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Category Archives: Winter Post

Looking Forward … 2014 Farming Season

One of the best parts about farming is that you get to “start over” every year. As we look back on what we have learned this past year, our goal is to make things operate in a more productive way. That is always the goal…improvements, improvements! With this said there are many things that go into planning a farming season. Before we purchased this land we did a basic soil analysis and every thing looked good. We knew that the previous owner of 30 years had never sprayed pesticides or any other chemicals on the field and we were not next to any large GMO farms…essential for us to find land that fit this criteria. What we didn’t realize was,  because the previous owner hayed the fields year after year without adding any thing back, our soil was depleted of some important minerals. Boron, copper, zinc, potassium &  phosphorus were the main trouble areas. Once we determined that our crops were not flourishing the way they should be we had a more detailed soil analysis conducted. Then Larry went to Berea Gardens to learn how to read the analysis and learn how to use it to determine what our soil needed to improve its mineral content. This was a huge blessing for Larry! It empowered him to learn more about soil and how it needs to be balanced in order for the crops to take up the minerals they need so that our bodies can be nourished when we eat them.

You see its really quite simple…if the minerals are not in the soil or when the soil is not balanced in mineral content it is difficult or impossible for a plant to take up the minerals it needs to thrive. And guess what? If the plant does not take up the minerals that it needs then we do not have the minerals in the foods that we need to thrive. Now you might be thinking…why not just put down some manure? Well for one we are trying to grow without using animal waste due to all of the GMO issues and second because while the manure may allow for growth and thriving plants it will not afford  all of the mineral needs that we have as humans to thrive….therefore it will still be lacking.

Now one of the most difficult challenges to this venture was finding the raw minerals. Larry spent months researching pure sources that were  organic approved that we felt comfortable putting on our land…God’s land! We are talking tons of material…literally. The next challenge was the finances, how are we going to pay for these much needed amendments? God provides, we had a donation that came in the mail form dear friends that covered the coast of the minerals that our soil so badly needed. Next, how do we spread it on the land…our dear neighbor Paul loaned us his spreader that worked wonderfully to spread the raw materials into the soil.Then we had to get all of this completed before the first snow…big push for time…as always in farming. Another answer to prayer was just before the snow fell we were able to get all of the soil amendments down on the 3 acres we will be planting in this year…PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

Our neighbor Paul's spreader

Our neighbor Paul’s spreader

This has all been such a blessing as we look back. This year we hope to offer some of the highest mineral content produce we have ever grown. We have already ordered all of the seeds we need for this year and have a planting plan in place. Other plans for this year include:

*New starts mix that should also allow for better growth
*Building a refrigerator unit
*New wash station
*Continuing to grow our compost system
* Amending the rest of the acreage on the farm for the following years planting rotation

We have also enjoyed some time spent with family  and friends this winter. We harvested walnuts from a tree on our property, have had bonfires, tractor rides and sleep overs with nieces and nephews and played on the hay bales…so much fun!!

One bucket of walnuts!

One bucket of walnuts! A labor of love!!

After a hard day harvesting walnuts there was time to play!

After a hard day harvesting walnuts there was time to play!

All the nieces and nephews having fun on the farm...and some stayed for a sleep over

All the nieces and nephews having fun on the farm…and some stayed for a sleep over

We continue to have struggles, but just when we feel we won’t make it through, God sends us help…Larry’s dad and brother funded and helped build a pump house for us just before the “Winter Blast” hit us!! We can’t thank you all enough for all your prayers, l0ve and support!

Larry's dad and brother helping build a pump house for the well!

Larry’s dad and brother helping build a pump house for the well!

We are really excited about our second year on the farm. To all of our first year CSA members..as we enter into our second year boxes will be coming… Lord willing!! To all of our family and friends, we are looking forward to sharing healing nourishing food with you in the months ahead!!

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500 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 #certifiednaturallygrownThis is from this morning… We had the best ever flower sales at @rainbowblossomky farmers market today! I literally sold out of flowers by 12:15 and market starts at noon. What a blessing! Thank you fellow flower lovers!#eastwardgardens #iloveflowers #ilovedahlias #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #nofilterTime to transplant some lettuce! Thanking the Lord for a wonderful germination! #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #veganicFall harvest has begun and we are so thankful for all that God has provided! #eastwardgardens #cng  #certifiednaturallygrown #veganic #toeverythingthereisaseasonWow! Thank you God for creating such amazing colors! #nofilter #eastwardgardens #cng #certifiednaturallygrown #iloveflowersBest Farmers market ever! Thanks @rainbowblossomky for supporting local agriculture and thanks moms for all your help! We are so grateful for the harvest and for all of our loyal customers! To God be the glory! #eastwardgardens #certifiednaturallygrown #cng #veganic #farmersmarket #supportlocalagricultureOur biggest cherry tomato harvest to date....Showers of cherry tomato blessings at Eastward Gardens today! #certifiednaturallygrown #cng #eastwardgardens #veganic #sungold #blackcherry #pinkprincess #nofilter #ilovetomatoes