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.

 
 

New Digger

I was able to pick up the new (old) potato digger today. It is a Champion Potato Digger made in Hammond, Indiana. I am guessing it was mafe sometime between 1908 and 1922. It looks pretty much complete except for part of the hitch. I think with a little work we can make this work. I am really excited about it! In between picking up the digger and helping dad with his projects, I managed to transplant over six hundred broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. I think that made it a very productive day. I am extremely tired and will eat supper and then its off to bed. Tomorrow we have to pick up some lumber from a friend's place for our hay racks. I hope you are enjoying a great week! God's blessings!

 

This is what the digger looks like. (This is not the one we got, but it is similar.)


 
 

Potatoes!

Working on a farm never is the same from day to day. It never ceases to amaze me how people can think that farming is easy. However, I must admit that until last year, I thought farmers had it made; that they live a life of ease and contentment. Once the crops are planted., I figured most farmers took off for Florida or Arizona. Boy, was I wrong. Everyday on the farm is a challenge! Once you think you have it all figured out, the weather will change or something will happen to make things difficult. I am not complaining, I am just saying that farm life is not a walk in the park. Here at Bountiful Blessings Farm, we are still diligently working daily, to get our crops in and ready for the upcoming market season. Today I spent most of the day transplanting. I drove to a neighboring town to look at a potato digger. I was able to get it, however, I will have to go back and pick it up with a trailer. It is very old and needs a lot of work, but I think with some elbow grease we can make it work for digging our potatoes. It was a pleasure to find it and even more a pleasure to know that we will not have to dig all those potatoes by hand like last year. I am excited! Kim just let me know that supper is ready, so I will say goodbye for now. I hope you are enjoying a great week!
 
 

A Very Busy Day

Yesterday was day unlike others I have experienced this spring. It was a day that no matter what you did, you were chilled to the bone. The wind was cutting and harsh; and the air was crisp. After working outside all day; when I finally came in for the day, it took me over an hour to get warm. I took a hot shower and ate the meal Kim had prepared, but I still could not get warm. After supper, I sat down and reviewed the day and eventually warmed up.

A lot of things were accomplished yesterday at Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce. I started out the day as normal, scouting the cold frames and greenhouse for any issues. I watered the plants that needed to be watered. Then Kim and I headed to the field to plant the balance of the potatoes. Dad had the furrows already made, so all we needed to do was to place the seed potatoes in the ground and cover them up. Unfortunately, we did not have enough furrows for all the potatoes. So we came in from the field and went to Waterman to pick up the International Super A we bought the day before. It is a beautiful tractor and I know it will save us a lot of time and back labor. We hauled it home and unloaded it; then it was time to get back to planting. I worked down some more ground with the 885 while dad dug furrows in another plot for our asparagus. Once the ground was worked down, dad brought the 234 tractor over to the other side of the farm so I could make furrows for the balance of potatoes. I made about eight or nine furrows and we planted the potatoes. Dad used the new Super A to cover the planted furrows with soil. It worked slick!

Once we were finished with the potatoes, we started planting asparagus – much in the same fashion we did the potatoes. I placed fertilizer in the trenches and then Kim put a small amount of dirt over the fertilizer so it would not directly contact the root crowns. We then placed the root crowns in the trench and dad used the cultivator to cover the roots. Again, this worked very well. Today, we will be planting the remainder of the asparagus. I have transplanting and seeding to accomplish this morning. Andy will be helping dad plant more California Soft-neck garlic. Later today, I will be planting beets and a few other things in the field. There is a lot to get done, so I better get moving. Have a great day and God bless you on this Good Friday.

 
 

Energetic Day

After some more research, I determined that I needed to find the right fertilizer for the asparagus. After driving all over the country, I found out that no one carried what I was looking for. So, we switched gears and planted potatoes yesterday. I worked some ground down while dad cut potatoes. Then I struck out the first row with the 234 and middle-buster. It really worked slick. We got twelve rows in yesterday. We then drove to Hampshire to look at an International 140 tractor. It was a disappointment. The tractor was junk. Now it is back to square one. So if you know of a 140 for sale, shoot me an email. Now its off to the greenhouse for more seeding and transplanting. And I'm sure we will be back in the field plant the balance of our potatoes! Have a super day and may God richly bless you in Christ Jesus!
 
 

Heirloom Peppers and a Long Day

Today was another productive day. Although, I wish I could have attended worship this morning. Nonetheless, I was able to complete the manure detail. It is all spread and ready for the ground to be worked down this spring. I worked on the seed room and seedling rack again today. It is almost done. I spent an hour or so on my seed planning chart and this afternoon my wife and I picked up a few things at the lumber yard to complete the seedling rack. We then went to the funeral visitation for my great uncle and tomorrow is his funeral. I am very honored to play taps on my trumpet at the funeral with my son. Later on this afternoon and evening, I washed the tractor and cleaned the manure spreader so it can be lubricated and put away until the next time I need to use it. Now it is time for supper and a little relaxation before heading off to bed. It's been a long day. As I mentioned yesterday, I have been receiving some of seeds in the mail and from UPS. It won't long and everything will be here. Some of the peppers we will be offering this year are list here:

  • Beaver Dam    
  • Datil
  • Bull Nose Large
  • Fish
  • Hinkelhatz Hot
  • Jimmy Nardello's
  • New Mexico Native Chile
  • Sheepnose Pimento
  • Wenks Yellow
  • Key Largo Cubanelle
  • Yellow Crest Longhorn
  • Cayenne – Long Thin
  • Jalapeno – Mucho Nacho
  • Habanero
  • Ghost Pepper
Last year we had a lot of requests for ghost peppers. I am not sure I understand the fascination of eating something so hot, but I thought we would try them this year. The Key Largo Cubanelle was real popular last year and of course we will have an assortment of red, yellow and green bell peppers. My dad is planning on have signs made so people know the background of all our heirloom varieties. I think it is so interesting to read the history of some of these seeds. I hope our customers will enjoy it as well. So now its time to eat! Just thinking about all these yummy vegetables is making me real hungry!
 
 

An Exciting Season Just Around the Corner

Well another day without being able to spread manure. Maybe tomorrow if it remains frozen in the field. I certainly do not want to make a big mess out of the ground by driving over it and packing it all down because it is too muddy. I am going to try it this in the morning and see what happens. I stopped by Rick's tonight and let him know I would be there around seven. Everything is green light go! This whole manure thing has been plaguing me for a week. Hopefully, today we can put it in the past!

Tomorrow afternoon I am going work on the seed room and seed rack. I will start sowing seeds next week. The bulk of my seed order will be here on Tuesday. I have to pick it up at the warehouse. I will also be picking up the seed potatoes and onion sets. It is a little scary getting 200 pounds of seed potatoes and over 130 pounds of onion sets. That works out to about 20000 onions! Of course some of these will be for bunching, but many will be bulb onions for cooking, etc. In Illinois, we have to use long-day varieties. Short-day varieties do not do well here.

Here are the tomato varieties we will be planting this year. We will have a nice assortment of heirloom varieties, and some hybrids.

  • Hillbilly
  • Roma
  • German Johnson
  • Black Krim
  • Aunt Molly’s Husk Tomato (Ground cherry)
  • Aunt Ruby’s German
  • Burbank Tomato
  • Chalk’s Early Jewel
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Djena Lee’s Golden Girl
  • German Pink
  • Livingston’s Globe
  • Livingston’s Golden Queen
  • Orange Oxheart
  • Mortgage Lifter – Radiator Charlie's
  • Red Fig
  • Sheboygan
  • Valencia
  • Chocolate Stripes
  • Earl of Edgecombe
  • Cherokee Chocolate
  • Black Sea Man
  • Copia
  • Brandywine
  • Green Zebra
  • White Queen
  • Primo Red
  • Red Deuce
  • Mountain Fresh Plus
  • Florida 91
  • Sweet Hearts
  • Sugar Plum

 

I am getting so anxious to get started. This is what I really enjoy doing; planting and growing these wonderful vegetables. It won't be long now!

 
 

Getting Ready for the Day - Anticipating Supper!

This morning I am heading out to pick up a load of wood and some cement blocks. A friend of mine is cleaning up some of his property and has to get rid of some things. I should be able to use the wood around the farm for upcoming projects. The cement blocks will be used for the cold frame and the hotbed. My wife and I discussed our plans for this evening and what we are going to fix for supper. Several ideas came up. Anyhow, here is what we decided to have for supper tonight. Now I have something to look forward to the rest of the day! These are a couple of great recipes. Give them a try, I think you will enjoy them!

 

Hamburger Casserole

1 lb. hamburger
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 t. parsley flakes
1 small onion (chopped)
1 soup can evaporated milk
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
Frozen tater tots

Brown hamburger & onion in skillet. Add salt & pepper. Remove from burner & drain. In separate bowl, combine soup, milk & parsley. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Place hamburger mixture in a greased 2 quart baking dish. Pour soup mixture over hamburger. Top with tatter tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

 

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

2 c. potatoes, cooked, fingerling variety
1 garlic clove minced
½ c. fat free chicken broth
1½ t. rosemary
¼ t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine potatoes, garlic & ¼ c. chicken broth in metal pie pan. Sprinkle with rosemary. Roast for 15 minutes until the broth evaporates. Add remaining broth. Flip potatoes & roast for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven & sprinkle with pepper.

 
 
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