Weekly Newsletter

November 2021 vol. 1

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My focus for this week at the ranch was preparing for winter.  The last few years I had invested money and time drilling (no-till) oat seed into pastures.  This has worked well for several years, but last year my results were poor due to the lack of rain. Because of this I had to buy additional hay early this spring.  Soon thereafter, my own pastures kicked in (probably because of the chicken manure and heavy summer rains) and we harvested quite a bit of hay off of our own property.  Combined with the hay I purchased this spring, the hay harvest has me feeling comfortable going into the winter without having to plant a lot of winter annuals.  However, I have a few steers that need to be fattened up before processing, so I broadcast ryegrass seed over 15 acres and I’ll reserve it for the spring steers.  Winter annuals contain more sugar than warm season grasses - it acts as an anti-freeze.  Cows love this sweet grass and it provides that extra calories they need to fatten up.
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In the past, I have not had the best of luck broadcasting seeds directly into standing pastures.  In order for the seed to germinate, it needs to make good contact with the soil.  In broadcasting, seeds are thrown into the air on the assumption that gravity and rain will do the rest.  As part of my effort to improve my germination rate, I devised a poor-man's version of a harrow/cultipacker a few years back.  With the harrow (railroad spikes), the soil is scarified and dethatched, then seed is pressed into the soil by the cultipacker (old tires).  Theoretically, the strategy should be effective. Now I just need a light, steady rain and some sunshine - and some time.  Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see how the pastures respond to this bit of Aggie Engineering. 

Both the Taylor and Elgin Farmers' Markets are open year round; they close only if they coincide directly with a holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years).
The Savory Farmers Market at Travisso will be open every 1st & 3rd Wednesday for the remainder of the year
The Pflugerville Pfarmers Market has ended its weekly seasonal market and begun its Pfestive Market Season which means it will only be open twice a month until the end of the year and will be closed until May, 2022. 
As we have done in the past, Amber Oaks will continue to deliver pre-orders each week to the Pflugerville market location, even when the market is closed.
The best way to keep track of our market schedule is to check “This Week's Markets” at the end of every newsletter. We will also share updates on social media. 
See you at the Market!

This Week's Markets

The Pflugerville Pfarmers Market has moved into it's Pfestive Market Season and will only be open twice a month for the rest of 2021. We will still be delivering preorders to the market location on days the market is closed and will continue to do so until the market reopens in 2022.
November 9th & 23rd and 
December 7th & 14th 
November 2nd & 16th
December 2nd, 16th, & 30th
Pflugerville First United Methodist Church (500 E. Pecan Street)

The Elgin Farmers Market is a year-round market that will remain open every Thursday. Pre-orders are encouraged. 

The Taylor Farmers Market is a year-round market that will is open every Saturday. Pre-orders are encouraged. Live music most Saturday's from 11 -1.
The market will be closed December 25th and January 1st. It will reopen and remain open every week starting January 8th, 2022. 

Be well, 

stay safe,


John & Molly