THIS WEEK’S GROWER NOTES
We have the best Growers in the Wiregrass! Please learn more about them on our Grower Page.
Zoe, official porch dog, has fallen asleep while I peruse seed catalogs and dream of bountiful harvests.
This severe weather has a bright side in that it has killed off many of the bugs. The last couple of winters were so mild that we had a plague of grasshoppers munching almost year round. There isn’t a grasshopper or cabbage worm to be found! Although the migratory birds helped out too. I’ve been watching them in the gardens the last few weeks. Natural pest control at its best!!
New this week is rutabagas. They will be sold without the leaves. (The chickens thank you for your understanding. Winter greens are their favorite!)
BAIN HOME GARDENS: Hello market friends,
Here at Bain Home Gardens we are lamenting the woes of winter gardening on the homefront. Much of our produce has succumb to the freezing temperatures. So sad.
While that is very disappointing for us, did you know there are significant benefits for our gardens to experience freezing temperatures? For the next three weeks we will be reviewing these benefits in our Embrace the Winter series.
Benefit One: The cold of winter decreases damaging insects. Since most of the bug baddies burrow underground during the winter, it’s impossible for all of them to die off but that’s ok. Some controversial studies show that sustained freezing temperatures result it a more balanced bug population the flowing season. This sheds a silver lining, albeit small, on our upcoming growing season. The great thing is the beneficial insects like bees, are also hibernating safely in the hives keeping each other warm.
Till next time, sending lots of warm and cozy, from our family to yours!
HAWKINS HOMESTEAD FARM: Hello market friends and welcome to a brand new year! We hope all of you enjoyed your break. We spent our time adding new hens, who we hope will help us in getting our egg laying back on track, planting, planning, and of course trying to keep everyone warm. We hope to grow some things that we haven’t tried before. We recently posted a poll on our Facebook page with one question…What can we grow for you? So we pose that same question to all of you. Please reach out to us. We want to hear from you! We look forward to a year filled with bountiful harvests, we hope. Plus lots of eggs and fat chickens waiting to be harvested. It is our goal to buy most of our foods locally this year. Both hubby and I received some not so nice reports from the doctor so it’s time to make some changes. Recently we just read an awesome blog post from our Lean Bean Chef, Susan Avello. She gave some wonderful suggestions to help us all eat better. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s on her Facebook page.
This week on the market, our eggs are back! The hens have slowly started back laying so if you’re looking for eggs, please grab some. We have some hens who we expect to slow down on their laying this year, so we have brought in 15 new hens of various breeds who are just about at laying age. We purchased these hens from some farmer friends we have in Florida. We usually get chicks from them each year, but when we told them we had a need, they were there to help us fill it. Whenever we add new members to our flock that we didn’t hatch ourselves, there is always a quarantine period. This protects the rest of our flock just in case and allows us time to get to know our new birds personally.
We expect to have chickens later this month! Thank you everyone for being so patient with us. We appreciate all of you! You can expect some nice surprises coming up in the next few months from feedback we have received. Until next week….
HORTON’S FARM: We hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and New Year’s break. We had a white (sand) Christmas on the beach with ALL SEVEN of our grandchildren. We’re still fairly new at this grandparent thing and think we need more practice now. (wink)
Right before leaving I surrendered my beloved radiator heater to my husband so some of his critters could stay warm during our absence. I knew it was a risk and sure enough on our return all my 5 gallon buckets of honey were hard as a rock! The Mr. got his own heater and I’ve got mine back in the little storage room cranked up as high as it will go slowly, SLOWLY liquefying all that lovely golden goodness.
People used to think that when honey crystallized like that it had “gone bad”. And it always “went bad” really fast if they refrigerated it! Truth is, normal hive temperature is in the 90’s. Some flower nectars (cotton is one) will crystallize right in the hive at 95 degrees while others, tupelo and acai in particular, won’t crystallize even if you put them in the freezer.
So just like every flower is unique, their nectars have unique properties when gathered, and made into honey by these tiny amazing creatures.
SWEET ACRE FARMS: Happy New Year!! We hope to get back in the game after taking most of last year off. We still have blanched Boule d’jour turnip roots available, as well as turmeric. I will also be listing fresh baked cinnamon raisin bread and cinnamon rolls to start off the new year!