Fitzhugh Creek LLC Farm and Emporium

December 25,2014

Funny, I don't remember a Christmas blog entry. Oh Well. From email I have 2 notes.

First. I bought another saddle (actually traded 3 old saddles and $30 for it) and Mary wanted to know why. I told the guy that sold it to me that I was getting it for my wife, true. But, looking at her, even though she hadn't seen it, I could tell she did not want that to be her saddle. She wanted the one that was as good as mine. Later she saw the saddle and loved it. But, onto the story of why. I couldn't say. I found my saddle to be ideal, although heavy, I felt confident that any horse worth it's salt would accept the saddle and the pair would perform together as expected. But, trying the new saddle, smaller, lighter, on Lucky I noticed a smile that suggested she was liking this saddle over that other monster. And it came to me this morning that there are uses for different saddles at different times. I recalled seeing Buck riding an unusually small saddle and I didn't really make sense of it. Someone asked him a question I didn't hear and he replied "Because I just wanted him to do it faster" and he proceeded to scoot his horse backwards at a dazzling clip. Now I will likely never know what the actual question was but it could have been "Why are you using that small saddle?" because for sure, a horse can do things a bit quicker when not burdened by 20 extra pounds or leather skirts hampering his loins so much. So, not only could saddles be suitable for particular horses, but also for particular activities. That doesn't lessen my confusion over the difference between a cutting saddle and a barrel saddle by much though.

Second. Since working with some flighty horses I noticed it was pretty easy to get in a bind where the horse had a bit too much nervous energy that needed dissipating pretty quickly. And it might be useful to have a vocal cue that would actually work to calm them down. Before I even came up with this, and really I didn't, I recalled the horse whisperer movie where Redford used "shhhhh" to quiet the nervous horse. And that may be it.

December 18 2014

Stuck inside today so I thought I'd catch up on the blog. The two entries after this were pasted from blog emails. I am sooooo sorry they are boring and incomplete. If I had just finished the thought on the keyboard I would have had more to say. Editing so after the thought didn't seem right.

I had another one of these blog thoughts, but never wrote it down. Actually, it was two thoughts. The first came to me as I was mucking out, and the second followed shortly thereafter. 1. I have been using this muck rake with a tine missing right about in the middle. This causes me to attack a poop pile multiple times, whenever a little green apple falls through the spot lacking a tooth. But, even though I have repaired it 4 times, I still cannot bring myself to replace it. Sure, it's because I am cheap! But, being so allows me to contemplate the overriding implications of being frugal.

It dawned on me that manure composting less than perfect ingredients was like the hole in the rake. Making do with was was dealt, that's all. There could be valuable research in this if only I undertook the endeavor scientifcally.. To be sure, this is one of the reasons I brainstormed on a handheld or mini-gas chromatograph. With today's technologocal advancements in personal vaporizers, it seem that the largest obstacle in such design has already been surmounted.

2. The other thought I had that morning continually escaped me until I settled on a horse training topic. Now what was that? Oh yeah! I had mentioned to Raymond ignorantly that a horse had two ways stop - on his front legs which is very uncomfortable as the rider is thrown into the saddle horn, and on the hind legs which causes the most desirable smooth as butter stop. He was quick to point out that it may be true for some horses, implying I think that all horses are different and such a blanket statement would not suffice. I went away thinking proudly that I had expounded a truth that surely was at the basis of all training tecniques. Yeah, right.

So, back to picking up poop. It comes to me that real fancy horses, like cutters, don't just stop front to back. They slide sideways, flip and stop, run left and stop right, the mind boggles just thinking all they do. And I don't mean as a sequence of things, I mean like as an atomic action, followed of course by another compond action (see what I did, made an atom into a compound). It's because they have a complex idea in mind. They want to get-there-and-do-that. I have not been think that they all do that. All this makes the idea of training for function merely (yeah,right) a bunch of fancy atomic moves. Pretty cool. Integration for horses. But, getting just one compound move, is certainly a goal worthy of research.

Ok, examining that last paragraph I can say without a doubt I have no idea what I am talking about. There are some good thoughts there, but no cohesion. Maybe this complex movement is only relative to moving cattle around and there really isn't another real world practice that comes close. Even dressage seems pretty tame when compared to cow work.

November 29 2014

Rode curio outside after many butterflies. Practice 0-rein stops - better every time. One shout out whoa was right on.

November 21 2014

You know the saying ... Forgot it. Saying a horse is hard to handle makes him so except to the braver than me. Working a horse rather than pasturing him induces not only a smarter horse but physical excellence as well. Missy has been getting fed 3-6 cups a day a little before her floating and now she is pretty solid

November 5,2014

Rainy days are so gratifying whether hanging at the shop or jamming to tunes in the comfort of the nice warm house. So, that brings me to needing to write something, anything! Little Feat is real a great band (Night on the Town).

Last week saw me .. on the ground. Fine, now that that is said, I realized at some point that there would not be a quick answer to a day of catastrophes. So far I have not disproved that conjecture. But, one major thing I have learned is the willingness of horses to learn more and do more than you ever expect they could. It makes me wonder how the old trainers ever got to be that old. But, as Mary offered, with obstacles removed, they do tend to run without barrier in mind.

The big knee (12 feet of heart wood)got cut yesterday. It was at one time going to be 4 stools, the seat of a bench, the seat of two benches, and too awesome to ever cut. Now I have a plan to turn 4 legs and a 10 in by 1.5 in x 4 ft plank, the seat, into a tight two person bench. Only one thing is certain, legs are X-joined in pasirs (selected), pairs are slotted to accept plank. Maybe that's more than one. An exaggeration would be to turn the slots into mortise and tenon of some sort.

So, you wanna know what is happening in the garden too? At present broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower are growing but not fruiting. Okra is still on and there are a few melons grasping at the tail end of summer. Tomatoes have spriung from the early summer plantings, and have begun the green red transition. We should have a bunch before it freezes. I have started preparing, maybe 2 rows. I intend for beets to occupy many of the open spots but then I fear beats have gone out of style. Need to get some red ones. Prepare for onions soon. Plant what??

June 9,2014

Little did I know that writing in a blog would take more than once a month service in order to gender any audience, say for instance that I even had an idea of an audience. Nevertheless, one a month is better than my previous record.

My previous market day, last Wednesday, was dismal except for the few delightful customers who stopped by to chat or buy a little. I pretty much felt deep in the pity well as folks streamed into Walmart, aka Johnson's Backyard Garden, all day. I could only manage to sell about half of what I brought. Sure, it could be my selection was out of season, too many greens and not enough anything else. People want fruits, and big tubular looking vegetables in the Spring, not leaves leftover from the Winter, so to speak.

It would appear that mother paint has taken the upper hand in her training, showing me what fo' last week. I still am trying to figure out what exactly happened or as Mark put it, whether she is just one bad horse. I'd like to get the round pen finished before risking my rear again but that may be too far out to wait. I figure working her and the boy everyday will give me a chance to learn something.

May 8,2014

Been a while since I last wrote anything. Yesterday, before market, I yearned to write after reading "True Horsemanship Thru Feel", for a while. But, then I realized that whenever I read anything that impresses me I immediately feel that my calling in life is as a writer. Thank God I have friends that are actually writers to have an example to measure myself against. Anyway, it seemed that a good and appropriate place to begin my literary career was on a white board at the market, the former of which I purchased for $10 at the Home Despot.

So, what first appeared on the board was the usual list of veggies for the day. Then a brief explanation of sensopai (a hybrid of Japanese mustard-spinach and cabbage), and then a suggestion on how it could be used (sauteed and placed on a lunchmeat sandwich instead of that slice of cheese). But, this was at the market. What I had thought of before I got there was to make advertisements a theme of the board. I could have sold my services for any number of things from mucking to chipping, baby sitting horses to KR Bluestem removal. Fortunately, the board filled up pretty quickly so I didn't have to deal with decisions realted to what to put up and to what depth to describe it.

You could say that opened up a whole new way to look at the problems at hand. Rather, view them as opportunities for enterprise. I need chicken feed.

July 19,2013

Pumpkins This little critter waited for me to come by to pick black cherry tomatoes.

Market day was rain day this week. For about an hour (maybe two!) vendors and patrons enjoyed the dry between the storms. Then the second wave came and for an hour the vendors all huddled under their tents, inevitably becoming soaked!

July 15,2013

Mid-July! Wow! Halfway there! So, it is time to plan the Winter and Fall garden. There is still a lot to reap from the summer, so I have to be careful not to go pulling up productive plants. I have been putting off the planning and it seems like it was at least partially a good choice. Today it is railing and being inside at the computer is a lot dryer and cleaner. So here is what I can do:

July 1, 2013

Great casserole. Found a recipe that involved preparing three layers independently and then layering them for a final bake - oh, is that what a casserole is? Huh, what do you know. Well, it called for a leek layer, seasoned with thyme, and a squash layer seasoned with fennel, and a final cheese gravy that covered it all, with crumbs and cheese on top. But, the fennel I have been selling, I find is well, out of season big time. So my squash layer had more squash and I used a Mexican seasoning!!! Surprise!!! Naw, really, not so much as to ruin it. Just to suit the cheddar component and be something not thyme. But, man, tasting those layers independently was interesting!

Starting over seems like such a awful depressing struggle. Not so if one considers the lessons learned in achieving great failure. The pumpkins are no more, well, the plants are no more. There are still about a dozen 'kins of mostly sufficient ripeage. The adjacent squash are deep in life struggle with the powdery mildew that bested their neighbors and relatives!

But, on the bright side the corn, melons, and okra are coming along fine, I think. Treating for corn earworm this evening. I found the first 2 okras today! And, the melons are little but, ...

June 27, 2013

At last! I have updated the web site! Nothing to shout about but hey, it's at least out there, right?!

The market was a scorcher yesterday. Not only was it hotter than heck but some might say that long haired dude got a little aggressive trying to bring in customers. Things may have fallen off a bit with the temperatures in the 100's. Sales were lower than last week and I went home with a good bit of produce in the Jeep. Mary was delighted to say the least - SQUASH CASSEROLE!

June 22, 2013

Well, here I am writing the first blog entry for my new home grown web page. Nothing fancy here. Maybe it will progress over time and you will find it more attractive. Nevertheless, it should do the job. I am going with a rather crude method of blogging too, just typing it in. So, if you choose to make a comment you will have to send it to me and I'll include it. I figure this won't take too much of my time if I ever check my email

We are well into our third year here, growing and selling vegetables. We are still pretty much exclusive at the Dripping Springs Farmer's Market. This market has been good to us and I can't see any reason to leave it. Since I sell most of what I harvest each week, there isn't much reason to try and sell at another market. But, that time may come sooner than later.