Friday, August 29, 2014

Our "Patchwork Summer"


It's been a patchwork summer here at Colvin Family Farm...Look for the mention of YOUR SQUARE  in our quilt!
It's the last weekend of summer and as I look back over the summer at our "family farm quilt" there are many times where God placed a "quilt block" of a beautiful light fabric next to a dark block of fabric no one would ever choose to wear.


The dreary patterns in our "quilt" are the faith stretching squares. I had a fall late in April that has hampered me ever since. God is doing a great work in my life...those bright patches of calico...and I am slowly healing. 

The undesirable dark swatches of fabric that intermingle often in "our quilt" this summer are stitched with love by a loving God who knows just how to teach the important lessons I (we) need to become more like Him each day. These dark squares give dimension to the lighter squares...each a blessing to our family in some way.

In our "quilt" there are floral squares carefully
chosen to represent the bouquets of flowers the children have picked and brought to my bedside. There are also squares with bright posies sent home from the farmer's markets by some caring vendor to bring the outdoors inside for me. Scattered throughout the quilt they are a reoccurring theme to me of the care of others God prompts to brighten my days.

Scattered in and out of the varied blocks there is
a consistent pattern of lively purple squares that reminds me of a sister's love. Jeannie has been my link with the outside world...a daily check-in via an encouraging text...and a late night sounding board where I could voice my deep fears. She brought a Christian "reality check" to my heart when my mind was in a fog for months after the accident. Then weekly she is here to step in where needed...packing shares, giving haircuts to the boys, or washing dishes. What a beautiful pattern for our "quilt".

Next to the dark patch there lies a square of delight
as Adam and Allison vowed to begin their lives together. The brightness of their future casts a sense of expectancy about our summer "quilt". May the beauty of their squares repeat themselves over and over again as they submit to God's will for their lives!

Running alongside Adam's joy there are squares that reflect answered prayers...for my strength and well-being, enough shareholders at the beginning of the season, the farm's ability to begin paying the boys, and especially in my eyes for the Lord's will to be revealed for Caleb.
 Caleb heard the Lord's direction for his wife over
three years ago. Through praying and waiting for God's timing, Caleb was fashioned into a patient, loving young man fit for the woman of God's choosing. Shelby is the bright block of calico adjacent to the darker blocks of uncertainty. May the stitching of the blocks in their section of our "family quilt" be of heirloom value.

There's a continual pattern in "our quilt" that begins in light pastels of family friendship and grows with
time to bright, vivid hues of expectancy as God's will was revealed. These pieces to our quilt represent Isaac and Destany's courtship. The knitting of our two families together has added a loving dimension to our quilt that only God could create. May their carefully stitched pattern of time create a "quilt block" of blessing for them and all who love them. 


Every quilt has it's contrasts, but our summer quilt has a steady pattern of a bright yellow representing our steady supporter and shareholder Dr. Bill Grey, of Grey Chiropractic in Crossville. Bill has bartered shares for our family care, not knowing the steady visits I would make to his office over the past four months. His bright squares of hope are a steady encouragement to wait on complete healing in God's time.




                       There is a patchwork section that
runs consecutively throughout the quilt that is ebony, then ivory that reminds me of the friendship proved out in helpfulness of a precious friend..no "twin sister" Cerina. She has come weekly to help me feel productive (under supervision) canning and freezing the bounty of the harvests. God knew this was important for me...it's part of who I am. He has given me hope each week as I worked to do more with the help of a friend.







Just outside the patchwork and running alongside the boarder is a line of blocks set on end giving the "quilt" a light feeling. Some blocks are light blue with the next block being a blue calico. These blocks remind us of our faithful customers that are there smiling at our booths each week. These tumbling blocks symbolize the funny little stories, jokes, and steady patronage to our family farm.


Our  shareholders represent the boarder of our quilt that ties the whole quilt together and gives us purpose. Day in and day out we've been working for each of you...each family...each individual. Without the border on our quilt to draw the eye inward to the squares there would be a lack of focus. Each individual or family's square is an intricate element in our farm's "quilt".



 Our simple cream colored muslin backing for the quilt represents Christ's presence in our family's lives. Each stitch so clearly seen

 reflects the quilting carefully stitched on the quilt top. I (we) may not be able to follow the pattern from the top, or discern each twist and turn to the even stitches, but from the underneath it all makes perfect sense! 



I cannot see the "backing" the to the family "quilt" quite yet. I still "see in part" 1 Cor. 13:12, but I have placed the "needle" of my life in Master Quilter's hands. One day the pattern will be visible to all. May it bring Him honor and glory!

" O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

Romans 11:33-36

Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife
Val




Quickie Recipe of the Week

Southwestern Scrambled 
Omelet

Hot days and nights call for quick recipes that don't heat up the kitchen. We've used this recipe for quick meals this week. 





1. Crack the required number of eggs needed to feed your family into a bowl. 

2. Preheat cast iron or stainless steel frying pan on medium heat. 

3. Cut 1 piece of bacon per person into bite sized pieces, set aside.



4. Chop 1/2 a sweet pepper, 1/2 hot pepper (optional), 1/2 medium onion per person, set aside.



 5. Saute onions and bacon until bacon is starting to brown. (Do not drain. Use this fat as the non-stick coating. It is not an unhealthy fat as we have been taught!)

 6. Add peppers and stir.

7. When the peppers are crisp-tender, add the beaten eggs. 
8. Let the eggs sit until you see the eggs are beginning to cook around the edges. Gently pull in the sides of the egg mixture to the middle, allowing the raw egg to fill in the space around the edge....repeat, scraping the bottom as needed.
9. When your eggs are setting and look only a bit "wet" turn off the heat and let the pan finish cooking the eggs. Turn the eggs one last time, and cover with a lid or clean dish towel until serving.

Our Farm this week...

Our broiler chicks just 4 weeks ago...

 The same chickens just 4 weeks later!
The chickens are being raised in moveable pens that allow them to eat insects and enjoy fresh pasture daily. They will be ready for sale in just a few short weeks!
 The men are still laying plastic and planting crops that will prayerfully be harvested for you in December!

 An abundant okra harvest!
See the video to make "Vegetable Medley" here

We call these snack food! Last year I preserved them for the winter by putting cherry tomatoes in a canning jar with a bit of basil and a few garlic cloves, next cover with extra virgin olive oil. Place a flat and band on the jar, and place on a cool, dark shelf. We ate our experimental jar for Christmas 2013!

 Faith fills orders for our online market in Crossville. Look us up on Cumberland Sustainable Farmer's Market. Online markets are a convenient way to buy from several venders from the comfort of home all year long!

 Noah, our new 16 year old fell asleep with his lunch in his hand!

 The Farmer's Wife bags freshly made whole wheat bread for the market in Crossville. Buy year round at your convenience for $7 a loaf. She has several kinds of bread products listed online.

 Trying a new canning recipe called "Corn Salad".

"Cowboy Candy" Candied Jalapenos!
With an abundance of jalapenos being harvested we found a new way to put them up for the winter! Find the recipe at this site.


Our family favorite side dish for the winter...pickled okra!


 Samuel and Levi playing on the slide stand.

 Charity Rose and Samuel enjoy racing to the top of the slide stand and sliding dooooowwwn!


There is office work to do on a farm too. Adam answers a large portion of our e-mails.

Jesus Christ is an artist!

 Levi turned 9 this past week and is now the proud owner of a bee bee gun. He's been busy target practicing every chance he can get. He is following in the steps of all of his 7 older brothers.

Our church is sponsoring an old fashioned tent meeting in downtown Spring City through Saturday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome!

 The men of the family helped erect the tent for the meeting. Each climbed the center pole...showing off what farm boys can do.
Noah

 Yes, the Farmer can still shinny up the pole at 57, showing the "young bucks" who to reckon with!
Steve

Enjoying childhood the good old fashioned way...outside.
Samuel (almost 3) Josiah (just turned 1) and Charity Rose (6 1/2)