John’s Blog

Reaching our GOAL

I see its been a year since I've blogged so I thought I'd start by celebrating. Yesterday we reached one of our sales goals - $1,000 at a market. This is huge and we couldn't have done it without our loyal customers. Over half of that came from pre-orders from people who have made Amber... Continue Reading →

Chicken Business

Last week we started a batch of 100 Cornish Cross broiler (meat) chickens with the intent to raise on pasture and sell at the farmer's market. We are prototyping the system with 100 birds, but hope to get up to batches of 300, as chicken is a high volume - low margin game. We've had... Continue Reading →

Second Chance on Cutting Hay

My previous post was about a disappointing hay harvest.  Well, the second cutting exceeded my expectations.  I got 39 bales of hay off of ~15 acres.  This same area only produced 13 bales the first cutting.  What made the difference?  Well, I think the fertilizer had finally kicked in.  We had a good 2" of... Continue Reading →

Disappointing Hay Harvest

I had a few acres cut for hay this year as the cows weren't keeping up and it was going to seed. On 25 acres I only got 15 bales. I knew one 10 acre patch would be sparse, but I was expecting 2 bales per acre on the remaining 15 yet I got less... Continue Reading →

Livin’ la Vino Loco

I'm not a big wine drinker, but when Molly and I visited Fredricksburg this spring I couldn't help but pick up a few grape vines.  I picked up 2 of each of the three varieties available - Black Spanish, Blanc du Bois, and Champanel.  These are the predominant wine grapes in Central Texas as they... Continue Reading →

Lessons from Winter Calving

Heading toward Christmas I could see the bellies swelling and the udders filling.  I knew we were going to have some winter calves.  I pulled two heifers out of the heard (#12 & #21) and put them in a paddock with hay so I could assist with the birth in the event I needed to. ... Continue Reading →

Isn’t it Swale

Added more earthworks to the ranch. This time I put a swale in as the first phase of my orchard. A swale is basically a ditch on contour.  The idea being that runoff acclimates in the ditch and slowly infiltrates the soil - as aposed to running off. The added depth of topsoil and moisture... Continue Reading →

Curb Appeal

When I built the pond in front of the house (the one that catches the rainwater overflow) I was left with several yards of spoils.  They had been stacked up for several months and were quite unsightly - with weeds growing in  great abundance.  So I finally broke down and rented a dump trailer from... Continue Reading →

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