Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas


The Miracle Moringa Tree

Looking for an easy day trip to a place near Austin, Texas? Take a moment to visit Abbey’s Garden (a Moringa grower) near Bastrop, in Cedar Creek, Texas. Sunny, who is the owner/operator is one of the most welcoming and helpful people I’ve met in a long time. She’s happy to tell you about the miracles of the Moringa Tree (which she grows and sells onsite). She also has Moringa products, Moringa tea and much more.

My wife, son and I have visited Abbey’s Garden twice already and we love visiting with Sunny and learning more about the Moringa tree, which no one else seems to know about. The tree is hardy, and apparently does well in hot, dry Texas weather. But that’s not all – you can eat the leaves, which are high in Vitamin A and other nutrients. The leaves are also ground for powder, toasted for tea and used for oils. And the list of cures that this little miracle tree provides is so lengthy that you’ll need to pick up a printed information guide, which Sunny has in-house.

And to make your trip more fun (after you’ve picked up some Moringa Trees and accessories from Sonny) you can also stop in at Bastrop Garden, which I blogged about a few weeks ago. It’s the local organic garden/supply, where you can pick your own veggies, buy plants and see a working organic farm. And just up the road, going west toward Austin, stop in to the roadside business called Berdoll Pecan Farm that sells fresh peaches, pecans and fudge (you can’t miss the super tall scrolling electronic marquis).

If you stop in at all three places, you’ve hit the Cedar Creek tri-fecta, and you can return home a happy, healthy (except for the fudge) and fulfilled Central Texas Traveler! Happy trails!

Moringa Tree

Moringa Tree


Location and contact:

Abbey’s Garden

2394 State Highway 71 W

Cedar Creek, TX 78612 USA
Telephone & Fax 512.308.9525

Berdoll Pecan Farm

2626 Hwy 71
Cedar Creek, TX 78612

Bastrop Gardens

316 Old 71, 1/2-mile off Highway 71, 10 miles from Bastrop. Call us at 30-FLORA (512-303-5672 — a metro number) or e-mail : Bastrop Gardens.

Our Organic Garden

Acorn Squash

So, some parts of our organic, backyard garden have been successful, others not so much. Right now, we have acorn squash, big yellow/green squash (not sure of name), tomatoes and watermelon – all of which are heirloom varieties and non-GMO. The last of the peaches (not pictured) were picked (or eaten by stink bugs) at the end of july, along with the few green beans. Later this year we hope to have several varieties of potatoes and peppers. And next year we hope to have a few figs from the newly planted fig tree. It’s all been a haphazardly fun experiment and we’re definitely learning lots. One still unanswered question is why our plum tree has no plums. I guess that will require a little more research…

Oh and one other note. We’ve obtained various herbs that we were able to keep alive that we’ve enjoyed including basil, greek oregano (pictured below), aloe vera and something I’ll be blogging about soon, moringa trees. Many of the plants that I just mentioned have healing powers that many people may not be aware of and that I wasn’t aware of until recently. This is a topic that my wife and I have recently become interested in and plan to pursue further by growing our own herbs, so stay tuned…

Squash Blossoms

Greek Oregeno - It has many uses

Little Watermelon hiding among the leaves

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash from the backyard

Organic Vegetables at Bastrop Gardens (Fun Friday Fotos)

I’m doing the “fun friday fotos” a little early this week so I can get the Father’s day weekend kicked off early. Did you know that in many of the rural areas just outside Austin, Texas there are organic farmers who offer their produce to the public? If you are tired of eating tasteless fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, then it’s time that you took a trip out of town to visit one of Central Texas’ local organic farms. There are many to choose from and I’ve written about Star Farmers Market in Rockdale, as well as Sweet Berry Farms in Marble Falls. But last weekend my wife, my son and I packed into the car and headed east of Austin to Bastrop Gardens, which is much closer than the other two farms I mentioned, and a little different too! Bastrop Gardens is what would happen if organic farmers opened their farm to visitors and sold fruit, vegetables and gardening supplies. They sell live plants, compost by the cubic yard, compost tea, pick-your-own-veggies and much more. My wife made friends with the owners daughter who was full of great gardening solutions, while I chased my son around the gardens.

fresh organic produce texasbastrop gardens sign

Build a Compost Bin!

compost bin

Top View of Compost Bin with Mesh Wire Divider

Last week I posted a “teaser” blog about the compost bin that I had built, so this week I’m posting photos of the composter, along with some directions how to build it and the supplies you may need. I should say that I just researched the topic a little and simply modified some other composter designs, and I’m no expert. I advise you to find a design out there that meets your needs and go with that one. My design is not necessarily the best for every situation.

Some features that we wanted in our compost bin were:

– control of compost (moisture, odor, access by animals, etc.);

– convenience/easy access (for us, not rodents!);

– sturdy design;

– recycled materials

I was able to achieve most of these goals, although the compost bin is not entirely built of recycled materials. But it’s sturdy, we can control the moisture and odor in our compost bin and it is conveniently located near our home with an easy access, hinged lid on top.

inside of compost bin

Removable 1X4 Planks at End of Compost Bin

The dimensions of the composter are approximately 4′ wide X 2.5′ deep X 3′ tall. I don’t think the dimensions are all that important, and you can build it any size. I used mostly 2X4 planks, along with plywood for the sides and bottom. I created a side panel that contains removable 1X4 planks. I used mesh wire to divide the entire composter into 2 separate compartments, since you’ll probably have multiple piles of composting material becoming ready to use at varying times.

I made the lid with 2X4 inch planks and corrugated clear plastic sheets. I added hinges onto the lid so that it would open and close easily. And if you build the lid to fit tightly on the composter, you theoretically won’t have any problems with rodents.

One other feature that I’ve added that may or may not get used: I put a small strip of mesh wire on one end of the composter that would allow compost tea to drip out of the composter into a drip pan (for use on the garden). Not sure if this will actually be useful or not, since this entire undertaking is somewhat experimental.

List of Materials Needed to Build Your Composter:

– 2X4 planks;

-1X4 planks;

– 1/4 or 1/2 inch plywood;

– small mesh wire;

– plastic corrugated sheet;

– wood screws (1.5 – 3.0 inch)

Side View of Compost Bin

Side View of Compost BinClear Corrugated Material Keeps Compost DryTop View of Compost Bin with Mesh Wire Divider

Gardening, Tomatoes and More (Fun Friday Fotos)!

We’re still doing our best to make plants grow in our backyard, and at least the tomato plants have been a success, so far. We’re also hoping to have some squash, peppers and some peaches in the near future. There’s nothing like home grown vegetables!

My son Roman just love to touch and grab things, and the tomatoes are not safe from his little fingers, even while being photographed.


Roman examines some seedlings

Squash plant

Blooming Squash Plant

Green tomatoes Little hands grab tomato