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, July 18, 2009

Great day at the market!

What a wonderful day for the market! The temperature was perfect, there was a slight breeze and there was a wonderful turnout of shoppers.

I hope everyone enjoyed all the fresh produce. This was our first week with a good selection of fresh produce. We dug our first two rows of potatoes, Yukon Gold and a great red variety that I can't remember the name of. We had some of the Yukon Gold for dinner tonight, they taste amazing. I think Bear ate four of them. I'll have more of them at the market next week.

We also had lots of colorful Rainbow Swiss Chard. We had that for dinner as well.

I brought the first toteful of peppers, large bells, poblanos, jalapeno, anchos and more.

I brought lots of cucumbers, they're really busy producing now. We got a little basketful of tomatoes this week too, but they disappeared very quickly. We had a cucumber and tomato salad. We've all been waiting impatiently for them to ripen. It looks like there should be enough ripe next week to be able to take some with me to the market. Of course, the cool weather being predicted for the week may slow them down again.

Yellow squash and zucchini are in full production now too. I brought plenty of them with me today as well. We've been enjoying them for several weeks now. One of our favorite ways to fix either one is to thinly slice the squash and an onion and cook them with just a little butter and seasalt. Or, we make larger, thicker slices and Danny grills them after brushing them with olive oil, garlic and italian seasoning and sprinkling them with seasalt.

I've been chopping up lots of them and putting them in the freezer for winter, and spring. I use the chopped squash in my salsas and use the chopped zucchini in my Zucchini Spice Muffins and Zucchini Bread. I package it in ziploc freezer bags in the quantity called for in the recipies, and then it's easy to defrost and use all year long. I love putting it up while there is so much fresh, organic produce available. I highly recommend the practice to others as well.

I also had lots of our free-range eggs. The hens aren't laying quite as well as in the spring, but I'm not complaining, the ones they are laying taste so wonderful.

I took some new pictures of the chicks when we moved the coops a couple days ago. They are growing so quickly. The first batch of chicks are getting close to the size of the adult chickens.

Have a good night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer's bounty is beginning!

Squash, squash and more squash..Bonnie keeps on picking and bringing it in. Plus, cucumbers, swiss chard, a few peppers and just enough beans to eat while she picks. This evening I found the first two ripe cherry tomatoes, I was nice and shared one with Bonnie, Danny was jealous. I discovered them while we were all busy pulling weeds and weaving the tomato plants through the cattle panels.

I'm still trying to get the transplanting finished. This past week I transplanted three more rows of Rainbow swiss chard and Bonnie planted a few more eggplant. And this evening, I finally put in the marigolds at the end of each row of tomatoes. Danny's been taking pictures so you can see the progress.

You should see how hard the bees are working. They seem to be everywhere. Danny says they're very busy filling the hives with honey. He added another hive body to one of the hives last week. Unfortunately for him, he found out firsthand why the longtime beekeepers warn about being careful around the bees when it's too hot or the weather is changing. Friday, he went down to check on the bees without putting on the beejacket with the veil. The first two hives were just like usual, he picked up a handful to "pet" and let them crawl all over his hand. But when he got to the third hive, they were not in a good mood at all. They swarmed all over him and he got stung four times. He said he went running away shaking them off as he ran. He had quite a bad reaction in one arm. But, he's much better now, the swelling's gone and he said it's finally stopped hurting. I bet he'll remember to put on the suit the next time he goes to "pet" the bees.

We were all happy to see rain over the weekend, the excessive heat wave was about to bake everything in the gardens. It came just in time to save us from having to start watering all the gardens. The plants all look so much better, they've really perked up.

It was just too bad the rain hit on a market day. It was storming so hard here we decided not to try to make it to the market. I'm sorry if I disappointed you by not being there. Unfortunately, I won't be at the market this weekend either. This is the one weekend I told everyone I would be missing. I'll be back at the market on July 18th!