Fitzhugh Creek LLC Farm and Emporium

Managing the Garden Notes by Jim Donohoe

February 28, 2021 edited March 1
So, I am in need of learning the Prusik knot inside out. We are recovering from the 2021 Texas ice storm [February 2021 North American ice storm]. This place got hit bad. I haven't had time to get out and compare it to other places, but from the roads it looks as bad as it got. From Feb 12th to 19th we endured sub-freezing cold, snow, ice build up on trees, rolling blackouts (loss of water due to loss of pump power). We lived from outage to outage until a water pipe froze then we melted snow in various ways. Our propane stove did not operate with power off, some kind of safety figure I suppose.

Only writing this down do I realize it has been 8-9 days since things began to get better. For that period I have spent each day either cutting broken oak branches, or thinking about which one I need to do next. Oak wilt around here means that in Spring like weather we must be aware of open wounds on most oaks because of oak fungal wilt infections from carrier beetles. Have I ever experienced oak wilt? Not personally. But, yuck, when it strikes, you feel like you should leave the area immediately. So, we keep it at bay whenever there is a choice. The Prusik is used in tree climbing situations. I have some trees close to the house that need to be deleted basically. 30 ft tall even with the loss of canopy from the storm. This idea is to take it down in pieces, thanks for the comfirmation, and the knot is used to safely move a weight along a verical rope. So, there you are. Off to the web.

Back again, after a really quick study postponement. I need to order some dirt-rock-gravel. Twelve ton loads. One of each for now. Cost?

How about another thought?! When I started learning about the horse, basically when I got my first ones in '95, as an educated engineer (if that isn't an oxymoron), I sought advice from books and videos, clinics and magazines. There wasn't a lot of peer to peer communication because face it I am pretty much a one idiot show. What I struggled without succes to find in books, any all encompassing method to approach the process, I found pragmatically through clinics and to a lesser extent videos. But, the trouble was/is the information was largely raw data, my observations, and although the commentary from the clinician was invaluable for each problem he showed a solution to or each exercise he demonstrated the usefullness for I really didn't have a direction once I got back to the horse(s). What I failed to realize of course was that 1) I needed to put in way more time (mainly, because the horse doesn't always do what you want him to do and you need to let that happen too), 2) I needed to not be anxious about a result (this is really hard because it is usually some such result that I am trying to obtain), 3) what someones suggests to you may just be a secret way to get somewhere, and if you try to analyze it you will be lost, 4) trust the horse to be a horse, getting her to be a product of your instruction can come later, 5) know pressure-release like your first language.

Enought of that for now. Forward to another question: Does Fitzhugh Creek Farm still exist? Welllllllll, the well went practically dry on the 2A I am leasing and neither me or the owner, are going to foot the bill for a new drilling (say $20K-$30K). A solution for water may exist. By using the 30 gal/hr (optimistically) that can be gotten out of it and filling a tank, which would than have a surface pump to drive the line, some volume of water could be had, I think. That number would suggest 720 gal/day. Usage would be 200gal/wk for troughs, 200 gal/day for gardening, 200 gal/wk for trees (or 2000 gal/wk for an orchard) and 200 gal in reserve. Thats about 514 gal/day barely making it but we get an orchard.

Well for one Prusik knot and Prussic acid do not share the same spelling. Also, I ran the well yesterday: 50gal to one trough triggered dryrun, 1 hour late that resolved and another 50 gal fill triggered dryrun after a little over 5mins.

September 5, 2020
Hum, 3 months. Not a lot of progress, a lot of not a lot of progress. I have been taking a Udemy course in Wordpress and have another one in the wings in ecommerce. I figured that both of these together would provide me the tools to get the farm system out of the concept phase. I guess the idea is to get tooled up and move to a design phase, and in parallel an implementation phase. I have other things going on too so if I want I could use the plurailty of projects as a well justified excuse for getting relatively nothing done. But, I know it is largely my lack of inate ability and astounding wealth of laziness that bring me to this less than stellar junction in the slothly progression.

So, what is next? Experimenting with the buttons and switches of WP is kind of like trying out a new electronic device. But, it is instructive. Onward through the fog.

Friday June 5, 2020
A credit system unfolds: the van parked in the drive is now without charged batteries. Walmart here I come. (Ain't got time for organization so Ill just ramble on.)

Several options for a market have opened s.a. Proof and Cooper's and 12 Fox; local, willing, active, parking, willingness apparent. One stickler is time, and frequency. In theory, market times would be fixed in order to give customers a chance to plan and so too for the sponsor. Frequency will not be discussed, as this requires sponsor input.

An alternative might be pursued as follows:
1. Market is supported in van. 2. Van is equiped with solar regenerated battery powered air conditioner. 3. Shelves inside hold vegetables. 4. Patrons enter through steps at rear and are able to examing goods and choose. 5. Goods sold are local, farmers, egg producers. 6. Producers donate goods and recieve credits. Credit categories are separate: e.g., tomatoes, eggs, my favorite vegetable, melons, pretty much any other vegetable in great supply. Weights are taken. Cash is not paid until resolution time. Cost incurred during transport are accumulated as reverse credits. Manager fee (?) is registered as reverse credit. 7. Truck makes multiple (1-3?) looping trips a week to pick up goods and park for customers. Local business are contacted for parking priveledges.

Manager duty will have to include inspection (a sample of eggs floated maybe).

The easiest way for this to work is for everyone to trust each other, and know when to inspect their own food. Eggs would be donated in returnable cooler to keep them at 40 degrees F. Cottage food vendors operate separately (I think this might be necessary) but, can make use of scheduling and location. One might question if a vendor policy is required.

Tuesday June 2, 2020
Why the hell not.

I finally got a local copy of my web pages so it'll be easier to add stuff from now on. There is still a lot to do with getting a usable page and it seems very much like putting up a building, although the struggle also uses many of the methods from my professional experience. For instance, at ther very top there is a conglomeration of paragraphs that needs to have a common access type. An index is desired. A chart showing elements and targets/consumers/values/actions needs constructing. Underlying similarities need to be exploited for code reuse. Of course big ticket items need to be started as a priority: ecommerce, scheduling/delivery/maps, forum for consumers - at the minimum this could be the lauch spot for other elements (stealing the spot for FB and ND).

Since the heading here deals with the garden I better start writing about it. The coverage is about 1/8 I believe. Producing:


Coming on will be tomatoes and okra. More rows are being planted. Tomatoes and peppers, watermelon and canteloupe. Better get back to it.

North Hays County Farmer's Market Notes by Jim Donohoe

Thursday May 21, 2020
At this point I really don't know who all is looking at this page but my host says 16 unique viewers. Good start, eh?!

This idea of connecting growers/makers and buyers/consumers has given me some thought. Originally, and still very alive is the North Hays County Farmer's Market. Y'all have come up with some very good locations. Assuming there is no public place to hold a market, the next logical place would be an existing retail location, preferably with items for sale that would complement the FM vendors' goods. Some suggestions:

Thursday May, 2020
So, this discussion got started on Nextdoor when I asked if anyone would be interested in a farmers market up here. This Nextdoor group is primarily North of Fitzhugh Rd to Hamilton Pool Rd, East of the Pedernales River and West of Bee Cave. Now that may not include all interested parties residences but anyone can of course participate in the discussion.

What seems to have evolved is a desire to have a place for home gardeners to sell their excess, for neighbors to have readily accessible fresh foods, and perhaps for crafters to have a avenue to present and sell their stuff. Just to note: selling food is a non-taxable transaction whereas selling crafts very well is. So, be forewarned to get you tax number if you are a crafter!

Welcome to Fitzhugh Creek Farm and Emporium!

VeggieCrate On our farm we use only natural growing methods, so you won't find any chemical pesticides, fungicides, or insecticides used here. We only sell what we grow. We grow all that we find possible and practical. We sell what we can locally and try our best to make use of the rest, either feeding the chickens, ourselves, or the community, or returning it back to the dirt from whence it came.

We also have a certain passion about things made of wood. And though not all of the wood designs presented here are our own, we try and add some personal touch to each to create something truly unique. Check out some of the contrivances and inquire about them if you like any of them.

Horse Stuff by Jim Donohoe

There is a lot of verbiage to be dissemminated on horses. They have come to consume a whole lot of my time lately and the more I learn the more I need communication with others who share the same burden so to speak. This seems like a fairly sane place to do that since the poop from the horses feeds the compost and ultimately the market garden. Which of course feeds my pocket. A logical place to start is certainly my own experience - funny one of my first thoughts was to write about other peoples opinions on and experiences with horses, but I guess that will have to wait for a while.

Horse Barn Etiquette Horse Barn Design