Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

  (Hinckley, Illinois)
Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
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Planting Potatoes

 

Planting potatoes today! Very busy time of the year.

 
 

Bracing for the Heat

It has been sweltering here at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. We are watering and preparing for the next few days of very intense heat. The plants are doing well considering the heat. It is predicted that it will reach 104 degrees tomorrow. The guys are coming in to do some weeding for a couple of hours in the morning, but I will be sending them home around noon. We need rain very badly. It sounds like we might get some this weekend. I really am hoping we do. Hope you are having a good week. May God richly bless you!

 

Here is our pumpkin field:

 

 
 

Continuing on Schedule

Been very busy these last few days. We planted more sweet corn, cultivated sweet corn, cultivated squash and gourds, weeded beans and tomatoes, weeded other areas of the farm. watered, watered, watered... Such is our schedule. Besides all of that we are starting to pick a few things for our customers. Our CSA accounts will be getting their first batch of veggies this upcoming week, providing we get some rain. And did I mention, we are continuing our planting schedule on other veggies, like onions, beans and seeding cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage for fall. 

The tomatoes in the high tunnel are coming along very nicely and those in the field look good despite the drought. We have been watering stuff, but things really look pretty good overall, considering. There is still some moisture in the ground and a chance of rain tonight and tomorrow morning. I am praying we get some! I just keep trusting the Lord. Hope you have a good evening. God bless!

 
 

I'm Not Worrying

Every now and then things seem to work out great. Today seemed to be one of those days. Oh, yes, there were problems, but it all worked out in the end. I truly beleive putting everything into God's hands solves a lot of problems. Worrying solves none. We continued to plant the last remaining crucifer crops. Today we put in about 500 cabbage and 250 broccoli plants. We should be finished tomorrow if everything goes right. Dad is nearing the completion of the preparation area in building three. It won't be long and the season will be in full swing. All in all, other than some weeds, things look pretty good. The dry weather is slowing the growth of the veggies down, but they still look nice. I am hoping for rain soon though!!! I heard maybe on Monday of the upcoming week we might get some. I know I am not the only one in the boat, but rain would be nice. I hope you all are having an exceptionally good week! May God continue to shower you with His blessings!

This photo shows a small section of the Bountiful Blessings Farm. The view is looking north from the road. The first plot is potatoes. The next plot back is onions and behind that potatoes and then cabbage.

 
 

More to Do

The past few days have been very productive. Yesterday we completed our pumpkin planting. Peter came out in the afternoon and helped weed. It is so dry and now today is going to be even hotter. I am praying for rain!! We really could use an inch or more. That would make things so much easier. Today we are going to continue to weed and then possibly plant the remainder of the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Once that is completed, I can rest a little easier knowing that all the transplanted items have been planted. I do have a few melons to plant, but that will be a week. There are also a few peppers that need to go in the ground, but again, very few compared to what has already been planted. Hope you have a great weekend! God's blessings!
 
 

Pumpkin Planting

This photo below is a shot of the pumpkin planter we use at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. Yesterday and today we planted squash, pumpkins and gourds. Last year it too several days and many hours to plant not even half of what we planted this year. Randy Wilkening built this planter this winter out of an older John Deere corn planter. It worked great for planting the cucurbits! Tomorrow we have just a few more pumpkins to plant and we will be finished. Our third planting of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower goes in the ground this weekend. We also have plenty of weeding to finish. So, you know what my weekend looks like. Hope you are having a great week. God bless!


 
 

More Sweet Corn - More Tomatoes - More Work!

We have just finished planting our last tomato!!! Yippie! I think we have about 2000 in the ground - maybe more. Many of these are heirloom varieties including:

  • Aunt Ruby's German Green
  • Aunt Molly's Husk
  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomato
  • Burbank Tomato
  • Chalk’s Early Jewel Tomato
  • Cherokee Purple Tomato
  • Djena Lee’s Golden Girl Tomato
  • German Pink Tomato
  • Livingston’s Globe Tomato
  • Livingston’s Golden Queen Tomato
  • Orange Oxheart Tomato
  • Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato
  • Sheboygan Tomato
  • Pink Brandywine Tomato
  • German Johnson
  • Black Krim
  • Black Sea Man
  • Green Zebra
  • Chocolate Stripes
  • Cherokee Chocolate
  • Hillbilly
  • Roma
  • Copia
  • Yellow Oxheart
  • Red Fig
  • And MORE!!!
This is going to be an exciting year! I cannot wait to see it all unfold. Our CSA customers are in for some good eating this summer. This morning, we also planted twelve more rows of sweet corn. If it is anything like last years, it will be great! Hope you all have a great week! May God bless you and grand you His peace!
 
 

Never a Dull Moment

I am sorry that I have been out of touch lately, but things have been just a bit hectic. Last week it was the dry weather and planting and watering and watering, and now its weeds!! There is never a dull moment here at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. today we transplanted the last of the peppers. Then it was out to the field to weed. Andy and Dad worked in the preparation area, wiring and getting things ready to put in the stainless steel sink and counter. It will be so nice to have new area for preparing the vegetables for market. Our CSA subscriber numbers continue to grow, which is good and we anticipate a great year. Tomorrow we are planting more sweet corn and then its back to weeding. As I said, there is never a dull moment. 
 
 

Hinckley Farmer's Market - June 23rd

The Hinckley Farmer's Market group met once again last evening to discuss plans for this season's market. The first market will be held on Saturday, June 23rd from nine to noon at the Hinckley Fresh Market parking lot. The market is located at 710 James Street in Hinckley, Illinois. This year everyone is excited as we have several new venders joining us. The market will feature fresh locally grown vegetables, crafts, jellies and jams, flowers, honey, eggs, granola, baked goods, and much more. We are really hoping for a big turnout and anticipate a wonderful year. The market is open each Saturday through September. 

At Bountiful Blessings Farm, we are still planting and maintain the crops already in the field. Dad ran the cultivator yesterday while I planted beans. Today we plan to plant more sweet corn, so it will be a very busy day. The end of the week looks promissing for more planting. I would like to get the balance of the large tomatoes in the field. I will most likely start planting zucchini today. Hope you have a wonderful day. May God richly bless you in Christ Jesus.

 
 

A Productive Day - Sweet - - - - Corn!!!!

Another day in the field at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. We planted another twelve rows of sweet corn this morning. Dad cultivated sweet corn, onions and potatoes. I had to pick up a few supplies from our local fertilizer dealer this afternoon. Once that was complete, I had to water tomatoes in the field. The wind today dried the ground out real fast. I could barely tell they were watered last night. Dad mowed lawn this afternoon while I was watering. Once Kim came home from work, we continued to plant cauliflower and broccoli. I guess we planted about 300 plants before it started to storm. It came up quick and only lasted a few minutes, but the lightning was fierce and we had to come in from the field. I wanted to get the rest of the cole crops planted, but still have about four flats left to go. I guess tomorrow is another day. I don't think we got enough rain to slow us down. I am going to have to planted some mid-season sweet corn in the next day or so. We are moving along almost perfectly on schedule. We have to keep to our plan in order for this to run smooth. If we break away from our plan, things could get very hectic. I am really learning that planning is probably the most important thing a person can do in this business. I am also learning that I should have done even more planning. But as for now, I plan to eat and relax a bit before another productive day tomorrow. Hope you have a great evening and God Bless!!
 
 

A Very Brief Post

The last few days have been very hectic. We have been transplanting, planting in the field, planting tomatoes in the high tunnel and working around the farm. Dad built another hay rack to be used for selling our produce in town. Kim has been planting her little heart out and I have been trying to keep up with all of it! I will post more later tonight or in the morning. Hope you are have a great weekend! God Bless!
 
 

Mice and Men

Have you ever heard the phrase, "such are the best laid plans of mice and men"? That was kind of how my day went. It started out well with a trip to a friend's to move a refrigerator and shade cloth. We will be using the frig on the farm at the stand to put lettuce and other items in for the customers. The shade cloth will be used on the high tunnel and hoop houses in the future. Once that was finished, I thought I would plant tomatoes in the high tunnel, however, with more thought I realized that since I was by myself, it made more sense to transplant. That way tomorrow, I could work with Kim and maybe the grand babies in the high tunnel. So, with that decision made, I began to transplant tomatoes. Then I came to the realization that I was almost out of soil for the flats. So dad and I went to Maple Park to pick up more soil. We got back around two and I had to get a P.A. system out for my nephew's wedding. They came to pick it up and by now it was almost three. My dad then asked me to help him move some things from the produce building to the shop. I helped him and then it was almost four. I teach on Thursday evenings, so there was not much time to get anymore transplanting done. The day was almost over and I did not have very much accomplished. My plans had changed and I guess it did not work as well as I had wanted it to. So tomorrow, we will be planting in the high tunnel and then transplanting. If we do not get rain, I am going to make an effort to get back into the field. The wedding is Friday evening, so again it will be a fairly short day. I hope all is well for you! May God richly bless you!
 
 

Red Deuce in the High Tunnel

Today has been a very busy day. We were going to head out to the church, but realized that there was too much to accomplish. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend. I really hate missing worship. Anyhow, we were going to transplant, but decided to work in the high tunnel and transplant the tomatoes directly into the ground. I needed to do some tilling and we had to lay down the weed control fabric. Once that was complete, we planted about 65 plants. We are using "Red Deuce" tomatoes in the high tunnel. I may place a few heirloom varieties in there as an experiment. Andy was out this afternoon to help us. He cut the fabric and dug the holes, while Kim planted and I watered. We will eventually have a drip tube irrigation system to water the plants, however, I have to get a few more things together before I can install the tubing.

We are getting rain this evening. This is much needed and it is coming down very nicely. We could use an inch real easy. Tomorrow I will be transplanting and seeding. I have several varieties to sow in the morning. I want to move some of the tomatoes up into four inch pots. Some of the fours I have now, are very nice. They have really taken off and will be placed into the field by May 10th. I am hoping to get them in the ground a little sooner than last year's plantings. 

Supper is almost ready here, so I will sign off for tonight. May God richly bless you in this upcoming week.

 
 

Windy Cold Day

The wind is blowing; the sun is shinning and the soil is drying out rapidly at Bountiful Blessings Farm. The weather is really working on my nerves as this season is off to another different kind of a year! No matter what, I have faith that God will provide the needed weather at the correct time. However, it is getting a little annoying not to have rain and the colder temperatures are difficult to deal with. Today, I worked on transplanting more tomatoes and moving them in to the hoop house. Some of the larger tomatoes really look nice and I hope the weather is appropriate very soon to get them into the field. Nonetheless, we are way ahead of last year. I did not have any seed in the ground at this point last year. I have over an acre planted already! Of course there is a lot more to accomplish. 

Dad is still working on the some of our equipment. At Bountiful Blessings we do not use chemicals unless it is absolutely necessary. We apply pesticides only we when have a problem and are unable to solve it with organic methods. We try diligently to use sustainable practices in our farming. Nonetheless, even when we use organic methods, we occasionally need a sprayer. Dad has been working very hard to build a sprayer from gathered parts and equipment that others have discarded. He is doing an excellent job. He took an old sprayer and completely revamped it; including removing the old tank and replacing it with a used polyethylene tank that was discarded. It looks great! I am not sure what I would do without his help. He really makes things so much easier for me. I really do not have time to work on the machinery. My time is spent planning and growing. Of course I have to spend time on marketing and management; which also take a lot of effort and time. We strive to give our customers the best possible product at a reasonable price. This takes hours of research. My wife just let me know that supper is ready. It is almost 8:30pm and we are finally able to sit down and eat. Such is the life of a produce farmer in the spring season. May God richly bless you and may you enjoy His grace and mercy in Christ Jesus! Have a wonderful evening!

 
 

Busy Sunday

Today has been another hectic day at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. We started early this morning planting cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower in the field. This will open up space in the hoop house for tomatoes. After that was finished we planted more beets, radish, and onion. I had to work on one of the tractors today as it would not start. It turned out the terminals just needed to be cleaned and tightened. It has been a long day and everyone is very tired, so I am cooking some pork chops and relaxing. Tomorrow starts another busy week. Such is the life in planting season! May God richly bless you in this upcoming week.
 
 

Extension Office Visit

The weather here at Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce has been cold and blustery. After experiencing some eighty degree days a couple of weeks ago, it is difficult to get used to this colder weather. Yesterday, I seeded most of the balance of tomatoes and also planted some peppers. The seedlings in the seed room at this point are doing real well. The plants in the hot house are growing like weeds and the cole crops in the hoop house are also doing well. 

On Thursday, Ellen Phillips, Extension Educator - Local Food Systems and Small Farms, from the University of Illinois Extension Office stopped by the farm to observe our operation. It was a pleasure meeting her and showing her a little bit of what we are doing. She was able to give me several ideas for the future. It is great to know there is helpful information available from her office. I am thankful she stopped in. Today, I am going to work the ground in the high tunnel to prepare for planting our tomatoes next week. Dad has equipment to work on today, so I am sure he will be busy with his projects. Well, its time to get moving. Hope you have a blessed day!

 
 

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli - Oh My!

Yesterday was another very busy and productive day. Dad worked on some equipment issues while I transplanted tomatoes. We are getting closer to planting the tomatoes in the high tunnel. I am thinking Monday or Tuesday of this upcoming week. I want to wait until this weekend cold spree is over. I read this morning that tonight could get down to thirty and after losing some tomatoes with the last cold spell, I want to side on caution. Anyhow, we are a little ahead of schedule on most of the other vegetable crops. I will be seeding more tomatoes today. This will be the last seeding of tomatoes. I also have some peppers to get in today. However, the first project this morning is to water in the cabbage and cauliflower that was planted in the field yesterday. Dad and I planted two 100 foot rows yesterday afternoon. We were kind of thinking it would rain last night and we would not need to water them in. Nonetheless, it did not rain. My wife and I are going out in a few minutes to begin the process. It should not take very long, but it does require two people. Once that is accomplished, as stated, I am going to do some seeding. I am pretty sure that Dad will be working on some equipment again today. I am really pleased to have him helping with some of these equipment issues, as I do not have the time and he is so good at fixing things. Well, it is time to get out and get to work. Yes, I am running a little late this morning. I mentioned a few days ago that I have not been feeling to well. I thought I would sleep a half hour later today, but unfortunately, I still do not feel much better. Hope you have a great day!
 
 

Thankful for the Rain

Today has been kind of slow as I am not feeling the best. I have a terrible cold and chest cough. I guess getting wet and being out in the hot then cold weather got the best of me, I planted more seeds this morning and kept up with the sowing schedule. I do not want to get behind as it is very difficult to get caught up again. Everything looks great after the rain. Our onions are up about two inches and the potatoes are nicely sprouting. It won't be too long and things will be rolling real fast. I want to plant the tomatoes in the high tunnel towards the end of the week or the first part of next week. I am waiting on the weather to stabilize a bit before I gamble again. The same goes for the sweet corn, I want to see what the weather is going to do before I start putting it in the ground. 

After seeding this morning, I cleaned up the garage and pulled some equipment outside. I then did a bunch of paperwork and organization. I am going in the house now to lie down for a little while. The medicine I took is working, making me drowsy. I am very thankful for the rain we received over night and yesterday. This really helped our plantings. May God grant you a wonderful afternoon and evening!

 
 

Whirlwind Wednesday

It has been a whirlwind of a couple of days. The weather has raised havoc with many things here are Bountiful Blessings Farm. I placed tomatoes into the hoop house thinking that there would not be any problems. Nonetheless, the cold weather nailed some of the plants. It was not a total loss, but we did experience some damage. The tips of the plants were damaged by the cold. I am going to leave them sit for a few days to see just how bad it they were effected. I should have taken more precaution, but I really believed they would be alright. I started reseeding the varieties that were involved. It is still early and I do not believe there will be a big problem. Some of the other produce farmers in the area have put sweet corn in the ground. I think I am going to wait another week until after the rain predicted for this weekend. I think it will be a lot safer in the bag than in the ground.

I transplanted cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower today. This brings us right up to schedule. I will be seeding out in the field tomorrow and planting more seed. There is still a lot to do around the farm, so it will be another long day. Thursday nights I teach at the church, so I will need to finish early so I can study.  I am very tired tonight so it's off to bed. Have a wonderful evening and God bless!

 
 

Easter Sunday

Today has been a very blessed day as we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We attended worship this morning and spent a wonderful afternoon at my sister's home with our family. All we did at the farm today was to water and look over some equipment. Tomorrow we are prepared to salvage some wooden greenhouse benches from a friend's greenhouse. Andy is coming out to help me transplant and seed. I hope everyone has enjoyed a wonderful Easter. God bless!
 
 
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