Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

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

Today we got our first Sensation melons. They are a totally unique melon. Sensation is a one of a kind variety that has excellent taste, texture, sweetness and aroma. If harvested when the rind is turning from green to yellow, the flesh will be green and white. At this stage the flesh is crisp and sweet and the shelf life is best. When the melons are allowed to fully mature, the flesh will be sweet, pure white and soft. The 5.5-6 lb. fruit have sparse but distinctive netting over green, yellow and orange skin. (Harris Seed). Our customers love this melon. Nonetheless, our cantaloupes are wonderful too! If you stop by one of our stands, give one of the melons a try. 
 
 

Sweet Corn and Tomatoes!!

The last few days have been very hectic. Between watering, weeding and taking care of the pests, we have tow satnds open and a third will be open tomorrow. This is the season I love! I love to be busy working hard and seeing our produce sold and enjoyed by those who support us, the local farmers. The weather has not been the best, but we are thankful for the little amounts of rain God has provided. The high tunnel tomatoes are very tasty and abundant. The tomatoes in the field are starting to ripen and it is so coll to see things happen after all the planning we did this winter. Our sweet corn is coming in and tastes great! Andy is gone on vacation and Peter has been working his butt off to fill Andy's shoes. Kim and Dad have also been working hard to make this a wonderful year. Mom is also gone for a few days relaxing in Missouri. We miss them, but know they deserve some free time. Please continue to remember us in your prayers as we really need rain. May God richly bless you this week!
 
 

Cabbage

Today has been a long day. First we harvested snap bean samples for a customer; then we weeded. This afternoon was spent planting cabbage. Andy, Peter and I put in about 900 today. I was just out and weeded some more. It is very dry and the rain we thought we were going to get does not look like it will make it. I guess that is why we have irrigation. 

Some of the things to remember about planting cabbage came to mind today as I was planting.  One of the basic things when planting cabbage is not to plant it where you planted it the year before. If you do, the results may not be all that satisfactory, as the plants will often be much more susceptible to disease. It's best to plant them elsewhere in the garden. In fact, you should not plant cabbage where any other members of the Crucifer family have been planted. We rotate our crops to avoid this issue.

Like most vegetables, cabbage is a sun loving plant and will usually not do well if planted in a shady area. Being a cool season plant, it will benefit somewhat from partial shade, especially in the afternoon, in areas where the summer temperatures are quite high. The warmer weather we are experiencing is causing some issues with our crucifer crops.

The rewards from giving the plant sufficient water will soon be evident. The right combination of fertilizer and water can result in some giant-sized heads, if that is what you want, although heads of 9 or 10 inches in diameter will sell better at the market. I think tomorrow I will start irrigating my cabbage!!! Have a great evening! God bless!

 
 

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!

 
 

Cold in Illinois

Another cold and blustery day here in Illinois. However, it is supposed to warm up. Yesterday was very productive. Due to a snow day, my nephew, Andy came out and helped me most of the day. The day started with my daughter going into the ditch with her car and daddy attempting to rescue her. By the time I was able to get there, someone else pulled her out. That was so nice of them! When I got back to the farm, I started seeding tomatoes, onions and cauliflower. The season has officially begun! Andy worked on a few projects I had lined up for him and he did such a great job! I am blessed to have such a super family! There is still a lot more preparation work to be completed, but things are moving right along.

Today is the Grundy county auction. I'm not sure yet if I am going or not. My back is bothering me and I am not sure I can stand around in the cold for fear it would just agitate my back even more. My wife went to town for her normal Saturday morning coffee at her brother's house, so I will probably work in the seed room and get somewhat more organized. It was so wonderful to walk into the seed room this morning and smell the damp soil and feel the warmth when it is only 17 degrees outside. It won't be too long and seeds will start popping through the top layer of soil. How exciting is that? Another miracle! Bountiful Blessings is growing once again! Thank you God!

 
 

Seed Orders

Getting Ready

Well it's that time of year at the farm where I look over last year's records and plan for the upcoming season. Actually, I have been planning for weeks, but I am finally mapping out the ground and preparing seed orders. I never realized there is so much work involved with a produce business! One cannot imagine the amount of planning that it takes to get everything in order. So, with my pile of catalogs, records and projections, I am making a master plan for this season's crop. I enjoy looking through the catalogs and seeing what is new, but it is just as exciting to see some of the heirloom varieties that look so inviting and interesting. I think of how it was back in the day and how much more work it took to grow a crop. Nonetheless, when a person bites into a Black Krim tomato or tries their first Moon and Stars watermelon, they get a sense of that old timey pleasure of eating something that folks enjoyed many, many years ago. I am also working on a hotbed and cold frame to extend the season; trying to provide locally grown vegetables earlier in the season. Many people are already asking me when they can get their first tomato! Well, it's still a bit early! Back to the seed order!

 
 
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