Bloom Where You're Planted Farm

  (Avoca, Nebraska)
A family-owned educational farm & pumpkin patch near Avoca, Nebraska
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Bring on Spring!

We survived the long winter, and although we're still melting from a surprise snowstorm over the weekend we know Spring is just around the corner!

We had a very successful fall 2012 season.  So many new friends came to the farm and we are thankful for each and every one!  We were also thankful for each and every pumpkin after a summer of drought.  As of today we are just over 6 months from doing it all over again and although it might be another dry year, pumpkins are pretty resilient and we have high hopes. We're waiting on one more seed catalog and should have our ordering done soon.  Late May/early June is planting time for our pumpkins, squash and gourds, and we can't wait to get out in the dirt again.

We spent the winter building a different part of our business, one which has always been in the background but is stepping to the forefront for our off-season.  If you've been to our gift shop or in the pumpkin barn you know we love to collect farm primitives, antiques, and fun rusty stuff (like the clawfoot bathtub we keep our mini pumpkins in, or all the old farm tools and signs hanging around the barn).  We've always kept a small inventory for sale in the store, but we've been collecting and searching all winter and now have a big, fun pile of "good JUNK"!  

On April 13 & 14, 2013, we're opening the barn doors and farm gates for our first-annual Rural Route Rust sale. Besides for our own selection of primitives, garden junk, "man-tiques", vintage textiles and kitchen goods, repurposed lighting, industrial accents, and leather cuffs handmade from vintage belts, we've rounded up about a dozen other vendors that share our love of this kind of merchandise.  There will be a great selection of vintage, antique, repurposed, upcycled and handmade goodies and we're excited to support our fellow small-businesspeople while providing a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for our visitors.

We'll be holding our annual spring open house in conjunction with the sale.  The Schoolhouse Cafe will be open, serving chicken salad sandwiches, soup, hot dogs, pie, brownie sundaes and other homemade yummies all day long, and the young and young-at-heart can explore the farm and visit the horses, goats, chickens & cows.  Admission is free all weekend, and hours are 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  

We're currently booking field trips and parties for fall 2013, so contact us anytime to be sure you get the best dates.  Whether in April for the Rural Route Rust Sale & Spring Open House, or in September for the Pumpkin Festival, we look forward to seeing you soon at the farm! 

 
 

Mid-Summer

Mid-July already?  What??  I can't seem to believe it's this time of year already, although the signs are all there.  The cicadas are singing, we ate our first BLTs yesterday with our homegrown tomatos, the corn is all tassled and the pumpkins are blooming and starting to fruit.

Here are some photos of mid-summer on the farm.  65 days until the opening of our eighth-annual Pumpkin Festival!

 

First Gourd Harvest of the Season!  This one grew as a volunteer on our burn pile.

Our first effort at broom corn looks like it will be a success! 

Dave and Buster moved in with Gabby and they're getting along well.

 

 

 

Vines are starting to cover the gourd tunnel.  That's a 'Silver Edge' pumpkin (a new variety for us) growing in front.

New planter around the sign at the end of our driveway

 

 

 

 

Have a great summer!  Hope to see you soon on the farm!

 
 

Early Summer

I'd better start this post with a little prayer of thanks for the 1.5 inches of rain we got Sunday night.  This was the driest its ever been at planting time, and we desperately needed a rain to wet the soil so the pumpkin seeds could germinate.  Pumpkin plants can tolerate pretty dry conditions, but without moist soil the seeds won't sprout.  Now with the rain our seedlings should be popping out in 5-7 days!

We planted 35 different varieties of produce:  orange (Jack-O-Lantern & pie) pumpkins, heirloom pumpkins, small gourds, large hardshell gourds, and squash.  We always try to add a couple new varieties and I'm excited about this year's additions.

The pumpkins we planted in early May are doing well.  These will hopefully yield some beauties to take to our county fair.  The broom corn is also looking good and should be a cool addition to our fall decor.

A.J. the calf and our four new chicks are growing and thriving.  Check out our Facebook page for their latest photos.  www.facebook.com/bloomwhereyoureplantedfarm

On June 9 we drove near Yutan to pick up two new goats.  They're pygmy/fainting goat crosses, males about five months old.  They're super cute but not very fond of humans yet.  We'll have to bribe them with food until we're able to pet and handle them better.  By fall they should be very friendly and happy to eat out of visitors' hands!  We're having a naming contest on Facebook.  Submit your suggestions, we'll put them up for a vote, and the winner(s) will receive free admission to the Pumpkin Festival!

Watch for us in the Weeping Water Limestone Day and Murdock 4th of July parades.  Have a great summer, and we hope to see you soon on the farm! 

 

 
 

Pumpkin Planting is Done!

As of yesterday, there are just 3 months left until opening day of the 7th season here at our southeast Nebraska pumpkin patch!  I can't believe how fast time can fly.  We've been very busy on the farm and finally got all our pumpkins, squash and gourds planted just a few days ago. 

The weather has been perfect--lots of warm sunshine with just the right amount of rain for the seeds to sprout quickly.  We had some issues with mice and/or voles actually digging our seeds out of the ground and leaving nothing but several seed-sized holes in dozens of hills.  They seemed to particularly like the squash and white pumpkin seeds.  Using traps, poisons, cellophane bags tied to sticks, and repellents, we seem to have that problem licked (we hope!)  So, after re-ordering seeds and replanting, we can move on to the next phase, watching the seedlings sprout and grow while trying to protect them from bugs and keep the weeds under control.

We've started work on several projects including repairs to the barn roof, rebuilding and painting the loading chute (the ramp kids climb on to reach the big round haybales) and fixing fences.  We have all the materials on hand to start building an overhang on the south side of the barn, where we'll move the admissions counter and pumpkin weighing station.  Today we made a trip to Lincoln after landscaping blocks to improve the fire pit.  And, I've started ordering new merchandise for the gift shop.  Its a very busy but exciting time as we work to make the farm and pumpkin patch the best it can be for our fall visitors.

Speaking of visitors, yesterday we hosted a field trip for Sandee's Place daycare out of Lincoln.  There were about a dozen 1-4 year olds who really seemed to enjoy their visits with the horses, goats and chickens.  Their morning ended with a hay ride and sack lunch at the picnic tables.  You can check out the photos on our Facebook page.  So, you don't HAVE to wait until fall to come and visit -- we welcome groups of all ages for field trips or campfire parties in the spring and summer too!  Our website has all the details.  Hope to see you soon at the farm!

 
 

Spring Chickens (& Calves & Pumpkins)

This is a great time of year at Bloom Where You're Planted Farm.  Rain has been plentiful, the grass and trees look lush and healthy, and the iris and peonies are starting to bloom.  In the next week or so we'll start planting some of our longer-season pumpkins and gourds.  The full planting assault will happen around Memorial Day, hopefully finishing up the first couple days of June.  I can't wait to get out in the dirt!  Its so exciting to think about all the pumpkins we'll harvest, plus its great exercise!

On April 29 we brought home five hens, a cross between Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshires (so they're very East Coast but seem to be enjoying the Midwest!)  April 30 & May 1 was our second-annual Spring Open House.  It was good seeing the familiar faces of some of our loyal customers and friends, and exciting to meet some first-time guests, too.  The following weekend we held a "Barn Sale" -- basically a big yard sale heavy on the antiques and primitives.  We made room for all the "new" antiques, primitives and gift shop merchandise we'll be bringing in for this fall.

The most fun thing this spring has been the arrival of two baby calves.  Fern delivered her first calf on May 1, a bull calf we named Mayday.  Ten days later, Molly's calf Rosy arrived.  I surprised myself (and really surprised Terry, when I told him the story later) by jumping in to help pull her when I realized she was coming out rump-first and upside down.  Molly may have been fine without me, but ideally they should come out head/front feet first, and I got scared.  Both calves are perfect and they're SO darn cute! 

Mayday

 

Rosy

Well, I'd better get outside to enjoy this great weather and get something accomplished.  Have a great spring, and we hope to see you soon at the farm!

 

 
 
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