Weekly Newsletter

JUNE 2023 vol. 3

Stacking Skills: 
The Art of Welding
One of the things that attracts me to farming is the necessity for continual learning.  Being a farmer takes a menagerie of skills, and in a world that’s trending toward specialization, farmers have to be a jack of all trades.  
Towards the end of April our newsletter focused on some serious issues that I found on the bull dozer that I purchased.  In short, the blade had some broken pieces and worn parts that needed to be repaired.  I’ve been diligently working on the repairs for several weeks and am happy to announce that I have a functioning bulldozer – and I’m a much better welder.
Below are some before and after pictures, but in essence, I welded a new plate onto the back of the blade and reattached the pivot point to the blade, welded up and machined flat the blade keepers, and welded up the corresponding surfaces on the blade carriers and ground them flat.  All of this really stretched my abilities, forcing me to learn new skills.  I’ve never been trained in welding or machining, so I learned, with a little help from the internet, by trial and error.  
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In addition to using my milling machine for the first time, I got to practice a lot of welding.  Though by no means proficient, I did a lot of multi-pass welding which was a first for me.  I also gained a whole new appreciation for vertical welding (which I had only failed miserably at in other attempts).  As a result, I learned about the different characteristics of welding rods – their strength, the ability to penetrate, and how easily they flow (and how quickly they set).   I also learned that welding is an art form – something akin to painting with liquid metal.  Instead of a fusion of pigment and light, you’re literally fusing molten steel.  Like brush strokes, technique makes all the difference in the appearance (and strength) of the finish product.  Having dabbled in the art of welding, I now have a much greater appreciation for both the art and the artist and doubt I’ll ever look at a weld bead the same again.
I still have a lot of bugs to work out on the dozer, but I’ve been able to put it to work a bit on the ranch.  Like welding, operating heavy machinery is a skill set that I need to refine.  I’ve been able to clear out a few mesquite trees and I started to work on repairing the soil erosion that has been a topic of many a newsletter.  We’ll likely do several newsletters on the dozer projects in the future so be sure to follow along as the story unfolds where I get to play farmer, welder, and heavy equipment operator.
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Grass-Finished Lamb
This week, we'd like to shine a spotlight on our grass-finished ground lamb and stew meat.
Most lamb available on the market is grain-finished in commercial feedlots. However, at Amber Oaks Ranch, we believe in a different approach—one that celebrates the true essence of lamb. Our sheep lead a life of leisure, indulging in a strictly forage (grass) diet and staying highly active. This natural lifestyle allows our lamb to develop a leaner and less fatty composition, resulting in a sweeter and milder flavor that our customers truly appreciate. Gone are the days of dense fat and gamey undertones—our grass-fed lamb will exceed your expectations.
The beauty of our pasture-raised grass-finished lamb lies not only in its exceptional quality but also in its versatility in the kitchen. With a balanced fat content, our lamb can be cooked using various methods while remaining tender and moist. The natural sweetness, earthiness, and mild flavor of our lamb make it a perfect companion for a wide range of spices and herbs. 
Our ground lamb and lamb stew meat can be seamlessly substituted for beef in your favorite recipes. Whether you're looking to add a twist to a classic stew, enhance the flavors of your meatloaf, create delectable meatballs, or craft mouthwatering lamb burger patties, our pasture-raised grass-finished lamb is the perfect choice. Embrace the sweet, mild flavor of lamb and let your taste buds revel in the extraordinary!

Weekly Markets

Pflugerville Pfarmers Market Schedule:
  • Regular Season: May 2 - October 31
  • Pfestive Markets: November 7 & 21, December 5, 12 & 19

Upcoming Events at Hutto Silos Farmers Market:
Treat Dad to a Day at the Farmers Market
Buzzing Crafts & Free Face Painting for kids at our Pollinator Party
Free glass of wine while you shop.
Continue Independence Day Celebration with Crafts, Bubbles, & More
Father's Day Card & Craft Making
Watermelon Themed Kid's Party - Crafts, Games, & Fub
Hutto Silos Farmers Market 1st Anniversary: Party

Monthly Markets

Be well, 

stay safe,


John & Molly