Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

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

Posts tagged [tunnel]

Update - - Tomatoes Coming Soon!!



 Tomatoes in the high tunnel...

 Tomatoes in the field....



 Another view of the field...


Gearing Up for Another Season

We are gearing up for the upcoming growing season at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. With the addition of a new high tunnel this year, we will once again be able to provide local customers with top quality, fresh produce earlier, without the loss of flavor. High tunnels are season-extension technology used for producing a diversity of horticulture crops including vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Specifically, high tunnels are passively vented, solar greenhouses covered with 1-2 layers of greenhouse plastic. Crops are grown directly in the soil beneath the high tunnel, and the only external connection is the drip irrigation system. In addition to accelerating crop growth and maturity, high tunnels protect the crop from an erratic environment where extremes in temperature, wind, rainfall, pests and light intensity can severely reduce marketable yield and quality.

Tomorrow we start seeding for the new season! It's excting!


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.


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!


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!

Family Farm Life

Today has been a very productive day at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. I started out working some more ground down with the 885 tractor and rototiller. My wife and nephew planted another variety of onions and my dad worked on the doors of the high tunnel. Everyone working together to make it happen really excites me. I did find that trying to orchestrate the operation takes patience and planning. I state that because about the middle of the morning an issue came up that needed to be dealt with immediately, throwing a curve at my plans. I needed to transplant and seed today, but this issue needed my assistance. You see, we rent a corner of our sheds for storage and a tenant brought his trailer out to store for the summer. Unfortunately, I had all kinds of stuff in the way that needed to be moved and organized. I did not realize they were coming today and they showed up this morning. so we took a little time and moved the items around and made the necessary room for their trailer. It all worked out fine.

After lunch, the onion planting and door fixing continued while I transplanted tomatoes and then worked a space for hardening them off. My niece, Taylor came out and learned how to drive one of the lawn tractors. I think she enjoyed driving the tractor around the yard about 500 times. Then she helped me move tomatoes from one greenhouse to another. Then around four it was time to clean up and head into town for another nephew's birthday party. Grant turns 13 tomorrow. He is a very talented young man and I am proud of him. My wife was a bridal shower for another nephew, Zach's fiance. We just got back to the farm almost simultaneously. It is now about nine and time for bed. A long day, but very enjoyable and a lot of work accomplished! Tomorrow is Easter and the celebration of our Lord's resurrection. He is risen! Alleluia! Have a very blessed Easter!

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