Hands down fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cool, crisp mornings and the sparkling azure sky. It is also the time of year that we finally get relief from the long, hot, dry summer and can actually begin to grow things again. Suffice it to say that I am eagerly [...]
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+ [...]
The signs of spring are everywhere, and with all of the rain we have been getting since fall, this spring promises to be a glorious one.
Our winter crops are thriving and many early spring crops have been started. It feels a lot like spring already which is a bit worrisome. Spring seems to arrive a little bit earlier each year, but to have it start in January just seems a bit extreme. The crops, however, are loving the cool nights [...]
With all the warm weather we have been having it doesn’t really seem like winter. Hard freezes have been sparse so far this winter and with the regular rainfall we have had all fall cool-weather plants and crops are thriving. It also looks like wildflowers will make a welcome return this spring after having almost none last spring.
Up until today, October hasn’t felt much like fall, but that changed yesterday evening when our first strong cold front blew in. Later in the week we may be needing to cover our warm weather crops to keep them from freezing.
Due to the brutal and extended heat and drought that we have been enduring here in central Texas our fall crops have been slow to start, but the recent moderation in temperatures has allowed our early fall crops to get going and has somewhat revived some of our late summer crops. So, we were able to deliver our very first CSA farm shares last week. We are now officially “in business” as a CSA farm! Last week’s shares included basil, okra, eggplant, southern shelling peas, peppers, pac choy, swiss chard, mixed greens and farm eggs.
It is really tricky getting cool weather fall crops started when the weather is 100+ every day, but the window of opportunity for the fall growing season is fleeting and many crops must be set out in the August/Sept timeframe in order to have time to produce. Heck, it is still so hot that the tomatoes and peppers that I planted in early July are barely producing blooms much less fruit at this point even though they are under shade structures.
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. [...]
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.
I have been occupying myself with caring for the transplants in the greenhouse and propagating more warm weather vegetables and herbs. I have also started putting some of the chard, broccoli, and cauliflower transplants out into the gardens, but had a bit of a setback last night due to the temperature dipping down to 26.
The transplants in the greenhouse are thriving for the most part, although it has been a bit of a challenge keeping the greenhouse cool enough for the broccoli, chard and lettuce during the unusual warm period we have been experiencing for the past couple of weeks. The temp rose to 84 F outside yesterday, which [...]
As a first step in tidying up the entrance to the farm, Ron hung prayer flags over the birms on either side of the gate. A day or so after he hung them we had a note in our mailbox from one of our neighbors inquiring where we obtained such nice, big prayer flags.
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.
I chose the seed varieties below for the late winter garden. I love the new Seeds of Change seed packaging. It is much easier to use, waterproof, re-sealable, and environmentally friendly. The descriptions below were copied from the Seeds of Change web site (with a few comments added by me), and links are provided to [...]