Time to get seed started.

God Bless America

God Bless America
If you don't think so, maybe you should leave

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our First Freeze

Last night , well early this morning we got our first freeze. Was 28° about day light. I was not ready for the cold. Course I never am. We have been getting a little rain again. So what a blessing that is. A little fall color, nothing like in the North East. Most of the time we go from green to brown. With the drought a lot of the trees were already brown.
Anyway I am gonna post some photos taken in front of the house coming up the drive. Now if you want to see some real fall photos check out my friends blog. He lives in Main, where they have some real color. http://hikinginmainewithkelley.blogspot.com/
East Texas Color, well I thought they were pretty. Bill

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cooler Weather

Things are happening. With the cooler weather, I see changes taking place. What trees didn't die in our bad drought this summer are changing leaf color. I bet they are needing a rest. We are picking up some small showers. Although we are still under a burn band. The birds are leaving for warmer areas. mostly just the humming birds have left. But I see others coming in from the North. Most will be here all winter.
 Chiles: The Chiles I have in pots will be brought in for the winter. These are some special plants I like to keep growing. Especially my Chile Pequin plants. I love those things, they can really spice up a dish or your life. Its one of those things that I don't leave home without. I also have about 20 pineapple plants. Why? I haven't a clue. They will also have to come in.Thanks Bill

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yeah, we got Rain !!!

We did, we really got a shower. Nothing ground shaking but did get 1.5". Made me a very happy camper. I could just hear all the trees and plants sighing with relief. Heck, I was sighing myself and smiling from ear to ear. Saying thank you Lord for the rain.
 Our drought is not broken, by any count. But its a start. We are still under a burn ban. For people living in town this is not a problem. But for us country folks, we always have something that needs burning. I compost all I can, big tree limbs are cut for the fireplace. The rest need to be disposed of (burning). Anyway my pile is getting quite large.
 Farming, not going to happen this coming year. But I will have a garden. I still will be growing my Chiles. Gotta have those. I am thinking about using raised beds. To me it looks like the soil and the plants would be much easier to control. Weeds to could be keep at bay. Anyone with knowledge on raised beds, would really like to hear your thoughts. This photo is not mine, can't remember where I got it. Thanks Bill
This is what I have in mind.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Something of Interest

Farm related ? yes because we all eat. And some of us cook, or someone you know cooks. Anyway, I have been a member of this cooking forum for sometime now. I have learned so much, and meet some very good people. The spammers had taken over the forum so many of the members have left. But now spam filters are in place (no more spam) So I am asking if you are interested in cooking or want to learn more about cooking check out the forum. And if you are a cook, I am interested in learning from you. Thanks y'all Bill

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nothing Growing

So dry, still, and I am not sure we aren't gonna burn to the ground. Fires all over the state are doing much damage. Not only burning forest and farm land but Homes as well. News this morning over 1500 homes lost in the Bastrop, Texas fire alone. I received an email from a friend in Houston, saying that people in the North Houston area we being told to leave there homes. Our area has several fires but not as bad as some of the others. I have had ashes on my truck several mornings from the fires. I guess the wind caries them quite far. Weather news says nothing about any rain. Here are a couple of photos of the Bastrop fire near Austin. Please pray for rain.
View from Bastrop
View from Austin

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It isn't Raining yet, But

The good news is that the temperature has dropped below 100°. And we have been forecast for rain next 3 Days 20% chance. I know, not much chance but it sounds better than 80% no chance.
 I have been watching the trees and plants dieing for lack of water. When walking on the grass it sounds like you might be walking on corn flakes. I have learned to read the signs of  plant stress pretty well. Watching oak trees, of witch we are loosing many. Oaks have no tap root so they will stress faster than say a pine.
  Back to what I have learned. The first sign is that the leaves will wilt down to conserve water evaporation. Next they will Begin to droop and curl. Then turn yellow then brown. This tree is now a heap of trouble if not dead. I have taken a couple of photos, just to finish my story.

Oak Trees in Trouble August 7th

Same tree August 11th only 4 days later

The green plants in the foreground are watered 3 days each week. This Scene is being repeated over our whole area.
Most being just the oaks. Some maybe 70-80 years old.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tired of Gloom and Doom

Yeah me to: I started out trying to joke about how hot and dry it is in Texas.
 But let me tell you it isn't funny any more. Now I am talking East Texas 75766
Area. For over the last month and a half it has been over 100° each day, and no rain at all. Weather man says 110° today. Well we did get that 1/4" way back when. I have lived in this area for a long time and surly don't remember it ever being this hot and dry.
I am seeing a lot of very large oak and other trees dieing. I have put water out for the local wildlife and birds. They are drinking, I am having to refill daily. I really don't mind, makes me feel like I am doing something useful. Please pray for rain.
Thanks Bill In Texas
click map for larger view

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not a real Rain

Well we haven't gotten a real rain, but we did however get 1/4". I ran outside just to see what it looked like. Damn it was pretty. Total rain time about 20 min.
 But I can tell you I am super pleased. You would of thought it would of been cooler, but didn't happen. Just as soon as it stopped raining steam was coming from the ground.
 All the farm crops are gone. I did manage to grew a few Chiles here at the house garden.  The figs have also done quite well. I guess they like the heat. We have had over 100° each day for the last 30 days. We did water the garden and the figs. I have been making fig preserves and pickling and drying Chiles. I am finding that I like cooking, kinda funny isn't it. I may do a cooking Blog. I am getting to old to farm anyway, or maybe just to tired. Here are some photos of the Chiles and figs. Hope you enjoy them. Bill

Red Ripe JalapeƱos.

Fig Preserves

Friday, July 8, 2011

Not much has changed

Reading different blogs across Texas. I have copied this from one blog I follow regularly. http://wildedtx.blogspot.com/
Its a good site You might enjoy it.

The entire State of Texas has just been declared a Natural Disaster. Over 1/3 of the crops in the State have failed so far and millions of acres are burned or they are so dried up they might as well have burned. The crop loss will get higher as the season progresses. We are all going to have to chip in and work hard to help our wildlife survive the coming hard times. Please be careful with fire and stay on the alert. We do not need anymore habitat burned away.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Long Time no Post

OK, I am sorry I have not been updating my blog.
 This has been the worst year for growing we have ever had. Need less to say there has been very little to talk about. Yeah, I could of said something and maybe cried a little. Knowing all a long that it would not help. But I know also that if you have a blog that people read you owe them something.
So what I can tell you it has been a real bitch.
 Stayed cold forever, the ground temp was still 50 deg. in April. We most of the time are setting transplants in April. But it was Mid May by the time we could plant.
Our lake was very low on water, no rain and the lake is fed by rain run off water.
 As of today our pump is setting on dry land. And this is a floating pump. We can pump just enough to keep the plants alive.
 The well that we have, water has dropped so low the pump is sucking air. We can go no deeper with the pump.
 So I can be sure this year is a total waste as far as growing our crops. Maybe next year will be better. Hope your crops have faired better
Weather, extreme drought, hight temp 103 deg. Yeah the ground did warm up,, you can bake bread on it. Thanks for hearing  me rant. Bill in Texas

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Warmer Weather ?

Warmer weather maybe, yeah I know its coming. We have had some rather really nice days. Cooler and raining today, OK we needed a show.
 After all my trouble about not wanting to replant our onions. Got my mind changed. A friend called said he had several boxes he could not plant, so I will be planting them. 7200 plants not many but might make some onions. Its a little late, but what the heck. Got some summer squash plants going in the greenhouse. Maybe early squash. Chile plants looking good. Have you folks looked at the price of seed, shocking. Later

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Maybe a Do Over?

Well it looks as though we may have to replant our onions. Yeah the last couple of real low temperatures didn't do them any good. I think maybe global warming has struck again. I am thinking that we have at least 60-70 % loss. If we replant it will be costly. Plants and labor, more tractor time and everything that goes with it, mostly fuel. Fuel prices are a real killer. Plus we will miss our selling window, meaning lower prices for the crop. Replanting might not be the thing to do.
 As the weather is maybe getting warmer we are looking at other things. Like peas and beans, okra. The Chile plants will be fine they are still in the greenhouse. I however do not like the looks of this years Chile prices. At present all buyers want to pay less than last year. I am thinking It might be time to play something else for a while. Naw.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Planting (Maybe)

Onions are all planted, the rain has stopped. But hey, the ground is frozen. I know this last storm has hammered a lot of folks. I really hope y'all the best. Were cold but not as bad as some. Anyway stay warm.
 Hoping to plant some collards soon. They sell pretty good, and besides we like them a lot. Its one of the both early and late crops that work for us.
Straight neck summer squash, another good crop. That is if you get it to mature early. I am thinking about starting plants this year in the greenhouse. We usually just direct seed. If we do transplants it would give us a jump on the market. Translated into a better price. Here is a photo of the collard variety we plant.
Collard Greens

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Planting Onions

The onion planting has started. We really hope to finish this week. Rain has stopped the planting for now. I am not going to gripe about the rain (much), I know we will be wishing for it soon enough. As most of you know our Texas summers can be really brutal. We have some plants started in the greenhouse, not as many as in the past. Several factors are at play here. The cost of supples, fuel, seed, fertilizer etc. Talking to our buyers they are not willing to pay any more than 2010 prices. They also blame fuel prices. As a small grower I don't see how we can keep on farming for a living. Selling direct to the consumer would might work. The only trouble with that is we live in an area with not many people. I think we all will be growing our own food before long. I feel sorry for folk that live in city's, and haven't a clue as to how grow plants. Does this sound like I am worried? Yeah, I am.
Onion Planting

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A brand New Year

The growing season has not started but is coming soon. I am receiving new seed catalogs almost daily. Sad thing is I am not finding lots of new things. I am talking about Chiles mostly. I still have my favorites but am always on the look out for something different. Guess I could breed my own but wont.
  One Chile that I can't get seed for so far is the Naga Viper Chile This is a new one for sure. Super hot, reported to be 270 times hotter than your average JalapeƱo. Don't get me wrong here, I just want to grow it not eat it. So if anybody sees any of these seed laying around Please let me know (eastexfarms at. hughes.net) I will forever be grateful. I do however have one buyer that makes hot sauce, he is interested in maybe buying the Chiles. Dang, I can't imagine anyone eating this sauce.
 I will be starting some seed here in the next week or two. I don't want to miss spring.
This is not my photo credit given. Happy growing y'all.

                                                   The Naga Viper Chile
                                    photo: wstryder/Flickr