Farm Tour-May 30, 2021

We are going to have one more spring event day before we take a summer break. On Sunday, May 30 we will have a farm tour. We will start the first tour at 10:00am and the size of the group will be limited. Another tour will start at 2:00pm. The cost is $10.00 and you can make reservations here.

This picture is from the tour we held on Mothers Day after the farm to table dinner.

On the tour we will check on chickens and sheep, talk about theories on regenerative, organic, and permaculture farming, and talk dirt, or more correctly soil. The tour takes about 2 hours, is kid friendly and touches on the basic ideas we use to produce food.

Raise chickens! Get free eggs!

So the high cost of food is wrecking your budget. Why not raise your own chickens and get eggs every day, paying only for a little feed?
First you need chickens. You buy them as babies, preferably only a few days old. You can select from many different breeds and they lay different colored eggs. Eggs–some are dark brown, some light brown, some white and even some green ones. Baby chicks will cost less than $4.00 each. The first four weeks you have the chicken you need to keep them very warm, so you need an area you can keep at 90˚ or so. You will need to check on them often to make sure they are not too hot or too cold.
After that they can go out into a forever home where they need to have laying boxes, protection from rain and bad weather, and security from predators. You can buy chicken coops for a few hundred dollars or you can design and build one yourself. If you want good pasture raised eggs, you will need a fenced run for them to spend their days.
I prefer rotating them between two different runs so there is a constant supply of fresh vegetation that you will have to plant for them. They eat a bit of greens every day and love to forage for bugs.
You will need to close them up every night and let them out every morning.
You will have to buy feeders and waterers, and get them the best organic feed available. I use Coyote Creek Organic feed. It is available at about $.70 a pound retail. I get a better price, buying by the barrel. The average chicken eats about one quarter pound a day.
Once you get the chicken you will have to take care of it for about six months before you get your first egg. After that you should expect about five eggs a week from one chicken. It will vary with the seasons and the breed, but that is an average.
You will need to train your pets to not chase, harass or kill chickens.
So let’s say you buy four hens, you are getting 20 eggs a week, and they are eating $4.90 of feed during that week.
Altogether, after two years, including the first six months before they began laying, you have spent $509 on feed for 128 dozen eggs. That means you are able to have fresh pasture raised eggs for only $3.97 per dozen. That is assuming you have no loss of feed due to rodents or rain. Thank goodness there were no coons, snakes, owls or hawks (to name a few) and all your hens survived. Every predator eats chickens. Many eat eggs. Of course, there is a time chickens molt and may not lay for a week or so.
And we are not including the initial cost of the chickens, the feeders and waterers, and the cost of the coop and the run. Then, of course, there is labor, but that was free.
This is all happening under ideal conditions.
So why pay $6.00 to $7.00 for eggs at the farmers market when you can raise them yourself and get eggs for free?
We raise chickens because we love raising chickens.
When we want to get rich we will come up with another plan.
I highly recommend raising chickens. Just not as a way to save money on eggs.

Farm tour on May 30

We will have our final spring farm tour of 2021 on Sunday, May 30 at 10:00am.  The tour includes discussion and observation on how we operate a permaculture farm including turkeys, chickens, sheep and crops. The event takes about two hours. The tour costs $10.00 per adult and reservations are required.  You are welcome to bring a picnic and eat in our pavilion after the tour. reservations

Permaculture Farming and Gardening

We are again offering a class on planning and planting your permaculture gardens for the spring. The class will be on Sunday afternoon, April 18 from 1:00 until 5:00. The class will be taught by Andrew Cobb and Glen Miracle, certified permaculture designers.

We have experience raising crops for culinary purposes in this area and want to share the successes and help you avoid some of the failures we have had. The class will include soil preparation, plant selection, irrigation, seed starting and saving, site planning, use of livestock, beneficial insects, pollinator attraction and all the stuff it takes to make gardening flow and turn the environmental problems into assets.

The class will include presentations about permaculture and organic principles, soil health, and use of natural assets. This is not just a idea and theory class, but a hands on experience. We will make beds with swales and berms, plant fruit trees, move sheep, plant and transplant vegetables, discuss interplanting and plant rotations, make compost tea. We will talk about fertilizers and insect control.

The class will be limited to a small number both for health concerns and for our ability to answer questions. Masks are required. If weather makes cancellation necessary a full refund will be available. Sign up

Farm to Table Dinner – March 21

We are having to reschedule our first 2021 farm to table dinner to Sunday afternoon, March 21. The weather on March 14 looks bad so we are moving it forward a week. As a result some of the participants cannot make the new date, leaving open a few spaces.

We will enjoy vegetables and meats from our farm, served outdoors, in our pavilion. The meal will begin at 3:00pm. It will consist of soup, breads, salad, meat, vegetables and desert. Due to the freeze we will be sourcing some of the vegetables from friend’s farms.
The dinner is BYOB as we will serve only really good well water. We will also be more thankful than usual to have water. We will tour the farm and talk about our growing methods, animals, freezes and farm issues after the dinner.
We will limit the attendees to one group per table and have 6 tables.
All sales are final, however a full refund is available if canceled due to weather.

The cost is $55 per person

Permaculture farming and gardening

We are again offering a class on planning and planting your permaculture gardens for the spring. The class will be on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28 from 1:00 until 5:00. The class will be taught by Andrew Cobb and Glen Miracle, certified permaculture designers.

We have experience raising crops for culinary purposes in this area and want to share the successes and help you avoid some of the failures we have had. The class will include soil preparation, plant selection, irrigation, seed starting and saving, site planning, use of livestock, beneficial insects, pollinator attraction and all the stuff it takes to make gardening flow and turn the environmental problems into assets.

The class will include presentations about permaculture and organic principles, soil health, and use of natural assets. This is not just a idea and theory class, but a hands on experience. We will make beds with swales and berms, plant fruit trees, move sheep, plant and transplant vegetables, discuss interplanting and plant rotations, make compost tea. We will talk about fertilizers and insect control.

The class will be limited to a small number both for health concerns and for our ability to answer questions. Masks are required. If weather makes cancellation necessary a full refund will be available. Sign up

Tomato Plants for sale

We have tomato plants for sale:

These plants are grown by organic standards from certified organic seeds. They sell In 4″ pots for $4.00 per plant.You can get them at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market on Saturday mornings or here at the farm by appointment. If you would like to order plants for Saturday email me a list through the contacts page and I will bring them. There is a limited supply and a limit of 18 of any one type.

Also Amdrew Cobb will be selling them in Houston this weekend, along with other plants, and you can check out his website

Better Boy
Big Beef
Black Cherry
Black Krim
Celebrity
Chef’s Choice
Cherokee Purple
Green Zebra
Indigo Rose
Juliet
San Marazano
Striped German
Sweet 100s

Tomatillo

Wild rice and cornbread dressing

Dressing

I made a wild rice and cornbread dressing for our early Thanksgiving dinner and it was a big hit. Here is the recipe for enough to feed 20 to 30 people.

Ingrediants

7 or 8 cups chicken stock
6 cups water for cooking the rice
3 cups wild rice
3 tablespoon olive oil
3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup parsley leaves
3 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 cups crumbled cornbread
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease two 9×13 baking dishes.
Cook the rice in water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 1 hour. Drain the rice.
Saute the onion and celery in a skillet and season with salt and black pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and thyme and cook another minute.

Mix rice, cornbread, pecans and vegetables in a large bowl or two. Add butter and just enough stock to get the right moisture level.
Pour everything into the baking dishes. Bake until cornbread is golden and crispy, about 20 minutes.

Fresh, never frozen, Thanksgiving turkeys

This year we are going to offer our turkeys as fresh and never frozen. The turkeys will be processed on Monday, Nov 23 and I will get them Tuesday Nov 24 and drive them to Houston where you can pick them up, late afternoon, at a drop point on West Gray. You can also pick them up at the farm in Hempstead.

Free Range on pasture

These turkey are raised on pasture hanging out with our broiler chickens.

They are large and will probably weigh 15 to 25 pounds. The price is $5.00 per pound and a $50 deposit will reserve one, with the remainder due on pickup.

To reserve one go to our online store or see me at the market on Saturday. We only have 14 available