Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh Floodwaters, Keep On Drainin'

Flooded St. Francis
On May 16th an historic rain event fell upon us. Approximately 12 inches in 5 hours landed on our home and nursery at Sage Hollow. The nursery, gardens, and parking area were under two feet of water. Our yard on three sides of our house was under a foot. Ephemeral ponds (that are usually dry) on the four acres we treat as nature preserve instantly filled up. We were amazed by the sudden changes in the appearance of Sage Hollow, but we were comfortable enough and enjoying the experience. After two-and-a-half weeks of almost daily rainfall, nearby ponds crested and began spilling onto our property. Within three hours our floodwaters rose a foot, maybe more, and threatened to enter our house. Evacuation was imminent. Unavoidable. Sage and I packed quickly our personal items, business files, and prepared our three pets to leave. David -- with the help of Robert and Rudy -- moved heavy items to higher ground. When we left our home, we had no idea what we would find when we returned.

That was two weeks ago. The first few days we stayed with friends then found a vacation rental that offers weekly rates and would allow all of our pets. Everybody has been safe and dry and comfortable, though we miss our tiny off-grid home and nursery. We miss walking the dogs along our trails and tending our gardens.

Finally, we have had consecutive days without rain and our flooded ponds are beginning to drain. The water has receded below the house; the floor and porch are beginning to dry. But we have a huge clean-up project ahead of us. That's OK: our home and personal belongings will recover just fine. The gardens are a total loss, the nursery stock is 95% lost, and both vehicles are failing. Sage and I have been down for two days with some kind of summer cold. Still, I consider us very fortunate. I had inadvertently stored all of our garden seeds in the bin that holds our business files. When the waters seep away, we will be ready to start preparing for our fall and winter garden. The plants that were protected and have survived are part of current projects and look incredible. We will recover some of our investment. One vehicle was repaired yesterday (but has unfortunately failed again today) and the other should be ready sometime next week. We have been showered with generous offers from friends and acquaintances. Even the owners of our home-away-from-home have been very helpful. Despite all of this upheaval, we have continued to work daily and complete projects timely.

David texted me these photos of our porch this morning. Waterline on the door is noticeable. Messy but it appears all of our belongings are salvageable. And so the clean-up process begins...

Due to the situation at Sage Hollow, we have decided to suspend all plant sales until further notice. We need sufficient time to clean up and make our home livable again, to plant our gardens again, and to restock the nursery. True to my optimistic nature, however, I expect the future of NativeDave and specifically our nursery to be exponentially better. We hope you will continue to grow with us.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

***DUE TO FLOODING ALL PLANT SALES ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE***Join us for one of our weekly plant sales!

2016 Plant Sale Dates (as of May 3, 2016. Please check back often to verify dates and times as this information is subject to changes.)

First Saturdays, ArtWalk in downtown Aransas Pass, 361 S. Commercial, 5-7p

  • May 7th
  • June 4th
  • July 2nd
  • August 6th
  • September 3rd
  • October 1st
  • November 5th
  • December 3rd

Third Saturdays, at Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport, 111 N. Austin St., 10a-2p

  • May 21st
  • June 18th
  • July 23rd
  • August 20th
  • September 17th
  • October 15th
  • November 19th
  • December 3rd *special date*

Fourth Fridays, at GLOW in Rockport, 1815 Broadway St., 5:30-7:30p

  • May 27th
  • June 24th
  • July 22nd
  • August 26th
  • September 23rd
  • October 28th
  • November 25th
  • December TBA

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Sage Hollow

After years of searching for Our Place, we finally found it in Aransas County. Five acres of nearly-pristine Live Oak/Redbay forest, wetlands, and coastal prairies exist on our property which we have named "Sage Hollow." Approximately one acre is being developed as a plant nursery for mostly natives with an expanding collection of edibles; a wetland demonstration garden-in-progress; our tiny house; and a clubhouse for our property's namesake. The remaining four acres are being treated as a nature preserve. Only a handful of pockets of exotic-invasives (e.g., Guinea grass and Peppertree) have been discovered, but all three plant communities represented on this property lack diversity. Long-term plans for Sage Hollow include restoring each plant community to the correct ratios of native species, boardwalks over ephemeral ponds, and observation areas for birders and nature photographers. In both our personal and professional life, we strive to interact with Nature in a sustainable manner.

I am resuming my Texas Treehugger installments on the WWN Rockport. Requests for images and information about our tiny home will be granted soon. Other pieces will describe solar power, rainwater harvesting, home food production, nature homeschooling, and more.

Our dreams of living in harmony with Nature and teaching others about our experiences are becoming a reality. Last month we celebrated fifteen years of It has been a fascinating journey that began in Plano, expanded to all of DFW-Denton, then Austin-San Marcos, and ultimately to Texas' Coastal Bend. (And that magical year spent at The Gourd Garden in SoWal, FL!) We are deeply grateful for your support and encouragement to honor our-authentic-"rebellious by Nature"-selves. Here's to many, many more years of conserving, preserving, restoring, and celebrating Texas.

Happy (Almost) Spring, Y'all.