your fill of eggs, produce, reserve your meats, and more.

Yesterday we went over to visit our sister farm, Bain Home Gardens. They have long been a trusted source of produce and eggs in our area. It was nice to meet the bunnies, see some familiar hens, and all the new chickens they now have. They are a little low on produce, but if you’re looking for eggs…..check them out!

Cooler temps mean cool season vegetables are coming back. The guys were putting together garden boxes not too long ago in anticipation of heavy planting and transplanting. You may have seen the photo of my Dad and Joshua on our social pages. Their hard work is very much appreciated!

Growing now on the farm are both Summer and Winter squash, greens galore, roots, salad greens and more. We found out yesterday that our organic garlic shipped and will be arriving in a few days. It’s always exciting to plant garlic because that usually means that Fall is in full swing.

Peppers are still hanging around and from the looks of it we will have at least one more batch before the frost sets in.

In the next few days we will be making jams using the local blueberries we picked and froze earlier this year. Some of which will make it to the shop page, so be on the lookout.

As we speak, we are growing sprouts . We will be happy to grow a batch for you as well.

So much is in store for us as we finish out the year. We’re thankful you’re here to support and follow along. We will see you next month if not before. Until then……

Growing Now (September 2022)

Hello farm family!! Yes….it happened. We skipped two whole entire months. If that weren’t enough, we haven’t posted much on our social pages either. We promise though it’s with good reason. So let us give you all the deets!

Big News!!

We recently posted on social media about a change that has happened with our farm and it’s a BIG one. If you follow our farm on Instagram you know that someone (ok it was me) spilled the tea already. For those of you who don’t, well the news is that our farm has MOVED! Break out the confetti and celebrate with us!!!!!

This move has been such a long time coming and to be honest it’s one that we thought we resolved when we purchased our other property a few years ago. Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but we definitely get it now!

So our absence was because we were in the moving process……Just imagine moving your house and your neighbors house…then add in animals and equipment… many things!

Everyday we wake up and we’re thankful for the beautiful sunrises in the morning and even more grateful for the sunsets. The view from here is really amazing and it’s a blessing that we are all sincerely humbled by. We’re still unpacking boxes and there is a ton of work to be done, but we are super excited!

Family Update

Our youngest, Joshua is officially a Sophomore! It is SO bittersweet! Of course he has to grow up, but thinking about him being an actual adult soon has me in a my feelings just a little…(or maybe a lot). This year he will be 16 and Brandon has given him a driving handbook. Like what?!?! I don’t want my “baby” to grow up!

Last year I shared with you guys that we became Grandparents…I know it’s still crazy to us, but true. Well now little Miss Hazel Rae is walking around, formulating words that we don’t quite understand yet, and being sassy on top of it. It’s been a beautiful blessing to watch her grow and I have to say that she has one Papa wrapped around her little finger already!

Poultry News

In poultry news, we decided that we could not accommodate turkeys this year. We apologize to any who were looking forward to ordering their birds from us, but this was the best decision we could make as we never want to overwhelm ourselves.

Previously we shared that our layers are old ladies and their production was low. Well we found a private breeder and we can’t wait to see what happens from here. We really missed having all the egg colors that our farm was known for and we are excited to bring them back!

By way of meatbirds, my Dad has only asked like a million times when we will have meaties again. I almost want to say that he misses them more than I do. Coming up soon Daddy!

What’s Growing?

Everything is new! We are rebuilding a farm from the ground up! This is something that took us years to do previously and now we have just a few months. Our back deck is filled with plants that have been started from seed while we fight through all the rain and the heat in order to get the farm together. The one good thing we can say is that we have been over planting because we are dealing with a whole new environment here and well you just never know!

With our new property having virgin soil, we literally had to pick up truckloads of compost to get the farm in motion. Shout out to Alabama Sustainable Agricultural Network (ASAN) for the help! Words can’t express how much we appreciate you guys!

Planting season came up so fast and we learned very quickly that rebuilding a farm is quite expensive. So many things that were in place at our old property still need to be established here.

Over the years we have received inquires from people asking if or how they could help and now with our farm rebuild we are taking all the help we can get! We have even added a donation tab to our homepage for those of you who aren’t local or would just rather donate. Our family appreciates the love and support that we’ve been shown and we can’t wait to get everything in motion so we can really see what Hawkins Homestead Farm can be!

Again, as always we appreciate each and every one of you for being with us. We hope that you and your families stay safe and we will talk to you again soon. Until then……

Growing Now! (June 2022)

Hey farm family! It’s June and our apologies because this Newsletter is a bit late. There is just SO much happening both on and off the farm right now. Life has been a bit crazy and we have a lot to catch up on. Even our social pages have been quiet over the last few weeks, but let’s start by getting caught up here.

Bad news first…Some of you may already know this, but I injured my back and that definitely put a strain on things. The good news is that my guys stepped up to the plate and did what needed to be done to keep our home and the farm rolling. Thank you both SO much!!

This season we’re very thankful because over this past month the farm has been very fruitful! We literally harvested hundreds of onions and potatoes. Yes, we do grow these crops every year, but this abundance allowed us to tuck away a little extra for ourselves, our family, and friends…all of which are very important to us! Plus with the rising costs of everything….having food that we grew definitely helps!

The whole reason we began to farm was to feed our family clean food and every year through prayer and hard work we get better at it. We couldn’t be more grateful!

Right now in both our home and farm gardens we have loads of tomatoes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. This is a win for us because it’s literally the most tomatoes that we’ve ever grown. Even the tomato trials are looking very promising. What is a trial, you ask? Well we love adding new items to the farm and running trials is how we see what will grow well in both our soil and in our area.

Sadly, when you have an abundance there is usually a failure somewhere and this season it was eggplants. Last year we took a cross country trip in the Summer and ended up with way too many eggplants that we could not sell. So we decided to cut back. That decision looks like we won’t have very many eggplants to offer, but farming has so many factors and sometimes the best thing you can do is just simply try again.

We planted a late crop of corn in our home garden and so far it’s doing well. We ended up having to fence around it because someone in the area has a rouge chicken who thinks she can come over to eat. We think we know where she came from and have attempted to catch her, but she is a fast one. For now, we’ll just keep shooing her away.

In poultry news, our flock is getting a much needed refresh. This means new chicks are on the way and there will be eggs in abundance just in time for Spring of next year. I know you must be thinking that is so far away, but hens take between 4-6 months to mature and began laying. Since that puts us right in Winter, the abundance of eggs will be here in the Spring.

Coming up next month we will begin to order and advertise our Turkey Day Birds. These go quick and we have customers who reserve more than one. We order based off of what we can handle and what our family will need so they are very limited. If you would like to support our farm and have a delicious pasture raised turkey for your big meal, be on the look out on our social pages and here as well. Then order early!

In addition to turkeys, we will be welcoming back our pasture raised meat birds as well. Our next harvest is due in the Fall and we will open up pre-orders for those in July as well.

Did you know that Kith & Kin Fall Season dates have been announced and membership is open? Well now you do! This really is the best way to eat local and fresh by having the farm brought to you.

Last month we mentioned that we would be setting up at The Enterprise Farmers Market and I want to give you an update and say that is still in the plans, but we are trying to figure out dates while I heal. So stay tuned.

We did get to go and support Bain Home Gardens this past weekend at the local Market in Dothan. They have been cooking up some new items and have just recently became Certified Naturally Grown for their chickens too! It’s only right that since they were the first farm in our area to become certified for their produce that they were for their flock as well. We applaud them and will continue to support them. We hope you will too!

Alright, now that we are all caught up as always I want to thank you for being the best part of Hawkins Homestead Farm and we hope to see you soon. Until then…..

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…….