Colvin Family Farm

  (Pikeville (serving Knoxville, Chattanooga, Franklin, Maryville, Farragut, And Crossville), Tennessee)
A Community Supported Agriculture
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April Update

April Update from Colvin Family Farm! Like April Farm Update! on Facebook

Flowers are blooming all over the farm scenting the air with Spring, strawberries are climbing into full-scale production, and it's been so wet we've had a hard time working in the fields on "schedule"--we've had an interesting April!
As we gear up for the market season, we're in the "what if" mode--we keep mentally running through what crops are coming in, and what we think will be coming in by the first week of May. It seems strange that even though we're a couple of weeks behind our "schedule" on some of the crops, we already have ripe strawberries, and on several crops we're more than a month ahead of last year! Each season is different from the other--and each has it's good parts!

Anyhow, we are excited as things fall together one by one, hopefully it will be dry enough to work a few new fields this Monday, so that we can transplant Squash, Cucumbers, and Melons, and seed our wheat, oats, and main crop of potatoes!

Adam Colvin
1-866-865-8329
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com


April at Colvin Family Farm:

Onion Patch

Our Onion patch earlier last week--they really are doing well! We hope to keep everybody and their mother's uncle covered up with sweet slicing onions this year!

Seed Potatoes

The same goes for our potatoes--this pictures shows our seed potatoes stacked in the back of our farm truck. We have several hundred pounds out already, but we are needing to work another field up before we can plant the main batch.

Plowed Field

Caleb started working this field and--the plow broke! If it isn't too wet, something else will happen!

Killdeer Nest

We found another killdeer nest--it's neat to watch wildlife! It amazes me how they can build their nest on the ground--you wouldn't believe how well these eggs blend in with their surroundings!

Levi & his flat

Levi and "his" flat of vegetables. He is raising his very own produce for the first time!

Celery

Celery flats. We potted these up from the small plugs earlier last week.

Tulips

I love Momma's tulips--they're only pretty six weeks out of the year, but they're defnitely worth it!

Greenhouse

Both of the greenhouses are full of tomatoes, squash, melons, tomatillos, herbs and more!

Bumblebee

We are very thankful for our pollinating friends--this bumblebee is busy in the apple tree!

Potato Digger

Caleb and I (Adam) drove to Mobile, AL to pickup this potato harvester that we had imported from China yesterday--if it does a good job, it will take one of the most labor intensive harvesting jobs and make it easy!

We have more pictures on or Facebook page--click here to see this month's album!
 
 

March/April Update

Hello folks!
Spring amazes me each year--no matter how much you're outdoors, and how closely you watch each small change when it happens, suddenly it will dawn on you that Spring has crept up on you again! This Spring is definitely cool, and wet, which has set us behind schedule with working the ground, and even set us back from our seeding and transplanting schedules. What seeds and plants we've put out, have been slow, almost reluctant to come up, and we are in the midst of anxious moments wondering if things will work as they should--this time of year is always like that, but things always seem to work fine--even if it's a week or three late!

Thanks go to all of those who have helped us posting our flyers around East, TN--we have really been getting a lot of interest from folks, and we appreciate your effort! If you would like several of our flyers, let us know and we'll mail you enough to keep you busy! If each of you gave out one flyer, we'd have....well, lots more out there!

For a complete update, go check out our March/April picture folder we just uploaded to our facebook page!

I hope you all enjoy this newsletter, and we here at the farm wish you all a warm, dry, and productive Spring!

Adam Colvin
1-866-865-8329
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com


March/April at Colvin Family Farm:


Strawberries in January

We're excited about how well our strawberries are looking! Most all of one variety already have fruit and blossoms all over them!

Right Now 2

Planting onions--we've put out more than 50,000 plants already! Our goal is to be able to supply all of our market locations with as many naturally raised onions & potatoes as the market can use all of the way through season (normally these two crops are hard to find on a regular basis) and have them at a price that most normal families can afford.

Dad Grading for the new greenhouse

Dad grading the site for our new 20x60 greenhouse.

Outside Right Now!

Dad's kept busy working on our new greenhouse--this picture shows the frame up, and the roll-up curtains on. The curtains are made of material that is basically a clear tarp--it lasts for years, whereas if we used normal greenhouse plastic for the curtains (as we've done in the past) it lasts for week(s)!

Putting the plastic on!

This morning we put the plastic on--it's always interesting pulling $500 worth of plastic over a greenhouse, and hoping that it won't blow away while you staple it on!

Inside the greenhouse

As you can see Dad framed in a large door on the other end. If during the off season, we need to work on a vehicle or tractor, we can drive it under cover!

Dad stapling the plastic on the greenhouse

Dad, stapling the plastic down on the new greenhouse. So that the staples don't just pull right back out through the plastic, you have to staple through a strap of "webbing" material that is strong enough that the staples won't pull through.

Inside the other greenhouse

Enough about the new greenhouse--here's a peek inside the other greenhouse! Right now it's busting the seams with transplants--this shot shows cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, lettuces, chives, peppers, eggplant & more!

Lettuce Plugs

A closeup shot of some baby lettuce transplants.

Celery transplants

A shot of our Celery transplants--we're excited about giving this crop a try!

Blue Violets

Blue violets are some of my favorite Spring flowers! I love how this shot turned out!

Flowering Quince Bush

Momma has a beautiful flowering quince bush in the backyard.

Flowering quince bush

A closeup of the flowering quince blossoms--they really are pretty after the dull greys and browns of Winter!

Rainbow cloud

My camera didn't pick up the colors very well, but this is a cloud rainbow us boys watched for over an hour over one of the fields. Check out this link to see better pictures of cloud rainbows and information on how they form.

Truck stuck

We had a delivery of fertilizer a couple of weeks ago, and the driver wouldn't listen to us when we told him where to drive--he eventually got stuck four or five different times, and we eventually (three hours later) got him out. I still can't believe that we got him out! It took Dad a day with the box scrape to level the front yard/side field back out!

We have more pictures and updates just uploaded to our Facebook page--if you want to see the rest of the pictures click here!
 
 

February Farm Update

February Update from Colvin Family Farm! Like February Farm Update! on Facebook

Hello Folks!

I can't believe how quickly time is flying by! Signs of Spring are all over the place, and we're enjoying a few days in the high sixties and low seventies. Robins showed up by the hundred on February 1st, the maple buds are starting to show red, some crocuses are blooming in Mom's flower garden, and geese and sandhill cranes are flying north--Spring is just around the corner! We've been busy starting vegetables in the greenhouse to make sure we're ready for our early Spring markets and our CSA startup in May--most seed orders are already in, and we've got our shipment of seed starting mix as well as most of the other supplies for 2011. The only other "big" purchase for the early season, is our fertilizer order from McGeary's Organics in Lancaster county Pennslyvania.

I hope you've got to check out our new website! I just yesterday sorted out the biggest glitch (that I've found) that made pictures lose their description, and "go wacky" when you clicked on them.
I've also implemented a neat idea (borrowed from another farm) a "share size calculator." What size do you need? Check it out on our website now!

Looking forward to the new season--I hope you enjoy this farm update!

Adam Colvin
1-866-865-8329
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com


February at Colvin Family Farm:

Signs of Spring:

Strawberries in January

Crocuses--these flowers are an early Spring treat!

Outside Right Now!

Or you could look at them as a "teaser," Spring's a comin'

Right Now 2

Closeup shot of the Red Maple buds...

Right Now 3

The trees are already slightly tinged red.

Right Now 4

Sandhill cranes flying North--we probably have thousands of these birds fly over each Spring and Fall!

Brilliant Sunset

Most of the seed orders are in...

Sunset 2

We've got our seed starting dirt in...

Building the house!

And the early Spring transplants are already up!

Carhart

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collards, Chinese Cabbage, Lettuces and more!

Antlers

We heat the greenhouse with wood--The three oldest boys (myself [Adam], Caleb and Isaac) take turns every third night sleeping out in the greenhouse. This is a very effective "thermostat" of sorts, when the temperature drops to an approximate 55, it wakes the sleeping person who stokes the fire, and checks everything over.

Antler 2

Dad ran the stovepipe out the front.



After being cleaned out, our farm pond has filled up nicely and is ready for the season!

Mural

We've got some land already tilled up and ready to plant our early Spring crops!

Right Now 3

The view out of a hickory tree off the back side of our property

Right Now 4

Another view out of the hickory

Brilliant Sunset

Some limbs got in the way of this shot, but it shows a pretty good view of the "farmyard."

Sunset 2

The strawverries seem to have been growing throughout the Winter!

Building the house!

A bed of strawberries tucked underneath their row covers.

Carhart

We're excited about our new (to us) combine! With easier harvesting/threshing, we'll be able to handle much larger acreage of dry beans, wheat, and oats!

Antlers

Dad really enjoyed driving the combine home.

Antler 2

We hauled our new (again, "to us") Massey Ferguson 165 Diesel tractor home from just East of Nashille this week. We have really needed the extra horsepower and traction that this tractor has for some of our equipment! We also now have the added benefit of if one tractor breaks down (let me rephrase that to "when" one tractor breaks down), we won't be in as much trouble as we are when we depend totally on one tractor.



Dad grew up using his Dad's (my Grandpa's) Massey Ferguson 150, this is one step above the 150, but it's still has a very familiar feel to it!

Mural

This shows some of the size difference between our MF 35, and our new MF 165. We are really excited about starting this season!



As we plan on expanding substantially from last year, the only way we can possibly do that, is with better more efficient methods, and better more efficient tools. We are always changing our methods, tweaking good ones to make great ones, and swapping great ones for unbelievably great ones, but this year we've really taken a step to get some more efficient tools. We now have two dependable tractors, a combine that will make it possible to harvest and thresh our grains in large quantities, we're fixing to put up another greenhouse, we've done a lot of work with our irrigation plans/equipment, and we bought two Jang Clean Seeders (pictures above). These seeders are super exact in seed singulation and spacing, we have plates/rollers for pratically every size/shape of seed, so that we'll be able to get things planted FAR more efficiently this year, while fertilizing in the same pass!
 
 

Winter Update from Colvin Family Farm! Like Winter at Colvin Family Farm on Facebook


Hello folks!
I want to invite you all to check out our new website! We now feature easy online CSA registration, a new blog, many new pictures, a new "Our Standards" page, and much more! New for 2011, we'll be posting pictures of shares with produce labeled on our "In the Box" page (no more sharpies!), and we also have a new Colvin Family Farm online market opening in May! You can now like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, and subscribe to, and comment on our blog! Coming soon, we'll have a customer review page and more--(you've probably noticed our new email template)!

As you can tell, I'm excited about all this! I do hope you'll enjoy browsing through the site, and I'd like to ask you to forward this to all of your friends that you think might be interested in our farm! Word of mouth is our best advertisement!

Thank you!

Adam Colvin
1-866-865-8329
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com


Winter at Colvin Family Farm:

I think I should mention first thing that I've not been as faithful taking pictures as I should have--I've been glued to the computer for the last month learning how to design websites etc... and what time hasn't been spent on that has been spent getting together seed orders and structuring the "battle plan" for this season with Caleb and Dad--Sorry!

Strawberries in January

An example of our strawberries, tucked underneath row cover, they're biding their time till Spring!

Outside Right Now!

A view or what is outside our front door right now--we've got a good heavy dusting of snow!

Right Now 2

Pan to the Right--the only places that don't have a solid cover, are the places where it was wet!

Right Now 3

One of the fields.

Right Now 4

It's coming down!

Brilliant Sunset

During Winter, we see some of the most brilliant sunrises!

Sunset 2

This picture was taken a week ago--it's really amazing how much snow we're getting this Winter! We haven't had super cold temps yet (although it dipped into the single digits for a week), but we've had more snow and ice in December than we've had in the past three years combined!

Building the house!

No, this isn't an advertisement of Lowes.
We're often asked "What do you do all Winter?" Generally Winter is used to regroup--assess last year's lessons, learn from the mistakes and make a plan that's as foolproof as possible. Also, we get to catch up on farm maintenance, and do projects. Dad's biggest project this Winter is finishing the house! We also are putting up another 20x60 greenhouse, clearing some property, and tearing down the century old farm house we've replaced. Although it's hard to believe, we're already starting seeds in the greenhouse!

Carhart

Yes--this is an advertisement for Carhart! Great tough clothes--make sure you get one with the "Made in America" tag!

Antlers

This time of year deer are starting to shed their antlers, if you have a sharp eye you can find them while out hiking. These two are the biggest we've found (Caleb found both of them).

Antler 2

The only one I ever found, was from a four-pointer. I used a piece of it as the latch to the bag I made out of my first successfully tanned buckskin.



Homeschooling--right now Mom is teaching through world geography. She likes the "hands-on" approach. Here the kids are painting a mural she drew out on kraft paper.

Mural

Dad hanging up the "tropical rainforest mural."

To wrap up this newsletter, I'll say we're staying warm, eating well (although with some of Momma's "hands-on" approach, we're eating "weird" as we "travel through the world while we eat)." And for the most part we're staying healthy!
Thank you to the early birds that have already joined up for 2011! You all are financing our farm's operations for the 2011 season, and we appreciate it!

You all try to stay warm, and keep safe!

Colvin Family Farm
 
 

Colvin Family Farm--Fall Update

With the temperature hovering in the mid teens over the past week, the 2010 growing season is officially over! Offseasons are great for regrouping, making new plans/goals, and catching up on farm maintenance (or in this specific case catching up on correspondence)! I'm hoping to rebuild our website soon making it more "usable"--a better recipe page, automatic backup of all our newsletters, weekly picture slideshows, adding customer feedback, as well as adding cool new software that will help us keep in touch with our shareholders--each shareholder will have their own "user account" that would enable them to login to "their" account and view all of their past, present and future--payments, share box contents, as well as a history of their emails & responses. You'll also be able to let our computer know when you aren't going to pickup, and it'll tell our packing list (the biggest bonus for us, [someday you should try to pack shares--remember who said they aren't going to be able to come/figure out which market/which truck/ahhhhh!!!!!]).

And since we start planting again in 50 days, we need to get seed orders made, greenhouses ready, (another one built), see about building a packing shed, walk-in freezer, cooler room, (yes I'm dreaming [don't poke me]), workout next years marketing and transportation plan, etc...etc...etc...

We have several new crops planned for this year: Strawberries, Celery, Radicchio, Fennel, Tomatillos, and more! Check out our all new 2011 crop harvest projection to see where these fit in the season!
Also, we'll have four new varieties of Dry Beans: Pinto Beans, October Beans, Lima Beans and Cannelini Beans! We are planning on renting a combine, that will harvest (yay) and thresh (WHOOPEE) our beans, oats and wheat in quantities that we've been unable to yet!

I'm going to add pictures to try and bring you up to date on what's been happening on the farm--Keep an eye on our website, as I hope to upload a 2010 season slideshow on soon!

We'll see you all next May! Have a great Winter!

Merry CHRISTmas,

Adam Colvin
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com



Fall Pictures from the Farm

Winter Morning Sunrise

A Winter morning sunrise--I wish the camera could catch the full spectrum of color!

A Business Meeting

Right now we're running through figures--equipment, seeds, ideas--Spreadsheets, charts, calendars--even farmers have their Mondays! Please note the items on the table: three (3) coffee cups, one (1) coffee thermos (it holds four cups full of coffee), four Johnny's Selected Seed Catalogs, a laptop computer, and 4,763 other seed/equipment catalogs.



I love the cloud formations we have during the Wintertime! Look at this one!

Later on...

The same clouds later on--again, I can't seem to catch all of the color--but it was gorgeous!

Snowing!

We've had a little snow, they're calling for 2 inches over the weekend!

Pond Cleanin'

Now, back to Fall--we had a friend come in with his bulldozer and backhoe, and clean out the pond. According to Dad's estimates, it now holds ten times more water!



We've all had our fun as kids playing in leaf piles--Right now it's Levi and Charity's turn.

bushog

We bought a "brand new" (to us) fifty year old bushog this fall--we've been needing one ever since the last tooth stripped (yes, last tooth) off of the gearbox on the other bushog (it was only 35 years old)--they just don't make them like they used to! It does a great job for $100!



I love how this picture turned out! The bright green chard contrasting with all of the fall colors, and it's set off well by the collards in the back! (incidentally, I didn't take this one)



Now for strawberry planting--we spread compost, bloodmeal, and corn gluten meal in beds, then tilled it in lightly.

closeup

The compost is in the background, the bloodmeal is in the upper, left corner, and the pellets are the corn gluten meal.



Then we laid black plastic mulch over the beds.

strawberry plugs

We bought strawberry plugs from a nursery,



Several of them,



Charity helped by watering the holes before we planted them!



You can see the whole operation here! In the far left, Dad and Noah are popping holes in a neat grid pattern over the plastic, In the far background Isaac is pouring worm casting tea down each hole, and then there's Caleb and myself planting them!

asters

one of the most prolific Fall wildflowers are the common Aster--I like em'!



I also like the "blanket flowers" in Mom's flower garden--when they're done flowering they make neat shaped seed pods (back right).
 
 

Colvin Family Farm--Week 18

We've had a delicious taste of Fall over the past week--definitely my favorite season, Fall is refreshingly crisp, cool, sweet smelling--I look forward to it coming in full strength later this month (I can't believe that it's already September)!
When writing this newsletter each week I use words and pictures to send out a "slice" of the farm out to you all keeping you up to date with weekly activities, challenges, surprises and joys, but it is often frustrating that I can't capture the feel, sounds and smells of the farm--walking outside in the morning, dew still covering everything--feeling the crisp refreshing chill of another new day, complemented by the warm touch of fresh sunshine--hearing the early morning sounds--thousands of insects chirping, screeching and buzzing, dozens of birds singing, and smelling the fresh (it's what air fresheners try [and miserably fail] to copy) morning air, smelling of fresh earth here, a tomato patch, and just recently we've started to smell Fall leaves--I love the thousands (or even millions) of smells around the farm--way too many, and way too subtle to list--I've created a veritable monster of a run-on sentence here--better end it.
I like to think that all of these smells, sounds and sensations are packed into each vegetable--maybe we express ourselves best through our vegetables!

I hope you enjoy this late catchup of last weeks activities!

Adam Colvin
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com




Colvin Family Farm Update: Week 18
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Watering

We've been battling a really dry season--we started this season not very well equipped for the challenge, but over the season we've gradually enlarged our "arsenal" and are able to do some serious combat now. This picture shows Noah watering a kale bed from a tank in the back of our truck.

The Small Pump

This little pump will run good pressure through more than 300 feet of 5/8 inch hose.

The Water Truck

This is the watering rig. We use a 5 horsepower pump to fill the tank from a lake, then haul it to the field. We then hitch the small pump to the hose on this blue reel, and run it down the path of a bed and water going up and down. One tank per 3 foot wide bed is the equivalent of 1/2 inch of rain.

Lay-flat to Drip-tape

We did break down and do some drip irrigation on our crops like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and snap peas--this will definitely be the way we work next year as it is super simple and super easy! The little pump hitches up to the blue hose (known as lay-flat), we poke holes in the lay-flat and push a piece of "spaghetti" pipe through it that by aid of the little orange and black fitting hitches up to the drip tape.

Closeup of Drip Tape

This is a close-up of drip tape. It has two blue strips on the side with holes--if you look close in between my fingers you can see the minuscule slit that will emit a drop every couple of seconds (which is why they name it drip-tape). These slits are spaced every 12 inches, and will emit a gallon every hour--the beauty of drip tape is that the minuscule drips work their way down to where the roots of a plant are--we're watering deep with it, not just making the top couple of inches wet.

The Result

The drip tape is then placed next to the row of plants (in this case cucumbers).

Starting Lettuce

Another new method we've started using is lettuce starting. We've always longed for flats of beautiful lettuce plants all the same size all ready to go out at the same time (when you sow lettuce in containers as we have previously done you get all kinds of different sizes, and an unknown amount of plants, wimpy seedlings etc...). With this method we've finally achieved it!

 Letttuce Flats

As you could see in the first photo we use 288 cell flats--these are filled with high-quality Johnny's 512 Organic seed starting media. Then we push down on each cell so it is about 2/3 of the way full and sow 2-4 lettuce seed in each cell. we then cover them with a medium coarse grind of vermiculite, put them under a shade tree and water them daily.

Lettuce Plugs

This is the result (after spending time with tweezers thinning of course)--full flats of beautiful lettuce starts ready to go out!

Morning Glory

Even if it is a pestiferous weed, this morning glory is pretty!

Tomato Flowers

These tomato flowers are a whole lot prettier to me though!

Cucumbers

I love how we have so many bumblebees and honey bees pollinating our cucumbers for us--we've never had to pay for pollination services yet!

Cucumbers Comin' On!

The cucumbers are really about to start crankin' them out! They are covered with flowers and have cucumbers in various stages all over!

Oriental Cucumbers

These are the oriental, burpless cucumbers--a little slower but they're still coming on!

Cucumber Patch

The rows of cucumbers.

Tomato Patch

The late tomato patch

Peppers w/Caleb

Caleb poses in the pepper patch with the first real yellow pepper of the year.

Tomatoes

We've had some questions about how we stake our tomato patch, so I thought this newsletter I'd show you folks how it's done! We drive 5 foot tomato stakes every 2-3 plants.

Stringin' Tomatoes

We take a spool of "tomato twine" (in the box on Isaac's belt) and run it through some holes on the top and bottom of a specially "modified" tomato stake.

Stringin' 3

This is the close-up of the bottom hole--this handy "stringin' stick" makes it possible to wrap strings around the tomato stakes without having to bend over!

Stringin' #2

A shot showing Isaac stringing--you can pretty much walk right through the patch once you get the hang of it.

Stringin' 4

This closeup shows how you wrap the string around each stake. You keep tension on the twine as it runs down your stringin' stick and pull it tight wrapping it once or twice around the stake. Once you get to the end of the row, you walk back down doing it on the other side.

Stringin' 5

This creates a double sided restraint that holds tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers...

Snap Peas

...and snap peas up off of the ground, increasing marketable yield dramatically!

Okra Flowers

Okra blossom--thought I'd add this as they are so pretty! Okra is actually placed in the Hibiscus family!

Fall's Comin'!

Coming back to the beginning of the newsletter--Fall colors are already showing--it will be an early, short Fall because of the dry Summer, Tulip Poplars and Walnuts have already lost most of their leaves!
 
 

Colvin Family Farm--Week 16

Hello everybody!

It has been a great week! We thoroughly enjoyed seeing my brother Matt as he was in on leave prepatory to being deployed for three years, and the 26 year old "bach" brought a quite charming girlfriend to meet the family as well! I like her--she does dishes and, doesn't mind blond jokes (much).

We have certainly done a lot with the week "off," we missed seeing you all at the markets, but we got most all of the fall crops planted, and we also did a bunch of maintenance around the farm--it's pretty easy to fall behind when you are spending all available time doing......something other than maintenance!

We have a bunch of Spinach coming up--the dry spell through this Summer dowsed our hopes of having Spinach clear through the season, but we are doing our best to get it back in as soon as possible! We also have planted, Cauliflower, Carrots, Beets, Turnips, Radishes, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Kale, and many other Fall crops. I'm sure that Mom has included a great catch up with what we've been doing in her letter, so I'm going to wrap this up with the pictures for the week.

Thanks for supporting us! We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Adam Colvin
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com

 



Colvin Family Farm Week 16

Noah & the Herons

Noah caught these baby Green Herons in our greenhouse last week! We've seen them flopping around (they're still learning to fly) with their momma over the past few weeks, but it was neat to see them so close up!

 

Field Shot

A shot of the field a week ago--two beds of sweet corn on the left, a bed of Daikon radishes in the center, and to the right are beds of green onions and bell peppers.

 


Lettuce #1

 


Things have been growing well! Take a look at these two shots of the same lettuce bed six days apart from each other!

 


Lettuce #2

 

And here--with enough water crops do just about like we want them to!

 


Speaking of Birds...

 


Mom snapped this photo of the baby swallows that are being raised on our porch--we usually raise eight or ten batches of baby swallows on the farm each year, and we are thankful for the  bug eaters!

 


Field Shot #2

 


This is another field shot showing the 20 different Fall crops out--the light green bed is the Lettuce again.

 


 Late Fall planting of Tomatoes

 


The same tomato transplants we showed pictures of a couple weeks ago are now knee high, and hopefully on schedule for late fall production!

 


Bell Peppers are just now starting!

 


Our bed of bell peppers are finally in production! we were tickled to pick enough for our shares today, and anticipate the time when we'll have eight or ten bushels per picking!

 


Boxes & Boys

 


Luke (in front) and Noah (in back) put together the share boxes for us last week--they were proud to be able to stay up and help us out during a busy week!

 


Hog Haulin' In Style!

 


This shows our fancy "Hog Haulin' Crate." Last week we purchased six, five month old Hampshire/Chester White crosses (pictures next week sorry) and hauled them 30 miles home in this adapted used water crate shrouding. We are tickled to have hogs again, and look forward to bacon and chops (yes we've named the hogs: Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Pork, Chop, and Anastasia).

 


 

Matt & the aforementioned "quite charming" girlfriend

 

This is Matt (on the left) with his girlfriend "Brittany"
(on the right), still....

But Momma is still his girl!

 

...Momma will always be Matt's girl.

 
 

Colvin Family Farm--Week 14

Sorry to all you blog readers that I didn't get this up last week!

 

It's been another long, hot, dry week on the mountain--we've been busy getting all of the Fall crops in, and we're trying to hold down the fort watering! I hope you all enjoy this week's newsletter--have a great weekend!

Adam Colvin
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com



Colvin Family Farm Week 14

Success!

We've finally succeeded in getting great looking vegetable plants started in plug flats--something we've yet to do correctly with strict Organic methods, and which has slowed production on many crops this season. How? We used Johnny's Selected Seeds "512 compost based media."
This picture shows green leaf lettuce in the foreground with a grape tomato in the background.

7 days old

This is a picture of the same lettuce plants at 7 days from seed.

12 days old

This is a picture of them at 12 days old! They have just shot up! We are tickled to death with this media, and look forward to using it exclusively next year so that we can have tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons etc...early on in the season!

Sick 8 week old Tomato

This is a shot of one of our tomato plugs started back 8 weeks ago. It shows a pretty good sample of what we have been getting with other Organic potting medias--it hasn't even grown past the first two "true" leaves...

Nice 12 day old Tomato

...compare that with this 12 day old "Beefy Boy" tomato! (notice the Fender 351 Heavy pick for sizing reference).

Solid flats of good lookin' plugs!

The flats of tomato plugs just look awesome!

Apple Pickin'

We were surprised and pleased to find one of the old apple trees actually had edible fruit on it this year (they're normally extremely wormy)!

Bag of Apples

They might not be the prettiest, but they sure taste great!

Morning Rainbow

We had a morning rainbow on the West side of our farm this week! We very seldom have rainbows in the morning, I can only remember two others over the past 10 years!

It was a double rainbow!

It was a full arch, and a double rainbow--look real close in the top left hand corner and you'll be able to see the second arch.

Chickens

Mom snapped this picture of the chickens lined up and looking at her this week--I've tried to get a good picture of the chickens similar to this dozens of times with no luck--Mom was just in the right place at the right time.

Packing Carrots

Little Luke packing Carrots for your share this week--he does come in handy every now and again!

One last shot!

I couldn't help slipping in one last picture of the plants in the greenhouse--we are so tickled to have overcome one of the toughest problems we've run into raising organic produce--thanks go to Adrian from Place of the Heart Farm, and Bob Due of Terraced Garden Farm for bringing this mix to our attention!
 

 
 

Colvin Family Farm--Week 13

We've had a great week!

Our main objective was to get our Fall crops planted--which we've succeeded in doing most of them! Sweet Corn, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Carrots, on and on and on....we look forward to the Fall as that is most always the best part of our season!
Another goal was to get our grains in, however rains have delayed that until it dries enough for us to bring it in without having to worry about mildew!
We did come up with a better grain cleaning system however! Scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter to see pictures!

Hope to see you at market--have a great weekend!

Adam Colvin
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com

CSA members: Final payment is due this week--please contact me with any questions!



Week 13 at Colvin Family Farm!


Lil' Brother & Lil' Sister

They've got it made! I remember when I was just a kid (now I'm the ripe old age of 19) that I wanted to hurry to grow up--but those were the days! Barefoot running around in the front yard, wading around making a dam in the creek, climbing trees, exploring our property, picking berries--nothing to worry about!

Out Here

But I'm blessed to have many memories from being raised on a farm, and I've learned to enjoy today, learn from yesterday, and do the same thing tomorrow!

Newly Started Flats

We've had a lot of trouble this year with getting healthy good-sized transplants--Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers etc... The problem? Our seed starting formula--it's what we've had the most trouble doing by organic standards. Our first attempt was to make our own media, compost, topsoil etc... but we ended up spending way to much time weeding our weakly looking starts. So we tried several different medias Fafard, Sungro etc... and each time we couldn't raise a good looking plant! So we finally broke down and purchased...

New Seed Starting Media!

...Johnny's Selected Seed 512 Mix--a compost based growing medium that works! Success after 6 years of trial and error!

Late Fall Tomatoes

These tomato plants are only 8 days old from seed! they're already showing their second set of leaves and they all have healthy purple stems and healthy sets of baby leaves!

Kale Coming Up

We've been busy this week planting more than 20,000 plugs of fall crops--late season tomatoes, fall broccoli, collards, cabbage, cauliflower etc... We're looking forward to having our full variety of crops this Fall!

Cabbage

A head of Cabbage in the field

Tomatoes

Our tomatoes are starting to slowly eek their way into production (5 weeks late).

Coreopsis

This is one of my favorite wildflowers--"Garden Coreopsis" (Coreopsis tinctoria) is a beautiful yellow flower with maroon blotches right next to the center of the flower.

Cosmos

Cosmos are one of Mom's favorite garden flowers...

Bees Like Them Too!

...Bees like them too!

A Double Lily!

Another of Mom's favorite flowers are day lilys. This is a picture of a double day lily--two buds opened on one flowering stalk!

Cleaning Oats

The thresher that we purchased did an acceptable job with knocking the grain out of the heads, but we still had lots of hulls and chaff--so Dad came up with a simple cleaner--it has 1/16" mesh on the bottom of the larger box, and the "smoosher/slider" is made up of 1/4 inch hardware wire. You load the large box with a layer of uncleaned grain and slide the "smoosher" back and forth working the grain over the small mesh. The cleaned grain works it's way through the small mesh into a tray or tub underneath.

It Does a Pretty Good Job!

As you can see, it doesn't do a perfect job, but mostly what is left can be cleaned by sifting it in front of a fan.

Rolled Oats

And this is the final product--rolled oats!

 
 

Week 11

Well, flitter---the power just flickered and I lost everything, but just the same I'm as tickled as can be! We are in the middle of a rain storm that's already dumped more than an inch on our farm! That is a huge load off of my mind as we've been combatting serious drought conditions on the mountain here! Almost all of our time has been spent hauling water around and watering everything! However we have sustained some damage--coincidentally we've had to (for the time being) drop our Wednesday market at Market Square Farmers' Market--I do apologize, but we are presently having to "hit it hard" to keep ahead of the Weeding, Watering, and Wvegetable Wplanting.

We hope that you all have a good weekend!

Adam Colvin
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com



Week #11 At Colvin Family Farm
Cl
Haulin' Water!

As previously mentioned, we've been hauling water this week--we can currently handle from 4-5 hundred gallons of water in one load with our motley assortment of containers--one 275 gallon water tank that we've owned for 8-10 years, 4 fifty-five gallon barrels, and other assorted "containers."

Waterin' 1

And yes, we do hand water at present--it is a lot of work (trust me), and it isn't as effective as "modern" methods, but we've been able to keep far enough ahead that things were alive when it started raining half an hour ago!

Waterin 2

This is one of my ugliest brothers yet (mean too!) watering the red cabbage patch.

God Waterin' 1

It is a large load off of my mind to have gotten this rain--there is more forecast throughout next week, so we need to get planting (yay we finally can get back to that)!!!!!!

God Waterin' 2

Forgive me for all of the pictures, but I'm excited about it raining---notice the dead patches of grass where the rock is shallow in our front yard.

Onions & Garlic Curing

This is a picture showing our onion and garlic curing racks--they are in our little greenhouse. The top rack has shade cloth over them so that they won't get "sunburnt."

Mom's Hollyhocks

This is the first time that Mom has grown Hollyhocks--I've always looked at them in seed catalogs and wanted to grow them, and this is why! They are gorgeous! (and gorgeous is a #10 on my scale from 1-10 of "describing words"):

#1: Little Brother
#2: Horrifying
#3: Awful Looking
#4: Plain Ugly
#5: Not Good Lookin'
#6: Not Bad Lookin'
#7: Pretty
#8: Lovely
#9: Beautiful
#10 Gorgeous!

Sunflowers in the Oat Field

We planted a 5 foot belt of sunflowers around the edge of the fields that we planted with oats & wheat.

Our Oats Ready To Harvest

And the Oats and Wheat are ready for harvest. We did find time Thursday to get some of the Oats (oat field pictured) harvested.

Step One--Harvesting

We take a "corn knife" and grab a handful of grain, slice it and drop it in sheaves.

Step Two--Hauled to the Truck

It is then hauled to the "mobile threshing unit" (also known as our truck) and...

Step Three--Running It Through The Thresher

...run through our foot powered thresher--it will still need cleaned, but this machine saves us a lot of time (approx. 6 light years a day), and is a big improvement over what we did last year (a stick, a feed sack, and lots and lots and lots of impatience). We are getting a Oat Roller and will soon have rolled oats so you can have a bowl full of local oatmeal for breakfast!
 
 

Colvin Family Farm May 13th-19th--Ninth Week

We had 40 folks out to the farm yesterday for our first CSA shareholder day ever--we did have a list of activities planned, but we spent so much time touring the main field that we didn't have time for the games! Mom did teach interested folks how to do their own sprouts, do a simple stir fry, and how to garden using the simple Square Foot Method that we've used for many years now.
Little kids pulled/ate baby carrots, "picked" (normally known as "gathered") fresh eggs, petted chickens, and just ran around the farm enjoying themselves--adults walked around the farm tasting Kohlrabi, fresh Carrots, Fennel and Dill while picking or packing produce into bags, baskets, buckets, pockets and even hats!
We did try to spend one on one time with everybody answering questions, and just in general showing everybody what our farm is, how it works, and why!
Feedback would be appreciated as we would like to hear what you really liked/might not have liked about the day--what do you think would have made it better etc...anything we hear from you will make next day better for you and any others that come!

I really appreciate everybody coming out, and hope that you had as much fun as I did!

Looking forward to the September Field Day!

Adam Colvin
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com




Week #9 At Colvin Family Farm

Weeding

We had a lot of work to try and catch up from last week (the family was gone on vacation) and also to get ready for the Shareholder day! In this picture Dad is using the wheel hoe to clean out a path while little Levi is "helping" with his little hoe.

Rainbow

It's rained off and on pretty much every day over the past week--making for another interesting challenge for catching up with the farm work!

Field View

This is a shot of the "current" section of field that is coming on--from the far right you can see several beds of Broccoli/Cabbage, there is also Arugula, Green Onions, Red Mustard, Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots and Radishes visible.

Onion Patch

This is a view of the onion patch--it is almost time to harvest the crop--the tops are dieing back, and the bulbs have pretty much reached the size they will stay at.

Green Onions on Paper Mulch

This is a closeup of how the paper mulch that we used this year has decomposed--we actually had to run through them twice to clean weeds out of them. Next year we think we will try some white plastic to see if that will do a better job of weed control for us.

Red Onions

We also grew Red Onions on paper!

Leek Bed

And our leeks are coming right along! We look forward to these coming in--Potato Leek soup!

Garlic

This is a picture of one of our garlic beds...

Pulling Garlic

...This is a freshly pulled Garlic bulb...
Cleaned Garlic in Bed of Garlic

...and here it is laying cleaned on the straw mulch, and in the bed it was harvested from (forgive me for all of the garlic pictures, but it is a new crop for us, and we really have had fun growing it!)

Cleaned Garlic

Just one last picture of garlic--this picture was taken when a bunch of it had been cleaned and dumped into a tub--look for fresh garlic in your share tomorrow!

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage--Large shares will have this chinese cabbage this week--it is great sauteed, in stir fries, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, steamed, or in Broccoliws!

Broccoli

We also have broccoli! We are a little disappointed in the variety that we grew this year--it is a fast grower as advertised, but it's heads dispersed pretty quickly in the heat instead of being nice pretty little tight balls of buds.

Butterfly Weed

This flower isn't called "Buterfly Weed" for nothing! this is one of my favorite wildflowers, and I don't even like orange! There's just something about the way that the deep green leaves go with the rich orange--it's pretty!

Butterflies & Wildflowers

Another butterfly on some more butterfly weed--but this picture also shows white Yarrow (up front) and wild daisies (in the background)--it is really amazing how many different wildflowers bloom around here!

Does This Make it Bee Weed?

Like I said--they don't call it Butterflyweed for nothing!

Brussels Sprouts

This shot shows some of our new Brussels Sprouts seedlings--we have always had our Brussels Sprouts come in late, so we thought that we'd start them earlier just for an experiment!

 

CSA Farm Knoxville, CSA Share Knoxville,

 
 

Colvin Family Farm May 30th-June 5th--fifth week

As I type this, I've been run indoors by the rain--it's a nice gentle rain, but there's certainly enough that we had to get in out of it. I'm going to put together the newsletter, while Caleb and Isaac work on washing and drying the Spinach that we were harvesting.
While it is important to get one or two inches of rain each week to maintain our crops, it is often bothersome when it comes--right when we are trying to get something important done! But, we don't have to worry about not having something to do! Right now we are trying to wrap up one of the busiest seasons on the farm--getting all of the main crops in, while maintaining all of what we have already (namely keeping ahead of the weeds and harvesting)!

We are getting ready to have an interesting next week--the whole family (excepting Caleb and I) will be taking a vacation starting Monday. They will be headed to a camp down in Georgia for a week of fun & games with our church. Caleb and I are going to get a lot of things done while they are gone--hopefully we'll be able to catch up on a few things!

I hope that you all have a good week--enjoy your vegetables!

Adam Colvin
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com



Farm Update May 30th-June 5th Week #6

Raining

Because it is raining, I'm going to be using some of the pictures I've been collecting but haven't had room/time to use in previous newsletters.

Our Grain Thrasher

This is our grain thresher--We read about it in one of our favorite farm magazines Farm Show. The gentleman that was selling them claimed that the foot powered thresher modeled off of the centuries old Asian plan could thresh up to 80 lbs of wheat an hour! After having spent many hours last year trying to knock the grain out of the heads of the wheat with sticks (like we've always read about) we were game to give it a try!

Thresher Drive

This is a close-up of the foot pedaled drive system.

The Head of the Thresher

And a closeup of the head--when you step on the pedal, the head will turn quickly, you are supposed to feed the heads of wheat, oats of other small grains into it, and it knocks the grain out of the heads and sifts it into a bucket--we hope it works! If it does, you all should get some wheat berries (or flour or cracked cereal for those of you who don't have a wheat grinder) in your share within the next couple of months!

Mom Working Radishes

We had mom help us with the radishes last week! She is a big help...

Semtimental Radishes?

...except for when she slows us down with "sentimental goop"--who needs a picture of a heart made out of radishes?


Bat?

Speaking of mom--three weeks ago, mom and I were finishing some packing down in the house, while Caleb and dad were working on it up at the packing shed--it was 12:30 in the morning, and Mom accidentally let a huge moth into the kitchen (not this specific one)--it not only was huge, but it was flying all over the place and was just a blur. Well it kept bumping into Mom, and so she decided to "euthanize" it (which means she was trying to stomp it)--as she was doing that she said--"Adam this is a huge moth", to which I replied (jokingly now) "Oh, it's a bat!".....Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad idea at 12:30 in the morning--I don't know if any of us at the house have recovered from the blood curdling screaming that went on--and Dad ran full tilt down to the kitchen to find out who had died etc...etc... It was horrible (but hilarious!) It is at times like this that we like to quote from the FFA (Future Farmers of America) creed: "For I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny....."


 



Market Update:

Again we will be at:

Market Square Farmers' Market (Knoxville, TN)
from 9:00AM-2:00PM

Dixie Lee Farmers' Market (Farragut, TN)
from 9:00AM-12:00PM

Maryville Farmers' Market (Maryville, TN)
from 9:00AM-2:00PM

And we should have:

Spinach
Butterhead Lettuce
Mustard Greens
Turnip Greens
Kale
Lettuce Mix
Red Leaf Lettuce
Boc Choi,
Radishes
Green Onions
Collard Greens
Mixed Cooking Greens
Chard
Beet Greens
Napa Cabbage

Some items will sell out quickly so come early for the best spread! We appreciate you all supporting us, and look forward to seeing you at one of the markets!

 
 

Colvin Family Farm May 23rd-29th--fifth week

Hello everybody!

As usual on our farm we've had a busy week full of mundane things that we do every day of the week--along with a double handful of things that have never happened before (just enough to keep us hooked on farming)--It is fun to watch the different vegetables come in and replace the ones that are winding down--like mini-seasons, we get to watch the seasons change up close. So close that we often don't even realize that they've changed! It will suddenly dawn on somebody that--ahhh!!! look at all of the green leaves that have popped out all over the place (or something similarly silly). It is just funny that we don't always catch the obvious because we're so busy noticing the minute details of things!
New for this newsletter, I've posted all of the pictures as 640x480 pixels instead of 320x240 pixels (sorry to all of you dial-up folks). What is the difference? Well, now you will be able to right click on the picture and choose to "view image" and you'll see a larger version of it--with the smaller photos that we've always sent, you couldn't see the small things in a detailed photo--that always has bothered me, and now I've fixed it--please let me know if you all like it this way better or would prefer to see it the way I've always done it!

I hope that you've had a great week--and enjoyed your vegetables. I have the recipe/letter that Mom wrote last week posted on our website, so click on the picture below if you want my Great Aunts' (pronounced "ant" down here in Tennessee) wonderful Spinach Salad!

See you all!

Adam Colvin
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com



Farm Update

Foxgloves

We have three new flowers blooming on the farm--Foxgloves are blooming in one of Mom's beds--I think they're one of the prettier flowers she's planted!

Daisies

The daisies are one of Mom's favorites--it blooms all over the fields and on the sides of the roads up here on the mountain.

Lily

A lily somebody gave momma--she planted a semi-circle of them in the edge of the vegetable garden (yes--flowers in "my" vegetable garden).

Dad doing a "real" hoe down

Mom snapped this picture of Dad cleaning out some cabbages early on this week--patience and persistence (two different qualities) are necessary to do a good job on weeding.

Field Shot #1

I took this picture today--it has several of us working on harvesting different vegetables--green onions, spinach & kale.

Cabbage & Broccoli

These cabbages & broccoli were planted from plugs (little bitty baby plants) just last week and have taken off! They've probably tripled or quadrupled in size!

Pea Beds

Several small raised beds full of Snap Peas--we'll be having Snap Peas in our CSA shares next week! They are one of the #1 favorite Spring vegetables--I like mine simple--steamed and buttered with salt to taste!

Kale Bed

This bed of kale is looking good! It is one of the more familiar varieties of kale (green frilly leaves) and will last throughout the Summer and into the fall.

Field Shot #3

A view of some of our beds. In the foreground is Arugula (bolted Arugula), than Kale, Mustard, Turnips....etc...

Onion Patch

Our onion patch seems to be doing well--the tops are bigger than we normally raise them already, and several of the bottoms are starting to bulge!
We've decided that we probably needed heavier paper as we've lost several sections due to wind, wet, and other weather. However it has done a fine job of keeping the weeds in check--the principle is right, we just need to continue perfecting it--maybe a different method of laying it would fix it--maybe some other kind of mulch would work best--I don't know but it is something we are looking into and discussing quite often.

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes--Garlic Curls--whichever name you use for these garlic flower buds, they are awesome for flavoring stir fries, soups, casseroles etc... and will be accompanying our CSA shares in the near future.

Beets

We harvested our first batch of beets for the Spring--they are beautiful, from the size of a large shooter marble to the size of a softball, they are all sweet, tender, juicy...delicious!

Baby Sister

Charity posed for this picture in a feed sack--she's worth more than a sack of chicken feed!

Mowing

Mowing--finding time to do the "normal" chores around the house can be an interesting thing! Several chores (including mowing) have been passed on to younger brothers as they start to take over more responsibilities on the farm.

Coon Den

While we were working over in the peas or potatoes (sorry I can't remember which), Titus heard some growling in the top of a tree--ends up it was a coon--no six or seven coons (properly known as racoon) in their den! I've wanted to see a den tree of coons as long as I can remember, and to think when we finally find one it was within 100 yards of the house!

Baby Coon

Up in the top of the tree, one of the boys snapped this picture down the hollow--it has one of the coons showing up (look closely in the middle for the masked face).

 
 

Colvin Family Farm--May 16-22

Again, I'm late getting this out--by the time you all read this you have probably already seen us at market. Because it is so late, this will probably be one of the most "thrown together" newsletters yet as there are hundreds of little things that need done before we wrap up the day, with another early day coming up!

I hope that you all have had a great week--we look forward to seeing you again,

Adam Colvin
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com



Farm Update Week of May 16th-22nd, 2010

Ladybug

This has got to be one of the coolest pictures that I've got recently! It is a closeup of a ladybug eating an aphid! Ladybugs are one of the best bugs to have on your farm as they effectively control aphids, scales, and other detrimental insects on vegetable crops! This one happened to be noticed in a pile of harvested lettuce--it's funny how many farmers' buy these little insects, and we have to sort them out of our produce!

Greens Harvester

This week I've included several pictures of us harvesting your vegetables as I thought you might like to see a little bit on that end! This picture is me harvesting a bed of lettuce with our greens harvester. This machine is amazing as it will cut and hold six pounds of baby lettuce in thirty seconds!

Dad and the boys

This picture shows Dad and the little boys Luke (far right) and Levi (middle) as they clean your green onions together--real family farming in action!

Spinach Harvest

This is Isaac harvesting Spinach (he's in the back top left corner). We have over 600 feet of 3 foot wide beds filled with Spinach right now! Full of the best crop of Spinach we've ever had!

Spinach Washing

Here Caleb (left) is rinsing the Spinach--they will still need washed at your house, but this takes off most all of the mud and gives us some time to grade out any culls that we might find.

Spinach in cooler

Next it is brought into our walk-in cooler to be packaged into bags which are packed into cases which are packed into the van and brought to you at the market!

Flat Tire

This past week we hauled our tractor over to our leased acreage so that we could put in our warm weather crops (melons, sweet potatoes etc...). On our way over there we had a tire flat on our 16 foot flatbed trailer--This is a picture of Dad changing the tire on it with the rock that flatted the tire!

Flat Tire/Rock

No wonder it went flat! This rock was wedged all of the way through the tire!

Potato Patch

Again, this is a picture of our potato patch--I hope that  you aren't getting tired of seeing this patch over and over again, but it has amazed me each week how much that they've grown!

bouquetsead Lettuce

Butterhead lettuce was brought to market last Wednesday, and will be available tomorrow (if you're early).

Bee in Flower

In this picture I caught a bumblebee sipping nectar out of a wildflower next to our property line fence.

Boys and Dad with firewood

Dad and the little boys went out and cut firewood this past week in the "old brown truck." They came home with boquets of wildflowers for "momma."
 
 

Colvin Family Farm--May 9th-15th

Hello Everybody!

I tried to get this out yesterday, but our trusty "old faithful" laptop up and died on us in the middle of creating it. So, I am now creating this on our new Dell Inspiron Desktop computer. It is about as much better than our old computer as the DSL connection is over our old dial-up!
Please let me know if I'm boring you with all of these pictures--I can't believe how easy it is to load this thing down with 30-40 pictures, and I will try to restrain myself if you all aren't able to make yourself read all of the way through it!
We've had an extremely busy week--this time in May would probably rank #1 as the busiest time for a diversified vegetable producer as so many vegetables "suddenly" can go out at the same time! Yesterday we put in Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Watermelons, Cantaloupes, Popcorn, and others (pictures will be up next week). This week we also got out all of our Summer Squash, Sweet Corn and Cucumbers!
I hope that you enjoy the newsletter--hope to see you all at one of the markets tomorrow!

Adam Colvin
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)
www.ColvinFamilyFarm.com




 Farm Update--May 9th-15th


Potato Patch

Our potatoes are starting to pop up! This 3/4 acre patch right here should yield several tons of potatoes this season!

Russet Burbanks

We planted three varieties--Russet Burbanks (a regular white potato),

Chieftain Red Potato

Chieftain (a red skinned potato),

Adirondack Red

and Adirondack Reds (not only is this potato red skinned--it is red clear through the center!).

Pea Patch

Our early patch of Summer Squash and Snap Beans.

Green Beans Comin' On

Caleb told me that he was going to plant some beans and squash back in the third week of April (way way early for up on the mountain). I told him that he could waste the seed if he wanted to etc... but he has had the last laugh as those beans and squash that he planted could be 3-4 weeks earlier than our "early" batch of beans and squash! (this picture by the way is of a row of beans).

Summer Squash

A row of Yellow Straigtneck Squash.

Onion Patch

A new picture of our Onion patch--the paper mulch is working pretty well on the onion patch--on other vegetables we've had trouble with the wind ripping it when it is wet--still experimenting though!

Spinach Closeup

I hope you all like Spinach! Because next week...

Spinach Bed #1

...we will have a lot of it! This is a picture of one of our two 150 foot long 3 foot wide beds of spinach. Right now they are just shy of big enough to pick, so they will be brought to market for the first time next week!

Greens Beds

Another angle on the greens beds.

Radishes in a Bed

Radishes--a bunch of them! You will be seeing radishes out of this bed within a week or two--mild, but zesty!

Head Lettuce Coming Along

Head lettuce is coming along in several different beds--Red and Butterhead, Romaine, and Looseleaf.

Collard Bed

These collards were planted to raise full-size. hopefully we will have them large enough to harvest within another week or two.

Kale Bed

Winterbor Kale--spaced to raise to full-size. A lot of this will be sold through the "Three Rivers Market" in Knoxville.

Baby Napa Cabbages

Napa Cabbages,

Boc Choi Bed

Boc Choi,

Turnip Bed

Turnips,

Mustard Bed

and Mustard are looking great!

New Bed of Carrots

We just planted another 200 foot bed of Carrots.

Chard Bed

Our early chard bed that came in didn't come up very well--due mainly to the operator of the seeder (yes myself) who just didn't know what he was doing.

Collards

The collards,

Beets

and beets however came up sort of spottily because of us not keeping the soil moist at all times--it's extremely important yet extremely hard to keep the soil moist so that no hard crust will form over the seeds, and they have a soft moist layer of soil to push through.

Worm Bins

Our worm bins--set up to harvest "wormcasting tea" that we use as a foliar fertilizer. Feeding leftover vegetables to the worms makes it so that we can use the nutrients in the vegetables to raise more! Sustainable farming practices in action!

Closeup of Worm Bin

A close-up of the inside of a worm bin.

Worms

And a closeup shot of the worms.

Newly Planted Green Onion Bed

This is a picture of a freshly planted bed of green onions.

Green Onions Starting To Sprout

Within a week they start to sprout.

Green Onion Bed Almost Fully Grown

And by five weeks you have a bed of green onions ready to harvest!

 
 
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