We will have a farm tour on Monday, May 30, Memorial Day. The tour will begin at 10:00, take about an hour and a half ,and we ask for $10 per person. You are welcome to bring your lunch and eat in our pavilion after the tour. We raise sheep, chickens, vegetables, nursery plants, fruits and have bees. We raise our food for better nutrition and concentrate on the health of the soil. We follow organic principles and practice permaculture methods. Reservations are required. Register
We will have our final spring dinner on Sunday, May 8 at 3:00pm. The dinner will include an appetizer, soup, farm fresh salad, a meat main dish, a vegetable main dish, seasonal vegetable dish, grilled root vegetables, a couple of breads, and a dessert. The cost is $55.00 per person and tickets can be purchased here. We limit the dinners to 20 people. The menu depends on what is growing best, but here is a pretty good estimation.
sold out—April 3 we will have another Sunday afternoon farm to table dinner at 3:00pm. We limit the attendance to 6 tables of guests. Most of the food comes from our farm. Other items, if available, will come from farms in our area, or small organic mills. The wild rice comes from Red Lake Nation. After that, for the salt, vinegar and such, we go to the grocery store. The cost is $55.00 per person.
These plants have been hardened off, meaning that, for the past few weeks, they have not been babied with twice daily watering and 75˚ temps. The plants needed that for their first 6 weeks or so, but before they go outside, they need to be prepared for the real world. They are exposed to cooler temperatures (hopefully no more freezes, moving them inside and back out) and more infrequent watering, preparing them to leave the ICU and get to work in the garden.
All plants are started from certified organic seed, when available, and raised in organic soils, fertilized by organic fertilizer. They are not certified organic because we are not certified by the USDA program. It is an expensive and invasive thing. No bee killing poisons have been used. No synthetic poisons of any kind have been used. There are occasions that repellents are necessary and there might be some dried hot pepper sitting on the soil. Consider it your friend. Most of the seed was bought from Johnny’s Seeds if you wish to research the different types.
We will have these plants for sale at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market, 2752 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, Texas on Saturday mornings from 8:00 until noon.
All varieties are grown in limited quantities. For most varieties, when they are sold out we will not be planting more for sale.
We will also have some other herbs and fruit trees available.
The best time to plant citrus is in March or April after the chance of frost is hopefully gone. Choose a spot with a high elevation where it drains well (not a sink hole). Citrus trees need at least six hours of sunlight to fruit reliably. More sunlight would mean more fruit. If you plant in the spring prune any overly aggressive branches sticking out from the formed head. Do not prune in the fall. Pruning stimulates new growth. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot and only as deep as the pot. Fill the hole with water to make sure the water will drain. If it does not drain in 4 or 5 hours you will need to build a raised bed for the tree. Put the plant in the center of the hole and fill around it with the soil that came out of the hole. It is ok if the level is an inch higher than the ground, but not ok if it is an inch lower. That will cause ponding and roots don’t like to drown. Do not add compost or fertilizer to the soil you are putting back in. Top dress with three inches of mulch and/or compost to the drip line but not touching the trunk. Mulch helps insulate the soil, aids bio-activity, decreases the amount of water you need to add, and controls weeds. Water in well. For the first two weeks you will need to deep water every three days or so, then change to a deep watering once a week if it does not rain. You can tell by the leaves if it is thirsty. I recommended you fertilize citrus in April, May and June using an organic fertilizer like micro life citrus and fruit fertilizer (6-2-4). Most other trees I fertilize on Valentines Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but with citrus Feb 14 is too soon to stimulate growth. The first year use about 4 cups of organic fertilizer in April and 2 cups in May and 2 cups in June. Sprinkle the fertilizer on the ground a bit past the dripline. In year two and three double that amount. It should not be necessary to fertilize after year three. Do not fertilize in the late summer or fall. If any pruning is needed do it in April. It is a good idea after a year or two to prune off the lower branches so that the fruit does not sit on the ground.
Potted trees Improved Meyer lemon, Satsumas, Key limes, kumquats and Calamondin oranges all can grow in a pot especially if grafted to flying dragon dwarfing rootstock. If you plan to keep the tree in a pot you should repot it to a 20 gallon pot, 18” to 20” in diameter. Buy a quality potting soil like Nature’s Way citrus mix and plant the tree in the new pot at the same height that it was in the smaller pot. Water thoroughly once a week most of the year, but you will have to water every other day in a dry August. Citrus does not like soggy soil, but never let it dry out completely. Make sure the water is getting to the roots and not just running out the drain holes. Fertilize as recommended above but every year because it cannot mine for nutrients from the soil.
This little ewe lamb, born with a dot on her neck, looked like she should be called Polka.
And we’re off with a theme for the season.
This years line will include Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Jitterbug, Salsa, Flamenco, Fandango, Cha-cha-cha, Samba, Mambo, Two Step, and Cotton Eyed Joe. My granddaughter had already named her sheep Hairspray and five of the ewes have been sold before we got them named. That’s good. We were running out of dance steps.
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
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.
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.