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.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Excitement is in the air now!

The first tomato seedlings made their appearance today! I'm so excited, I started them in flats just a few days ago. When I came home from the market today about 6 different varieties had popped up.

It's been a busy week. Last Friday, Danny added the needed amendments to each garden bed and then tilled them all. Two of the beds he expanded, one a little, one a lot. We're hoping it will allow us to spread out a bit, some of the rows were just too crowded last year. Oh yeah, the chickens were thrilled. I got several great pictures of them following behind the tractor.

Since then, we've been working on starting seeds and ordering needed supplies in the evenings. Yesterday and today Danny's been working all over the farm. He built a very nice set of compost bins. He's been putting in raised beds for herbs, and putting in stakes for trellises along the edges where he can reach without stepping in the garden. After tilling last week and all the rain this week, you just sink in the mud if you try to walk in the gardens. He also planted snow peas in the front flower bed. We've never had them there before, but we're envisioning walking out on the porch and picking and eating them as a snack. (Last year my little nephew named them green M&M's.)

Besides all that, I'm trying to hatch chicks in an incubator. I set 46 eggs in it a few days ago, so it's keeping me busy turning them several times a day and monitoring the humidity level.

We were also getting ready for today's market. It was such a beautiful day, it was nice to see so many join us at the market.

Now I need to go turn the eggs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy chickens!

Danny made the chickens very happy this afternoon, he plowed up the first garden bed for this year! They went wild when he finished. They definitely lived up to our slogan about them, "happy, healthy chickens with nothing better to do than walk around all day eating bugs."

Friday, Danny will be adding the organic amendments to that bed and tilling them in. Then, hopefully, the other 4 garden beds will be dried out enough that he can get them plowed too. I'm sure the chickens will be very happily following right behind him.

Meanwhile, I'll be starting to plant seeds in the basement. Danny prepared several flats for me this evening.

Can you tell we're finally beginning to get excited about spring? Hope all of you are too!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Okay, our winter break is over!

Time to get back to work! Not that we ever really slowed down, we just got busier making improvements to our house and concentrating on schoolwork with the boys.

Now we're back, thinking and planning for the upcoming growing season. Danny made improvements to my seed starting area in the basement this weekend. I now have running water in the basement with a hose to water all the little seedlings we're about to start. No more hauling water down the stairs, or bribing the boys to help me. (ha,ha) He also put in a new fluorescent light above my work area and generally cleaned up and got my work area organized.

This evening we've been going through our seeds, sorting, taking inventory, trying to decide what we still need to order... so much to do to get started again.

Recently we got the test results back from our soil samples from the different garden areas. Now it's time to start adding the recommended organic amendments. Overall there's not much that needs to be done, all the organic matter we've been adding the last few years has really paid off. It's just the newer beds that need a little extra help.

Time to dream about it now!