- News -
Updated January 7,2017
No orders will be accepted after
Changes for 2017
Ok... So I am making a dilegent effort to "downsize"
It has been an ego thing, offering as many varieties as I have the past several years. Frankly it causes a lot of confusion when you offer too many choices, a Paradox as some say, so here we go... a slimer version of what once was... If you are looking for something specific - let me know ASAP and I can add them easy enough, especially if you are buying several of a variety.
Inevitably I must raise prices now and again; the wonderful folks at UPS had a 'policy change' last February resulting in an increase in my freight prices - coming and going. This unexpected increase bit me in the shorts, being I run on pretty thin profit margin... equaling a 50 cent increase to most plants; but I am holding my minimum order to 5 plants.
Some of you folks may know I have a hectic schedule... dawn to dusk+++ starting mid February. This factor plus dwindling availability of several varieties make continuing to offer plants in the month of March quite troublesome. I appreciate that many folks would prefer to order plants when they want them, and have them shipped out in like fashion... sorry, but I am not set up for that.
Each year orders for the individual varieties 'close' at the end of February.
However, I continued offering 'Assortments' for a few additional weeks.
IF I do this again these orders placed for 'Assortments'
may not ship until Late March, or early April.
Changes for 2015
To those returning, welcome back! For you newbie’s you won’t know what I’m talking about ;)
But I thought I would take a few moments to explain the changes, but first a little background.
I start this little “business” in December. The catalogs start coming out, a few companies have updated their ‘New for 2015’ varieties online and I order my seeds the week before Christmas.
January is where things get going; I am located in south central Texas, 45 miles north of San Antonio, and about 75 miles southwest of Austin. Our typical last frost for our area is mid March. Now, if I were growing just for me I would back up eight weeks and start my seedlings in Mid January... which is pretty much what I do. I look at the lunar calendar, the first full or new moon closer to the middle of the month, and then back up three or four days. This is my target sowing date (for 2015- January 3rd). The little seedlings start to emerge within 72 hrs and then require daily care, warm soil, and oh yeah, and LOTS of LIGHT!!!
While this is going on I am preparing the greenhouses, yes I set up a second last year, for the thousands of little babies to come.
February, for those who know, is typically our coldest month of the year (Great time for baby tomatoes!) I am busy stepping plants up from their seedling trays into their individual pots; It has been my luck that the timing of this event coordinates perfectly with a polar vortex dropping the temperatures low enough that little plants are sure to freeze just moving them from the seeding facility (my kitchen) out the 50 yards to the greenhouses. Once in the greenhouses I have successfully carried tender little plants through a period of 48 hours below freeing, with temps dropping into the low 20’s... just gotta get them out there. Once in the glorified cold frames I call greenhouses the little babies are fertilized with fish emulsion and such other natural goodies, provided with plenty of air flow to avoid mildew issues, and generally babied unmercifully. All this love and care generally results in plants almost a foot tall by the first of March, ready for their new homes.
So, to review - dollar wise – in December I am spending a small fortune on seeds and seedling soil. In January I have a couple of thousand going out for just for plastic pots and soil mix... add to that fertilizer, greenhouse necessities, and lets not forget an electric bill that can choke a small horse. February follows with an even higher electricity bill... the cadavers of dead horses are stacking and drawing buzzards. March is all about shipping orders; boxes aren't free... at least not mine, add waterproof labels, the insanely expensive laser printer ink cartridge, and the few shekels I hand out to folks to help me pack... oh yeah, lets not forget the dead Clydesdale in the mailbox from the electric company. All in, I’m probably out of pocket 5K for this little “business/hobby” thing I do every year.
This brings us to why the ‘Changes for 2015’. I came very close to pulling the plug for ’15 but rather than just shutting the door I figured we might try re-working the system. For several years enough folks would place orders in December and January to offset the outgoing expenses. I would also ‘close the doors’ to orders at the end of February as I would have more than enough orders to process for one – albeit lazy – guy to handle; therefore basically locking out those who wait until the last minute. I like that idea; a lot. But the tides changed in late 2013/2014, orders were few in December and January... OK in February... then down right necessary in March, long after I have usually stopped taking orders. This caused several layers of stress and unhappiness... heck I even shipped out an order without name-tags! So here is what I am going to do... I will be offering an incentive program; an early bird discount if you will. 20% off orders placed in early December, 15% off through mid-January, Regular pricing in February, and the doors will shut tight midnight, Sunday March 8th. Additionally and very painfully (probably more an ego thing) I am reducing the number of varieties I offer. This will free up valuable greenhouse space for more of the popular varieties.
Thanks for your time,
Please email if you have any questions. I vary rarely answer the phone... because I am working... and I don’t want to ‘talk shop’ about “which is best for Abeline?”
This Market has been suspended until March
I am currently involved with the Herff Farm Farmer's Market, held Saturday mornings from 9am 'til noon;
I may try and horn in somewhere for a couple of weeks in February if I can find a spot... currently growing lettuce, snow peas and other early spring goodies
I haven't confirmed returning to Austin for the Zilker plant sale this upcoming March, but can absolutley be counted on for Cibolo Nature Center's "Plant Sale" here in my home town of Boerne, Tx April 5th, 2014.
I am currently exploring opportunities to expand my 'markets' especially in March. If anyone knows of a plant sale / festival not too far away, please let me know