6/2/2013 11:13 AM
Chris and I can’t believe we are in the month of June already. The kids are excited because that means only 2 more days of school left. May flew by for us. Maybe it was because it was a whirlwind month of new experiences on this new life path or maybe it was just because we have 4 jobs, 4 children, 2 dogs – one who is “expecting”, 34 chickens, 11 Guinea Hens, a house, laundry, end of school and 10.5 acres to tend to. Yes, we are crazy. Thankfully, Chris and I no longer have 4 jobs between the 2 of us. Chris accepted and started a position as GM and Food Director at Wesley Willows Retirement Community (praise the LORD) while he was still working his last 2 weeks at Chili’s. My teaching job ended for the summer in late May and I have been taking some time off from waiting tables to focus more on the farm/children/chickens/etc. Life continues to keep us plenty busy.
Our baby chickens are days away from moving into the coop with our full grown hens. Chickens flock together and do not like to mix with other flocks which make getting new chickens tricky. Most chickens can be moved from their warm brooding boxes (baby homes) and put into a coop at 4 weeks old. When you are mixing 2 separate flocks you must wait until the baby chickens are 8 weeks old so they can withstand a little pecking from the bigger ones. Ever heard of pecking order? Yeah, that’s a real thing with chickens. The babies have been living in our house for the last two months and we have been lugging them back and forth, in two trips (because 25 chickens are ridiculously heavy), from the basement to their temporary chicken playpen outside every day. This duty has been mainly the big boys but when they are at school the duties fall on Mom. We will be happy when they are finally outside, in their coop and not stinking up our basement any longer. Hopefully, they will be laying lots of eggs for us by the end of August.
The gardens are looking nice. We’ve planted greens, beets, spinach, leeks, onions, potatoes, asparagus (for 2014), carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, snap peas, bok choi, broccoli, beans and herbs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and melons are still growing beautifully in the greenhouse. It has been a strange growing season in Northern Illinois with the cold temperatures and the rain. Seeds do not want to germinate (being their growth) in cold temperatures. On the other hand, weeds love to grow in any temperature. I had a friend over the other day helping me in the fields with the weeds. She suggested that I should hold FREE WEEDING CLASSES for anyone who wants to learn how to weed. I thought that was a brilliant idea so I am offering weeding classes all day every day, if you or anyone you know is interested! Just let me know!
We still plan on beginning to harvest in mid June with Wednesday, June 12th being the first day for our Rockford locals to pick up their boxes of produce. Our Naperville/Aurora delivery will be the following Thursday to my friend’s house in Aurora. Remember that the sooner you pick up your boxes the fresher the produce will be. I will be contacting each CSA member personally with more information and to answer any questions there might be.
We would appreciate any prayers you would send up the Good Big Man In Charge for a successful growing season, protection for us and our fields, for our time to be stretched so we can get all of our tasks complete, and for us to be reminded the He is to be always trusted and glorified through this whole new adventure in farming for the Hildreth Family!
The Hildreth Family
PS – SAVE THE DATE – Saturday, June 22, 2013
Come and Celebrate the First Full Day of Summer
at Hildreth Organics
Potluck and Barbeque for all CSA Shareholders
4757 Tate Road, Rockford, IL 815-543-6543