Sunday, February 26, 2012

Organic Farm Bill

"Every five to seven years, the United States Congress passes what is arguably the single most important piece of legislation affecting the nation’s food environment. The federal farm bill, a massively complex piece of legislation that authorizes billions of dollars of taxpayer spending, is the largest source of support for America’s farmers and the programs that form the food safety net that provides food to this country’s needy. It plays a key role in decisions about what foods are grown and produced in the United States and, therefore, what Americans eat. The farm bill should be of interest to anyone who cares about the quality of the American diet.
The farm bill’s commodity programs provide payments to farmers for growing specific kinds of crops. The most heavily subsidized crops – corn, soybeans, and wheat – are implicated in rising rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases. At the same time, commodity programs provide no support for fruits and vegetables.

The nutrition title accounts for more than two-thirds of farm bill spending. Several nutrition assistance programs are authorized in the farm bill, including the nation’s largest and most important food safety net, food stamps. Since an estimated one-fifth of Americans depends on federal food assistance programs to supplement their diet, these programs have significant relevance to any efforts at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Key provisions in the bill include block grants, plant pest and disease management programs, and funding for farmers’ markets."

"In order to reach deficit reduction requirements, Members of Congress are currently facing the daunting task of determining unprecedented spending cuts. While the funding for organic programs is miniscule in regards to the overall budget, everything is under scrutiny.

Please help defend the small, but critical, programs that support hard-working, committed organic businesses going the extra mile to bring healthy, delicious, and responsible organic food to your plate."

Go to  to sign the petition!

And email your representatives directly!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hatching Chicks

I built my own incubator and am getting better at regulating it. Hatch percentage of my first batch of eggs wasn't super great, but I'm trying again. I had three stillborns, which I think was due to a drop in humidity when I increased the ventilation.
Made my heart race to candle the eggs (checking content of the eggs using a bright light) and see a dark form gliding around inside, little web of veins attached to the air sac.
First hatched

Second hatching

Rhode Island Red/Ameracauna cross on the left, RIR on the right.


Little buddies...inseparable now.
They're only two weeks old now, but flapping clumsily around their box with newfound wing feathers.

Hatching video


Sunday, February 19, 2012


Eggs are so beautiful!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Kale, cabbages, pak choy, collards, rhubarb, herbs, lettuce and some flowers are up in the greenhouse.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cold Spell

21 degrees two nights in a row! Covered as many of the blueberry plants as possible. Used soaker hoses on the ground because the water gives off a bit of energy as it evaporates or freezes. Hopefully they'll still produce; frost covered the blankets in the morning and not the plants. Have to wait and see.

Icicles from a leaky hose. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

old shed

Demolishing a collapsed building; this weekend's project.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


View from the front window. Wee farm is located behind the old peanut plant off 301.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Food Revolution

We don't have a TV, but watch stuff every now and then from the computer. Last night was episode 1 of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. The gist of the story is a young British Chef comes to Huntington, WV to change the eating habits of the most obese and diseased people in our country. (Mike and I lived in West Virginia for over a year and it was scary!)
Yes, there's the usual television melodrama to keep you engaged, but the stats are reinstating my food values big time. It's easy to get caught in a bubble, not only to isolate yourself from everyone while farming, but to get absorbed in the crowd that already believes what you believe and eats how you eat. This can be said for any belief system, but man, always good to re-expose yourself to the other side of it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pictures 1

Nursing a sick chicken

Mailbox fixer-upper

Sunsets here are always awesome.


Me with Blackie-Brownie, the handsome panther.

No chick growing in this one.


Thanks for stopping by our site.

We're a small farm, just getting started, that has previously been known as "Adcote Acres" and more recently "Hope Grows."

Stick around-2012 is sure to be an adventure no matter what.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cover crop and berries

Spreading cover crop seed

Pruning and clearing blueberries, after (L) and before (R).