Monday, May 16, 2011

Greetings Shareholders!

Well, you've brought home your first share...I pray you are as excited as we were as we were packing them! It continually amazes me to see how the Lord multiplies the harvest...10 shares or over 100! With all the wet, cold weather it has been a challenging season so far!
Harvest day dawned grey and unpredictable as usual. The boys are scrambled to get the harvest done in the morning. Farmer Steve and I love the optimism of the family when they set these goals...BUT when the rain swept across the field, they had everything harvested but the strawberries which take a couple of hours just by themselves. Everyone SCRAMBLED to get under the packing shed where they cleaned green onions, and packaged the rest of the vegetables during the afternoon. Instead of stopping at lunch I served a picnic lunch during a break in the rain. Our family works together....let's meet the farm hands.

Farmer Steve- With almost 35 years of being an industry time study analyst/efficiency expert/engineer he brings a lot of wisdom and balance to the farm crew. Steve loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart and leads our family in the narrow path the Lord has called us to. Steve delivers shares to the Dayton market on Saturday morning.

Farmer's Wife - Val is a wife, mother, baker, seamstress, teacher, gardener, (This is the opposite of farmer in the boys eyes!) herbalist, laundry expert, and much more. She seeks to honor God in her calling to the mission field of "home". She bakes bread and other goodies for shareholders and eventually for table sales, and feeds the crew well.

Adam - Adam is 20 years old and our web designer. He loves the challenge of the Internet, and handles our online market websites and correspondence. He began gardening as soon as he could walk and helped begin our first CSA in 2003 in Dayton, TN when he was 13 years old. Farming is in his blood and he has a lot of ideas for the growth of our farm...that's where Farmer Steve's wisdom and balance becomes important. If God blesses, Adam will be the "mover and shaker" of Colvin Family Farms. Adam deliver shares to the Market Square Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.

Caleb is about to turn 19 next week and he's our steady fellow. He is a tireless worker...or it seems like it. If there is a chance it can be plowed this season, he gets it done if the tractor cooperates. (You cannot plow wet ground.) He is a sophomore in Bible College and is taking his finals as he plots how to get the planting done. Caleb delivers shares to the Dixie Lee Farmer's Market in Farragut on Saturday mornings.

Isaace will also have a birthday next week. He'll be 17, and a senior in high school. He's rearing and ready to be a full-time farmer next season. Isaac too has LOTS of ideas and has set out to fulfill one this season.
He has a vision of raw honey and has built his first hive and is awaiting the delivery of his bees. He is a leader of the younger crew at times and is building his leadership skills. I'm proud of him! Isaac is Adam's "apprentice" this season at Market Square Farmer's Market.

Titus is 13, and entering our home school high school this fall. He has visions of earning his first "million" this season selling cut flowers. He has made his own garden and has lots of flowers planted. I praise God for gifting the boys in many areas that will compliment the farm. Everyone is finding their niche. Titus is an important member of the work crew...weeding, planting, harvesting, and packing. Look for Titus at the Dayton Farmer's Market as Farmer Steve's apprentice.

Noah is 12. He is our impish member of the field crew. If the leader turns their head for a few minutes, he and his little brother Luke (8) will be wrestling in the grass or playing Indians hunting bears in the brush. Noah got saved last week!! We were so excited to see God speak to his heart and him respond! Noah will be Caleb's apprentice at Dixie Lee Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.

Faith Anne is 10 and an essential helper in the kitchen and kitchen garden. She is learning to sew, can, garden, and helps care for Charity Rose (3) outdoors. She too was saved last week! God is blessing us richly!

Luke is 8 and a very important age on our farm. He's not the little boy anymore, but is stepping up to do a young man's job. Luke loves math, (he wanted to continue during the summer so I got his next book and he delves into it daily for fun!) anything to do with machines and discovering how they work, and also is a ready cohort to any of Noah's imaginative ideas. Luke will be my right hand man on Saturdays as he is too young to go to market. He is looking forward to fall shareholder's day when he can meet everyone.

Little Levi is 5 and a ready worker. His main self-proclaimed job is making sure I have vegetables from the harvests. He was gathering bits and pieces of rejected vegetables Friday and brought them to me over the coarse of the day. By night's end, and time to go to revival, I had a few sad looking Bok Choy, a handful of radish, and a half dozen broken green onions. :) I've been having fun using these bits and pieces in dishes this weekend. Levi is always ready to follow the big boys in their capers or play with Charity Rose (3) when he's tired of field work.

Charity Rose is the cutest member of the crew, and is now 3 years old. She wanders up and down the rows "helping", visits the packing shed, and delivers smiles everywhere she goes. She loves to sing, and accompanies herself with a ukelele. She and Levi have their first garden this year. It's a 4' X 4' square foot garden...they have a hodgepodge of of vegetables and flowers planted. What they decide not to grow, they simply uproot and discard...they sure are cute!

...Back to harvest day...the rain came and went most of the afternoon until we needed to harvest the strawberries...then it POURED. The boys put their hooded winter jackets (which we haven't been able to put away yet this year!) on, gathered bus tubs and headed up the drive to crawl up and down sixteen rows of strawberries for the share boxes. The berries were beautiful and washed when they arrived in the farm kitchen to be packed....

Speaking of the farm kitchen I haven't mentioned what we had been doing all day. We don't have a lot of bread shares sold, but those that have opted to have a loaf of bread to their shares I pray are enjoying it. I baked several batches of bread while Faith Anne (10) baked a triple batch of a butter cake for her big birthday party we had Saturday night. In between batches of bread I packed strawberries from Thursday's picking from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. when we left for revival services at church. This was about the time the boys finished picking the berries. Warm showers felt glorious!
We had a great revival last week at our church,
Victory Baptist Church, in Dayton. Brother Phil Kidd was the evangelist. This is the link to his webpage, which is WELL WORTH THE VISIT. Two of our children, and 5 others were saved. Brother Kidd's message on the family was a HUGE encouragement to me.
When we arrived home we quickly got the sleepy children into bed. All of the adults (5 of us) packed shares and strawberries...until 1:30 a.m. when things were finally cleaned up. I'm sure glad we set a goal of being done by noon! ha ha! I am NOT complaining. I take delight in working together with my family. There are trying moments with each harvest...I just expect it. A lot of farms hire Mexicans to pick and pack for them....We "hire" 3-21 year-olds that are learning to work because it is Daddy's vision for our family to live a "quiet", simple life, honoring our Lord by learning to work like men and women were created to. We also find great joy in meeting your needs for delicious, naturally grown vegetables.

As we begin another week I'm counting my blessings of family. I have older children also that come alongside me and help out when we need them. My older daughters Missy and Hope helped me pull together a BIG birthday (we only have parties for our children on their 5th, 10th, and 16th birthdays) for Faith Anne on Saturday night...after a long packing day and week of meetings each night. Hope sewed a Princess dress complete with tiara for our medieval theme. Missy and Faith Anne made a FANTASTIC castle cake to crown the "authentic" feast. There was a treasure chest filled with treasure, and knights practicing jesting in my living room. (You guessed it! It rained!!)

We believe God's word, the Holy Bible. Children ARE A BLESSING from God. This world would have all of us believe differently. The message from the "ruler of this world" is that children are costly, rob you of pleasure, and hinder you from being all you should be. The truth is just the opposite! Children teach us to give of ourselves, they give us delight, and when we serve a child in Jesus' name we are freed to be all Christ created us to be! From the "baby" girl who shares her delight with everyone she meets each day, to our oldest son serving our nation in the Middle East; we are blessed to have a family that loves our Saviour, and loves family.

We are YOUR farm crew, the Colvin family. We are looking forward to getting to know each of you and your families. It's important to us!
We LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. So drop by our facebook page, or send us a note at our website. Your stories are read aloud during our meals and help us to return to the field or packing shed with renewed vision of who we are serving.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."
Psalms 127:3

Serving You Together,
Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife
Val Colvin