Hard Week

This has been one of our most difficult weeks on the farm to date (at least in my mind). It started on Saturday afternoon when I was bitten by a copperhead snake on the back of my ankle. We rushed to the emergency room just to find out that modern medicine can do nothing other than “pain management” sending me home with a dose of Benedryl and a prescription for antibiotics and Vicodin for the pain (which I took neither). Pain and swelling has left me in bed for 4 days now leaving the farm operations on Jenny’s shoulders – she is such a champ.

We have been treating the snake bite and my entire leg with doses of herbal remedies: black cohosh, echinacea, goldenseal, arnica and plantain as a compress every 2 hours along with an oral dose of all of the above MINUS the arnica. After day 3 the swelling and pain was beginning to improve.

To make the farm life more difficult, it has been raining regularly making our CSA harvest more challenging in the mud while worrying about flood damage to the new crops (11 inches so far with more in the forecast). The family car got a flat and needs to be changed (it is still jacked up after 4 days with no time to take care of it). The livestock needed to be moved to a different pasture. The septic system is backing up due to the saturated ground. We have new baby chicks (8 days old now) needing regular attention. The girls are busy with homeschooling. Customers are showing up at unusual hours for feed and supplies. Flash flooding in the area is demanding more customer care concerning CSA deliveries. Managing COOP orders for this month’s delivery. Not to mention Jenny’s time to nurse me back to health with the treatments to deal with the snakebite; preparing meals for the family, cleaning house and keeping up with all of the phone calls and emails. All the while I lay here helpless unable to stand or walk on my own (knowing we are in the peak of spring planting and the work is extra difficult this week without me). After four days, I’m trying to keep a good attitude. Jenny and the girls are remarkable, as always.

This too will pass, and after Thursday’s CSA harvest and delivery, we may be able to catch our breath with a quiet weekend ahead. Hopefully, by day seven of my injury I may be back on my feet, giving Jenny a much needed break. She deserves it! Hang in there baby.


Spring Chicks and Ducklings

These babies arrived April 23rd...
Black Runner Ducks and Pekin Ducks
Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps


Farm Flooding

We just had our first break in the storm to take pictures of the damage. 8 inches of rain in 24hrs. and it just started raining again. Needless to say, this may cause some delay in our CSA shares. The good news: sustainable ag techniques are proving reliable. Raised beds, terraces and green buffer zones are saving the farm from soil erosion. We may not be able to determine the full amount of the damage until this passes in a few days. Stay posted.

Swiss Chard under water.

Summer beds under water after 8 inches of rain in 24hrs.

Green Beans underwater. These same beans were trying to recover from a late freeze. This may be their end.


Great Article about our Community Supported Farm

We just had an article out on our farm in Country World News... We are real pleased on how it turned out. Carolyn Rost did a great job at writing it.

Thanks so much to our workshare volunteers. Their enthusiasm and dedication is contagious. Our family farm and lives are so much richer for having them involved. We couldn't do it without them.

- FB


Outdoor Learning Center

After two days of work, we have built new wood-framed raised beds for our Outdoor Learning Center which will demonstrate urban farming techniques. More pics coming soon as we build!

We hope to have a few TX A&M interns and Wednesday volunteers help us with this project. Contact us if you are interested.

When the project is complete we will release a detailed journal of the development.


Food Safety Act, NAIS and farm update...

Recently, the online local food community has been alive with news concerning the "Food Safety Modernization Act". Although HR875 is unlikely to go anywhere, we do have much to be concerned about, as watch dogs viewing the horizon of what's to come. From this perspective there are multiple challenges before us at the national level (HR875, HR759, HR814, SB51 and SB425... all reviewed by FARFA - click here). It is apparant to most of the country that industrial food manufacturers DO need to be more regulated for our safety (as food recalls are becoming a regular circumstance), but we need to make sure that a "one size fits all" approach does not threaten our local food economy which provides our safest and freshest food.

Locally at the state level, SB 682 will limit NAIS to a voluntary program in Texas. This bill was left pending last week by the Senate Agriculture Committee and may be voted on this week. I'm urging everyone to take action by contacting the Senate Committee members urging them to vote "YES to SB 682". CONTACT INFO HERE >>

The Urgency of NowWith all of that serious stuff behind us, our family farm is daily encouraged by the growing awareness for local food and our community. People are going out of their way to eat, grow and live more locally. Recently we had a group of young people stay with us while riding their bikes across North America from Vancouver to Boston spreading the news about living more sustainably. They termed their trek "The Urgency of Now". After harvesting for our CSA and planting 500 tomatoes they rode off toward Houston, and ultimately Boston by June. The "Good Food Revolution" is underway, and we ourselves are off to spread the good news in Waco, TX this weekend at the Spring Farm Day at World Hunger Relief Farm, April 4th. If you are in the area we hope you can make it out.

Yours in the local food revolution,
Farmer Brad