Garden Consultations

I'm available for hire!
Text me at 830-220-0320
or email

Outdoors only
Masks & distancing, please

Text-based advice
$100 for 30 questions (average)
Make a deposit with me, like a retainer, and fire away 'til it's gone! $1.50 a minute, $3 minimum per question. Most questions can be answered for the minimum if you send a good, clear photo illustrating the problem. If I have to ask for a photo, or a clearer one, that will take longer.
Turnaround time: 
Monday through Friday, 10am to 7pm: answered within 24 hours.
(Most are answered immediately or within a few hours, depending on if I'm in front of my computer or out on the tractor at that time.) 
Weekends: Any asked on weekends will be answered by the following Monday afternoon (Very possibly sooner, but not guaranteed.).

In-home consultations and instruction
$100 per hour, one hour minimum
On-site consultation. I travel to you! If we go over that first hour, the rest is calculated in quarter-hour increments. Mileage fee if further than 20 miles from my home in Spicewood.

Video consult
$100 for 45 minute video call and 15 minutes followup via text or email.
Do you live more than 20 miles from Spicewood and don't want to pay the mileage fee? Let's do it via video call! If we go over that first hour, the rest is calculated in quarter-hour increments. See below for ways to record the session.

Classes & Informational Talks
$250 for a one hour presentation and thirty minutes Q&A after.
Want a unique activity for your next family reunion, garden club meeting, or girls' night? Consider a canning class! Or maybe you'd rather learn how to keep chickens, grow vegetables, or start seeds? I can give lectures on many gardening and homesteading subjects, and can do it with or without photos or any kind of a/v equipment.  Photo presentations are more thorough and easier to understand, and most modern tvs do have the capability to show photos from a usb stick, so don't completely discount that before we talk.

I make a great gift, too!
Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, and birthdays: give the gift of garden advice to that special gardener in your life. We can handle all the arrangements over the phone or via email and I'll send you a cute little textable gift cetificate to boot.  



So what can you help me with?
I can
  • Identify pests, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, cultural practices that need tweaking, and more.
  • Teach gardening skills such as effective watering including irrigation layout, fertilizing, pruning, vegetable gardening, landscape maintenance, wildflower meadow installation and maintenance, weed control, soil amending and care, water gardening, building a low-maintenance yard, orcharding, garden recordkeeping, propagation, heirloom seed saving and starting, and many more.
  • Identify plants, even an entire yard or pasture of them - natives, non-natives, and invasives.
  • Figure out lawn problems.
  • Do "Garden Plan Diagnosis": troubleshoot existing garden plans, looking for problems you may not see, and suggesting alternatives and other fixes. This is a big money saver for DIYers.
  • Lay out livestock grazing pastures and teach you about rotational grazing.
  • Teach you how to keep chickens, ducks, cattle, pigs, horses, goats, and even a family milk cow.
  • Show you how to organize your barns for maximum efficiency.
  • Teach food preservation methods: pickling, pressure canning, drying, freezing, and even smoking.
  • Teach butchery from live animal to the freezer.
  • And just about anything else regarding gardening and homesteading. Yep, I'd be a handy friend in the zombie apocalypse.
How long does a consultation usually take?
That depends on what kind of advice or help you want. Most on-site consults last an hour, though many have lasted longer. One hour is usually enough to cover most garden problems/plans. Instruction/lessons also last about an hour on most subjects.

The longest single consultation I've done was six hours, helping a client lay out an orchard, vegetable garden, horse stalls, riding arena, hay fields, and chicken run, and also wanted to learn about rotational grazing. The shortest was fifteen minutes. I do charge for the entire first hour, but that customer was happy with the quick answers to his problems and, despite my insistence on finding anything else I could help him with, handed me a check and waved me away, saying, "See you tomorrow at the nursery when I come get that compost!"

What subjects do you have experience with?
My gardening experiences are quite varied. I have extensive experience with vegetable gardening and raising livestock (cattle, horses, chickens, pigs, goats...). I've also grown many natives and other ornamentals. I've even had goldfish ponds, many in galvanized livestock tanks. I don't currently have a lawn, but have years of experience diagnosing lawn problems and teaching lawn care. I'm proficient with fruit trees and can help you with your orchard whether you're a seasoned hand or a new grower. And if you want to learn beekeeping, I can teach you that, too.

What qualifies you to do this?
I grew up on a 600 acre cattle ranch and hay farm in a family who grew all our own food. In addition to an almost one-acre vegetable garden and large family orchard, we raised and butchered our own beef, chicken, and pork, as well as harvested venison and catfish. I even helped my father keep bees.

I've continued that "family tradition" throughout my life, almost all 50 years of it. I've branched out in my gardening efforts to try just about all kinds of gardening, even planted indoor aquariums, but my favorite is still edibles. And bees. I love my bees.

In addition, I worked at The Natural Gardener for over a decade, most of that at the Info Desk and teaching classes in my role as the Free Class Host and presenter (one year even teaching 41% of all the classes that year). I love teaching for many reasons, not the least of which because I've learned as much from my students as I've taught them.


Signing up for the Text Advice Service:
Send me a text with your name, physical address, email address, and what kinds of gardening you are interested in or are already doing. I'll email you an invoice, and as soon as you put down a deposit, we can get started!

Booking a Consultation, Speaking Engagement, or Class:
Text me at 830-220-0320 or email me at .  Be sure to include the physical address where the class will be held, your email address, and a brief description of what you would like me to help you with your teach your group.

I accept cash, checks, and credit/debit through Paypal. You don't need an account. Just send me your email and I'll send you an invoice.  Easy peasey!

For in-person consults and classes, I serve Bee Cave to Horseshoe Bay, including all parts of Spicewood. For text and video, I serve pretty much all of Texas, but am most familiar with the soils and environmental conditions of areas within 50 miles of Spicewood.  If you're outside those areas, text me anyway and we'll see if we can make it work, or perhaps I can suggest someone nearer to you.

Preparing for a consultation, either in person or video:
If all we have to do is talk, you get more information! So here are a few things you can do ahead of time to make sure you get the most for your money:
  • Scan your plat/survey map and blow it up to a large enough size that you can draw on it easily, adding in any existing features such as trees and your house. Write in the square feet of each area for quick calculations later.
  • Write your questions on the back in priority order, leaving room for note-taking. Be sure to write more questions than you think we'll cover - we may not cover them all, but if the first few take less time than you thought, we can keep going and you can really get your money's worth.
  • Have any tools we may need handy - shovel, pruners, etc. - so we don't have to waste time hunting for them.
  • Have a recorder handy. I talk fast, so please record the session! You can listen to it later and glean every last whiff of benefit from my visit.
*An important note*: Video takes a LOT of storage space on your phone, so consider audio-only (I'm good at narrating certain things so you'll know where we are when you listen later) or make sure you have enough free space on your phone. The best/easiest way is to take a six minute video, check the "properties" for that video looking for the file size, then multiply that by ten. Finally, make sure you have that much space free.
Hints to free up space: delete seldom-used apps, Netflix downloads, and unwanted videos/photos. Move your personal photos and videos to your computer so you can reload them later.
Hints to use less space for the video: Record in SD (480p) instead of HD (1080p), or meet in the middle with 780p (this would be good if you're having a lot of pest problems and need to see fine detail later). Unless you have the latest and greatest smartphone with ah-MAY-zing capabilities, don't record in Ultra-HD (above 1080p, sometimes WAY above). If you don't know what that means or why it's important, here's a handy explanation.


I hope to hear from you soon!

My sittin' spot.  Every garden needs a sittin' spot.  Especially vegetable ones.

Speaking at The Austin Organic Gardening Club, the oldest organic club in the nation. Join them! They're fun.

Some seeds and potatoes saved from my garden.

Two of my regular classes I used to teach at The Natural Gardener.

Yes, there are goldfish in there!

Early planted tomatoes tucked in for a freeze.

Nice garlic from the garden.  Fertilizer.  It's a good thing.

Beekeeping on the Bee Buggy with my Bee Buddy.
Beekeeping on the Bee Buggy with my Bee Buddy.

Bees, bees, bees, bees, BEES!

I have both top bar hives and Langstroth equipment.
I have both top bar hives and Langstroth equipment.

Some peppers I put up last year.
Not quite a peck of pickled peppers.

Some of my favorite things: my backhoe, my planted tanks, my campfire ring, and my family.
Some of my favorite things: my backhoe, my planted tanks, my campfire ring, and my family.

Photo Credit: Austin Pond Society,
Photo Credit: Austin Pond Society, .

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