Archive for the ‘CORPUS CHRISTI’ Category

Growing in Sand

The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center has designed a seminar for Island, Flour Bluff, Rockport and other near-Gulf homeowners.  ‘Overcoming Challenges of Growing in Sand’ is scheduled for 10 am to noon, Saturday, February 27, in the Visitors Center, 8545 S. Staples St.

Retired university horticulture professor Dr. John Fucik shares secrets for successful landscapes in spite of porous sandy soil, constant salt spray and wind.  Learn plant selection, soil amendments and watering techniques sure to lighten your labor and heighten landscape aesthetics. 

Seminar fee is $7, $3.50 members, including general admission.  For reservations, call  361.852.2100


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South Texas Tequila

El Grado Tequilas brought home several honors at two recent competitions.

El Grado’s Blanco, Reposado and Añejo last month received the gold medal at the 7th annual Spirits of Mexico tasting competition in San Diego, Calif. El Grado Blanco received the gold medal at the 2009 Beverage Testing Institute’s International Review of Spirits.

El Grado Tequila’s three grades are Tequila Blanco (clear in color with hints of fruit and black pepper), Tequila Reposado ( light amber in color with lingering vanilla sweetness and spicy notes) and Tequila Añejo (amber-gold in color with amooth, complex maple flavor and hints of fruit and spice)

Here’s a great article from the Corpus Christi Caller Times about this tasty tequila.

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An update from Agrilife News about our South Texas drought:

COLLEGE STATION – Hot, dry weather continued for most of Texas, with South Texas still the hottest and driest, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

It has been so hot and dry that ranchers are losing cattle, said Sammy Gavito, AgriLife Extension agent for Duval County, west of Corpus Christi. “There’s some cattle dying,” Gavito said. “It’s not dead cattle all over the place. They’re not lying everywhere. But every rancher I’ve talked to has had at least a cow or two die out in his pasture, and that’s even when he’s trying to feed.”

Even small percentages of death loss represent more hardship for ranchers in Duval and neighboring counties, where agriculture is largely based on beef production. Gavito estimated that most of the ranchers he talked to had lost from 3 percent to 5 percent of their herds. He attributed the losses directly to drought conditions. “We’ve had 2 inches of rain in a year’s time,” he said. “We’re about 22 to 23 inches below normal for the year. There isn’t enough for them to eat, and it’s very hot. We’ve had almost 50 days in row of almost 100 degrees. That’s a record for us down here.” Gavito said many of his ranchers who waited too long to liquidate their herds are in tough position. “There’s a fine line there,” he said. “Where you’ve waited too long and now they’re too thin, and you’re not going to get anything for them.”

Some of the ranchers in his county sold off herds early. Others are now to the point where they’re trying to sell off even though their cattle won’t bring much at the sale barn, Gavito said. “The ranchers have fed and fed and fed, and now they’re fed up,” he said. But Gativo said he believed conditions will turn around soon. “We feel that the drought just has to break. It’s just been too long,” he said. “The predictions are that we’re going to turn this thing around come September.”

COASTAL BEND: The drought worsened as dry conditions and record heat continued. The cotton harvest was ongoing. In some areas, cotton was zeroed-out and shredded down. Sesame was drying, and harvesting will begin soon. Producers continued to sell livestock because of lack of forage and expensive hay.

SOUTH: The region was hot and dry with no rain forecast. Most of the region reported short to very short soil moisture conditions. Cotton harvesting was just beginning in the northern part of the region. Producers continued irrigating peanuts. Cotton bolls were opening. There was no field crop activity in the eastern parts of the region. Cattle were dying on ranches due to the lack of water, and producers continued liquidating herds. Some producers in the western parts of the region have had to lower irrigation pipes due to the dropping water tables. No dryland pre-planting activities for fall wheat and oats were reported in the western counties because of the drought. Worsening rangeland and pastures caused thin cattle. The importing of hay from other areas of the state was very active.

More information on drought in Texas can be found at the Web site of the Drought Joint Information Center at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.

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South Texas Botanical Gardens in Corpus Christi, TX

South Texas Botanical Gardens in Corpus Christi, TX

The South Texas Wine & Herb Festival will be held this year at the South Texas Botanical Gardens on Saturday, October 16, from 9am – 5pm.
There will be a variety of seminars and demonstrations under the Rose Pavilion on the half hour by members of the Rockport Rose and Herb Study Group and other wine and herb enthusiasts.   Partnering with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s ‘Go Texan’ program, there will be wine tastings in the afternoon and cooking demos using Texas seafood. Vendors will be on site with potted herbs and other herb or wine-related merchandise.  Home Grown editor Judy Barrett will present her new book, “What Can I do with my Herbs?”.

South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
8545 S. Staples St.
Corpus Christi, TX
Telephone #: 361/852-2100
Web Page: www.stxbot.org

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Where is South Texas?
South Texas is a region of the U.S. state of Texas that lies roughly south of, or beginning at, San Antonio. The southern and western boundary is the Rio
South Texas is depicted in Red and the northernmost counties in a lighter shade of red.

South Texas is depicted in Red and the northernmost counties in a lighter shade of red.

Grande River, and to the east it is the Gulf of Mexico. The population of this region is about 3.7 million. The southern portion of this region is often referred to as the Rio Grande Valley. The eastern portion along the Gulf of Mexico is also referred to as the Coastal Bend.

There is no defined northern boundary, although it is believed to be at the city of San Antonio and from an east to west line extending from the Rio Grande near Maverick County to the Gulf of Mexico, but turning southeast at or near Lavaca County, and continuing towards the Gulf of Mexico to separate it from East Texas and Southeast Texas. The Rio Grande serves as the western and southern boundaries and separates Texas from Mexico. The eastern portion of South Texas is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico.

Multicultural influences
South Texas is well-known for a strong Hispanic, primarily Mexican American and Tejano (the Spanish term for Texan) influence, due to its proximity to Mexico. However, a large percentage of Tejanos [Tejas was a province of Spain] and Mexicans living in South Texas are descended from the Spanish/Sephardic Jewish-Converso settlers of New Mexico [Onate

Cities of South Texas

Cities of South Texas

Expedition, 1598]. These families have resided in North America for hundreds of years. This migration occurred and has been ongoing since the late 1500s in New Mexico and the early 1700s in South Texas. The long-disputed U.S. annexation of South Texas and the land grabbing of the Spanish Land Grants is a sore point among those descended from the Spanish colonial settlers. After the Mexican American War, Mexicans/Tejanos were persona non grata in Texas and at times were killed or driven from their ancestral lands. (Library of Congress, Microfiche 7906177, also google a related article “Our Secret Heritage”). The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the 1840s, failed to secure land belonging to the Hispanic settlers. The disputed area is between the Nueces River south of San Antonio and Corpus Christi, and the King Ranch and the Rio Grande River. Not recognized by Mexico nor the United States, The Republic of the Rio Grande was established in 1838. It’s capital was Laredo, Texas until 1847.

No need to rewrite history. Again, thanks to wikipedia for the information.

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What’s it look like?
The most distinguishing mark on the redfish is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. Having multiple spots is not uncommon for this fish but having no spots is extremely rare. Scientists believe that the black spot near their tail helps fool predators into attacking the redfish’s tail instead of their head, allowing the redfish to escape.

Mature Redfish spawn in near shorelines. Juvenile redfish typically inhabit bays and coastal marshes until they reach maturity between 3 and 6 years of age.
Nautical map of Estes Flats-Redfish Bay in Rockport, TX

Nautical map of Estes Flats-Redfish Bay in Rockport, TX

They will readily accept any bait (sweet. easy fishing) but prefer Menhaden, Shrimp, Mud Minnows and crabs. Redfish are relatives of the Black Drum and both make a croaking sound when in trouble.

Redfish usually occur along coastal waters. Three year-old redfish typically weigh six to eight pounds. The largest one on record weighed just over 94 pounds. The bigger fish are called Bull reds but most people do not find them very tasty.

Red Drum or Redfish (or Sciaenops ocellatus for you hard core fishies) was considered a “junk” fish before the 1980’s, and was not particularly popular for consumption. In the early 1980s, the chef Paul Prudhomme made his dish of Cajun-style blackened redfish popular, and the fish was fished nearly to extinction. The fish’s numbers have since rebounded due to fish farming.

Want some Redfish?

Redfish Lodge

For a luxury experience try Red Fish Lodge. The oil men from Houston and Dallas seem to love this place.



Cpt Charlie Newton

Cpt Charlie Newton


Or try an authentic experience and fish like the locals. There are too many guides to mention in Rockport (a simple google search will turn up at least fifty), but Captain Charlie Newton has been at it for 25 years and is a veteran  Rockport guide.


Thanks to wikipedia and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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Gulf Breeze is family owned and operated Ranch/Farm located about 45 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas along side Lake Corpus Christi. Their main commodity at this time are Alpacas, but they are also testing varieties of Lavender to see which will grow best in South Texas. They also raise serveral varieties of poultry for eggs, as well as Heritage Turkeys. They hope to produce the best South Texas Brush Country Honey from wild flowers and trees in the area.

BONUS** If you would like to stay with them, they have a small Bed and Breakfast!

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