It must be the nature of the work that I do, solitary and not especially mentally challenging, that contributes to my brain deciding to entertain itself by playing songs in my head. They tend to be somewhat annoying songs like the theme song to “Green Acres”, or “On a Wonderful Day Like Today”. I try [...]
We are right in the middle of the dog days of summer which the hot and dry conditions of late reflect. This is a tricky time for Central Texas vegetable farmers because early fall crops such as tomatoes and winter squash must be planted now in order to produce before first frost, but the 100+ [...]
We have recently completed our first year of organic market farming. Looking back over the year I must say that it has been full of ups and downs, but I have never regretted our decision to devote ourselves to farming full time.
We are already well into spring now here at the farm. We are harvesting onions and starting to harvest the first of the yellow finn potatoes. We have loads of not quite ripe tomatoes on the plants in the greenhouse and on the plants outdoors and expect to have ripe tomatoes in a couple of [...]
It has been so busy on the farm getting ready for spring that I haven’t had time to post lately. I have, however, taken the time to take some pictures so I thought I would create a slide show to share some of the activities that have been keeping us busy. We are planning to [...]
I really enjoy fall and winter farming. There are many reasons why I like fall and winter growing better than spring and summer growing, but the main one is that I like to eat the fall and winter crops more than those that we are able to grow in the hot months. And when you [...]
Our weather has now moderated just enough to get our fall gardens planted. Our daily highs are now in the mid-90s and our lows are often in the 50s and 60s. This is perfect for tomatoes, peppers and the warm weather crops, but it is still a bit hot for cool weather plants like pac choi, collards and broccoli. Nonetheless, I planted both cool weather and warm weather transplants in the market garden last week. I also direct seeded some green beans, cucumbers and summer squash in this garden area all of which have sprouted and are growing well.
Even the most established and experienced market and CSA farmers in the Austin and Central Texas areas are saying that this spring-summer season in our area has been the hardest that they have EVER seen.
We have been keeping busy with harvesting, progression planting, fall crop planting and fall and winter crop planning. July is the critical time to get certain fall crops such as tomato, pepper, okra, and eggplant transplants in the ground to assure production before cold weather sets in. We also need to get pumpkins and winter [...]
We are still having temperatures over 100 F most days, although we finally got a half an inch of rain last night so we may only get to the upper 90s today. With a little luck we many even get another shower this afternoon! Amazingly the vegetable gardens are still looking healthy, growing and producing. [...]
I knew farming in Central Texas was going to be challenging. Heat and drought tolerant plant varieties are a must for spring and summer crops. Raised beds and well conditioned garden soil help in dealing with the highly alkaline, caliche filled soil that is predominant in the hill country.
Farming and gardening in this part of Central Texas, especially since the effects of climate change have become more pronounced and frequent, require special methods and techniques to assure vegetable production and plant health. I have found that growing in raised beds filled with high quality soil and compost, with the sides and part of [...]
Another sure sign of spring is the annual Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour, which is coming up on April 23, 2011. Ron went on the tour last year so we could get ideas for our first chicken coop and to collect information from local experts about what types of chickens do well here. Now, less than a year later, we have our first coop and a nice little family of chickens, two hens and one rooster.
Some twelve or thirteen years ago Ron and I, disappointed in our corporate high tech jobs, set a goal of starting our own small business. We weren’t completely sure exactly what kind of business it would be at that point, just that it would involve growing plants and vegetables. And so we set out on our journey of learning and discovery. There was so much to know, so many decisions to make, so far to go to get where we wanted to be. It seemed overwhelming and confusing many times, but we kept moving along at a slow and steady pace.
Trellis construction is now complete and it looks really good. We found some copper covered post caps which tie in with the copper roofs of the bird houses that are mounted on the taller posts on either side of the stairs that lead to the lower garden. In keeping with the copper accents, I found some string lights with copper shades which I may purchase to string under the trellis, but I haven’t made up my mind on that purchase yet.