Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

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


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!!

Mother's Day 2012

Once again, it has been very busy at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. We have been working ground and planting. Today it will be repeated again. My dad worked ground down for us to plant today, so I should not have to do any more preparation; just get out there and plant. Right now we have over seven hundred tomatoes planted. About 2/3 of them are heirloom varieties and most of those are list in the Ark of Taste. We are very excited to be able to offer our customers these wonderful, unique and rare vegetables. Once you get a taste of an heirloom tomato, you will never want to eat the general market varieties available elsewhere. 

Today is Mother's Day and I wish I could spend some time with my mom, but I am going to have to be in the field. My sisters and their families came out to the farm yesterday for lunch with mom. It was nice. We ate in the Bountiful Blessings office and had food from our local drive-in. It was great to take a little break from the hecticness of this spring to spend time with those we love. We will be planting tomatoes and cole crops today. I want to also get some seed in the ground. I will most likely plant some beans today. Well, its time to get out to the field. Hope you have a wonderful day and God Bless you!


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!

Do Not Worry

Today has been another busy day. In fact, I just got inside. I picked up some lumber and cement blocks this morning from a friend. Dad met me over there and helped me get loaded. I hauled the stuff home and we unloaded it and put it away. I took the truck and trailer back and ate lunch and then began another afternoon of transplanting. Dad painted some equipment and finished up a few things he had been working on. I put all of the equipment away and closed up the high tunnel and hot house. I moved a few flats from the seed room to the cold frames and some from the hot house to the hoop house. The tomatoes look excellent. They have bounced back after the cold snap and really look good. I am hoping to get them into the field this upcoming week. I guess it all depends on the weather. I try not to let the weather worry me too much. God is in control. I do what is necessary on my end and let Him handle the BIG stuff. Faith is a big part of this business; I call it FROG - Fully Relying on God. The Bible tells us not to worry. In fact, Philippians 4:6-7 says this: "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life" This is quoted from The Message, a contemporary translation. I figure if I worry, I am not letting God do His thing. This Spring has been one of those seasons that could cause a person to go nuts if they were to continue worrying about everything. I will continue to work as hard as I can to do what I know is best and allow God to handle the BIG stuff.

My son and his family will be in tomorrow for a family wedding. That means the grand children will be here! I am very excited about that. I hope they can spend some time at the farm. My daughter and her boy friend will also be here. I can't wait to see them. Tomorrow is another big day. I am going to try to get the balance of the tomatoes planted in the high tunnel after I move a refrigerator in the morning. Kim just brought me supper, so I guess I better eat. After all it is 8:30pm. Such is the life on the farm during planting season. I hope you all have a wonderful night. May God richly bless you!


Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Finally getting some rain! Today Andy and I painted boards for signs. It seems like we never have enough come market season. We moved all the tomatoes out of the hoop house and into a safe, warm, building for tonight in case it gets too cold. I am a little gun shy since the last episode! My buddy let me know today that an article was written for Farm World Newspaper about Bountiful Blessings. Here is a link to the article:

Tomorrow is worship and then some transplanting. We just got back in tonight after attending the Hinckley Historical Society dinner and auction. Bountiful Blessings donated two items for the benefit. It was a fun evening and I hope they were able to raise some funds to benefit the society. They have a nice little museum in the middle of town. Stop in a have a look. Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend. God Bless!


A Peaceful Easy Feeling

Wind can really make a difference in whether a day is nice or whether it is pleasant. Today has been a very nice day - it was not too warm, but the wind was somewhat calm and it made it so much nicer being outside. Dad worked on the sprayer some more today. We had to return some parts and get replacements, which took almost all morning. Once we got back to the farm, I was able to transplant more tomatoes and work in the hoop house. Things are beginning to shape up as we get towards the end of April. I anticipate more cool weather; hoping for a more normal May. Even thought I wanted to get the tomatoes planted in the high tunnel, I have shifted my plans until next week and warmer weather. I think we are still early enough to have a jump on the season without risking to much.

Tomorrow I will be seeding and transplanting again. It looks like we will be getting some rain, so that will be great. Supper is almost ready and I am tired, so I am making my blog entry short. I hope you have a peaceful evening. God Bless!!


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.

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!

Sweet Corn Time!

Tuesday and Wednesday were very busy days at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. We continued our transplanting and seeding. My dad worked on equipment and the high tunnel. He had a few last minute things to accomplish before we begin to plant. The tomatoes in the hot house look excellent and those that were hit by the freeze last week are looking better. I should be able to save over half. Some of them were protected and not effected at all. Yesterday we planted our first sweet corn. We put in three varieties; an early, mid-season and late. We should have corn for the fourth of July if everything goes as planned. 

It sprinkled a little last night, but not enough to keep us out of the field. I am going to plant kohlrabi and more peas today. I might even set out some cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. I'll just have to see how the weather holds. They are calling for rain. Tonight I teach at the church and tomorrow Kim will be home, so hopefully we can get a lot more accomplished. I hope you all have a wonderful day blessed with God's grace and goodness!


More Onions!

More onions! My wife said if she sees another onion, she is going to hit me! Onions were a good seller last year and we ran out, so this year we are planting more. Today, we planted more sets and seedlings. The look great! I am hoping for rain tonight and it looks promising. We got in from work and had pizza with our neighbors. It has been a long day. I am tired and so is Kim. Tomorrow we are going to the volunteer fire department's pancake breakfast and then it is back in th saddle again. I have tomatoes and peppers to transplant. There are a few cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli to transplant also. It seems to never end. It's off to bed for me! I'm pooped! Goodnight and God bless!

Busy Week!

The last few days have been very busy at Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce. We have been planting like crazy; trying to get as much in before the upcoming rain. Thursday, I planted onions, beets, peas, arugula, spinach and other cool weather crops. My dad worked on an exhaust fan for the high tunnel. He also built another shelf on the seedling rack which was desperately needed. Most everything is doing well in the field, other than it is very, very dry. We really need rain! I guess it is supposed the rain this evening.

Today, I am going to be seeding and transplanting. I also have some things to plant in the field. Andy is coming out today to help, so we should be able to get a lot done. Yesterday, my wife and I planted onions almost all day long. Early in the morning we planted the last of the asparagus. It was my sister’s birthday yesterday, so we went out to eat with her. It was nice both my siblings and mom and dad were there. I’m not sure when the last time all of us were together. After lunch, we planted more onions. Last night, Kim and I went to see the “Three Stooges” with my sister and her family. It was very funny and had a good plot. Well its time for me to get out to the field. I hope all of you have a great weekend and may God richly bless you this weekend!


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!


Colder Temperatures

Today was a very busy day at the farm. Andy, dad and I went over to a friend's greenhouse to salvage some greenhouse benches. The wood was not in very good condition, so we took what would work for us and left the rest. It was kind of disappointing, but very time consuming. Unfortunately, it would not work out for us to take anymore. Andy and I unloaded the trailer and stacked the wood in the shed for later use. After running Andy home, I began to transplant and move flats from one greenhouse to the other. I have about twenty flats in the unheated greenhouse. This will be a good test to see how well the house hold the generated daily heat. I checked it about twenty minutes ago and it is about 12 degrees warmer inside than out. I think it will be alright. My dad is concerned that it will not be warm enough and that we will have have problems. I think we will be okay. I guess we will see. I have placed a maximum/minimum thermometer in the house so we will know exactly what the temperature drops down to. I trust it will be just fine. 

Tomorrow i have more transplanting and seeding to complete. We are right on schedule and things are going well. I pray that each of you will have a peaceful evening. May God richly bless you!

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