Garden Tour Extravaganza!

The Happy Earth Garden Spring Tour will be Saturday, February 25th from 9 am until 1 pm.

The FREE and FAMILY FRIENDLY event has been a hit in years past and this should be even better!  Come visit and tour the garden as it starts to burst with spring growth.  The kids can harvest some veggies, plant some seeds, take pictures on the tractor and meet Farmer Chip and Farmer Rebecca!

At the event we will also have the grand opening of our Roadside Stand!  We will harvest what’s ready and kick off the roadside stand with some spring veggies and transplants for your garden!

Plants we will have available for sale include tomatoes, squash, cucumber, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, asian greens and plenty more!

We hope to see you there!



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Greenhouse Update February 2017

The greenhouse we use for the farm is a 320 square foot thing of beauty in my backyard!   It was built in the winter of 2014-2015 and has been a source of lot of plants that have been in the CSA boxes for the last 2 years.  

I use 98 count trays to start all of the veggies.  No special reason, except that 98 is really close to 100 and it makes it easier to figure out how many trays to plant to fill out the 200 foot rows we have at the farm.  The greenhouse has a 3 tier wooden structure in it.  If I were to fill it to capacity, it would hold approximately 15,000 plants!

The potting mix I use to start everything is a mix of many different mediums.  I start with peat moss and then add blood meal, rock phosphate, green sand, vermiculite and earthworm castings.  I mix it all up thoroughly and fill up the trays.  The plants love it!

The greenhouse is quite full at the moment with tomatoes (some are over a foot tall already!), bell pepper, jalapeno, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, asian greens, 5 varieties of basil, oregano, dill, lemon grass, cilantro and a few other items.  It’s a sight to behold!  Lots of exciting growth happening!

Soon to be planted will be summer squash, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and winter squash. 


Last Friday night, we were spending some nice family time watching a movie and eating some popcorn.  I noticed that my stomach started hurting a little.  I figured I just ate too much popcorn, which I am prone to do!

Around 1:30 am Saturday, I woke up in some of the worst stomach pain that I’ve ever had.  I threw up several times that night and had some intestinal issues.  Couldn’t get comfortable and was up all night.  Morning came and it was much of the same with little relief.  I fell asleep on the bed around 10 as I must have found a comfortable way to lie down.  I was startled awake around 11:00 with an even higher level of pain and I knew I was in trouble and needed some help.

Michele took me to the ER around noon on Saturday and they were quickly able to diagnose me with acute appendicitis.  CT scan confirmed it and I was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  That was my first ambulance ride!  It was uncomfortable to say the least.  Those things bounce all over the road.  Each bounce and turn shot a wave of pain that broke through the toradol they gave me in the ER.  Uggh…and they didn’t even use the sirens, lol.

We arrived at St Luke’s about 4 pm and were frustrated and disappointed to find out that the surgery wouldn’t be until the next morning.   That meant a long night of waiting and pain.  They gave me morphine which helped me sleep some and took away any other pain I had, except for the actual appendicitis.  It just wasn’t touching it.  They upped my morphine dosage and that helped a little.

The laparoscopy surgery was Sunday morning around 11 am and took about 40 minutes.  My first surgery ever!  I spent the rest of the day and night recovering in the hospital before coming home late Monday morning.

I feel much better now, but the road to recovery will take some patience and will likely be frustrating.  Being a farmer means a lot of activity every day.  Lots of walking, bending over and using the core muscles that have been impacted by the surgery.  I was also in training for a 50 mile run so that will have to be put on hold for a month or so.    I should be back to normal by this time in March.

I am SO thankful to have a great, loyal employee in Rebecca and a wonderful volunteer in Katie.  They were out planting and weeding yesterday as we keep the momentum going in the field.

My wife, Michele, was also amazing.  She was by my side all weekend sleeping an hour in an uncomfortable chair, pushing hard for the best care and holding my hand through the pain.  She was wonderful.  I’m a lucky guy!

More next week about the actual farm!

-Farmer Chip

Meet Our Employee Rebecca!

Meet Rebecca Harrison, Awesome Young Farmer!

When did you realize that you wanted to jump into agriculture?

I was in high school when the lightbulb went off in my head. I always was involved with and passionate about feeding the homeless here in San Antonio and hunger issues in general, but I knew there had to be a way to help more than just providing meals. I was doing some research on The Peace Corps and saw that one way to serve was through agriculture and that is what set me on this path. There’s that proverb that says “if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” The rest was history!

What does farming/ agriculture have to offer millennials?

An escape from the digital matrix that we live in. Millennials are one of the first generations to have so much easy access to technology. The world is literally at our fingertips! Technology can be a great thing, but I’ve seen first hand in myself and others the damage it can cause. It’s fun getting Instagram likes and twitter followers and always having a newsfeed or photofeed to distract yourself with, but too much of it can be unhealthy. Being outside working with plants and playing in the soil has connected me back to Mother Earth and made me more aware of my place in the world and the impact I have on it. I feel more centered and grounded when I’ve been on the farm. I think millennials would be surprised to find how much they enjoy agriculture and working with plants if they gave it a shot. The physical and mental benefits are tremendous.

What is your favorite crop to grow and why?

At Happy Earth Garden we grow our own transplants or we direct seed our crops. There’s great things about both methods but there’s something I find so special about putting the seed in the ground by hand and seeing the seeds germinate and grow into full grown veggies! It’s SO rewarding. My favorite is probably carrots… they have these fun soft leaves and they’re fun to harvest too. You never know how big of a carrot you’re going to pull up and sometimes it’s a fight!

How do we share CSAs with the local community?

This is where technology and social media play such an important and positive role! Facebook and Instagram are great ways to spread the word and reach younger generations that might not have previously had an interest in CSAs and local agriculture. I’ve also found that word of mouth works just as well. When people hear me talk about the CSA and how much I love working on the farm and how passionate I am about it, I think they respond really well. One of my favorite authors wrote in one of his books that sometimes you need to see somebody love something before you can love it yourself. I find that to be very true. Passion is contagious.

What sets small agriculture apart from supermarket brands? What are your goals?

The most important and obvious way is that people get to know their farmer(s) when utilizing small, local farms versus purchasing all of their items from a supermarket. Who knows where your money is going at the store! When people choose to participate in a CSA, their money goes directly back into the farm. Another great thing is that it tends to be more open… you can come see the farm anytime and see what we are doing and rest assured that your farmers are happy doing what they do. You can’t say that about a lot of places that are larger and meant to produce mass amounts of fruit and veggies. Our long term goals, at least for me, would be to keep growing and getting better at what we do. We’d love to reach more people for the sake of spreading the word about the importance of local agriculture and local business in general. Because we are completely organic, another long term goal would be to continue finding ways to work in harmony with the earth to get higher yields, reduce pest populations, and care for our soil. Right now we are well on our way to reaching those goals, as we are learning new things every day. I am constantly impressed with Chip’s ability to think up new ways to plant things and care for our land and our crops. The gears are always turning in his head which inspires me to get creative. He’s been a fantastic teacher!”