This is the beginning of year five on the farm for us. This is an exciting celebration as we close our fourth year and look forward to the many things we will accomplish in the next twelve months. Our fourth year was a season of drought and heat with the 100 degree temperatures that started before our fourth year in May of 2022 and lasted through most of September of 2022. It was a crazy year for sure. Then on to a deep freeze in December killing our fall garden. Starting on New Year's Eve, the spring garden sales shot up, both online and in person at the Farm Store. Then when the heat of June 2023 came, sales went way down. We go through this every spring until it is time for fall planting.
We had a beautiful spring garden and we harvested so much in early 2023. Then in June of 2023, the 100° plus temperatures started and most things have since stopped producing. They died or got pulled up. Even my zinnias are dying in this oven-like atmosphere. But fall will start soon and that means temperatures will begin to cool off sometime in September or October. We're in Texas so you really never know. Fall planting begins the last week of August.
Good morning! Year five on the farm started with saying goodbye to my 2006 Toyota Corolla. So sad but it is old and we really got a lot out of it for the money we put into it. Matt's car died a month or so ago so we signed this one over to him and just a few weeks later, it is finished.
It is very humid outside today. When I was feeding the animals this morning, sweat was just pouring off of my brow. It was really gross. We are going to have to start moving some baby chicks around. There are too many in the small hen house because they have grown so big. Today, they are ten weeks old.
It is now 2:11pm and Nacho and his crew are here mowing. They were down the road at our church assembling a new shed there that we bought to help the church out.
The seed orders are beginning to pick up, just in time for our order puller to leave this Thursday. Starting on Friday, I will be your official order puller along with everything else I do here.
This evening as I gave the fish dinner, I noticed a dead goldfish floating amongst the lily pads. Matt came and got him out. So sad.
I went out at 8:30pm to put the chickens away. Look at the beautiful moon! It looked so cool with clouds in front of it.
It is hard to believe that five years ago yesterday, we signed the paperwork, paid our money, and bought David's Garden Seeds® Farm. It took us a while to get things built out here but from a blank four acre slab of sand to everything we have out here today, we have done an amazing job. Today, we start year five on the farm. Thank you to all of you who have come out to visit and who have ordered garden seeds from us.
Year five on the farm starts in the 100° plus heat. Not much is going on out here right now. We are getting ready to plant our fall garden and we are shipping your fall seeds out to you. Foot traffic is beginning to pick up in our Farm Store as people realize summer is about over and it is time to think about the fall garden.
Year five on the farm will see us ramp up egg production with 36 new hens that will soon start laying. All of my other 25 hens are hardly laying anything at all in this merciless heat.
Year five on the farm will see us being a lot more particular in who we hire. No more kids unless they are like the two part timers we still have. They are wonderful, sort of like Bethany was back in 2019. She was with us and came out here a lot when we moved. She was a big help to us.
It is hard to find good help, hard to find people who will actually work for the money the way you expect them to.
Good Tuesday morning and Happy August. I am cleaning out the pond and refilling it. Nacho and his crew are here to do more work. Michelle is here cleaning the house. I had trouble sleeping in the night so when I finally fell asleep this morning, I was dreaming and David had to wake me up. That was at 6:35am so I jumped up and took my thyroid pill. That meant that I could not have any coffee or food until 7:05am. It was horrible because I was starving. I lived.
The miserable heat is continuing this week with no break in sight from the 100° plus temperatures. I am so sick of the heat. It is 10:24am and 87°. The high is supposed to be 104° so it is a bit better than yesterday's 107°. Ha ha ha.
Mostly everything is looking dead as much as we water it all. It is just too much heat all day long on the poor plants.
Today, I met a very nice lady who lives in Devine. She came into the Farm Store to buy some seeds to create a medicinal herb garden. I helped her and got her checked out. We still do not have the store restocked. Nacho is working on a drip watering system out in the Farm Store's plant area so we don't lose as many plants from not getting watered.
Someone else came in looking for flowers to grow in the fall around here. If we can just get past this wicked heat, things will green up and be gorgeous again. We desperately need some rain and lower temperatures.
Look what we found this afternoon! Our first white egg. One of our leghorn ladies laid their first egg on the ground by the roost in the nesting box area of our big chicken house! Look how tiny it is next to one of our Ameraucana's blue egg. It is so adorable! They will not turn 16 weeks for two more days and already starting to lay!
Around 5:40pm, while I was making dinner, David came in and told me a customer was here to pick up seeds. She ordered them last Thursday morning and they were ready on that same day by lunch. I sent her an email letting her know but no response. Then on Monday, July 31, she emailed saying she would be by to pick them up sometime after 5pm. We told her that would be fine but she never showed. So I had to turn off the stove, go to the store, unlock it, grab the seeds, give them to her outside and then open the gate so she could get out. I was prepared to do that on Monday but had to stop what I was doing this evening. Anyway, they are finally picked up.
When you order seeds, there is an option for you to pick the day and time you will pick them up if you don't want them mailed. So far, no one has come to get them when they said they would. That is too bad because I always pack them first and then email the customer that they are ready for pickup.
Tonight, around 8:30pm, the full moon started coming up, appearing behind the big oak tree. David called me and I went out on the back deck. It was stunning. I stayed out and watched until it cleared the tree and then it was behind some clouds. This giant pink ball looked spectacular.
This moon was called the Sturgeon Moon because fish named sturgeon are more easily caught up in the Great Lakes area during this part of the summer. Interesting, huh?
Year five on the farm is starting with the least amount of workers we have had in about 13 years. Today, we have two part time teenagers who come in for a half of a day at a time to help us. School will start sometime soon this month so we may still get them once a week for a half day then.
Of course, there is David, Matt, and me but we own the place.
Then we have three full time adults. One counts seeds, one prints envelopes, and one fills orders. At times, they all help each other and they each do other things as well. This is the smallest workforce we have had since we started back in 2009. This coming Thursday is the last day for one of them which means there will be five full time adults and two very part time teens. At this point, we will be prepping for the spring seed rush with no outdoor help and not too much indoor help. It will be interesting to see how long we can go without having to hire more people.
Four years ago, when we moved our business out to the farm, we had more than 20 employees. What a change this will be.
Well, here it is the first Wednesday of year five on the farm already. I have today and tomorrow and then I have to start doing all of the seed orders that come in, just like I was doing for three weeks while she was gone the first time, only this time it will be permanent until we can hire and train more workers next spring. Right now, seed orders are low, as they are every summer. Things are picking up because it will soon be time to plant our fall garden.
This morning was chicken moving day. When Matt got here, we prepared the tiny chicken house with new wood shavings, a feeder, and a waterer. We also covered part of it with shade cloth to keep it a bit cooler in there. Then Matt grabbed one of the three new 10 week old roosters out of the small chicken coop and moved him to the tiny one. After that, I had him move over four of the Ideal 236 hens, the same breed as the rooster.
I ordered my chickens from Ideal Poultry this year and they were delivered at the end of May. I ordered Plymouth Barred Rock but somehow, I got Ideal 236 chickens which are a cross developed in the 1960s between
White Leghorns, Brown Leghorns, Anconas and California Grays. Some of them have some black polka-dots on them. They are supposed to get slightly larger than the regular white Leghorns I have.
Then we moved five Easter Eggers into the kennel inside the big chicken coop so the big hens can get used to them. We set the kennel up this morning with new wood shavings, food, and water and put them in. Matt did a great job helping me. He actually did all of the work.
Once the big hens get used to the new ones, we will let them out into the big coop and then bring over five more Easter Eggers.
Now, there are two roosters in the little coop, instead of three, all of them being Ideal 236 roosters. Funny we didn't get any Easter Egger roosters but I got three Ideal 236 roosters and I paid more to get all females. I did get my refund on the three roosters but still, I wanted egg layers. I am not sure if the two roosters will get along because they grew up together or if we will have to get rid of one.
It is now 3:30pm and it is 100°. So far we have had no seed customers, just two men who came by for snacks and drinks.
I am going to cut up a watermelon when I go home and share it with all of the chickens. I hope it is ripe. I still have four watermelons those kids picked a few weeks ago. So far, just one of the eight they picked was ripe. The chickens love them anyway.
We have been hanging more seeds up in the Farm Store but it is still pretty empty.
At 5:30pm, I went out to collect eggs and take watermelon out to everyone. They all loved the watermelon. I found another small white egg!
Tonight, the moon was still not up when I went out to put my chickens all away at 8:30pm. The five Leghorns in the tiny coop refused to go inside. After many attempts to get them to go, I left them.
An hour later, I went in the kitchen and the moon was finally coming up but to the left of where it came up last night. It was orange, but as usual, it does not show that way on the phone camera. This is an Apple phone so the camera is supposed to be pretty good.
The photo above was taken by me before anything was on the property. We had already paid someone to bring in a tractor and shred all of the waist high weeds but we were waiting on the sale of our home and the purchase of our new manufactured home to go through so we could move out here. Once we did move out here, we had to drive an hour into San Antonio every day and, of course, an hour back home. It was rough.
Now all of this property is filled with buildings, sheds, our home, a parking lot, driveway, a lot of raised garden beds, hoop houses, fences, animal coops, and greenhouses. So what will be new during year five on the farm? We are not sure. Sales have been down as prices on everything continue to go up, especially food prices at the grocery store. People can barely afford to eat, buy medicine, pay for gas and utilities, not to mention rent.
Right now, the big projects we have been working on involve more drip irrigation on a lot of the plant areas so we lose less plants due to not getting watered in this unbearable heat. Also, we still want to buy some of the property next door so we need to save for that. However, there is nothing to save right now as the sales are not there in the middle of summer. School starts here in less than a week. A lot of the country has four or five weeks before that happens but everyone is thinking about buying school clothes, shoes, supplies, backpacks, etc., not thinking about gardening.
Time for fall planting in warm places like Texas starts in just 25 days. David's Garden Seeds® has a 15% off sale going on right now when you spend $25 or more so please consider that if you will be planting a fall garden. We have a wonderful selection of fall seeds.
This morning, we have the two teens here along with the rest of us, eight in all for the final time for a while. Today is the last day for one of our workers. She and her husband are off on a working adventure for several months. We had an ice cream cake party at 10am, gave her a card and gift, and her final paycheck including all of today. Then we sent her home so she can get packing for the trip. I will definitely miss her. She has been such a help to me in getting the seed orders out. Of course, she has done a lot more but the orders are the most important. Starting tomorrow, it's all me.
So all of the animals were fine this morning. It is 11am and already 91°. We are sick of the heat already. No rain or coolness for the next ten days according to the forecast. All I do is sweat like a pig in this heat, especially when I am taking care of the animals. Yes, I am totally sick of it.
There were no little white eggs today when it was time to collect the eggs. I am sure that soon, we will be collecting a lot more white eggs. In fact, there were only four eggs. I guess the chickens think they are in vacation in this heat.
Today for year five on the farm, we are saying happy 16th week birthday to our eight Leghorn hens and our Leghorn rooster, Foghorn. Two of the hens have laid eggs this week for the first time. One laid an egg on the ground, near the nesting boxes. Yesterday, the hen made it in a nesting box on the bottom row! Yes, it could have been the same hen. It is too hot to stay out there and watch them all day long. In the next eight weeks, we should see our egg production ramp up a lot as the rest of the Leghorns, the Ideal 236 hens, and the new Easter Eggers begin to produce. I hope our older hens will start producing again better. I am sure the heat has a lot to do with it.
As you know, this week we are starting year five on the farm. I got a pleasant surprise this morning when I went into the big chicken coop's nesting box area. For a while, some of the chickens have been laying eggs way under the nesting boxes because some of the kids that were working here this summer started putting hay in the chicken coop instead of wood shavings. Since then, some of the chickens lay eggs almost every day and I have to get a shovel and kneel down and fight to get the eggs out of there. This morning, there were five eggs in there laid early this morning. I had to get down and struggle but I finally got them all out.
The heat is just horrible as it has been all summer long. Right now, it is 5:15pm and 103°. We did not have any customers all day long. I filled plenty of orders. I have about 11 orders waiting on seeds to come in but all the rest are out. I have one order waiting to be picked up. I emailed the customer this morning that her seeds are ready but have not heard back from her.
Today was my first official day to take over the seed orders since our order puller has left us. I opened the store this morning, fed the fish, put some algae killer in the pond, and spent the whole day filling orders and trying to find seeds.
I did not have a chance to type anything on my blog. I am so tired and my stomach is not feeling very well. I think it is just too hot. I thank God that at least we have air conditioning in this horrible heat.
On Monday, we will be a super skeleton crew because it is the first day of school. You know how moms are on the first day. Of course, fall planting time is coming up so this is not a good time not to have a full crew but we will just have to make it work. David says he is going to start planting for the fall garden on Monday. It is a few weeks early and super hot but I bet the temperatures are not going anywhere by the end of the month.
Late this afternoon, we collected two more little white eggs but this time, they were both together in one of the top row nesting boxes so two of our 16 week old Leghorns made it all the way up!
For year five on the farm, I would like to get a small tractor and some Polaris vehicles. We really need utility vehicles for moving heavy supplies, like 50 pound bags of animal feed, hay, etc. They are around $10,000 each and a tractor is a whole lot more.
I would also like to build a barn and fill it was some sheep, goats, a mini cow, and some piggies. I am pretty sure I would be voted down on all of this by the boss.
Happy Saturday. We will not be working today. I went out early to feed the animals. Under the nesting box, I found five happy eggs in a little hay nest so I had to get a shovel to pull them out.
It was miserably hot today. We did not go anywhere. I organized dresser drawers and did a lot of laundry. David fried some chicken strips for lunch in the air fryer.
When I went out to collect the eggs after 5pm, there was one white egg in a top nesting box. So they are not all laying yet but at least two of them are.
Matt came over for Svengoolie and grilled steaks. The movie was one we had watched on there before, The Shadow Of The Cat so we watched some horribly emotional dog movie about the sad life and times of a puppy and it showed the city of Denver doesn't allow pit bulls or any dog they decide is a pit bull in city limits. It was horribly depressing watching this poor dog waste 2.5 years of her life trying to get back to Denver to find his owner and once she made it, the authorities tried to take her to kill her. What a horrible movie. It was just sad. We like happy things, not that. The dog looked almost like our Annabelle who died last year.
I am hoping year five on the farm holds a lot more farm tours in early spring and late fall when this evil heat cools down. We had a great spring in 2023. We were able to grow so much and everything looked green and beautiful until June when the awful temperatures and drought set in. We want to give a lot of tours but from now on, we will be charging $5 a piece with children two and under free.
We would also like to have a petting zoo but right now, all of our funds are earmarked for other projects.
Happy Sunday. It is time for me to go out and feed all of the animals. I do not want to go out because of the heat.
I woke up at 5:48am and went to the couch after taking my thyroid pill to wait until I could eat. In the dark, I put on a light blanket and then I heard our stupid cat taking a piss in the living room on the carpet under our entry table. What? Yes, instead of going to her litter box, she pissed in the living room. Fun times. So I had to get the carpet cleaner and suck that up. What a fun way to start the day.
We went to church and then came home and cooked burgers. Later in the day, I could not find Kitty. She slipped outside sometime in the afternoon apparently. I opened the front door and called her. She answered back with a long, pitiful wail. I called again and knew she was close but I could not see her. She worked her way through the lattice next to the house and got herself trapped under our front porch. David had to saw her out. Silly cat.
I brought her in and gave her fresh food and water. She was very happy to be out again. She needs to quit sneaking out with the dogs. It was 108° today and it feels like an oven outside. When will it end? When will we get some rain?
The seed orders are pouring in, now that I have no help! Thank you all very much for supporting our small business like this. We really appreciate it.
Year five on the farm this fall should include a lot more eggs so we are planning to sell a lot more eggs. We added 39 chicks this past spring. Four of them turned out to be boys instead of layers. That means that we will have to get an incubator and start having our own chicks.
We now have four roosters. Three of them are Ideal 236 roosters, which come from a Leghorn mix and the fourth rooster is a Leghorn named Foghorn Leghorn.
12/04/2023-12/10/2023 - Winterize Your Texas Garden
12/11/2023-12/17/2023 - Citrus Trees In Texas
12/18/2023-12/24/2023 - Organic Fertilizers For The Garden
12/25/2023-12/31/2023 - Pruning A Plant
01/01/2024-01/07/2024 - How To Transplant Plants
01/08/2024-01/14/2024 - Garden Mulch Ideas
Year five actually ends tomorrow 7/29/2024 but since it is a Monday and starts a new work week, it will be included in our year six page. We bought this farm on July 30, 2019. Five years have flown by. We have accomplished a lot in five years, thanks be to our Heavenly Father who has supplied all of our needs. All praise goes to Him!
Since 2009, over 1,500,000 home gardeners, all across the USA, have relied on David's Garden Seeds® to grow beautiful gardens. Trust is at the heart of it. Our customers know David's Garden Seeds® stocks only the highest quality seeds available. Our mission is to become your lifetime supplier of quality seeds. It isn't just to serve you once; we want to earn your trust as your primary supplier.
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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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