We are getting a lot of new fall seed orders at David's Garden Seeds®. Today, the mailman left with five USPS boxes of orders from us! Orders are picking up again. Of course, the country is starting to shut down again due to a supposed increase of coronavirus so that may have something to do with it as well.
I am seeing a lot of orders for the following seeds:
A few weeks ago, the governor of Texas started closing the state a bit by decreasing business visitors allowed in businesses again. We have heard that other states are doing the same. We can no longer go into stores or other public places in Texas without masks. So I usually stay home now, which is ridiculous. So much for freedom.
Good Monday morning! I have been busy pulling a lot of fall seed orders that have come into David's Garden Seeds®. The orders have started going back up again and most of the seeds that are being ordered are for fall planting and are going all over Texas!
I am also getting a lot of flower seed orders for all over the United States. We have had several hundred orders each day now for a week and they are not slowing down.
One of our contractors put up a front porch on the brand new building today so we can get in and out as we fix it up.
Our internet specialist who we used in San Antonio, Flavio, came out this evening to set up our cloud. He was here until 8pm along with our manager, Jay. As they left, I walked out to close the gates.
Today, we sent five boxes of fall seed orders with the mailman. We already have a huge stack of fall seed orders for him to take tomorrow. I filled orders for several hours this morning and we have some other employees in another building working on them.
Another construction team worked all day long inside the new building today, Nahass Construction. I imagine they were putting up sheet rock but I have not checked yet.
I toured the inside after 6pm and they framed rooms out, no sheet rock yet. There will be two bathrooms, a break room, a storage area, a commercial kitchen, and an office for David. Currently, David is in the seed building, but there is no separate room. Several employees work in that building plus others come in for seeds all day long. A CEO needs his own office with walls and a door so if he is having a discussion with the manager or is taking a phone call, he can have privacy.
I got my Mrs. David's Garden Seeds® T shirts today. I sure hope they fit. It is time to close the store and go make dinner now. The animals will be happy to see me and get fed. It has been a very hot (104°) and long day.
When I closed the store at 6pm today, I saw that Flavio was back. For some reason, the cloud was not working today. He, our manager, Jay, as well as our IT guy, Rock, stayed again until 8pm. After they left, I had to go close the gates again as Matthew was sound asleep.
Good morning! Our fall seed orders have been picking up and we have three full boxes for the mailman as that is all the boxes he left us. They are packed tight.
Nacho and his son, Seth, were out here this morning, putting up barriers made of cedar in front of buildings two and three so that no one would actually drive into the buildings. The posts remind me of old western TV shows where you tie up your horse and go into the saloon. They look pretty cool.
Nahass Construction is here again today, doing some more framing in building number four. Across the way, some of our guys are putting up shade cloth between buildings two and three. It has been over 100° everyday for more than two weeks now and it is miserably hot and humid. I sure hope they put some up at the front of my chicken coop. The hot sun really hits it in the afternoon until sundown.
Today, our baby chicks are eleven weeks old. They look like full grown chickens, almost. They are having a blast playing in the cool air that blows on them in the 100° plus weather now. I fed them early this morning and I found ants in their feed dish as well as in their sand bath. I dumped the feed dish onto the ground so they could eat the feed as well as the ants, hopefully. I always dump some feed with grit on the ground plus fill two feeders with chick feed because there are so many (26). That way they can spread out and they have fun going back and forth between the three areas to feed.
I added a bit of food grade Diatomaceous Earth to their sand bath so that should take care of the ants. We have been giving them some of our garden greens, melon, and some veggies in the afternoon to keep them cool and they love it.
Happy Thursday! We have been filling fall seed orders all day long again. There is a lot going on. First of all, shout out to Apache for dumping our dumpster three weeks in a row on Thursday. They were dumping once or twice a month on Friday and the other weeks on Saturday or the following Monday. They changed the dump date which is fine because it is overflowing. We have several construction teams out here everyday trying to get the new building finished so we can start using it.
Nahass Construction is here putting in outside bathroom doors today.
A freight FedEx truck came and delivered a whole lot of mason jars for canning to be done in our not yet built commercial kitchen so we can sell what we can. Jay, our manager, is on the loading dock and told me they were envelopes. LOL!
They are definitely mason jars. We had a whole pallet earlier in the year and David gave away a bunch to the church so they could can for people from the church garden.
I have two more days of work by myself until my helper comes on Monday. I am so excited. It will be nice to get something to eat for lunch and sit in my kitchen for 15 minutes to eat it instead of having to rush and eat while I am in the store. For instance, today, this happened:
At noon, I ran to the house and grabbed some leftovers that I heated in the microwave. I grabbed them and ran back over to the store. As I was eating them, a piece of chicken tickled the back of my throat, causing my eyes to water and then I started full on coughing and choking. I could not speak. I know this because at that moment the mailman walked in to get the mail and he said that doesn't sound good. I lifted my food so he could see it and understand that I was choking on it and that I don't have the Covid. He got out of here pretty quick.
My new Mrs. David's Garden Seeds® shirts do fit so I am relieved about that. You never know when you order shirts online if they are made too small. I have a lot of extra large shirts that fit me like a size medium.
I have been sitting in the store hearing funny noises. I just went outside and a UPS truck along with another large FedEx freight truck are out there. The FedEx truck missed the driveway so he is stuck in the sand. He is number 16 since last August when the first delivery driver/vendor got stuck in the sand because they don't stay on the driveway. Can you believe that? The UPS driver was able to squeeze out of the gate.
Well, it is now 30 minutes later and the FedEx truck is still stuck in the sand, blocking most of the driveway, inconveniencing our staff, and any other delivery trucks and customers. Some of our employees left the property and now they are parked outside the fence next to the road. If people would just use a bit of common sense and stay on the driveway, they would be fine. The soil here is all soft sand so we have had to pay thousands of dollars to have trucks bring in gravel and caliche to make both our large driveway and our parking lot. Why would we do that if the sand is okay to drive on? People don't think!!
Finally a forklift came with two white pickup trucks and got him unstuck!
Happy Friday! It is 3:30pm as I write and so far, no one has gotten stuck in the sand today. We filled a lot of fall seed orders. The fall seed orders continue to pour in so if you are going to order some seeds or visit our farm store to shop in person, you should do it soon before we run out of all of your favorite seeds.
We had a delicious barbecued pork rib lunch, catered again by Bart Oropeza. There was no special occasion. David just wanted everyone to know that he appreciates their hard work.
David hired another part timer this afternoon to help out with packaging our seeds. During the interview process, I heard him mention our "pitiful" crops out back that he saw during a previous tour of our farm that David had given him. I guess he does not realize that running a seed company and keeping it going through a pandemic while other seed companies have shut down, takes a lot of work and time, even more so because we had to drive an hour one way each day to get to our shop in San Antonio and then another at the end of the day. We would get home in the dark, exhausted, never getting a chance to look at our garden.
Now, let me explain a bit about the spring gardening season of 2020. David has had beautiful gardens for most of the 33 years we have been married. He is a really good gardener. Gardening is his favorite hobby and that is how he started David's Garden Seeds®.
This year, we were in a brand new place to grow spring crops since we moved here last August. Our outside workers had to do most of the gardening work this past spring and they are not gardeners. Because of the coronavirus, while many folks were in quarantine, David and I had to drive back and forth seven days a week, spending about 12 hours a day at work with no time to give our garden any real attention. We would get up and leave the farm at 6am in the dark, and usually we would not arrive back at the farm until 8pm in the dark. We did all of this to fill the tens of thousands of orders (no, I am not exaggerating) we received from the time the coronavirus started in March of 2020 through the beginning of July when we finally got the whole team moved out here at David's Garden Seeds® Farm.
All of the major seed companies shut down periodically during that time or they only sold commercially, not to backyard gardeners. We stayed open through it all and we hired more people temporarily to fill our customer orders. That is why our corn looked pitiful. It did not receive the normal care David gives because he could not be here.
We are so grateful to all of our customers who ordered from us in the spring and summer of 2020 and we are happy that we could serve you during that scary time. Thank you for keeping our small essential business going. Because you ordered from us, our team members kept their jobs and we were able to hire nine additional people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. In return, God blessed our business and provided the money for our buildings so we could move out to the farm several years earlier than we had planned. We were able to pay for them. We follow Dave Ramsey's plan of living debt free so we were thrilled.
End of rant...
Nahass Construction finished the framing inside of our fourth building. They will be back to drywall once the plumbing for the bathrooms and kitchen is finished. Our electrician should be out to work on the electric for the building tomorrow.
On Monday, my new store helper is starting work here in the store with me. I will teach her how to fill fall seed orders as well as stock the store and run the register. I am so excited. During the five weeks the store has been open out here on the farm, I have been filling website fall seed orders, helping customers, and stocking the store, as well as adding to the website by myself. There have been long hours with no breaks, except running in the house quickly to use the facilities, and nuke some food and run back.
We cut back the store hours so I did not have to spend 65 hours a week in here but now that I am getting help, we are changing the store hours. We will be closed on Sundays. I really need at least one day off! Monday through Friday, we will be open from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays, we will open at 9am and close at 2pm. These hours are subject to change based on the amount of customers we have.
The first two weeks we were open, we closed at 6pm every day. Not one customer ever has come after 4pm so we cut out those two hours each day. It just didn't make sense for me to sit here from 4pm to 6pm when I could be in the house making dinner and getting caught up on laundry. Once we get a steady flow of customers, after the coronavirus is gone, we will adjust and stay open later on some evenings if customer flow demands it.
This morning while our son, Matthew, was picking cucumbers, he found the skin of a snake by the Asian Cucumbers. I posted this photo on Instagram and one of our followers said it is the skin of a non-poisonous snake. Either way, so gross! I had my hand down in the cucumbers early this morning.
Our guys have found and killed several copperheads so far. I have yet to actually see one. I will probably scream my head off when I do.
There were tons of ants in my chicken feeders this morning. They were marching out of the coop, carrying chick feed. I followed a line of them far from the coop and finally found the anthill. I got some ant poison and hopefully took care of business. I thought chickens ate bugs but these have been getting thicker all week long.
After I fed my chickens early this morning, I went into two of the hoop houses. I almost walked right into this guy's web. It totally freaked me out right in the center walkway.
Our team members are getting ready to leave for the weekend. Matthew took all of the fall seed orders for Amazon to UPS. Brendon came by to dump my trash and Caleb brought me some seed collections to hang up in the store. We will have the store open tomorrow between 9am and 2pm if you would like to do some fall seed shopping instead of sending us your fall seed orders.
It is almost time to go make some dinner. I believe we will be having leftover ribs!
I went in the pool this evening. We had not been in for over a week and there were all kinds of nasty dead bugs and some live ones swimming around in there. The pool was out of chlorine, too. I added more water and a lot of chlorine. I scooped out as many dead and live bugs as I could. There are these live bugs with a lot of legs and they keep jumping back in and swimming around. I have no idea what they are.
This morning, I just finished the morning fall seed orders. It is noisy here as the electrician and his helper are working on the new building and redigging a trench that they are not happy with. The electrician just told me he is shutting my power off for at least 30 minutes so I guess I have to sit in here hot and if a customer does come during that time, I cannot ring him/her up. This should be fun.
At 11:50am, the electricity went off and I went in. At 2pm, I came to shut the store up and the electricity still was not back on so I could do nothing. Fortunately, no customers came at all today.
David and I talked and decided that during the continuing crisis that is corona, we will not open on Saturdays as no one has been here on a Saturday for weeks. There is no point in my sitting here when I could be cleaning my house. Once traffic picks up again, we will revisit Saturdays.
Tonight, we watched a movie that David wanted to see and then paused it to watch Svengoolie. We saw the original Wolfman. I fell asleep during parts of it, not because it was boring but because I was just so tired. I saw the second half and then after it went off, we continued with the first movie and I slept right through it. I have always hated naps but now I just don't get enough sleep!
Today was another hot one but it is reaching just in the high 90s now and for this coming week. The next week, it will be back in the 100s again.
I took melons out to the chickens this morning and this afternoon to help cool them off. They are still loving their air conditioner.
We went to our new church again and after that, we drove into San Antonio to see what was left in our old shop. There are still a few things like the extension cord up in the ceiling. Hopefully, someone will pull that out this week. The landlord will be stopping by to tell us what we need to do before he can rent it again.
When we got home, I fell asleep in front of the TV and then got up and went for a swim. It felt so good. I have been very tired lately.
I am excited that tomorrow my helper will start work. It should be great knowing that I will have help and that I can actually take a short lunch break!
Return from Fall Seed Orders to Our Small Farm
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Peppers and peas
And lots of yummy greens
You can't go wrong
With Squash This Long
At David's Garden Seeds
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