Sunday, March 24, 2013


Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;

No, there was no update last week, so a belated Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of our followers.

Mother Nature has been dictating our schedule recently. Donald went down to the production fields last weekend to work on prepping plots for planting, and only got to work on the second half of plot 1D (this is the plot we planted cabbage in 2-weeks ago), however, the production fields were wet and hard to work, and additional rain was forecast for the weekend, so prepping has been delayed. Instead, Debbie and Donald took a little time off and went to Fort Smith.

This weekend was more of the same - rain. We are not complaining, we need the moisture, but we also would like to get the rest of our February seeds down. We have postponed our March seed order until we get all of February seeds down.

The chickens are progressing well. We should be able to release them either Easter Sunday or the Sunday after. Donald and Debbie went shopping this weekend for supplies and finally got a gate for the chicken run and Donald put the gate up. There is some final fence work to be done, the ramp into the hen house to be added, and one part of the roof of the hen house to be replaced, and we will be ready to move the chickens in.

The peppers and tomatoes currently being grown in the barn have started to sprout and are doing well.

With the weather preventing field work, Donald has been working on the Farm Food Safety Plan, part of our Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) program. As part of this effort, changes are being made in our operations to ensure that we will be in compliance with the Food Safety Plan.

Danielle has taken over responsibility for the poultry and will be assisted by Debbie. Elizabeth and Logan will be responsible for feeding and egg collection.

Debbie is responsible for ensuring that supplies are purchased and available as needed.

Donald will be responsible for heavy equipment operations, equipment maintenance and repair, and fence construction, maintenance, and repair.

Donald, Danielle, and Adam will share mowing and ground maintenance duties.

The entire family will be responsible for crop operations, including planning, ground preparation, planting, maintenance, and harvesting.

Adam will assist in all operations.

As we proceed, we will better define everyone's responsibility to ensure that we are making use of everyone's talents and abilities.

Until next week,

Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms

"Birth is nothing without virtue, and we have no claim to share in the glory of our ancestors unless we strive to resemble them.." Moliere

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;

As it is planting season, it was another busy week on the farm.

The week of February 25th, Donald prepared the information on seed needs for the March planting; however, we are waiting to get all of the February seed down before ordering the seed. We are hoping that we will not run into problems getting certain seeds, as seed availability is a concern with the drought that has plagued the mid-west and south over the past two years.

David finished the last 55 feet of fencing this past week and put down the Hydrolyzed Fish Powder in plot 1D, as well as the north half of plots 2C and 1B. A total of 25 gallons of water was mixed with a total of 7 pounds of Fish Powder for the applications.

David also tilled plots 1D, 2C, and 1B with help from Danielle (and a little help from Donald) and the plots were dragged to try to level them a little.

On Saturday, approximately 2,784 cabbage seeds were applied to the north half of plot 1D. Some experimentation was used during the planting. First, the Earthway Seeder was used to set the rows (without seed due to the amount of debris on the ground). Next, we attempted to "hand seed" using a PVC pipe to drop the seed, followed by raking the dirt over the seed. This did not seem effective and was very time consuming and we changed methods after the first 4 rows. The rest of the rows were planted using the Earthway Seeder. It seemed to work well, and definitely save time. A total of 16 rows were planted.

We are not sure if it was a blessing or a curse, but a storm rolled in Saturday night (expected, but due to planting deadlines, we planted anyway). It was a blessing as we did not have to water the seed; however, it may also be a curse, as the seeds (1) may have been washed away, and/or (2) the seed may rot if there is too much water. We are hoping that no damage was done and that we will see some growth in a couple of weeks.

We knew we were taking risks when we decided to direct seed the cabbage as we are not providing row covers this planting, and may have problems with cabbage beetles and other insects, but wanted to try doing the planting all-natural.

We still need to get the onions, carrots, lettuce, and radishes planted and hope to get most of it planted over the next week or two, depending on weather (we are entering severe weather season). The sooner we get these seeds down, the sooner we can order our March seed and get it planted.

We will be planting our spring crops through April, and then will start planning more cover crops and our fall planting.

David is watering the seed beds and caring for the chicks several times a day, and has to get up early to turn the grow lights on and go to bed late to turn them off, but he is learning a lot (as we all are).

Debbie attended her first Beginning Farmers and Ranchers class at the Kerr Center (it is actually the second class, but David had to fill in for her at the first class as she was in California). She enjoyed her class and is looking forward to the education and fellowship offered through this program.

Until next time ...

Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Update - 13FEB18 through 13MAR03

Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;

While Debbie and Donald were off the farm from February 18th through March 3rd (Debbie has been off the farm since January 2nd), David was hard at work.

The week of February 17th David managed to put up 470 feet of 16 gauge field fence and tied down 330 feet of field fence that he put up the week of February 17th.

The week of February 24th, David seeded 128 Arkansas Traveler tomatoes, 128 Cherokee Purple tomatoes, 544 Doe Hill Golden Bell Frying Peppers, 544 Ashe County Pimento Sweet Peppers, and 544 Long Red Cayenne Hot Peppers.

The seed beds are in trays, which are currently in our barn, either in cribs or on a table.

Seed Trays
Seed Trays on Table (door on saw horses)
Seed Trays in Modified Cribs
David received notification on Saturday, March 2nd that his chicks had hatched and they were on their way. He notified the local post office, however, he received a telephone call from the Poteau post office early Sunday morning that the chicks were in and needed to be picked up. On Sunday, March 3rd, David picked up 27 chicks, though one was dead (25 chicks were ordered, however, 1 "rare breed" and 1 "extra" chick were provided, so he netted 26 chicks, of which at least 25 chicks are Wyandotte Silver Laced chicks, and all chicks were quickly made comfortable in the barn.

Needless to say, David had a very busy two weeks on the farm and did an excellent job of caring for the farm while Debbie and Donald were away.

Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997)