Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

  (Hinckley, Illinois)
Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
[ Member listing ]

The "To-Do" List

How many of you have a "To-Do" list? I am really not much of a list person, but in the effort to become more organized, I have created a "To-Do" list for the immediate time. These are some things I will be concentrating in the upcoming days and weeks:

  • Move more soil to transplanting area 
  • Bend hoops for low tunnels and row covers
  • Erect seedling house
  • Prepare transplanting flats
  • Back-fill around High Tunnel #2
  • Fix tire on hay rack
  • Put all produce boxes upstairs in building #3
  • Finish bean harvest
  • Package more popcorn
  • Put up small greenhouse for transplants
  • Change oil in my van
  • Take down old hoop houses
  • Cut wood for office wood burner
  • Organize tool room and storage area
  • Haul greenhouse tables
  • Prepare soil in high tunnels
  • Assemble drip tubes for High Tunnels
  • Measure plastic for low tunnels and row cover
This is just an abbreviated list. The work of a farmer never ends. When it is not fit to be out in the field or even outside, there is plenty of bookwork, planning and construction to do inside. So, you know I will be busy!!! Have a great day! Blessings!
 
 

Leeks - Cold Frame - Hot Bed

One of our main goals at Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce is to produce a top quality vegetable, and make it available over a long period of time. This means finding ways to extend the normal growing season. One avenue we have used the past year is high tunnel farming. This year we actually expanded by adding a second high tunnel. We also have several smaller cold frames and heat beds. Once our seeds have germinated, they are hardened off in either the cold frame, cool house (has some supplemental heat) or the hot bed. The hot bed is basically a cold frame with heated soil. We placed heat coils beneath the soil in the bottom of the cold frame to make a hot bed. Years ago, farmers used fresh manure beneath the soil in a hot bed to heat the soil as the manure composted. We are a little more tech savvy.

 

I am getting the hot bed ready to use in the next few days, as I will be planting leeks. Leeks are a member of the onion family.  The edible part of the leek plant is a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths which is sometimes called a stem or stalk. As the leek grows in height, soil is pulled around the base of the plant, blanching the stem- making it white and tender. I will be starting the seed indoors in our seed room, and then when they are large enough, I will move them to the hotbed in the plug trays in which they were seeded. Once the field is ready and weather stabilized, I will move them to the field and transplant. Leeks are fairly hardy and can be planted several weeks prior to the last frost date, so I will move them out as soon as it is fit. The variety we are growing is Lancelot.

 

 

 

Here is a great recipe for Leeks:

 

Leeks Au Gratin

Makes 8 servings

 

2 lbs leeks

1/4 c butter, plus about 1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp flour

3/4 c milk

1 Tbsp white wine

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 c grated baby Swiss cheese

1/4 tsp Tabasco or similar hot sauce

1. Cut white and tender portion of green leek leaves lengthwise, and then into 1-inch pieces.

2. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; place in buttered casserole.

3. In saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 c butter; stir in flour. Whisk in milk and wine. Stir and cook until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and Tabasco; pour over leeks. Sprinkle with cheese.

4. Bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly. Dot with remaining butter, and brown under broiler, 3-5 minutes.

 

 
 

Preparing for the Season

I never realized there is so much work just getting ready for the new season. Seed orders, repairing equipment, planting, mixing soil, marketing, are just some of the things going on at Bountiful Blessings. I really believe that being prepared is a good key to being successful. So, I continue to the  prepare. One of the things I am planning on doing this week, is to build a hotbed and a cold frame. My goal is to be able to provide vegetables here in our local area earlier than I was able to do last year. With the High Tunnel, cold frame and hotbed, Bountiful Blessings should get a little bit of a jump on the season. It'll be nice to have lettuce, greens and cool weather crops early! It is exciting and fun getting ready - I can't wait to get my fingers back in the soil, planting and growing!
 
 
RSS feed for Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader

Calendar


Search


Navigation


Topics


Feeds


BlogRoll