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The Story Is In The Soil

Dreams Really Do Come True…

Dreams Really Do Come True...

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We moved to Southern Indiana almost 5 years ago now and boy has it been an adventure. We knew it would take a while to get the farm off the ground…we figured because I was the one with all the degrees I would work full-time for a few years to support the startup cost of the farm and then we were sure I would be able to be home farming with Larry. For 4 years I worked as a nurse, dietitian and lactation consultant for the WIC program…I would work 40 hrs per week for WIC and then ~20-30 hrs on the farm. We are now farming our 5th season here at Eastward Gardens and starting this June God has opened the way for me to become a full-time farmer. Wow! DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! We have experienced so many ups and downs starting this farm and we have learned so much about faith, perseverance, our strengths and our weaknesses. Since being home full-time so many amazing things have happened….

Flowers: I have always wanted to grow flowers and thanks to a lot of help and support from my mother and our neighbors we have had a very successful year of growing flowers. This year we grew dahlias, zinnias, gomphrena, celosia, lilies, cosmos and sunflowers. We are adding daffodils, ranunculus and anemones for next year and we are so excited to see what the Lord has planned for us next season. The flowers have been such a blessing and I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow and share them this season.

 

IMG_0121IMG_0205Onions: Well let’s just say, after farming for 3 yrs in Seattle area with amazing soil and then 4 yrs in SD area where the soil was also very rich in minerals, we thought we had a firm foundation in farming. Once we started farming in Southern Indiana we realized not all soil is created equal. Year after year we would try and grown onions with no fruit for our labor to share, and boy was this a harsh reality for us. After much care working the soil, adding back needed minerals and microbial life we finally had our first onion harvest! Hurray! This is such a testimony of restoration…if we care and nurture the soil it can be restored back to health!

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Head Lettuce: We also struggled with getting nice big heads of lettuce over the years and this Spring was our first harvest of head lettuce…and boy was Larry happy! We love lettuce!

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Two Tents at Market: For about the last 2 months we have added a second tent at the Sunday Rainbow Blossom farmers market and we have had our best farmers markets sales by a long shot. My mother and Larry’s mother have been very involved in the farm this year which is another DREAM COME TRUE for me! The main reason why we moved back home was to be close to family. This is the first year that our mothers have been so involved and we are filled with joy when we see them on the farm and helping at market. My mom often says how much she loves the fresh air and digging in the dirt.

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Most of all what I love best about being on the farm full-time is getting to spend every day with my best friend. God has truly blessed Larry and I with this farm. We pray we can be good stewards of this land…. that we can continue to work the soil in a way that brings life and vitality to each seed planted. Farming is not just about growing healthy produce….it also has so much to do with character development. It is in the most difficult times that your true self is revealed…. and yes farming may be one of the most difficult jobs I have ever had, but it is also by far the most rewarding! I am so happy to be a full-time farmer… it truly is a DREAM COME TRUE!

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So much to be thankful for and so many new happenings in 2017. We planted ~1,000 heirloom specialty daffodils bulbs and ~1,000 specialty ranunculus and anemones for the first time this fall, our market stand was 2 tents long with our best sales ever @rainbowblossomky, onions grew for the first time since we’ve been farming in Indiana (definitely a highlight and why this picture is in the center), this was our first year growing flowers and this experience brought Larry and I so much joy this season... dahlias, cosmos, zinnias, celosia... to name a few. Lastly pictures of our salad mix and sweet potatoes which continue to be some of our bestsellers and most popular items! Thank you to all of our family, friends, CSA members, farmers market customers, and restaurants. We are so excited to see what God has planned for Eastward Gardens in 2018.. to God be the glory! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #whywegrow #veganic #ilovefarming #iloveflowers #bestnine2017 #bestnine #2017bestnineThis is happening at Eastward Gardens today! We have several areas of the field that do not drain well and it affects the crops that we plant in those areas year after year. We have decided to put a tile drain in the field… This was a big decision! Our very kind Mennonite neighbors are helping us with the job... so thankful for the resources and so hopeful this will help the wet areas to dry faster. This is what farming in Indiana looks like. So much different than anywhere else we have ever farmed... we know and believe God put us here and we will work and give all that we have as we steward this land for Gods Devine purposes.  #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #whywegrow #veganic #stewards #stewardship #winterfarming #hoosierfarmer #noonesaiditwasgoingtobeeasyTurnips looking so amazing! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #whywegrow #nofilterFrench Breakfast beauties… Happy winter farming! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #whywegrow #veganic #winterfarming #winterharvest #frenchbreakfastradishWe are dreaming of smiling faces and happy hearts this coming spring when we bring ranuncules to market next year. God is so good to create such beauty for us to enjoy! #eastwardgardens #winterfarming #iloveflowers #iloveranunculus #italianranunculus #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #nofilterEarly-morning arugula harvest… It really doesn't get much better than this! Headed to @rainbowblossomky farmers market and so thankful for the beautiful harvest! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #whywegrow #veganic #ilovearugula #nofilter #buylocal #eatfresh500 Italian Ranunculus transplanted today! We are so excited! I know these beautiful flowers are going to bring many smiles and much joy to our farmers market customers this spring. These flowers are a precious reminder of God's sustaining power. #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #whywegrow #iloveflowers #iloveranunculus #italianranunculus #ranunculusOne of our goals her at Eastward Gardens is to provide our community with farm fresh greens all year round! Praise the Lord things are looking amazing in the greenhouse right now! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #whywegrow #ilovegreensWe planted 1,000 Narcissus bulbs this morning before farmers market... I am so thankful to be on the farm full time! It is a dream come true to work with Larry planting flower bulbs! We planted 500 Replete and 500 Petite Four. I can hardly wait for March! So thankful to God for all the blessings. #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #ilovenarcissus #repletedaffodils #petitfourdaffodils #iloveflowers #ilovefarmerlarry #whywegrowWe wait for these amazing WATERMELON RADISHES all season! So thankful for the harvest! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #ilovewatermelonradishesWe are super excited about this... these are Ranunculus corms after they have soaked for 4 hrs. They then go into a mixture of vermiculite and coconut coir that is moist for ~10 days. After 10 days they will have sprouted roots and then we will plant them. In March we will have beautiful Ranunculus to share with our community! So thankful to God for all the beautiful flowers He has created! P.S. These are Larry's favorite flowers! #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #eastwardgardens #veganic #iloveflowers #ranunculus #iloveranunculusWe harvested our first row of Murasaki sweet potatoes yesterday and they look AMAZING! This one large tote is ~1/4 of the way into one bed (100ft beds)...only 775 ft to go..and yes we are hand digging all of them 😅! We are going to have a lot of Murasaki sweet potatoes this year! They are by far our favorite here at Eastward Gardens and we are so grateful for the harvest...don't worry he will smile as soon as I cook some up for dinner😊. #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #ilovesweetpotatoes #marketgardening #heissmilingontheinsideFun and fast arugula harvest on a brisk October morning...so thankful for the weed free beds! Larry used tarps in this area before seeding which drastically cuts the weed pressure down. Thanks so much #bountifulblessingsfarm and #farmersfriendllc for all of your support!!! #eastwardgardens #quickcutgreensharvester #marketgardening #farmlife #smallscalefarming #tools #cng #veganic #certifiednaturallygrownOne of the perks of living the farm life... lots of roasted bell peppers for this winter! Praise God for the bounty! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #ilovepeppers #iloveroastedpeppersDid you know that every green pepper picked is an unripe pepper that will turn a color? At Eastward Gardens we never sell green peppers ... they are harder to digest and have not reached their fullest nutritional potential… Food for thought! So thankful for these beautiful red bells! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #nofilter #ilovepeppersThe flowers have been such a blessing this year! I love creating the bouquets for market and how unique each flower and each arrangement is... so fun! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #iloveflowers #ilovedahliasPicking peppers with Monty by my side....so thankful for the peppers this year! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #catsofinstagram #farmcatYesterday at NuLu @phoenixhillfarmersmarket ... so much to be thankful for! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #iloveflowers #ilovedahliasFor those of you who do not know I (Michelle AKA Mikey) am officially a full-time farmer! We have been working towards this for many years... DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! See my new blog post at eastwardgardens.com. God is so good! #eastwardgardens #nofilter #veganic #certifiednaturallygrown #cngPerfection! #eastwardgardens #ilovedahlias #nofilter #cng #certifiednaturallygrown