Growing Now! (December)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kith & Kin CSA Earlybird Offer Extended!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing Now! (November)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What is Success?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing Now! (October)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing Now! (September)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

plants to make room for new ones

 

Growing Now! (August)

Hey guys! Welcome to August! Well almost….Here on the farm there is a lot happening! We are gearing up for the new Fall Season of our Kith & Kin CSA. It officially begins on the first day of Fall. So you can imagine the amount of food we have growing right now. We have had to find interesting ways to protect some crops from all this rain and to shade others from the intense sun, but thankfully our prayers are working and our research is paying off.

In chicken news, our birds aren’t very happy with the heat or the rain so some of these spoiled hens have pulled back on their laying. Not to worry though, we still have eggs!

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If you’ve ordered meatbirds, we’ve contacted you to let you know when your birds will be ready. I sometimes feel like the heat is going to take ME out, so we have to be especially careful with our animals. We are definitely looking forward to cooler weather coming in the next few months. I’m sure the birds are too!

In July we picked figs for the first time, thanks to a special someone! We really enjoyed learning all about how to pick them, the taste tasting, and being sent home with our own bundle! This gave us the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen ourselves. If you haven’t heard by now, our fig preserves are up and ready for delivery. We also made cherry jam and it is a hit! Add either one or both of them to your order and pay upon delivery!

Jams and jellies are constantly being made throughout the Spring and Summer seasons and pears are what’s next on the menu. Be sure to be on the lookout for some old and new flavors as they become available.

Fall plantings were started a while back and they are growing well. We always try to get a jump on the next season in order to have what we need and this year is no different. We start just about everything under grow lights or inside our mini greenhouse.

What did we plant? Well there is always too much to list, but the purpose of this monthly segment is to keep you informed on what’s available now and hopefully give you something to look forward too. We strive to be your fresh, local, and organic stop here in the Wiregrass, so let us know what you’re shopping for.

Tomatoes are our bountiful harvest this year. We have several varieties growing, but the cherry tomatoes are our farm winner. You can find them here

We are in a love/hate relationship with peppers this year. Why? Well because they have given us the most trouble. Sounds funny, but the more you fight to keep a plant alive, the more you appreciate it!

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Brassicas are growing for Fall, along with our organic potatoes. Speaking of potatoes, we are also growing organic sweet potatoes! We’ve grown them for our family in the past, but as we expand the farm, we expand our offerings. So we are excited to bring them to all of you soon!

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We’re bringing back our Asian garden again for Fall so be prepared for Asian Greens and our Asian Stir Fry Blend. These were extremely popular last year and will be here before you know it. We are also adding in more items to our Asian garden. It is all so exciting and we will share more as they grow. The pictures below are just some of what we offered last year.

All in all, so far this year has had many challenges, but prayer has been such an important part in helping us to overcome and not wallow in whatever those challenges were. Prayer helps us to learn and grow….literally!

Along with the challenges there have many great blessings and we’re so thankful for every single victory, big or small. So we will keep praying, researching, farming, and growing. We hope you will be with us for it all! We thank you for being here! See you next month.

Growing Now!(July)

Half the year is gone! Yes that’s right! 6 months have came and went! What did you guys grow in the first half of 2019?!? What successes and failures did you have? What was one thing you failed at before, but finally got it right?

Well you guys know what we’ve grown right? If you’ve followed this segment, you know that every month we post some of what we’ve grown on the farm and this year it’s been more than ever with our Kith & Kin CSA. One huge success for us was the CSA, but another is we’ve been able to grow our very own sweet potato slips. Hopefully, we can update everyone later in the year with an abundant sweet potato harvest….prayers for that!

So what about this month? What are we growing? Well with Summer just starting we are growing plenty of Summer veggies. Just about everyday we are harvesting tomatoes and beans. Here is a small harvest from a few of our tomato plants, some long beans, and one early squash I picked before the stink bugs could get to it.

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We are gearing up for our Fall Season for Kith & Kin so, SO much is bring planted right now! Below you will find just some of what we have growing, but there is always more. If you have questions or requests, contact us! We also grow to order! See you next month.

Fall Kith & Kin Season

If anyone were to tell or even better ask the younger me if I would ever want to be a farmer, I would have laughed and laughed. I mean really I was born and raised in NY! I knew there were farms, I just had never been to one. Upstate NY is cold 9 months out of the year. The closest I got to animals outside of dogs and cats was our local zoo.

Like most people my family mostly purchased our food from the grocery store. I say mostly because my Dad used to hunt every year and so would have venison in the freezer, which I didn’t care for at the time.

Fast forward to our slow trek into the south and I realized the importance of food and the effect it has on our bodies. Now when I say food, I mean good wholesome food. Not the artificial sugar, genetically modified corn based snacks, or microwaveable dinners. I’m referring to fresh vegetables, fruits, culinary herbs, and just the best all around produce that you can get in our area.

My realization of food helped me to change my eating and that of my family as well. I have to admit a farmer I never thought I would be, but I am so proud at what we’ve been able accomplish and how.

Kith & Kin was brought about through prayer, careful planning, and persistence! The BIG secret is that we did it!!! We grew food and we fed families every single week! We are so thankful and proud of that!

We worked despite having other jobs, homeschool, spiritual routines, and being wives and mothers. We worked through  hardships, a drought, crop failures, major freak outs, and little baby ones too! Life still happened around the Spring CSA season, but we made it AND we are doing it again! Call us crazy or just call us two women on a mission to help families, our communities, and provide an alternative for the Wiregrass area.

Kith & Kin Fall Season is up and running. It begins on the first day of Fall and we want YOU to become a member! Join today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Where’s the Meat?”

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted about our meatbirds. It’s actually been a while since we’ve taken new orders, but now that we’re into Farmers Market Season I’m going to take this opportunity to catch you guys up on what’s been happening on the farm and let you know that we are back in action with our birds.

For the past few months we’ve been busy catching up on back chicken orders. During this time, Brandon (husband) fractured his foot, we were under hawk attacks, and so MUCH more.

Im glad to say that it’s all over, but with farming you just never know what’s going to happen.  In addition to our chickens, we also had some turkeys that went to harvest. Of course we kept some for ourselves and Brandon did an excellent job of making sure we had our very own pasture raised organic ground turkey for the freezer. If you want to reserve your turkey, now is the time!

As you guys know we’ve also been growing fresh organic produce for our Kith & Kin CSA members. With the CSA Spring season coming to an end this month, we’ve switched our focus and have been working hard to bulk up our flocks for the Summer. This is our busiest time for new customers, so we try to stay “chicken ready.”

It was our goal to be on schedule before the hot Summer months came in, but the “Summer” came in Spring this year. Which also threw us off. Couple that with zero rain and our stress levels went through the roof. We joked about how early we were getting up each day, but it was mandatory to keep the gardens and the animals alive.

There are quite a few projects going on here with the chickens and so we find ourselves out late into the night as well. The mosquitoes at night are relentless, but we fight back with our bug repellent. I’m truly thankful for knowledgeable friends and research. Now our family won’t go outside to work on the farm without spraying ourselves down with this alcohol and chemical free option.

So if you’re looking to purchase chicken from us, you can do so in a variety of ways:

  1. Use our contact page. Here you can detail how many birds you would like to reserve. We will then let you know when the birds are scheduled to be harvested. After which you will be invoiced.
  2. Order from the shop page. You will only see what we have on hand, but this is great for those who need a chicken now.
  3. Come see us at one of the markets we attend. We plan to have chicken for each event and you will get to choose from what we have available. State Farmers Market rules state the birds must be frozen, but they are always harvested fresh to order. If you don’t already, be sure to follow our Facebook page for our whereabouts.

The birds are priced direct at $6.00/lb. When purchased online, there is a weight range, hence the price difference.

You may order one or as many as you like, but if you’re looking to purchase bulk orders of chicken please let us know and we will provide you wholesale prices for orders of 10 or more birds.

If have questions on how our birds are raised or what they eat you can find the answers here.

As always we’re open for additional questions so feel free to reach out to us. Talk with you soon!