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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Transplanting time is here again!

Last night, I transplanted over 200 tomato seedlings into larger containers. This afternoon, my Grandma came and helped transplant almost that many more. Tomorrow she is planning on doing it again. She says she can almost taste the ripe, juicy tomatoes she's been waiting for all winter.

Over the weekend, Danny got chard and basil and parsley and more eggplant started in flats. Last night, I finally got sweet bell peppers planted. Tonight, I'm going to plant several varieties of hot peppers. The only problem is that we're running out of room on the heat mats.

If the weather cooperates the way they're predicting, we should be able to get onions planted in garden #5 this week. That will free up a lot of space on the plants racks in the basement, so I'll have room to keep transplanting tomatoes out of the flats.

Got to get busy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Getting prepared for chicks

Today was the first day we stopped collecting eggs from the chickens we have separated to try to hatch chicks. I'm hoping it will encourage one or more hens to go broody. If not, I'll hatch them inside the house, in the incubator, like last year.

I actually prefer having them inside so we can watch as each little chick hatches. Last spring was the first time I had ever watched as a chick hatched. If you read my post from that day, you'll see just how excited I was. But, in reality, I know it would be a whole lot less work if the mama hen did the work for me. It would also free up a lot of my time, and I wouldn't have to keep them separated from the rest of the flock for so long if the mama hen was protecting them.

Either way, we should have baby chicks in about a month.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tilling has begun

What a cold, rainy weekend. Good thing it was such a beautiful day on Friday. Danny got the Eggmobile moved closer to the cows and he and Zach cleaned it out. Whew! What a smelly job! It will make great compost over the summer as he slowly adds it to the compost pile.

After that Danny started tilling with the tractor. He was able to till all of garden #5, where we will shortly be planting potatoes. Then he got part of garden #3 tilled, but the rest of it was just way too wet. What we didn't need was more rain.

Tomato Seedlings

I am so excited! I have hundreds of little tomato seedlings in the basement. I just finished watering them. Almost every single seed I planted last Sunday has sprouted and quite of few of the ones I planted just 3 days ago are up too. I'm really pleased with the germination rate of this year's seed.

Next comes the tedious part of transplanting each of them into individual pots. My Grandma is coming to help, she's been looking forward to this for a while now. I took her downstairs yesterday to see the progress. She says this is the best time of the year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Triple Trouble!

I can't believe it! Trouble got out of the fence 3 times today! We left for just a little while and got a phone call that he was in the neighbor's yard. My dad had to get it back in for me.

Danny had to come home and put up the electric fence after work today. Hopefully that will solve the Trouble problem.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Sir Loin of Beef has a new nickname, Trouble. He escaped again this afternoon. He was roaming down by the Eggmobile. When the train went by and blew its whistle, he went running back to where he got out and jumped back in.

He saved the boys a lot of time and trouble, they had just gotten outside to try to coax him back in. They weren't quite sure how they were going to accomplish the task.

Friday, Danny and the boys are going to have to run a line of electric fencing with the existing fence to keep him where he belongs.

I've started planting!

Gardening season has officially begun for me now. I have 16 different varieties of tomato seeds planted in seed trays in the basement. Just 2 to go. I'm going to try to finish them tomorrow.

There are a number of veges we'd like to get in the outdoor gardens but they are just still too swampy. Even with going no-till on beds 1 and 2, they're too soggy to walk in.

Hopefully, with a couple days of sunshine and warmer temperatures being predicted for this week, they will dry out enough to get at least a few things planted.

Friday, Danny is planning on moving the "Eggmobile" over by the cows. The plan is for them to follow behind the cows in the rotational grazing. The chickens will help clean up after them and keep pathogens from having time to multiply.

There is never a shortage of things to be done on the farm.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New members of our farm

We now have three really cute additions to our farm. Last week we got three young steers, a black one, a brown one with little horns and a black one with a white face. They are all a Beefmaster/Angus cross. To be sure we don't get too attached and they become pets, my guys have named them all, Sir Loin of Beef, The Duke of Hamburger and The Secretary of Steak (lol).

We have now become cattle farmers, on a very small scale of course. They will be grass-fed using rotational grazing to take advantage of and protect the nutrient cycle of the grasses. Using this method will take longer for them to reach market weight, but they will be much healthier and happy. They will not receive routine antibiotics.

I'm enjoying waking up each morning and watching them out the window. For the time being they are just roaming the field freely and they seem to want to be as close to the house as possible, so they stay very close to the fence most of the time. Yesterday, the one with white face decided he wanted a closer look. Somehow, he wiggled through the fence and it took Danny and Zach quite a while to coax him back where he belonged. Hopefully he will stay where he belongs now.

Next comes pigs, Danny is doing the research and preparing the area.