Spit Bath

spit bathLast week’s 20+ hours of not having water due to a well repair reminded me of one of my my mother’s stories.  She called washing in the sink, or in a bowl of water while camping, a spit bath.

About ten years ago she told me a story about spit baths.  As a child she was staying with someone that did not have running water.  That was not unusual in Appalachia in the 30’s.  This person told her she would have to take a spit bath.  She said that did not know how to take a spit bath, so the person gave her specific instructions.

First, while the bowl of water is clean, wash your face.  Then wash your hands, your arms, your chest, and your belly down to there.   Then wash your feet and legs up to there.  Then wash there.  All clean.

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Cinco de Mayo at the farm

20180327_124314Come tour Laughing Frog Farm, purchase some tacos, and enjoy spring.  Chef Chandler Rothbard will be grilling some meat and veggies.  We will open the gates at 1:00 on Sunday May 5 and offer tours at 2:00, 3:00, and a final tour at 4:00.

Bring your beverages of choice and we will sell street tacos and more with farm fresh meat, vegetables and mushrooms.

Sit at the farm tables, walk the back woods, and breath some fresh air.

$5.00 per person, small children are free.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Tickets

 

Upcoming events

Here are a few of the events coming up at Laughing Frog Farm

Sunday, April 28 – Permaculture farming class – We are again offering a class on planning and planting your permaculture gardens for the spring. The class will be on Sunday afternoon from 1:00 until 5:00. Permaculture gardening works with nature creating attractive, productive growing spaces without destroying the soil food web.  The class will include soil preparation, plant selection, irrigation, seed starting, 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.  More info

Sunday, May 5 – Cinco de Mayo at the farm.  We will have a farm tour and have street tacos available for purchase.  Bring your favorite beverages and check out a permaculture farm. 1:00 pm until dark.   $5.00 per person.  more info

Sunday May 12 – Farm to table dinner .  Come and enjoy family-style food as we learn more about permaculture, nutrient dense foods, rare breeds and seeds. Dinner will include heritage meat and heirloom tomatoes, roasted heritage vegetables, local mushrooms, along with many other tastings.  Serving will begin at about 3:00.  tickets

 

Attention:  This farm has many friendly dogs, and we raise sheep and chickens that are not a physical threat to humans.  If you are allergic or afraid of animals this would not be an appropriate farm to visit.
No pets!  Our dogs are trained that strays animals are a threat.

 

Reservations for any of the events or the CSA

 

 

 

Events at Laughing Frog Farm

events march aprilpdf

• March 10 – Farm to table dinner.  Our March 3 dinner was rescheduled due to weather.  Some of our friends could not make the new date, meaning we have tickets available for the March 10 dinner.

• March 24 – Because the last class sold out we will again teach our permaculture gardening class from 1:00 until 5:00.

• April 7 –  The next farm to table dinner cosponsored by Slow Foods Houston and farm products from the Arc of Taste.

 

More information and tickets are available on our market page

Arc of Taste Farm to Table Dinner

Come and enjoy family-style food as we talk about rare breeds and seeds. Dinner will include Ark of Taste listed red wattle pork and heirloom tomatoes, roasted heritage vegetables, local mushrooms, along with many other tastings.
We start with a tour of the farm, led by farmers, Glen Miracle and Chandler Rothbard, to learn more about how they raise heritage breed sheep and free range chicken. The ‘Three sisters’ crop area will have been planted that week. We will also serve some food for discussion, and talk about what is the Ark of Taste and Slow Food’s mission to preserve biodiversity, and what we can do to help.
Service will begin at 3:00 (or so) but the gates will be open at 2:00 for wandering around the farm. Tours will be after we eat.
Tickets are $50 per person and must be purchased in advance. Seating is limited.  Tickets

Being here

Back in the dark ages of 1974 I was designing the set for a movie that would never be seen and a set for the University of Texas drama department. Both payed some bills. I had put the last touches on the movie set and needed to get back to designing the set for Bertolt Brecht’s “A Man’s A Man”. The recurring theme for this show was the railroad, so I urgently needed to get to the library to look for images that would inspire me. It was about a mile from the film shoot to the library and I was on foot. About a quarter of the way there, just by the river in Austin, I was stopped by a train. I waited impatiently feeling pressured to get to the library—to see pictures of trains—while being held up by a train. It did finally dawn on me and I found that the experience of a train was not a camera image, but it was repetitive, almost violent thumping, immense power, and unstoppability.
I love the library and I love the internet, but that thumping, and power is what I live in. Glad that train derailed me.

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Now to get the tractor out of the mud.

Permaculture gardening class April 28

love gWe are offering a class on planning and planting your permaculture gardens for the summer. The class will be on Sunday afternoon, April 28 from 1:00 until 5:00.  It is a repeat of the March and February classes.
We have forty+ years of experience raising crops for culinary purposes in the Gulf Coast 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, 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 techniques we use can be adapted to work in a small backyard plot or a large commercial garden. We use no till methods, plant diverse crops, usually replant as soon as we harvest, often rotate livestock in the gardens, mulch bare soil, curve the beds to move the water where we want it and have fun with the design and the plant selections.

The class is $55.00 per person and will include electronic handouts. tickets

Planting Calendar

Laughing Frog Farm
Planting calendar

Please note.  We use a free wordpress website and they sell the ads.  I have no idea what they are.  I am neither a supporter or a detractor from the companies advertising on this page.

In Hempstead Texas we do not have a planting season nor a harvest season. Every week gives us the opportunity to harvest something and immediately replace it with a new seed or transplant. The winters tend to be mostly above freezing, cloudy and wet with a single arctic blast down as low at 14˚. The summers are very hot and often dry. Spring, usually a glorious time, can bring us an April freeze and it can be 90˚ by early May. Lately fall has disappeared with hot Octobers and freezes in November. Three recent years, 2015, 2016, 2017 we had over 100 inches of rain. Our temperatures recently have gone from a low of 14˚ F to a high of 108˚ F. So you have to go with the flow because the weather is not under our command. We try at Laughing Frog Farm to mimic nature using permaculture planting methods, keep a large variety of plants in at all times and be ready at any time to start over in an area.
This is the planting calendar recently revised (2018)
This list is a work in progress and always will be.This is not a complete list. We try something new every time we order seeds.    We have seedlings growing to transplant 12 months a year so the items listed under greenhouse growing are time sensitive.  The rest of the year you simply grow anything you want to transplant the next month in pots or trays.

(?) means that I am taking a risk planting and often have to replant due to cold weather.  We take that risk and once in a while have to replant.

“greenhouse”means potting plants in a protected area.

“Seed” means direct seeding in the garden

“Transplant” means moving your potted plants from the greenhouse into the garden.

We will have a class on permaculture  gardening on Feb. 24, 2019.  It is a Sunday afternoon.  We can also arrange classes for a group during the week, never on Saturday.

January

A bad growing month due to the lack of sunlight. Short days and cloudy. We once went 22 days without the sun coming out. Plants do not grow much without sun. We also get some hard freezes that will kill young plants, even cold hardy ones like broccoli. This is the month to prepare for spring and work in the greenhouse, though, usually, you can get a decent harvest despite the elements.

•Greenhouse:
Start tomato, pepper, eggplant seedlings in pots inside – It is best to start them in early December.

• Seed:
English or snap peas,
Lettuce, arugula, baby greens

• Seed or transplants:
Spinach, mustard, turnips, kale, kohlrabi, pac choi

• Transplants:
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower transplants(?)
Onion sets
Potato – seed potatoes – late in the month
Put tomatoes in the ground at the end of the month if you can protect them from freezes. Keep extra seedlings just in case.

February

Usually the busiest time of the year. We can plant every day, have to battle bad weather and lots of mud. We also have lambs being born.

•Greenhouse
Basil

• Seed:
Radish, Leaf lettuce, arugula, carrots, salad greens

• Seed or transplants:
Spinach, mustard, turnips, kale, kohlrabi, head lettuce, chard, beets

• Transplants:
Broccoli, cabbage
Potatoes – seed potatoes

Move tomato, pepper, eggplant seedlings to protected garden – i.e. hot beds or cold frames. Tomatoes need to go in the ground before March 1 to get good May, June production.

March

March continues February’s busy planting calendar. With decent spring weather we should have most of the spring plants in the ground by the end of the month

• Seed:
Radish, cucumbers(?), winter squash(?), watermelon(?), cantaloupe(?), lima, pinto & green beans(?), okra(?), corn – depends on type and soil temps.
Lettuce, arugula, baby greens

• Seed or transplants:

• Transplants:
pepper, eggplant

April

If the weather has been cooperating we should have most of the spring planting done. However, if it has been a cold March we will be very busy.

• Seed:
Radish, cucumbers, winter squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, lima, pinto & green beans, okra, corn, southern peas, summer squash, basil
Lettuce, arugula – salad greens

• Seed or transplants:

cucumber, basil

• Transplants:
pepper, eggplant

May
May is mostly about harvest. We have an abundance of vegetables, but there is still planting to do.

• Seed:
Summer squash, cucumbers, southern peas, winter squash, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, molokhia, malabar spinach, amaranth, okra, corn
Lettuce, arugula – baby greens

• Seed or transplants:

cucumber, basil

• Transplants or sets:
Sweet potatoes – slips

June
June is also mostly about harvest. The tomatoes will probably not survive July’s heat so this is your window.

• Seed:
Summer squash, cucumbers, southern peas, winter squash, arugula
July
•Greenhouse:
Get your fall transplants started in a shaded area – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts
This is difficult because you have to water often and that can lead to mildew and damping off. Good ventilation is necessary. A fan might be helpful.

• Seed:
Cucumbers, bush or pole green beans, summer squash, arugula

August
•Greenhouse:
Get your transplants started in a shaded area – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, celery, Brussel sprouts
This is difficult because you have to water often and that can lead to mildew and damping off. Good ventilation is necessary. A fan might be helpful.

This is a brutal month of picking okra and cucumbers, with minimal harvest and few customers at the market. It is the closest we get to a slow time.

• Seed:
cucumbers, summer squash, arugula, collards, mustard, turnips

• Seed or transplants:

• Transplants:
Late in the month you can transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts
September

This is the second busiest planting time of the year, after February/March.

This is also the month we put in the winter hoop house tomatoes.

Seed:
Artichokes, cardoon
Onions, Carrots, Beets, Turnips, spinach, kale, lettuce, fennel,
Lettuce, arugula

• Seed or transplants:
Kale, mustard, lettuce, collards, chard, kohlrabi

• Transplants:
broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi

If you have a water feature, transplant the celery in rocks or pots on the edge of the water. Celery is perfect for aquaponics.

Potatoes – seed potatoes

October

October weather will almost definitely bring us a few days in the 90s and a few in the 40s. It is a busy planting month for anything that can survive the frost that will inevitable come before the plants mature.

Best month to transplant many herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary

• Seed:
Onions, beets, radishes, turnips, spinach, mustard, collards, kale, rutabaga
Lettuce, arugula

• Seed or transplants:
Celery – needs constant moisture

Transplants:
Strawberries
Asparagas
broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi
leeks
Garlic cloves

November

This month usually brings the first freeze to Hempstead, Tx. It seldom makes it all the way to Houston.

November through February are the best months to plant deciduous fruit trees.

• Seed:
Onions, beets, radishes, turnips, spinach, mustard, collards, kale, English or snap peas,
Lettuce, arugula

• Seed or transplants:
Rutabaga, kohlrabi,

Transplants:
Broccoli, cabbage

December

December is often a bad growing month due to the lack of sunlight. Keep in mind that growth rates in January are bad due to lack of photosynthesis and a hard freeze might take away your December efforts.

• Greenhouse:
Start tomato, pepper, eggplant seedlings in pots inside

• Seed:
Onions, turnips, spinach, mustard, collards, kale, English or snap peas,
Lettuce, arugula

Seed or transplants:
Rutabaga, kohlrabi

Transplants:

Cabbage, broccoli,

A few notes:
Every month seedlings are started in the greenhouse or shade area.

(?) means that I am taking a risk planting and often have to replant due to cold weather.

We plant cucumbers every warm month because they succumb to downy mildew. They only last a couple of months per planting.

We only plant winter squash from the cucurbita moschata family, due to its resistance to the squash vine borer.

We usually do not transplant squash or cucumbers, however we are now working with a grafted cucumber that shows great promise and has to be transplanted into the garden.

Farm dinner Dec 9

love g

On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9 we will have our final farm dinner of 2018.   We will feature vegetables grown on our farm and meat from our livestock, served family style. Vegetarian, and meat dishes will be available.  Gates will open at 2:00 and we will begin serving about 3:00, finishing up under the stars.  All events at Laughing Frog Farm are BYOB. Tickets are available here.