Saturday, July 30, 2016

Week 9 What's Going On on the Farm

Week 9

Slicing Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes
Yellow Crookneck Squash

We're in the middle of our busy growing season here on the farm. It's odd...days begin to blur; chores mount up quicker than a chicken jumps on a Junebug, and breakfast looks oddly like supper! (Really! We had scrambled eggs w
ith sausage, a whole chicken, sliced tomatoes, hash browns, and cinnamon breakfast bread for breakfast this morning!) We'll turn around twice and we'll be harvesting fall crops and buckling down to our home school schedule. 

Our days are full, and one project this week was getting the new flock of broilers out on pasture. We've got a record number of chickens on the farm right now with around 700 birds needing daily attention. We like them to have fresh grass daily. So when the new broilers left the brooder they were introduced to GRASS!

The guys built two new movable pens and got them pulled to the  field. Sorry guys, this is not one of the new pens...but this is how they position them in the field. They place them in a row and work their way down the field, moving a pen's length each day. This gives the birds fresh grass, bugs, and a clean growing space.

Our new egg layers also have been enjoying the insects and grass seeds as they daily move across the field. You can tell the hens (brownish red) from the  roosters (white) easily. 

Levi (10 11/12) is the lemonade chef for Dixie Lee Market. We were given an antique lemon/orange juicer that works great! He now has his own recipe that will satisfy even the deepest thirst.

I've been learning to ferment vegetablels this season. My concoctions are food, but also medicine for our "guts"! It's amazing what God has created for our benefit! 
Left: fermented squash & onions with garlic and peppercorns, Middle: Cherry tomatoes, garlic bulbs and basil, Right: layers of cucumbers,carrots, corn and tomatoes. Eat a little each day (use them as a side dish) will add the right kind of bacteria to your digestive track for overall heath! Go to Cultured Food Life for more information and great cultures to add to your vegetables. In just a couple of days your vegetables will take on a new life and give you a new life!

Like I mentioned earlier, breakfast has been taking on a touch of supper...These yummy breakfast tostadas can utilize any stray vegetables lingering in your frig, and give you a great start to your day!  I've listed my ideal ingredients, but don't wait to get them all! There are many variations on this recipe, so make yours with what's in your frig.  These are farmer boy tested and approved!

Breakfast Tostadas

Corn Tortillas
Breakfast Sausage/Bacon, crumbled or chopped
Shredded Cheese
Lettuce, torn in small pieces 
Onions, diced 
Sweet/Hot Peppers, diced
Black Olives, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped 
Shredded Crookneck Squash or Zucchini
Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
Your choice of boiled, scrambled, or fried eggs

Choose to either bake or fry your corn tortillas. You can spray them with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkle them with salt, and bake them in a 400 degree oven, or pan fry them in a bit of coconut oil. Drain the fried version and salt them well. 

Since this is a fun meal, I put all the vegetables, cheese, and salsa into small bowls and place them around our table as I set it for breakfast.

As the tortillas are "frying" I make my eggs. The Farmer only lives for scrambled eggs, so we OFTEN (that means daily) have them. I try and vary it for the teenagers that like "something different than THOSE scrambled eggs EVERY DAY PLEASE", so I like to fry, poach, or boil some for this also. (My favorite is poached.) If I'm using leftover boiled eggs, I simply chop them and put them on the table with the other condiments.

To serve I simply put a hot egg on each toastada  and serve them. The children add their toppings to "own it" as the saying goes. 

The only problem I had when first trying this idea was I didn't make enough...a big change from not wanting any more scrambled eggs!

We offer all you need for the best BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich) you've ever had! 

We've been baking up old fashioned cookie recipes and adding new twists that will satisfy your cravings...the chocolate chip ones are even Gluten Free!

We have a large family...13 children...13 blessings. 13 instruments in the hand of the Lord to fashion me into His image. 

I hesitate to share my heart, knowing satan is just waiting to bring me down again in this area...but I pray for my family. He will often tell me that my pleas are not prayers. So there was a period that I stopped writing in my prayer journal for each child and their spouses....a time of hopelessness. 

Prayer is a Christian's lifeline to THE Savior. We are taught in Scripture to "pray without ceasing", and if you look at the verse before this it says "Rejoice evermore." (1 Thessalonians 5: 16,17) My time of hopelessness was a direct result of my ceasing to pray. 

This morning as I was reading Psalm 33:15 I read, "He fashioneth their hearts alike...". (That's you and me!) This brought back to my remembrance 1 Corinthians 10:13, " There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

You and I are a lot alike..we have the same wishes, dreams, weaknesses, and areas of temptation. This thought totally changed my prayer life a few years ago. Now I can pray...really pray for others. 

But when it comes to family, I want to be like Job who brought his children before the Lord "continually".  (See Job 1:5) Why was it harder? Why did I hear these whisperingS that my list of needs... my list of heartaches that needed the Lord's touch that I prayed over were not REAL praying? 

This week as I was reading Ephesians, Paul wrote (as he often did in his letters) "Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;" THAT'S what I wanted! I wanted to be able to give thanks for my family...those I know the best...those I can see flaws in...those that I struggle to teach...those that I LOVE. 

That's when God gave me a "way of escape" from satan's desire to stop my prayers! (Thank you Lord!!) As I continued to read, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him." My flesh cried out to Him, "I want that!...I want my children to have that!" That's when He showed me how to pray for my children and their spouses. 

Prayer List 

Ephesians 1
~ Verse 16 ~Lord, please give me endurance, and not cease to pray for my children (I can insert a personal name here when praying for one in particular.) 
~Verse 17~ Lord, please give.... spiritual wisdom straight from the Holy Spirit. Protect them from the "wisdom" (foolishness) of the world.
~Verse 17b,18~ Open their eyes to salvation, or their position in Christ.
~Verse 19~  Please open their eyes to the power which is theirs in Christ. Bring them to the end of "themselves" so they can experience Your power through them.
~Chapter 2:1-3~ Lord help them to live differently from "times past" once they get saved. If "all things haven't been made new" in their lives, and everything is a struggle, open their hearts to salvation (see verses 4-10).
~Verse 14~ Lord please give us Your peace because of Your work for us!
~Chapter 3:6~ I praise you Lord that we are fellow heirs, may ... "walk worthy" this day. 
~Verse 9~ Lord, when "storms" blow through their lives, teach them to "hide in You".

And my list goes on...

I challenge you to pray for your family through the book of Ephesians as the Lord has directed me.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to pray! Grab a notebook or paper and make your list. You can insert the names of those you love in the pleas like I couldn't do here.

 I'm still reading, praying and making my list of things God wants me to pray for. After listening to satan for so long in this area, it's comforting to know that the Comforter is showing me the way to peace of heart. Then when satan whispers to me that I'm not really praying I can say, "But God told me to pray these things for my child!" That will make him flee!  

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know unto God." Philippians 4:6 

Abundant Blessings In Jesus Christ,
The Farmer's Wife,


Friday, July 22, 2016



Week 8

Colvin Family Farm CSA

What's in Your Share
Cherry Tomatoes

It's been a berry good week here on the farm. We've been picking and "working" blackberries, blueberries,
and plums (I know they're not a berry.) Our peach tree has been picked for the season too! This has been an amazing fruit year! Look for the jam at your market!

The men have been juggling planting without a tractor (it's been the year of the tractors!) and doing a lot of cultivating and clean up work at the other farm. It's amazing how fast WEEDS grow in comparison to vegetables and herbs! Tomatoes were staked, bush hogging was done to borders, and "middles" wheel hoed to keep the weeds at bay. We finally got our biggest tractor back from the shop and now late transplants are going in the ground. Praise God! 

We've begun picking our blueberries!

I've been asked about my references of the "other farm".  I guess I talked about our pond going dry in my last post with a picture of the children swimming in an almost full pond. Sorry! 

 All of these pictures of the "home farm" seem to be taken during the winter....sorry. I think they appealed to me because of the heat...

The waterfall at the corner of our property is dry, dry, dry right now. It is the runoff from our pond here on the "home farm". I like to picture it this way!

We live on the "home farm". This is where we've lived and raised our children since 1999, and where Colvin Family Farm was "born". We have 2 large greenhouses where we raise our transplants for the field. We also grow our pastured chickens for meat and eggs, and raise our forest grazed hogs on the "home farm".  The field that once grew all our vegetables now is planted in LOTS of asparagus that we all enjoy in early spring. Part of it is also the pasture our hens enjoy grazing on. Along the fence row we have several bee hives that provide honey for the family and farm. For the first year our orchard is bursting with fruit! We're excited to see the fruit laden trees bending with the weight of plums, nectarines, apples, peaches and a few pears! Soooo, this is the farm that is struggles during dry summers as our pond that we water our "critters" out of and irrigate the greenhouses with is now critically low. The pond is fed by a wet weather has definitely not been a wet spring or summer. Let's all pray the fall rains appear early!

We have another farm now that we raise most of our vegetables at. We are blessed to have a great pond and a year round creek to irrigate from. (That is one of the main reasons we bought another farm.) Adam and Allison (Franklin Farmer's Market) live on the farm and enjoy the creek running right below their home! 

We've been picking a bumper crop of cherry
tomatoes the past few weeks. Tonight as the field crew (our family) is rolling in from the other farm to pack the vegetables on our front porch, I have supper cooking in the farmhouse. I had short notice and changed the menu when friends joined our family in the field. I quickly put one idea out of my mind and began concocting a dish with cherry tomatoes! Here's my hot weather take on Chicken Parmesan. 

Hot Weather Chicken Parmesan

Boneless Chicken Thighs/Breasts
Season Salt
Garlic Powder
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Wash the chicken in cool water an let drain. Heat a cast iron (my prefrence) skillet on medium high. When heated, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the
chicken with season salt and garlic powder. Transfer the meat to the hot skillet and sear on both sides. Transfer the frying pan to a moderate oven (300 degrees) to sit while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Wash your cherry tomatoes, then cut them in half. Place them in a bowl as you cut them. When it looks like you have enough to "cover your meat", chop the basil in small pieces. Add the basil, salt, and pepper to the tomatoes. Stir. Place in the refrigerator until they are needed.

At this point I went on to prepare
the rest of my meal. We had roasted new potatoes in one oven, chicken in another, and then squash and onions cooked in foil went on the grill.

When the guys got home with HUGE appetites, I got
the skillets of chicken out of the oven where I was keeping them warm. Then I gave them a liberal shake of Parmesan cheese; then covered them with the chopped tomatoes, using a slotted spoon so I wouldn't add too much liquid. Next I covered the  the tomatoes with Mozzarella. Finally I slipped the pans under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese. This gave the dish a     hot/cold feel. Yumm!  

I don't like being trite, but we're "berry" blessed.

The Lord God met our ultimate need when He gave His only Son Jesus Christ for our sinS on Calvary. He has put me in a "goodly" place to serve Him with my family. I see His hand daily all around me. Why do I (we) so easily give in to discouragement with all His daily personal attention? I'm counting my blessings tonight...why not join me?!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Ephesians 3:20,21

Abundant Blessings in Jesus Christ,
The Farmer's Wife,

Pictures from the Farm

We had 11 more piglets born this week.

Look what's being harvested!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Week 6 Showers of Blessing

Showers of Blessings!

Your Share Contains:

Sugar Snap Peas
New Potatoes
Yellow Squash

Another week has flown by and we've been blessed
with several showers this week! God was good to hear our cries and answer! Our home farm pond was at "mud level" and the main pond that irrigates the main farm was inching lower and lower. This week we've felt the refreshment that                                          God's blessings brings!

Water is an essential to our farm. The hogs and chickens take over 350 gallons a day! The
Our family enjoyed an Independence Day
picnic and swim in our farm pond.
Grass is growing now above the normal
water line.
greenhouses take more to keep the upcoming transplants thriving. So when our pond and creek went dry, we were at the mercy of the weather, and ultimately God himself.

The Next Day...

 As I was reading in Psalm 23 this morning...yes, I am reading through Psalms.  I began to study David's life in Greg Laurie's book, The Greatest Stories Ever Told a door was opened in my mind. I've always thought David and I were "kindred spirits", and now I know we are! A question that has nagged my mind for years is answered. And now I have a peace and direction for the future. Then the Lord led me to the still waters mentioned in verse 2. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." Suffice it to say I'm sitting quietly by the Living Water and reallllly enjoying the peace it is bringing. PRAISE HIS NAME!

Are you seeking God's peace? Sit by the Still Waters (Jesus) and seek His heart...His truth...and wait until He answers. Remember though that His timing is not our own. There are probably MANY lessons to learn along the way, but the journey is WORTH IT in the "end". 

News from the Farm

One constant in most gardeners summers is zucchini. With us, we've either had toooo much or none. There doesn't seem to a middle ground. I see tub after tubs of zucchini on my porch, so I know this is a good year. 

There is sooo much you can do with the squash! I've
made a mock apple pie with it, grilled it, roasted it, made "noodles" with it, I've hid it in a green smoothie for the children, (they never knew it was there!). I've stir fried it, pickled it like mustard pickles, and made mock crab cakes with it! People sure have been creative over the years!

Here's one way I've used this bounty this summer.
You don't have to use the same vegetables I used. I want this to inspire you to use whatever that is in your refrigerator. I made this before the bounty of the season overflowed into my kitchen, so I used what I had at the time...avocados.

Zoodle Stir Fry
Serves 1

1 small zucchini
Olive Oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 boneless Chicken Thigh or 1/2 Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 onion, diced
1/2- 1 Avocado
Salt & Pepper to taste

 Turn your zucchini into zoodles. 
If you don't have a cutter, try making narrow noodles with a vegetable peeler.

 Heat a skillet and drizzle some olive oil on to it. I added a big spoon of the convenient minced garlic I keep in my refrigerator. I stirred it until it was just wilted. Then I removed it to my plate, and covered it with a bowl to keep it warm.

  In the same hot skillet, add a bit more olive oil and add your cut up chicken. Stir until color begins to disappear. 

Add your diced onion, and stir continually until the onion begins to look caramelized. 

 Cut the avocodo while still in the skin by drawing a paring knife through the fruit in this way.

 Add the avocado by scooping it out with a small spoon into the frying pan.

Gently stir once or twice until the avocado is heated through. (This doesn't take long, so be prepared.)

Top your zoodles with your stir fry and enjoy!
Gluten-Free, Low Carb, YUMMY & QUICK!

Another Colvin family favorite!

Oven Zucchini Chips

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
3 T. milk
1/4 C. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 C. plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Either spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment (recommended). First mix the bread crumbs with all dry seasonings. Next wash the zucchini, and slice it in 1/8" slices. Dip each zucchini round into  the milk, then into the seasoned bread crumb mixture, coating both sides. (It is best to move most of the bread crumbs to one side of your dish and only dip the wet zucchini into a small portion or you will have a hard time getting the crumbs to stick. If this happens, just press the crumbs into the slices as you coat them. Working with a small portion at a time helps prevent this.) Place them on your prepared cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil or canola cooking spray. Bake 25 -30 minutes until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Another market favorite that REALLY hides the zucchini!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 Eggs
1 C. Honey
1/2 C. Oil
1 t. Vanilla
3 T. Butter
6 T. Cocoa powder
2 C. Grated zucchini
2 C.  Flour 
1 t. Salt
1 1/2 t. Cinnamon
2/3 C. Chocolate Chips

In mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla. In saucepan or microwave, melt butter and add cocoa powder. Set aside to cool. Grate zucchini. Mix zucchini, with cocoa powder/butter mixture and when cooled combine with egg mixture. Add flour, soda, salt, cinnamon. Mix only enough to blend. Dampen chocolate chips slightly in a small bowl. Coat with a few pinches of flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of your bread. Fold into batter. Pour into 2 greased 8" pans. (I use bread pans or muffin pans.) Bake at 350 degrees until cake tester inserted comes out clean, depending on pan size.

" Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27

Have a Great Week!

Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife,