Colvin Family Farm

  (Pikeville (serving Knoxville, Chattanooga, Franklin, Maryville, Farragut, And Crossville), Tennessee)
A Community Supported Agriculture
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March at Colvin Family Farm

Howdy from Colvin Family Farm!

We're having an eventful month so far--exciting happenings and semi-disasters have kept us hopping as we try to fit our busy Spring schedule between the predictably unpredictable East, TN weather--snow and freezing temperatures, flooding rain, and sunny hot days...

We hope you're having a great Spring, we can't wait to see you all at the farmers' markets!

the Colvin Family
Colvin Family Farm 2013
CSA Share Program

Be a part of a 25 week seasonal cooking and eating adventure and change the way your family eats in 2013!
Keeping on schedule with our plantings in the greenhouse makes this one of the more important projects we've been up to this month--believe it or not we've already seeded the lettuce that we'll be harvesting in mid June! We've already seeded more than 300,000 transplants for the new season!
We had 3,000 crowns of asparagus delivered this week! Although we won't be able to harvest any off of this new patch until next Spring (at the earliest), it's exciting!
The supplies were delivered to the new farm for our packing shed this month...
We had to remove a few stumps that were in the way...
To grade out where we'll set the pad...right now we're waiting on it to dry out again so we can have fill dirt hauled out so we can shape the loading dock.
We've been able to find a few days dry enough to work on the hightunnel, we hope to have it finished up within the next couple of weeks so that...
...we can get our tomato transplants in the ground!
Over the past week we have finally been able to work ground for our Spring crops--I don't have pictures ready, but we've transplanted lots of onions, broccoli, kale, collards, lettuce, leeks, kohlrabi, spinach & more!
The biggest setback we have had this month would be when a terrible wind storm blew down one of our greenhouses, and damaged one of our others--we lost a couple thousand transplants, and had our work cut out for us saving what was left!
We had to dig flats of baby transplants out of the "rubble." We then stacked what flats weren't up in the back of one of the box trucks, and hauled everything else to the other greenhouses, and spread them under tables temporarily.
On to some exciting things--we now own a semi-commercially sized incubator that holds nearly 150 eggs! We are starting to expand our flock of Black Australorp chickens without having to ship in new stock from an out of state hatchery!
Hatched out on the first day of Spring, this was our first chick in the new incubator :)
We're always doing our best to learn from other folk--this past month a few of us Colvins were able to listen to Will Allen speak about his success with urban farming. While we're the exact opposite of urban farming, it was awesome to hear this amazing man present solid farming advice.
And one last exciting tidbit--we've got our globe artichokes planted--we are really babying these and with a seasons experience trying, we hope to have a successful harvest this year!

Announcing the 2013 Virtual Farmhands!

Announcing the 2013 Virtual Farmhands!

Eating our way through the 2013 seasons!

For the 2013 CSA season, our farm has hired three local bloggers (we're calling them "Virtual Farmhands") to share weekly recipes, pictures, storage tips, and other practical advice on their blogs,  and our CSA forum!

We hope this will help beginners, and even veteran CSA members get the most out of their share throughout the season, and provide a place to ask questions, or find/share answers on the forum.

Meet the farmhands here, or read the guest blogpost that Betsy wrote for our farm blog: "CSA Investment, Risks and Payoffs."

Lia Ballentine, will be entering her third season with our CSA program this year...
Meet Lia
Betsy Farquhar is a mother of three, follow her as she juggles CSA with her busy schedule...
Meet Betsy
Kristina McLean is a professional blogger, gardener, csa'er, cook'er and more...
Meet Kristina

February At Colvin Family Farm

February at Colvin Family Farm
In a nutshell: wet

With more than a foot of rain, we have had a wet, wet, wet month here on the farm. All through the month we kept thinking It couldn't get any wetter, but we kept being proven wrong! Despite the inclement weather your brave, sacrificial, hard working (let me pause this spiel a moment for you to go find a box of kleenex) sweet, nice, caring farmers (calm down I'm joking :) have kept ourselves busy slogging through the mud to do what can be done above water. It has been an exciting month watching things take shape for the new season!
One of our most memorable activities was when Isaac, Caleb and I spent five days in Little Rock, Arkansas prying information from experienced farmers at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's (SSAWG's) 2013 conference. We had a great time making sure our instructors were busy :) and networking with other natural farmers from the Southeast.
Since we are constructing them on worked ground (no sod) it was too wet to work on constructing our hightunnels. However we were able to finish up one of the greenhouses on the home farm, and frame in another to prepare for the Spring planting rush. It is amazing that we already have 130,000 plus transplants started for the new season!
Another very exciting (for me anyhow) project was drafting the plans for and purchasing the supplies for a brand new 2,000 square foot packaging facility for the new farm. 

Below we've got a bunch of pictures from the month, I hope you all enjoy!
I've recently swapped from small (320x240) pictures to larger (640x480) images in the newsletter/blog. Is this too big for you all? Is it slowing the emails down too much?

Thanks so much to all of you for making it possible for us to do what we love! We are excited about the new season!

Adam Colvin
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)

There are many Greenhouse pictures this month--if you want to see some non greenhouse pics scroll towards the bottom.

2013 CSA Program

Be a part of a 25 week seasonal cooking and eating adventure and change the way your family eats in 2013!
February in Pictures
In the first picture, I had to show that we have had some actual Winter weather :)
However it has stayed a very exciting Spring weather in the greenhouses!
I hope to transplant the Kohlrabi (forground) within the next couple of weeks.
I couldn't be much happier about how these flats of lettuce seedlings are growing out :)
Onions, Spinach, many different brassicas (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower etc...) There's a lot of potential setting on these greenhouse tables!
Boc Choi (foreground), lettuces and more...
This is a closeup shot of some of the early Spinach transplants..planting number one...
....our second planting....
....and our third planting. Our fourth hasn't come up yet, but the idea is to (hopefully) keep Spinach coming in regularly for the entire Spring season!
A 288 flat of tomatoes--we're actually starting to pot a few up for a planned transplant of March 14th in our high tunnels. We'll see how that works :)
While I've majored on the big and the pretty there are plenty of flats that are still small and just coming up--like this celery....
...this Lettuce...
...and much more (chard, cauliflower, kales, etc.. in this picture).
A large project this month was finishing greenhouses. Since we have already over filled our other greenhouses this became imperative!
Other than running the stovepipe on the woodstove, and a couple of the tables, the first new greenhouse is ready to put flats in!
Totally un-farm related, but this is a beaver lodge out in the middle of about twelve acres of beaver dammed pond/swamp behind our property--cool huh?
Another non-farm picture, I found the first bedraggled little blue violet of Spring on a hike behind the home farm.
We were privileged to visit Hines Valley Farm, a small Certified-Organic farm in Loudon, TN this past month. In this picture owner/operator John Ledbetter poses in a field next to his high tunnels. Thanks for having us John!
I promised little brother Levi that I'd put a picture of his first snowman in the newsletter. He did a pretty good job for a little fellow!
At the 2013 SSAWG conference we got to talk with our local sales representative (Rod Heyerdahl) from our favorite supplier Johnny's!

CSA Update

Hello folks!
We are now ready to accept 2012 CSA signups! We've been keeping busy making plans for the new season, what to plant, when, where, how much etc... we've also been planning seed orders, and are placing them as we can--and believe it or not we start planting for the new season in just three weeks!

We are pleased to announce that we're planning for two midweek deliveries in the Knoxville area so you won't have to miss your share if you're out of town on the weekend! We also are planning new delivery locations this season--a Saturday delivery in Oak Ridge, a Wednesday delivery in Chattanooga, and a Thursday delivery in North Knoxville.

 Thanks for your support--we look forward to seeing you at one of the markets this year!

Adam Colvin

Recent Pictures:

Hazy Winter Morning

"Smoky Mountain" morning view--classic East TN Winter morning!

Our First Snow

The first snow of this season! It stuck best to the trees.

It came down!

It was coming down hard for a while, and the kids wanted to run out in it!


Charity "catching" snowflakes.

Mulching the Garlic

Titus tucking the Garlic crop under a warm blanket of straw mulch

Tractor Mechanic

Dad's been busy working on rebuilding a 1948 Farmall Cub that we hope to use for cultivating this season.
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