A True Family Farm

When our boys help in the gardens they represent the fifth generation of the family to work the soil on Kimker Hill. Four generations still live on the farm today. Strong family bonds and a deep love and respect for the earth influence all of our farm practices.

Our gardens provide us with the best and purest of food, matchless beauty, and the ultimate earth science classroom for our homeschooled boys.

Sustainability is a popular buzz word among small scale agriculture. To us it means giving more than you take. Putting back what you use. Remembering that this beautiful earth will last forever and it's our commision to care for. In our gardens we try hard to follow these ideals and work with the earth's design, not against it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We had a perfect day for gardening yesterday!

Danny and I worked together to plant more tomatoes, peppers, rosemary, rhubarb, grapes and eggplant. Danny also planted garlic for the first time. We've wanted to try it for the last two years but never could find the time and space at the same time.

Today I'm going to work on weeding the carrots, beets and turnips. I also need to get more onion sets planted. The last ones are all up and look great, so we decided to add more. I also want to get more zinnias planted. We seeded them once, but only a small percentage of them sprouted. So, I'm going to try again! Zinnias are Danny's favorite flower and we usually have hundreds of them in the front flower beds.

Gotta' get busy again!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thankful for a rainy day!

I was so grateful to wake up to rain today! I didn't have to feel guilty about working indoors. I was able to get a lot accomplished in preparation for the market this weekend.

Besides, I needed a break from the sun. The wind abated somewhat on Tuesday afternoon, at least long enough to get all the sweet potatoes planted. Then on Wednesday, I spent most of the day in one garden or another. My mom helped me plant lots of tomatoes, 87 at last count, we're estimating there's just about 100 left to go. Zachary put in more t-posts to stay ahead of us and all three boys worked on cutting grass and bringing us the clippings to put around the plants. My grandma even came out in the afternoon to keep us company and give us moral support. We set her up in a nice comfy lounge chair and she got to enjoy a little sun that way too. I also got 2 rhubarb plants and 26 asparagus plants in the new garden plot. Thankfully, Danny got home in time to help me dig most of the holes for the asparagus, they need really deep holes and I was very tired by then.

Today, I am rather stiff and sore from all that hard labor (I talked to my mom and she is too!) But a bigger reason I needed a day out of the sun is because I got very sunburned on my arms and face yesterday! I should have at least worn a hat, I have "raccoon eyes" from wearing my sunglasses and even my scalp is red. My son says I need to write 100 times in aloe, "I will remember to wear a hat and put on sunscreen!" I wish he'd of thought of it before I burned. He brought straw hats out to my mom and grandma, but not to me. Next time I think I'll remember! On the bright side, my hair is much closer to my normal summer blonde and it's still May.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What a great weekend we all enjoyed!

The weather was beautiful, although we did feel like we were all going to blow away at the market Saturday. Many of us had to take down our tents, I resisted until the wind blew it across the aisle and into the next tent. But we had a great turnout again, thanks to all our returning customers.

While I was at the market, Danny was busy here at the farm. He got all the eggplant transplanted into the garden. He direct seeded 4 varieties of beans & 2 varieties of cucumbers. He also got half a row of peppers planted.

Sunday afternoon he got an area tilled for the sweet potatoes, another area for the pumpkins and a third area for the asparagus, rhubarb and garlic. Then he finished planting the rest of the row of peppers he started on Saturday.

I got the boys to start spreading hay on the sweet potato bed while I worked on companion planting 3 kinds of onions in between the rows of potatoes. Then my mom came to help. She worked on uncovering potato sprouts that were having a hard time getting through the thick hay and evened out the hay on some of the rows. Then we both started working together to get the peppers planted. We got 4 more rows in before it got too dark.

Yesterday, I took the boys to the homeschool field day, there were over 250 kids participating this year. Needless to say, by the time we got home, I didn't feel up to planting anything. But, Danny and I did go to the beekeeper's meeting in the evening. Hopefully, before too long we'll have our own hives. We're working on it!

Today I need to plant the sweet potato plants that arrived while I was at the market Saturday. They look really healthy, I have them in glasses of water right now. I had planned on planting them Sunday, but the directions that came with them said not to plant them on a windy day. So I decided I'd better wait. I certainly hope the wind dies down enough today to get them all in. On this hill, it's almost always windy, just in varying degrees. I also need to be planting tomatoes so if it doesn't, I guess I'll just be planting more tomatoes.

Time to get busy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What a productive day!

Wow, we accomplished so much today!

Danny got all the beds for the peppers, eggplant & spinach formed up, put the soaker hoses in place, then covered them with black plastic & put down newspapers & mulch between the rows. He also installed the new drip tape in the tomato garden. This is our first time to use it, but it comes highly recommended. And he still had enough energy left to grill pork steaks for dinner!

The boys took advantage of an actual dry, sunny day & got all the grass cut & the clippings delivered to us in the garden.

I started production for this week's market. Then, later this afternoon & evening, I got 51 more tomato plants in the ground & mulched with the clippings. I also planted a few more potatoes.

Last night I started potting the kohlrabi & squash sprouts in the basement. I was shocked by how many roots the squash seedlings already had. This afternoon, I discovered the kohlrabi transplants had grown an inch overnight in the new pots. Now I need to go do some more transplanting & watering in the basement so I can get to bed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The potatoes are up!

Finally, the potatoes are up! Discovering that yesterday evening certainly perked me up! Surprisingly, all 3 sections have emerged above the hay, even though they were all planted at different times.

It's beginning to look like we are going to be waterlogged forever. I can't believe it stormed again this morning. I got a few more tomato plants in the ground yesterday, but I had to stop because of the mud. I was hoping to get a lot more in today, but now I don't think it will happen. We've moved most of the plants into the hoophouse now & they seem to be doing well.

Oh, I got another nice surprise yesterday, when I started to water the pepper plants in the basement, I found 3 jalapeno peppers. What a strange spring, I can't even get the plants into the ground, but they're producing anyway!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thanks Everybody!

Thanks to all who joined us today for the Spring Kick-off Celebration at the Tower Grove Farmer's Market. It was wonderful to see such a crowd, I think that was the market's biggest crowd yet! Thanks to Patrick & his crew for doing such a great job organizing & running it! We really appreciate all our returning customers, as well as all the new ones!

I'd love to hear your comments on the products you've tried.

Thank you Kelly & Chris for your comments. Chris, it was exciting to see your comment already posted by the time I got home from the market. I'll check out your blog next.

Hope to see everyone again next Saturday!! I promise I'll bring more Pizza Dough Mix, sorry to everyone who missed out.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Good morning!

Wow, that was quite a storm this morning. But the plants in the garden seem to be happy & the plastic stayed on the hoophouse, so I'm happy too. Recently I transplanted swiss chard & kohlrabi, the rain really perked them up. I also got carrots, radishes & beets direct seeded, but they're not up yet. Hopefully the rain will speed their emergence, I can hardly wait.

I love looking out & seeing green in the garden, & with the swiss chard in now, red & yellow as well.

The mulch is doing a good job keeping the weeds in check. It will save us so much time as the summer goes on.

Unfortunately, with the frost we got Monday night, all the tomatillos I had transplanted died. We had them all covered, but it didn't help. They were all black when we uncovered them. Oh well, lesson learned. It's a good thing I hadn't put the tomatoes in yet! Fortunately, I had checked the planting guide & realized it was just too early. Of course, that was after I had finished planting all the tomatillos. We definitely have spring fever & want to put in everything at once, but we're trying to practice patience.

That reminds me, I wonder if any of the potatoes are up? I think I'll go check.