Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Message in the Hog's Bucket



The Message in the Hog's

Bucket




Greetings from Colvin Family Farm! As the winter
weather continues to freeze...then thaw...then freeze, no two days are alike on our farm! If I had to describe what it's like on a farm in one word during the winter, I'd say, "MUD". 

Farm attire changes during the winter...yes, we still wear layers of our chore clothes..but RUBBER BOOTS are a must. I took a few steps outside with my outdoor sneakers on yesterday, and very soon I KNEW I had made a mistake! Working with soggy feet quickly took the joy out of being outside during this break in the storm! I was soon back in to change. With my "muck boots" on, I could slop around the farmyard to my heart's delight!

This kind of weather with it's frequent storms is a delight to our hogs. During the long months of drought we had to create wallers for them to roll in...you see, they don't swet and NEED mud.

This morning Farmer Steve trudged through the
muck to feed the hogs before church...It was raining hard, and the mountain mist hung heavy over the woods in which the hogs run. In a way it was a "beautiful day"...from the windows of the farm kitchen!

As he fed the bags of feed to the hogs as usual there was a stampede from the woods as the hogs know
the sounds of feeding time! Next he threw the slop bucket from the kitchen over the fence to the awaiting hogs....literally! Usually only the slop goes to the eager pigs, but today bucket and all went INTO THE MUD ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE! Now, a little hog mud science...mud sucks you down, makes you stinky, and soon the bucket would have been trampled in it's depth! The longer it stayed on the other side of the fence, the less chance it would ever be usable again. The only hope in retrieving it was for the farmer to climb the fence and save the needed bucket! 

The next time I saw Farmer Steve he was spraying the muck...I mean mud off the bucket (and himself) before coming inside to get ready for church and a hot breakfast. Without a THOROUGH cleaning, that bucket wasn't coming into my kitchen!!

At the breakfast table Steve told us the parable of
the slop bucket. I'll pass it on to you. The bucket is a lot like us...people. We often wonder about life "on the other side of the fence" where things look more exciting, even more enticing than what we're experiencing. We sometimes choose to "cross the fence" and get into the mud of life...our sin sucks us down, makes us stinky, and soon we'd be trampled down and lost forever if it weren't for God Himself, the Lord Jesus reaching down...pulling us out of the sin (mud) and washing us off (with His blood shed on the cross of Calvary).

So, as we sat listening to the parable of the hog
bucket while we sipped hot tea, ate our eggs and apple cinnamon scones, I thanked God for saving me out of my personal muck and mire. It wasn't anything I did...just like my much needed hog bucket, it or I couldn't save ourselves, it took a farmer...it took a Saviour! 

What side of the fence are you on today? Jesus wants to reach down and save you from the muck of your sin and wash you off, giving you a                             new life! 

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God."
Romans 2:8,9

Abundant Blessings!
The Farmer's Wife,
Val

P.S. I found this neat article recently on the advantages of naturally raised hogs. I think you'll like it too! Next, visit us at a market and see for yourself. If you have any questions about pork or the "mud of this life" and need help, just talk with Farmer Steve next time you see him...or contact me here. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Starting Fresh!



Greetings from our snowy farm! The temperatures this morning were hovering near zero, and the ice and snow sparkled in the midday sun...we're off to a frosty start to a new year. Our chickens first hesitant steps out of the coop were fun to watch this week as they are a new flock which is just beginning to lay well.

Our 2017 farming year is coming up quickly! Our CSA sign-up has also begun, as plans are being drawn up for crops, and our livestock, and hopes of a wetter growing                                                                          season                                              are in everyone's                                                              prayers. 
  Our family's winter schedule,
Charity is learning to sew!
which 
allows hours of indoor study time, pleasure reading, and for the boys, time to play with Legos is a more restful time of the year. Charity's free time is now spent playing detective! (Last week it was a composer and playwright, the weeks proceeding this she was an inventor...she has an active imagination filled with countless possibilities!) Faith Anne is sewing a new dress with an eye on being ready for spring.


 Everyone loves to bake and cook, so we all enjoy taking turns weekly with meals. Occasionally our
customers at winter markets have delighted in their fresh doughnuts or jelly rolls! With only 2 markets a week with an occasional 3rd one we have MUCH more free time indoors perusing areas of interest!

We are excited about a new WINTER market in Oak Ridge sponsored by Grow Oak Ridge Farmer's Market. Each Saturday through February 25th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's held in the St. Mary's Church gymnasium at 323 Vermont Avenue. There is a growing community of people visiting, finding local foods in the middle of winter, while the children are learning something new
with each visit with the activities planned for them! Food trucks are there with their specialties, crafters are there with their unique wares...there are even
chefs demonstrating how to cook new recipes with what is available locally. It's a well rounded market with something for everyone. Come by and visit farmer Steve and his sons each week! 

Our farm needs your support this time of year. When
the snow flies is when your farmer is buying feed and seed to start plants in the greenhouse...he's still paying the farming bills, and supporting his family without the abundance of markets to sell at. We all learn and appreciate more that our Heavenly Father supplies our every need.

aWe're getting our website all set for you to purchase

your CSA shares for the season so we can plan for your needs. There are several payment plans available that will enable you to spread the purchase price out over the coming months. 





If the CSA idea with it's weekly pick-up doesn't seem to "fit" your lifestyle or you think a share of vegetables may be too much for you to handle, consider purchasing a CSA Farm Card. It's an alternative to our traditional CSA. With the prepaid card you can mix your purchases from our naturally raised vegetables, jams/jellies, breads and other baked goods, along with our eggs and pastured chicken and pork. This way you can pick which market you visit, or what you plan to purchase. These farm cards also make great gifts for parents, students, and friends for any occasion.  Both ways of supporting our farm in the winter make it possible for us to begin the growing season prepared.



We've all heard it numerous times by now, "Happy New Year!" As I've taken steps into the unknown of the new year, I find comfort in knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is already there! He knows the plans He has for me, my family, and friends. And He knows exactly what to bring into my life to fashion me into His image, and won't put more on me than I can bear. This is comforting to me...and I pray it is to you.



2017 is a new story to be told...let's tell it together! Join our farm now. Visit our website to learn more about our farm today!



Abundant Blessings,
Val
The Farmer's Wife

 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

THANK YOU !

THANK YA'LL FOR A GREAT
CSA SEASON!

Welllll, we've come to the end of our CSA season!
Thank you Allison
for allllll your hard
work!
You've picked up your last share box of vegetables from our farm, BUT we'll still be at the markets through the rest of the fall season! 


We'll also be at several winter markets in the area so look for us at:  The new Grow Oak Ridge Farmers Market which is a cozy indoor Saturday market. Their exciting facebook page tells the whole story.  We'll also be taking part again in the always exciting Nourish Knoxville Winter Farmer's MarketThe Main Street Farmer's Market in Chattanooga and their up to date Facebook page. We'll also be at Dixie Lee Farmer's Market as long as YOU continue to come!

 Be looking for more fall crops, freshly made baked goods, jams, honey, and meats.  If you'd like to win a great vegetable cookbook, read on!

Thank You Luke!
 We really appreciate you partnering with us! Your support enabled us to grow the crops, run the tractors, and drive to markets. Without you, this lil' farm would soon close. So, PLEASE be looking for the upcoming link to join us again in 2017! PLEASE help us spread the word too! 




Here are some of the highlights from our season!

Isaac's new wife, Destany joined our family farm!
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK DESTANY!

Faith Anne and Charity baked hundreds of cookies this year for markets!
Thank you Faith and Charity!

Our BLT "kits" were a hit over the
4th of July!



Our pastured chickens kept the younger
boys and Farmer Steve BUSY each day as they
gave them new pasture, fed them, and cared for their needs.

Starting very soon our new layer flock will be
producing nice brown eggs for you!

It wasn't the greatest tomato year, but
God did provide a mid-season yield
that satisfied the tomato lover in
all of us.

The children picked wild blackberries, and we "contracted" with a sweet older lady for her berries.
Our seedless blackberry jam is a big hit!

Getting our tomatoes off the mountain to markets in good shape on our roads is always a challenge. We don't hit a good paved road until at least a half hour into our trip!

Beautiful Swiss Chard

Green Beans

 Faith Anne preps cups of cherry tomatoes
for market.


New Potatoes...nothing can taste better!


Beets

We grew past putting our cinnamon rolls on plates with bags to protect them. WE LOVE THESE BOXES!

We're truly grateful for the blessing of our pond! We irrigated out of it all season when rain was so rare. Grass grew on the banks that were once covered with water. Thank You Lord!

Our older flock of Black Australorp chickens began laying EXTRA large eggs. We had the blessing of buying bigger egg cartons!  

We've raised 3 batches of broiler chickens this season.

For the FIRST time since planting our fruit trees 15 plus years ago we had crops of nectarines, plums, apples, peaches and a few pears. Wow!

We'd like some feedback on what you enjoyed most in your shares, what you think we can improve on in the coming year. We are always wanting to grow...crops yes, but also in our service to you. Don't hesitate to tell us what you think! Click the comment button below and send us your thoughts.

One special person who takes the time to comment will receive, From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition as a special thank you! We'll  give you two weeks to consider and respond, before drawing the winner on October 22, 2016. We'll contact the winner, and will deliver the prize cookbook to your market (or the nearest market to you). This contest is for Shareholders of the 2016 year only. It's a great book, so respond below!

Thank You Again
From Us All
Here on 
Colvin Family Farm!

The Farmer's Wife,
Val

More highlights!


Two of our rogue hens each hatched A chick!
(Look closely at the front of the hen.) 

Triplet squash

There's more to farming than just
raising a crop or critters! All these tubs needed a good scrubbing!



I think the porch full of shares is a beautiful thing to look at.

Weighing out produce in the farm kitchen for our Thursday online market.




We had paddock issues early in the season with these hogs....UGGGG! Our boys chased pigs for weeks till we were able to deal with each glitch in our methods. Now they are content to root around in the woods alone! :)))

Only God can create a red like these radish!


I was able to share a few of our family's recipes with ya'll.


It's been a "sweet" season.


Our son Noah worked with his brothers all season, but has now decided the family farm will not be his future. Thanks for all your hard work Noah!

Thank you for all your hard work Adam!

A big thank you to all who helped me make jam! We've made over 1,500 jars so far!

Thanks Luke for alllll your hard work in and out of the field!










Thanks gals! (Left to right) Destany, Allison, Faith Anne, Charity Rose, (niece) Rachel, Hannah Grace, Hope, Brittany, and Missy! The first four work for our farm daily...the others probably pray for us as we're all family!

Thank you for all your hard work Isaac (you too again Adam)...thanks for your prayers Matthew and Tony!















I had to slip ONE picture of our littlest farmers...they're here on the farm for a two week visit... but now are living in South Dakota where they are lil' missionaries. We're enjoying our two weeks together! They've helped with our broilers, and MORE! Tractor riding, picnics, walks in the woods, chicks, hogs, reading books, making treats in the farm kitchen, family dinners....


From Asparagus to Zucchini, we're thankful for all the Lord has done in us, and through us this season. He is faithful to those whose hearts are turned toward Him!

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within  you; and will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." 


Ezekiel 3626

Don't forget to comment below, and possibly win the cookbook!