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Aquaponics Workshop – Sunday September 17, 2017

August 21, 2017

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We will be teaching a backyard aquaponics workshop at the farm on Sunday, September 17 from 2:00 until 4:00. We will discuss the biology, various systems, possible fish and other aquatic life, organic feed options, pumps, stocking rates and growing beds. We will talk about the types of plants that do best, the nutritional information of aquaponic fish and vegetables, types of media for the beds, and what you are eating when you buy grocery store fish. This class is for the backyard aquaponic operator and we will go through the construction of a simple, inexpensive system. We will put together an IBC system, a simple to build system that will cost around $250 and can yield 50 pounds of fish annually and lots of vegetables on a 4′ x 8′ footprint in a garage or backyard. Workshops begin at 2:00 in the afternoon and will last until about 4:00. The cost is $45 per person. sign up for class or contact me by email.  You will have the opportunity to purchase an IBC system, tilapia fingerlings and plants. Class size is limited. The class is outdoors.
Please leave your email when you register so I can send you the PDF files.

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The five rules of the soil

July 13, 2017

1. Armor the soil. Never expose the soil directly to the elements. Soil should be covered with plants, mulch or even weeds to enhance the microbial action.
2. Living roots in the ground as much as possible. We leave the roots of plants that we have harvested because michorrizal fungi only grows on roots. Removing the roots would destroy that fungi and the relationships that exist in the soil. Luckily we can have plants growing all year here in the gulf coast.
3. Do not disturb the soil. The relationships in the soil are complex and we want to allow them to grow without destroying them with plowing. We move the soil as little as possible with a hoe.
4. Provide plant diversity. Different root structures and leaf shapes attract a diverse group of microbes and beneficial insects.
5. Integrate livestock. We raise chickens and rotate sheep into the gardens to provide fertility and aerate the soil. After animals and their fresh manure leave, we will not eat vegetables from that garden for 90 days.

Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions – Just What the Doctor Ordered

June 18, 2017

In 2010 Wholesome Wave.org launched FVRx, a prescription fruit and vegetable pilot program to make fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables affordable and available to communities, helping patients who are at risk of diet-related illness and cannot afford, or access, healthy food.
The program is now available in Houston and Laughing Frog Farm, along with other local farms at the Eastside Farmers Market and the East End Street Market, are now participating in the program.
We are your “farmacy”.
If you are someone who might qualify for the program, see your doctor or clinic and find out. And pass the information on to someone who needs it. Everyone deserves nutrient dense food.
http://www.wholesomewave.org/how-we-work/produce-prescriptions

We are offering a fall CSA

June 1, 2017

Laughing Frog Farm is offering Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares this fall starting the first week in September, 2017. A CSA is a local farm funded by community members. For 11 weeks each member will receive a box of nutrient dense, organically raised produce. A box will consist of a variety of seasonal vegetables and herbs. Fruits and mushrooms will be included when available.

There delivery locations:
• Eastside Farmers Market — Saturday morning pickup.
Sept 9 thru Nov. 18 – 8:00 until noon

• Near Saint Arnold’s Brewery —1707 West St, 77026 — Wednesday afternoon pickup Sept 6 thru Nov. 15 – 3:00 until 5:30

• The Health Museum — 1515 Herman Drive 77004 – Thursdays Sept 7 thru Nov 16 – 1:00 until 5:00

An up-front payment of $275 is due at signup.

Name____________________________________________________________

Email_____________________________________________________________

Phone #___________________________________________________________

Payment method:
• Credit card – online below or at the market
• Check – mail to 38238 Wiggins Rd. Hempstead, Tx 77445 or at the market
• Cash – at the market

We grow by organic standards and concentrate on increasing the nutrients in our soil. We welcome our customers to visit our farm on the third Sunday of every month in the spring and fall. Next open farm day will be September 16.

glen@thelaughingfrogfarm.com
Organic principles / Permaculture methods
http://www.thelaughingfrogfarm.com/csa/

We cannot refund money for canceled shares.

CSA MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT
A) By joining the Laughing Frog Farm CSA, I confirm that I wish to participate in subscription service of weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables, grown using sustainable and chemical-free farming practices, with concern for flavor, nutrition, the environment, worker health and the community. I understand that Laughing Frog Farm will do everything possible to ensure a bountiful, diverse assortment of vegetables each week, and also realize that there are risks involved with farming and that quantities will vary.

B) My vegetable delivery subscription involves a commitment for eleven weeks and I agree to consider if the program is right for me before signing up. I will make arrangements for my basket to be taken by somebody at my regular drop-off spot during vacations or absences or it will be donated to charity.

C) The fall season total is $275 for 11 weeks. If I am unable to honor my commitment to the entire season, I understand that Laughing Frog Farm does not offer refunds for payments made, and I will either forfeit the remaining baskets or transfer my baskets to another individual.

sign up for CSA

Fruit trees for sale

May 5, 2017

We have some citrus at the farm. Quarantine rules prevent me from selling them at the market unless you order it in advance and truly show up to purchase them. I will have them at the farm on Sunday and can bring them to the Eastside Farmers Market if you contact me. The list is:
Owari satsuma
Brown select satsuma
Republic of Texas orange
Minneola tangola
Rio red grapefruit
Page mandarin
Taracco blood orange
Meiwa kumquat
Lakeland limequat
Iranian lemon

Citrus is $40.00 each

We also have figs, blueberries and blackberries.  These are $25.00
Most of the citrus are down to one or two of each variety.

Open Farm May 21, 2017 Noon-4:00

May 1, 2017

Our next open farm event is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 16. We will not do these Sunday afternoon tours in the heat of the summer, but can arrange morning tours during the week for your group.
Noon until 4:00

Laughing Frog Farm is a small, diversified, family farm that raises fruits and vegetables, Gulf Coast Native Sheep, Freedom Ranger meat chickens, and heritage laying hens, using permaculture methods and organic principles.

We use the animals to prepare and fertilize the soil and, without tilling, we can preserve the microbiological integrity of the soil. Each growing season (and we have at least two annually in Texas), we dedicate one garden to raising livestock, fertilizing the soil and clearing the weeds. We have a small aquaponics system, a few geese, and occasionally have a pig around.

We use permaculture methods to move the water and huglekulture mounds to rise above the floods, while holding water in their soil.

You are welcome to bring a lunch and drinks and dine on Chandler’s chainsaw art dining tables, with the opportunity to purchase one and take it home. They are made from farm fresh wood.

We will have a few fruit trees for sale.

Owari satsuma
Brown select satsuma
Republic of Texas orange
Minneola tangola
Rio red grapefruit
Page mandarin
Taracco blood orange
Meiwa kumquat
Lakeland limequat
Iranian lemon

Muscadine grapes, figs, blueberries and blackberries

We ask that you not bring pets and wear closed toed shoes. Hats are great, and remember that mosquitoes, snakes, spiders, etc are all part of the farm.

We request a small donation to the farm to cover the time and effort we put into this tour, but we will not charge an admission fee so everyone, regardless of their financial situation, can attend.

This event will be canceled if it rains so much we cannot park cars in a pasture.

Please see our link under events for any possible updates.

There is a good map on the contacts page of this website.

We are located in northern Waller County, Tx., 60 miles from Houston, 40 miles from Bryan, and 100 miles from Austin.

Gulf Coast Native Sheep for Sale

March 29, 2017

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We raise Gulf Coast Native Sheep in Hempstead, Texas.
As of 5/5/2016 we have two 2016, a 2013, two 2015 and two 2012 ewes for sale. We still have some wonderful ram lambs available.

They are priced at $280 right now.  As the rams develop, their price might go up if they have not been reserved at the original price.  There are 8 ram lambs still unspoken for.  We are asking for a $50 deposit to reserve a sheep. None of the lambs for sale have needed to be dewormed, despite our warm wet weather. They are ready for pickup.

I often suggest to new, homesteading sheep farmers, who usually want two ewes and a ram, that they get an experienced ewe, a ewe lamb and a ram lamb (because lambs are the only rams I have left available) or two older ewes and a ram lamb.  Any lambs would have the same sire, but none of the older ones were sired by him.
Gulf Coast Sheep are mostly parasite and hoof rot resistant. We do not vaccinate and we worm only if a lamb does not pass the Famacha test. No ewe lambs that have to be wormed twice will be in the breeding program. Ewes that produce multiple lambs that have to be wormed twice will be culled. No ram lamb that ever has to be wormed will be sold or used as breeding stock.
We had 60 inches of rain in two months last spring (2016) and had no cases of hoof rot and one abscessed hoof, even though they were grazing in puddles of water as much as two inches deep at times.
The wet, warm weather is breeding ground for barber pole worm. Out of 29 lambs in 2016, we had to worm 8 lambs. Four had to be wormed twice and they were not in the breeding program.
All lambs are born on pasture with no aid from humans. We do not have a barn or indoor livestock area. We average 1.25 lambs per birth. Gulf Coast Sheep tend to be smaller, reaching processing weight at about 10 to 12 months and yielding about 25 to 30 pounds of meat. The meat is exceptional and is listed on the Slow Food Arc of Taste.  They are fed grass, hay and alfalfa.  With the rains we have had in the past few years, they have had grass almost all year, making feeding economical.  The wool is fairly course with stable lengths varying from two to five inches.
Ours are raised on pasture with a variety of grasses, clovers, forbs, trees and brush. We plant winter cover crops to improve variety and weather tolerance. They tolerate our heat and humidity, but need access to shade when it is hot and sunny.
As parasites become resistant to dewormers, and warming temperatures move those parasites further north, parasite resistant sheep are becoming more popular.
The sheep are registered, or are able to be registered, with the Gulf Coast Sheep Breeders Association. This breed is listed as “critical” by the Livestock Conservancy. Preserving this breed with its’ ability to adapt to the humid southern climate without chemical/medical inputs is important.
If you are spending lots of your time taking care of sheep and are losing sheep to illness or at birth, you might consider the Gulf Coast Native Sheep.
Sheep going out of state might require a health certificate and an additional fee of $100.00  per flock would be added for us to take care of this.
A $50.00 deposit per head will reserve your sheep.
Please contact me if you are interested.