Here Comes the Summer

May turned out to be quite an eventful month, between planting, harvesting, and other additional activities. imageimage

 

Flowers bloomed beautifully on the farm. I have really enjoyed seeing the varying flowers on the farm, such as the peonies and day lilies.

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We had a wonderful strawberry harvest. These beautiful, little, red gems are still growing in the garden. Though the harvest wasn’t excessive, the flavor was amazing. When we shared these with a friend, he said they were the best strawberries he’d ever had.

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Our count for chickens is up to 36. We have 11 hens that are producing eggs at the moment. We are playing the waiting game with the the group above, as well as with the Easter Egger Bantams. We acquired a straight run of Bantams and we have now discovered that five out of the twelve are roosters, so that was a little disappointing. We will still be able to use them for their meat.

 

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The guys have been doing a large amount of restoration on one of the barns. It’s looking fantastic. Once all is said and done, I will work on showing the progression with all the photos that have been taken.

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Here we have my beautiful tomato plants. I have been so proud of these little guys. They toughed it through some surprisingly chilly temperatures and acted like it didn’t phase them a bit. We look forward to the first harvest of sungolds, brandywines, and other varieties.

 

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We have some extra help on the farm. Some younger family members made it down to visit for a month so they assisted in getting the fence set up and painted. We also have our new farm family on the property! Casey (pictured above in the last fence photo) and Athena (pictured below, painting) arrived this past month. They brought along their two sweet girls, Ara and Blitzen, as well. We are delighted that they are here and look forward to continuing to work with them. Their arrival happened at the perfect time.

 

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While family was visiting this month, they help progress on the farm. These two girls painted the roof of our market and it really snazzied up the place.

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The event barn was enjoyed by our family when it came to meal time. My dining room table was not large enough to seat everyone on the farm! The family said they loved the view from the barn, as well as the cool place to relax.

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The reason for the large group of people on the farm is because we had the Moffitt Family Reunion to attend in Ohio. The hostess of the reunion had some friends that had several horses that were trained to give buggy rides (not pictured). She also had a friend who owned a biplane! Everyone loved the events. Brant and Trent were able to go in the biplane together and the pilot was kind enough to take a photo mid-flight.

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Brant, his father, Athena, and a few others were able to remove two trees that were growing into the side of a barn. They were very quick, efficient, and innovative in their ability to accomplish such a big task.

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We also had this lovely couple get engaged on the farm this past month. They took their engagement photos around the homestead.

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And last, but certainly not least, I present to you the beautiful canine additions to the homestead. Blaize (pictured on top) is an English Pointer that has been on the farm since April. She has encouraged the coyote population to keep their distance, which the chickens and geese appreciate. Pictured in the last two photos are Quinn and Duchess. These two are part of the Waters family.

Photog Blog

 

The month of March consisted of several events. Fortunately, I was able to capture several of them in photo form.

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The guys added blown insulation to the workshop, making it much cozier to work in.

 

 

 

 

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David Orr made a trip to the homestead during spring break. He, along with the rest of the guys, accomplished several projects, including putting up the fence in front of the main driveway.

 

 

 

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A panoramic view of the fence.

 

 

 

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This lovely pile of brush is what came from the south side of the driveway. The guys cleaned in up to make a loop in the road. It makes it much easier to get large equipment and trucks around the barns/farm.

 

 

 

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While Mr. Orr was on the homestead, he and ML treated everyone to fire-baked pizzas! Daniel Orr was kind enough to whip up the dough for the meal.

 

 

 

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It was a great way for us to learn how to work the pizza oven.

 

 

 

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Homemade pizza, hot from the oven!

 

 

 

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Mr. Orr and Brant delivered some new residents to the homestead… Cotton Patch Geese. They are beautiful and have made a smooth transition to their new home.

 

 

 

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We also had some goslings {not pictured} in the mix. They are the softest and fuzziest little creatures I’ve ever been lucky enough to cuddle.

 

 

 

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Within the first couple of days, we received two eggs from the geese. Look at the size diffence of these things compared to our chicken eggs!

 

 

 

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I was thankful to see the change in chicken-egg production when Spring weather came along. We are now receiving about seven eggs per day. We also have a hen that is laying gray eggs {Second row, second egg}.

 

 

 

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Tulips bloomed in front of the cabin and really put on a show.

 

 

 

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The daffodils were not in short supply for the welcoming of Spring.

 

 

 

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ML was able to provide FARMBloomington with enough daffodils for Easter Brunch, along with some wild onions and day lillies.

 

 

 

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We planted several things during the month of March. While we were working in the gardens we discovered these BIG, healthy worms.

 

 

 

I’ll be posting again soon for April. Hope everyone is well and has been enjoying Spring.

Jan-bruary

So… I’m posting later than I had planned.

It has been a busy month and last weekend my Permaculture class started back up from the holiday break and this weekend I had a beekeeping class, so that tweaked my schedule a bit.

Beautiful variety of our farm eggs. Hoping to soon have enough to sell.

Beautiful variety of our farm eggs. Hoping to soon have enough to sell.

 

The month of January cosisted of LOTS of projects and jobs on the farm. In the beginning of the month, the boys spent time cleaning up the silo floor. It was in far better shape than anticipated.

 

Here's a BEFORE photo.

Here’s a BEFORE photo.

 

Middle of clean up.

Middle of clean up.

 

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And currently.

 

I will get a more recent photo when it’s finished. I’m sure the rain and snow have washed away some of the mud.  I will continue to update as changes are made.

 

As some of you may have seen, mulch has been getting trucked in and spread, by hand, over the gardens. We have about FIVE HUNDRED cubic yards of the stuff.  It’s an impressive amount, I can certainly tell you that.

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The hard-working minion and Dad.

 

We set up a SoilMate account, as well.

“Soil Mate is an organization looking to push forward the local food and drink message. We believe that it is essential to all aspects of health, community and sustainability that we reconnect with the origins of our food and drink, and understand how and where it is grown, and by whom. The message is simple: know your farmer, know your food.”

Check it out when you have a moment! I’ll be updating the profile as we progress.

 

https://www.soilmate.com/farms/kolb-homestead#listing-tabs=blog

 

Now, the exciting news… We have baby chicks! Beautiful little Easter Egger Bantams. We received them in the mail a few days ago. It was the cutest box of fluff I’ve ever seen. Not that it’s common for us to receive boxes of fluff in the mail. Our minions were very excited and have spent the past few days observing the chicks play, peck, and eat.

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As soon as we took them out of their box, we taught them to drink. *No animals were harmed in the making of this photo.*

Minion #1 getting some cuddles.

Minion #1 getting some cuddles.

 

Shortly, we will be bringing a larger variety of animals to the homestead.

 

 

~Momma Moffitt’s Final Tidbit~

The weather seems to be getting slightly warmer but, for those days that you need a little extra boost of warmth in a small room, you can use an inexpensive terra-cotta heater.

All you will need is:

– a terra-cotta pot with a stand

– matches or lighter

– one or two tea lights

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The supplies.

 

Place tea light on the terra-cotta stand and light the wick.

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Then place the pot upside down on top of the stand. Make sure the pot sits at an angle to allow for air circulation. Otherwise, the candle will not burn as hot and could snuff out.

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And, there you have it! A super simple, and inexpensive, way to add a little extra heat to a room. It should heat for two to four hours. I have seen where other people have  decorated their heaters but I’ll be putting our pot back to use in the green house as Spring grows nearer.

Hello, Indiana!

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Hello, All!

I, Shelley, am the new blogger for Kolb Homestead. We have been here, on the farm, for almost six months now and have loved every minute of it! I thought I’d provide you all with a little information, about myself and our family, and our work.

Before we arrived at Kolb Homestead, our family had traveled all over the place. Brant and I grew up in Colorado. Not the pretty part, but the desert. Brant joined the military  after he graduated and, since then, we have traveled all around the west and a large part of Europe. Any one that hasn’t visited Europe should give it some serious thought. It’s beautiful! Once Brant finished with the military, we made plans to move to Indiana, and we were fortunate enough to find Kolb Homestead. We arrive on the homestead in early July, along with our four children: Trent, age 6; Trinity, age 4; Westley, age 2; and Willow, age 1.

Since July, we have stayed quite busy. Brant attended a Permaculture course shortly after we arrived and I am in the middle of attending classes for the same course. We have reinvigorated the red brick house and are almost finished with painting. Vegetable production was booming this summer and we had tomatoes galore. I worked on getting the market up and running. I was able to open it up for a few weeks, which I really enjoyed. Our children took to the farm well and, despite the summer heat, roamed out to play in the fields and with the chickens while Brant and I picked produce.

Now, that we have a little more of a routine, my plan is to “routinely” write the blog, hopefully once a month. Cut me a little slack, I have four minions that keep me quite busy. 😀 I will be sharing our stories as we implement the permaculture plan on the homestead and continue to grow our business. I would love to interact with you all. Please feel free to comment or send messages with questions or advice.

~S~

 

 

Momma Moffitt’s Minute

EFFORTLESS EGGNOG – One of my favorite recipes for this time of year!

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 5 min.YIELD:16 servings
Ingredients
1/2 gallon cold milk, divided
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant French vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions
1. In a large bowl, whisk 3/4 cup milk and pudding mix until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the remaining milk. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 16 servings (2 quarts).

 

Welcome Shelley & Brant Moffitt

Kolb Homestead

3306 N. State Road 65

Patoka, Indiana 47666

August 10, 2014

 

For immediate release

 

Kolb Homestead Announces New Farm Family – Shelley & Brant Moffitt

 

Kolb Homestead is pleased to announce that we have a new farm family at the homestead on State Rd 65 five miles north of Princeton, Indiana.  Shelly and Brant Moffitt have recently joined us.  They have four children, Trent five years, Trinity four years, Westley 2 years and Willow 9 months.  We are excited to have this new farm family on board.

 

Brant and family have recently returned from an Air Force stint in Germany.  After seven years of military life, they are ready for more stability.  Brant grew up in on a farm in Colorado.  He has experience with livestock and some vegetable experience.   He is highly skilled in heavy equipment operation and maintenance as well as plumbing and irrigation.  As part of Brant’s preparation for life on the farm, he recently completed the Permaculture Design Course and received his International Certificate.

 

Shelley has her hands full with the children.  She is focused on healthy organic food preparation as well as baking.   She is interested in herbs and essential oils as well as the hospitality industry.  She will be responsible for our social media and marketing activities and community building.   Establishing the CSA and soliciting members for next growing season will be a primary focus.  Additionally, we are establishing a small farm market on site for retail vegetable sales.

 

Kolb Homestead has recently contracted with Patterns for Abundance a leading permaculture design firm run by Peter Bane and Keith Johnson to prepare a master permaculture plan for the entire homestead property.  This plan will lay the groundwork for implementation by Brant along with the Orr family.   There is lots of work to be done including erosion control and pasture and fencing upgrading in the short run.  Longer term, we would like to build a showcase for sustainable farming in the Midwest with educational opportunities and potentially a bed & breakfast.  Chef Daniel Orr at FARMbloomington will continue to utilize Kolb Homestead produce at his restaurant.  In addition, we are always seeking other local vendors and restaurants to purchase our produce.

 

Please contact us about participating in our CSA program via FACEBOOK or email.   Please welcome the Moffitts to the Princeton and Southern Indiana community.

 

Contacts and sources for additional information:

www.kolbhomestead.com or Kolb Homestead on FACEBOOK

 

Mary Lu Orr, 812-342-6015 or cell 812-343-8814, mlntorr@comcast.net, David Orr 713-256-4895, davidporr@yahoo.com,  Chef Daniel Orr, 812-344-4020, kitchdorr@aol.com

 

Brant & Shelley Moffitt, 812-270-1533, kolbhomestead@gmail.com

 

Patterns for Abundance – Peter Bane and Keith Johnson, 812-335-0383, 5421 E. King’s Rd, Bloomington, IN 47408 http://www.permacultureactivist.net/design/Designconsult.html

 

You can help – eat local, buy local, support local farmers, join a CSA, volunteer

CSA is full!

All our CSA shares have been sold! If you signed up, thank you!

We may be able to put you in touch with other area CSAs if you are still looking for a share.

Thanks!

Greenhouse!

Even though it still seems like we’re in the depths of Winter, Spring really is just around the corner! We’re starting plants in the greenhouse. Mostly onions, but some early greens like spinach and kale.

For the first time we’re starting our seeds in soil blocks, as opposed to the usual plastic seedling trays. Its definitely a learning process, getting the soil consistency just right! We mix compost, peat moss, soil, and sand to make the soil-starting mix.

The consensus is that soil blocks produce healthier seedlings, with less transplant shock when they get in the ground. Maybe best of all is the reduction of all the plastic waste that is usually created. Although its definitely a lot more work!

 

2014 CSA Shares now available!

We’ll be offering a limited number of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares for the 2014 growing season. For details, and to sign up, please click on the “Community Supported Agriculture” tab on the top of this page. THANKS!