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This begins year two of living and working on our farm and business life. To recap, almost 11 years ago, David created David's Garden Seeds®. We finally found the perfect piece of land out in the country, just outside of Poteet, Texas, in a tiny community called Rossville. We fell in love with it immediately.
We bought the land on July 30, 2019. We sold our home in San Antonio and moved onto the land, living in a shed at first on August 16, 2019. We moved into our new home in the middle of September but our business remained in San Antonio. We started building raised garden beds and we put in an orchard.
Coronavirus hit hard in the middle of March and we had so many seed orders that we had to hire nine additional people to help us get through. By May, we were through with the crises and had enough money to buy all four buildings we needed to bring our business to the farm. Just last month, the entire business was moved to the farm and we are finishing out the fourth and final (for now) building for the business.
We are so grateful to everyone who ordered seeds from us to help bring David's Garden Seeds® to the farm! We are thankful to our Mighty Provider for keeping us working through a global pandemic and for enabling us to help others who lost their jobs during such a difficult time!
Just last week, we celebrated a year of working on our farm and business life, getting it ready not only to live on, but to bring our business to. Now begins year two.
Today was a very busy day. We had over 600 orders waiting to be filled and I was in a hurry this morning to beat Karen to the store. I hurriedly fed the chicks, the cat, and our three dogs, got dressed and ready for the day and ran out here. I printed out the website orders and got them done before Karen walked in the door. We had a lot of big orders, $80 and up, including three that were over $100 and one that was $294.00.
Today was payday so I had a lot of checks to write when we heard from the accountant. There were a lot of price fixes and adding new product to the website.
We had several customers in the store today, some local, others from San Antonio. We also had one job applicant. We just hired six locals in July so we are full up right now, but we are taking resumes for later. You never know when someone might quit or when the coronavirus will break out again and our orders will go up.
David bought a pallet of boxes from U-Line and since building number four is not yet finished, he had our guys stack them in the store. There was a scorpion on the outside of one of the boxes. I mentioned it and one of our guys, Caleb, knocked it to the floor and stepped on it. Awesome! The boxes do block the A/C from hitting me so I spent the day hot. I feel like a wall is being built around the counter area where my desk is.
Farm and business life are mingling together. I got off work and it is now 6pm but I am still working on this website. I need to go home and make dinner and do laundry.
A little later in the evening it poured again, making the already wet sand even wetter. We were watching some Barnaby Jones and I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up at 9pm and realized I slept through the time that I should have put the chickens to bed and now it was dark. I got up, turned the flashlight on my cell phone, manned up (yes, I am a darkness coward) and went out to the chicken coop. Did I mention that I took my dog, Lucy, with me?
Amazingly, I did not encounter any snakes or coyotes along the way. By the time I got to the chicken coop, all of the chickens were inside their bedroom, on their perches. They are such good little chicks. I locked the door and Lucy and I went back inside.
Around 10pm, (it's always late at night or on weekends, never during business hours) I started getting more Facebook messages from a customer who said she never received her seeds from July 23 and that they are stuck in a city 60 miles from her home. She wants me to contact USPS and let them know so they can ship the seeds to her. She gave me the tracking number. Tracking shows they are on the move and they will be late, but what mail is not late during this covid madness? Not to mention that a hurricane just hit in that area this past week.
It looks like she will receive her package this week. We deal with this a lot. Coronavirus is a big factor plus the hurricane means your package will be late. I am an Amazon Prime member. When I lived in San Antonio, I got some packages on the same day I ordered them. I got others the next day. Most came in two days like they are supposed to when you are a Prime member.
When we moved to the country last year, I could no longer get same day or even one day shipping. Sometimes I would get two day delivery, but most of the time it was three or four day delivery. Since corona hit back in March, it takes between five days and four weeks to receive my Prime orders. Most of the time, I get packages within two weeks. Why? Because Amazon has less workers to pack them up and the USPS has less workers to deliver them.
The whole country is suffering through this, not just one person. In troubled times, be patient. We all have rules we must follow and with so many staying home, things take longer because less are at work to do things. No one likes it but we do not have control over it. This is a part of farm and business life in 2020, a crazy year at best.
Good morning. I went into the new building this morning, and Eddie the sheet rocker did a great job sheet rocking the two bathrooms yesterday. He left early because he ran out of sheet rock. Matthew, our son, is picking more up right now.
Alexa says it will be 100° Fahrenheit here today. Several contractors are out back doing something in the field, all part of our farm and business life. David is back there as well. I am in the David's Garden Seeds® Farm Store, waiting to turn on the open lights.
Karen and Brendon have already started on the seed orders. Farm and business life includes a lot of orders and a whole lot of work.
We have Top Notch Lawn Care out here today, building a fence along the far side of the driveway to keep trucks out of the sand and on the driveway. Hopefully, they don't hit the fence.
Eddie the dry waller is here again finishing up the new building for
now. We will finish the rest of the building later when we have the
funds to do it up right. We could finish it now, but we want the
commercial kitchen to be super nice. We could finish it now but we want
things a certain more costly way so we will finish it when we have saved
up enough funds for it. If you didn't know, we pay cash for everything.
We do not charge anything. (Yes, we do Dave Ramsey and we have taught FPU 14 times now.)
Good morning from the farm! I had so much to do this morning at the house regarding farm and business life, money, and plants, that I was late getting to the store. However, I did not need to worry since I now have a trusty store assistant, Karen. She got the orders printed and filled and started stocking the rows of seeds. This girl is awesome!
Karen is redoing the Zinnia Seed section in the store and I spent the rest of the morning updating the website. I added quite a few new zinnias. They are so pretty and they will keep on blooming until the frost wipes them out. They take about 80 days to start blooming and after that, they are all gorgeous blooms!
We also have a bunch of new collections now. Most of our collections have been reduced to three or four varieties of seeds inside.
Someone came in on Monday looking for more seed starter kits which we were out of. We made some yesterday but we are waiting for the tops to come in. Hopefully, they will be ready by Friday. We do not ship them out but you can get them in our store.
The mold is high here this week and my nose is clogged. It feels so uncomfortable.
Back to farm and business life, our dry waller is back today finishing up our bathrooms. Right now, we are finishing those only. We will set up the employee breakroom in the fourth building but we won't finish it right now as we have run out of budgeted money. We want to finish it with a really nice commercial kitchen so, for now, we will wait until we have enough for everything we want instead of just finishing it to finish it.
Today, our chickens turned 14 weeks old. They have individual personalities, especially the guineas. The dark guinea with stripes and polka-dots is mean, banishing people back to the egg laying room instead of letting them come out and eat early in the morning.
We bought 24 chicks and two guineas. for the past two months, it has been hard to count them because they move so quickly, but I think I am missing an Americauna. There should be eight of them, and there could be, but I only count seven. I wonder what could have happened. And if it did happen, would the other chicks eat the missing one? I don't even want to think about it. Losing animals is a part of farm and business life. Once the chicks start laying in October, they will be a part of the business as we plan on selling eggs.
I also have several papaya trees left for $20 plus tax. There are some other plants out there but these are the main ones waiting to be taken to their forever homes. Farm and business life includes are plants that work hard to produce food or to protect us from bugs and earn money for us. They are watered early in the mornings. Keep them in pots to insure that the first frost won't kill them. Right now, it is 100° F and we would love to have a frost!
One of my best customers in San Antonio came by to see the store and get some fall seeds today. Jessica, it was great to see you and your sister as well as your baby girl. Jessica started gardening a little over two years ago and she has the golden touch. Everything she plants does very well. She backs it up with photos. It is amazing!
This morning we combined farm and business life by getting the team out into the orchard area to plant seeds for our fall garden. They are planting corn, beans, melons, cantaloupes, and a few other things. It is 100+ degrees F here in South Central Texas so we have a ways to go before it gets too cool to grow these things. I have a lot of photos but then I had to get back to the store.
We also have a greenhouse full of plants we started from seed that are ready to be planted in our raised garden beds with more seeds that were just started. It is a fun day here at David's Garden Seeds® Farm. Many of our team have never planted anything before so it is a good learning experience for them!
We still have plants growing from spring. I have cucumbers, ground cherries, tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelons that are still producing. The sandy soil does a great job of producing! Our soil, here in the Poteet area, is beach sand without the water.
Matthew started a ten day Facebook ad campaign this afternoon. Hopefully, that will pay off.
This evening, I went outside and found a beautiful Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant in our second greenhouse that was loaded with Sun Gold tomatoes. They were juicy and sweet, almost like eating fruit! (I know--tomatoes are fruit but they don't taste like fruit.)
Happy Friday! I am by myself in the store today because my assistant had to be off today. I pulled the orders and filled them. I have done a lot of price and seed quantity fixes on the website. I have shipped items, dealt with customers, attended two management meetings, written business checks, and dealt with contractors.
Today is the last day for one of our part time, temporary team members so we let him go with an extra week's pay. We will be having a team meeting in just a few minutes. This is all part of the farm and business life that David and I, as owners, go through every day. I still need to put up social media posts for next week so our sales can go up.
The new bathrooms are completed except for the lights. Our electrician will be here tomorrow to finish up the electricity in the two bathrooms in the new building. The two outhouses we have by the driveway will be taken away next Wednesday. That is definitely good news.
Did you know that we have to pay a franchise tax once a year to the state of Texas just for the privilege of selling and making a decent amount of money? Yes, that was today. The payment was over $5,000.00 and guess what? We are not a franchise. We are a stand alone seed company that my husband founded almost 11 years ago. The crazy amount of taxes we have to pay every quarter and every year is truly ridiculous.
Today, I looked at the hen who has been looking like a rooster. More feathers have grown in and they look wet and green. She is definitely a he. Now what do I do? I will have to read up on it. We were supposed to get girls only for egg production...
Karen came in to work to make up time so the store was open. She ended up having just one customer but she was busy with a lot of orders. People are still afraid to come to shop because of corona. This has been a crazy year. I got some things done around the house that I never seem to have time for. No one wants to clean our house and I just don't have time because I am constantly working.
Someone gave me a phone number of a housekeeper (supposedly) in San Antonio. I called her and she asked what she could do for me. I said, "You're not a housekeeper, are you?" Turns out she is a consultant who helps get houses ready to sell. I can't find anyone who wants to clean a house. Don't people need money? I am so confused. I am willing to pay $12.00 an hour for someone to come in for five hours a day, three days a week to clean. We have already done the lump sum for a few hours five times and they don't do much at all so we are not doing that again.
One woman said she would clean the house for $300.00 for three hours a week and do windows. She did not do the windows one time. When I asked her about it, she said that would be extra. We were paying her $100 more than she wanted so she would do windows but she would not do them. I have more stories but what is wrong with people? I guess putting up with people who are here for a check and have no integrity or work ethic is a part of farm and business life, right?
The electrician did not show up. He called saying his truck was out of commission. Farm and business life can be put on hold when employees and contractors call in to say they cannot make it.
David tried to water the seeds in the back 40 that our team members planted earlier in the week. He could not get the back faucet to come on. Only one of our workers turns it off that tight. It should not be turned off at all. David ordered a key for it but it won't be in until next Tuesday so we cannot water. It is our water. We paid $20,000.00 to have the well dug. David has told this person five times previously not to twist it so hard that he or I cannot turn it on. He finally came out to the farm on Saturday evening and turned it on. Not sure how he does it without any effort when we cannot. We feel like we have to ask permission to use things on our property. That is ridiculous and frustrating. Just leave it the way you found it, which was in the "on" position!
Another part of farm and business life is feeding our animals. David and I got out this afternoon and went to Tractor Supply. First time I have been in many months, maybe since April. We got some chick feed and grit and we bought our first 50 pound bag of rabbit since we are getting rabbits on Tuesday.
Overall, Saturday was a good day. I baked some peanut butter cookies, some white chocolate macademia cookies, and a loaf of oat bread. We watched Svengoolie and had a good time.
When you have animals, farm and business life means you have to take care of the animals before any real business. I got up and fed and watered the cat and the three dogs. Then I went outside and took care of the chicken coop.
We skipped church today but watched it online. Good thing we didn't go because it was almost three hours long! That did not include Sunday School. That was extra.
Today, I finally got to go grocery shopping. I was out of a lot of basics. I hate wearing a mask but we really needed some things. So I sucked in my anger about being forced to wear a worthless mask that does not do any good and got some stuff. A few times, I felt very sick breathing in my own CO2 but since the government doesn't care, I just hurried up. That was the first time I had shopped for groceries since Texas made it mandatory to wear a mask. Thanks, Governor.
In the afternoon, the electrician showed up and installed electricity and lights in the two new bathrooms. He was here until almost 8pm and he said he would be back next Saturday to finish. So now our team members can use the new bathrooms and we can get rid of the lovely smelling outhouses by the driveway. This is a good part of farm and business life.
Late in the day, I finally got in the pool, cleaned it out, and added chlorine and fresh water. I went for a short swim. The water felt great.
Farm and business life are pretty much combined together now that we live and work out here on the farm. Everything in farm and business life are almost the same. There are almost always people on the property who don't live here starting at 6am and sometimes they are here until after 8pm. Hopefully, we will put an end to some of that in the near future.
At 11pm, I got an angry message on the business Facebook page. I have no idea what the guy wanted as he did not say. He referred to an email back in June. I asked what it was regarding. He never answered back. Farm and business life continues on nights and weekends when the business is closed.
We are David's Garden Seeds®. If you need great seeds, we've got about 2000 varieties to choose from.
Find out what is going on down on the farm by reading our blog and by subscribing to our free newsletter for all of the information going down at David's Garden Seeds® and on the farm. I love to share helpful information with you. Please let your friends know and y'all come on down for a visit when you get the chance. We would love to meet you!