It is a cold January winter on the farm. Not cold in the sense that most of the USA experiences during the winter months, but cold for south central Texas. There is snow in west Texas and up in the panhandle but we have had cold, windy weather, with temperatures dipping into the 30s and 40s at night. So far, we have not lost anything to frost yet.
Good Monday morning. Alexa said it is 37° Fahrenheit which is cold for south central Texas. Winter on the farm is actually a relief from the brutal heat and humidity that we experience in the summer. Yes, we are happy to have cold weather. It is supposed to get up to 71° this afternoon. Yesterday, it started out in the 30s and got up to 71° as well. The wind felt chilly all day long.
Today is a work day. It was nice having a three day holiday weekend but this week, we are back to reality.
First thing, we had a staff meeting and then I went over to the break room to see if there were any cinnamon rolls left. Linda, one of our local team members, made us the most delicious cinnamon rolls. Fortunately, there were still some left and I had some with black coffee. So good on a cold morning!
We had to go to our credit union for some new debit cards and we went next door for lunch to Cafe Chris. It was our first time. The place was packed and the food was so good. We will definitely go back. I had the quesadilla.
This afternoon, I noticed that the snapdragons we planted in the fall are finally budding. Soon we will have gorgeous snapdragons outside of our David's Garden Seeds® Farm Store! Right now, the violas are still looking gorgeous.
I also noticed that in our gardens we have a lot growing, like strawberries, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, onions, and bush beans. We have had to cover the bush beans when it freezes, but not anything else.
Nacho and a worker (Ryan) built a retaining wall in the front of our home today. I asked about a garden in front of that so I can plant some rosebushes as well. They will finish it up tomorrow.
I collected eggs at 5pm and I got 16. At first, there were 7 and then I felt something hard under some of the wood shavings in a few of the nesting boxes. Those silly hens are hiding the eggs under the wood shavings. So I poked around all over to check for more eggs.
Good Tuesday morning! It is 44° as I type. I am in charge of social media for our company. I was going through Instagram and noticed that Baker Creek Seeds has closed their website for a few days while they catch up on filling orders and packaging more seeds. We love Baker Creek. They are a good company and we visited them in May of 2019 when they held their last seed festival. They are saying their orders are five times the normal number they get this time of year. Hopefully, we will get many more orders than normal as well.
In 2020, during the Covid outbreak in the spring, we never once closed our website, David's Garden Seeds®. We were overwhelmed with orders, but we hired nine additional people and worked seven days a week for 12 hours a day until we got all of those orders filled. This involved us commuting one hour each way every day because our company was still in San Antonio. We moved the company out here in July of 2020 so we are prepared this year.
Nacho will be back this morning to finish the retaining wall and the curvy flower bed in the front yard of our home. Then he will start on building a different rabbit hutch for our bunnies. The shed we bought for it is just not working out. The bunnies keep pooping and peeing all over the floor through the cage instead of going on the bottom of the cage. We will clean up the shed and use it for storage. I keep all of my chicken feed and other chicken supplies in there so they stay dry and clean.
We recently started some stores on Shopify and Bonanza but nothing happened so we deleted those stores today.
So Nacho and his helper finished the retaining wall, the flowerbed in the front yard, and then they started on a new rabbit hutch. This one will be bigger and will have a dirt floor so when the rabbits pee through the cage wire, it will go to the ground instead of the walls and floor of the shed they are kept in now.
I got 19 eggs when I collected this afternoon, the most I have found in weeks. If you want farm fresh eggs straight from the chickens, remember that I have them at $5 a dozen or two dozen for $9. Six eggs for $2.50. The eggs are colored in shades of browns and blues, sometimes a few look sort of pinkish or greenish. They are very pretty but most of all, they taste good with a dark yolk and sometimes a double yolk.
My sourdough bread starter is taking off. I have been feeding everyday and now every 12 hours and it should be ready to bake by tomorrow from what I am reading from several recipes. I am getting excited about it.
We watched Gordon Ramsay travel across parts of the USA with two European friends this evening and it was hilarious! Thank you Chef Ramsay for the entertainment!
Winter on the farm this morning meant warmer weather and overcast skies. It was 51° when I woke up and I thought it would pour. Indeed, when I was getting dressed after breakfast, it rained. Everything is now a muddy mess.
I am getting things done in the house this morning as my assistant has to leave at 1pm today. That means I will be in the store until 5pm with no relief. So I did the dishes and laundry. Now I am folding it.
I also fed my sourdough starter and I cleaned and trimmed the cherry belle radishes from the garden. I ate a few and they are so sweet and tasty. Yes, we are harvesting radishes, bush beans, and broccoli from our garden.
Nacho is outside with a different helper today, continuing to build the new rabbit hutch, which will be right next to the old one. Phil and Aaron are working on some new contraption that David got to shell the bean seeds out of certain beans from the garden.
The sun is beginning to come out and it will warm up to 71°. Winter on the farm in Texas is crazy. By the end of the week, it will drop back down to the 30s and this coming Sunday is not supposed to get warmer than 45° Fahrenheit.
Blue skies are now starting to show in between the clouds.
The rabbit hutch is done and the bunnies will be moved over tomorrow. I collected 16 eggs this afternoon.
Cooler weather is coming. You can feel it in the very windy air that has been blowing all afternoon. A lot of cool wind can mark winter on the farm every year.
Good morning. The sun is about to come up in the back of the farm. Right now the sky is clear and gorgeous considering that it is winter on the farm. The temperature is 41° and it will only get up to 58°.
I will be working from the house today as we have work going on in here. Mostly, I will finally be working on my craft room which I was supposed to work on last week but never got the chance to do because my office and my closet took so long to fix.
The rabbits got moved over to their new digs. The sun is shining brightly in clear, blue skies and the chickens are having a good time playing in their play yard as I look at them from my home office. It definitely looks like a warm summer day instead of winter on the farm. It is 66° right now but Alexa just told me that it will get down to 36° overnight so I guess it still is winter on the farm.
It looks like all of the green bean plants have been pulled up. I did not expect that to happen yet. I guess we will be planting something else very soon, once the soil gets tilled and has compost added to it. We make our own compost. If you would like to make your own but you don't know how, check out our article about composting here.
I have been organizing my craft room all day long. It is not finished but at least I can start making some crafts now. I am thinking of making more gardening aprons like I used to that will be for sale in our David's Garden Seeds® Farm Store.
I prepped my first loaf of sourdough bread and let it rise overnight. We enjoyed watching Hell's Kitchen in Las Vegas. It is good to have Gordon Ramsay back to help lighten this week just a tad.
I got up this morning, folded my loaf of sourdough, waited 5 minutes and then folded it again. I put it on parchment paper in my Dutch oven and covered it with a clean dish towel to rise for three hours. It was not very big so I let it rise longer but it never got much bigger. I baked it and it looks nice, but never rose. I will try again. I think the main problem is that it is cold in the house because it has been in the 30s in the mornings.
This morning, it was 37° so we did not have the heater on. When we put the heater on in the house, I get too hot very quickly. I will try again tonight and this time, I will have it rise in the oven with the light on as it calls for in one of the recipes I found for sourdough bread.
Today, we have had a whirlwind of customers come through the store, some thing we have not had since before Covid hit in March of 2019. Everyone is interested in getting their spring seeds while we have a good selection. Some seeds we won't be able to carry because of crop failure such as the Blue Lake FM1K Pole Bean. No one can get them this growing season. There are others, but I cannot think of them right now.
We have started giving tours of the farm now when you come out to shop at our beautiful farm store. There isn't a whole lot to see yet, but as we continue to improve and add fun things, we will keep you informed. We are now open on Saturdays from 10am until 2pm so you can get the garden seeds you need for spring planting. While you're here, you can get some canned green beans straight from our garden or some delicious strawberry topping that we made in our brand new commercial kitchen. It is great over cake or on ice cream as well as on pancakes and waffles! The topping is made with Poteet strawberries.
This is how we do winter on the farm -- by preparing for spring planting!
Tonight, the starter did not bubble so I could not try making another loaf of sourdough bread. It is just too cold in the house when it is winter on the farm.
Good Saturday morning! We hope to see many of you today while it is winter on the farm so you can pick up garden seeds, eggs, canned goods made here in our commercial kitchen, a cap, and more. We still have a sausage cooker left as well as four barbecue grills available in our store for purchase. Plus, we are now giving farm tours. There will be a lot more to come in the future but we have done a lot with the place in under 18 months!
Come and see today between 10am and 2pm. You may get to meet David himself. He gave two farm tours yesterday. We gave more. On Saturdays, you are more likely to get to meet David as not too many staff members are in to give you a tour. Come on out and experience this beautiful day while it is cool during winter on the farm.
We had a lot of customers come out today to the store. Most also got a tour. Two turned it down and I don't blame them. It was so cold out there with a high in the 40s. It is winter on the farm in Texas!
I woke up to 43° and the rain was pouring down. It rained all morning and stayed cold and got colder, down into the 30s. We went to church and when we came out, it was really cold.
It was a chill afternoon. David took a nap and I did some reading under a blanket because it is so cold.
In the evening, I started some more sourdough bread out of the starter. This time, I put it in the oven with the light on so it would rise.
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