Greer Farm July Newsletter
13 July, 2014 - 10:07 Filed in: Newsleter
|Every year we hold our breath as winter ends and spring arrives, hoping to avoid a late freeze while the blueberries are blooming. Like last year, we had a late season freeze, but it apparently did not greatly diminish the crop. Our heavy pruning of the plants, making them shorter and trimmer, along with the freeze created an environment for the bushes to produce the largest, most abundant, berries we have ever had. Our switch to another organic fertilizer may have helped too. In any case, it's berry season on the farm and time to harvest our wonderful blueberries to enjoy all year.|
The Berry Patch
We are in the last week of blackberry season. This year our older bushes and our new three year old bushes produced an abundant crop. In the winter, we planted another 1,500 berry plants, so that in the coming years, we will have more berries for you. I mentioned already how our blueberry crop is as good as it gets. Many of you have already been to the farm. We hope those of you that haven't will still have the opportunity. It is mid-season for blueberries. There are lots of green berries still to ripen, but many of the bushes are completely loaded now and need picking in the next week or so. To make it more attractive to you, we are offering pick-your-own berries in quantities of 100 pounds or more per individual customer (family) at $3.00 per pound versus our normal price of $3.25 per pound. As loaded as the bushes are, if you need a large amount of berries it will not be hard to pick them. Those that want this quantity can borrow our special picking buckets that make it easier to pick. Each bucket holds about 15 pounds. Check our
for the latest news and
which we update almost every day. Our most recent farm and berry patch photos are on Face Book. Like us and you will never miss out on farm events.
We will be making a few commercial deliveries to Dallas and McKinney in the next few weeks. If you wish to order blueberries by the flat (12 pints - about 9.6 pounds please contact us. If we have enough demand for meeting you at specific locations and times, we can take orders. Once we know we can do this, orders will be pre-paid. Send us an
with your name, address, number of flats you want to order and cell number.
Farm to Fork Cooking Classes
Summer is one of our favorite times and the themes for Chef Eva's summer classes reflect this. There are two classes in July and two in August that capture the best of summer fruit and vegetables. Each is hands-on and you eat what you cook.
This Saturday July 12 is
Cooking from the Farmer's Market
. We sell at markets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in Longview and Thursday evening in Mt. Pleasant. We almost always find something in the market we are not growing or that is not ready to pick yet and we bring it home to our table. This cooking class combines the freshest summer vegetables in different ways to enhance your summer dining. It will feature chicken and peach skewers, tenderloin with homemade tomato jam, black rice with stir fried vegetables, chopped market salad, grilled corn on the cob with an herb and cheese combination that will amaze you and or own farm berries in a polenta cobbler. Check out the menu and register online. Limited availability. Come early and pick blueberries to take home.
Saturday June 19 is focused on
. It's a hand's on class using our own blueberries and blackberries, and peaches form nearby Pittsburg. You not only learn different techniques to home can jam, but you take home three jars of the jam you make. Limited availability due to the nature of this class.
August 2, we get near to the heart of what we do on our farm; raising products using
organic methods. Chef Eva calls this class
Free Range Chicken: The Come Back Bird
. Our chickens are free range and fed a non-soy, non GMO grain feed supplement as they mature. In 8-10 weeks, from a day old chick to a mature market chicken is raised naturally on our farm. We stand by the difference in these versus what you get in the grocery store produced in factory farms. You will be preparing barbecue chicken, chicken lime soup, fried chicken, smoked chicken and
wrapped chicken along with a few other items.
The August 16 class takes place during the hottest dog days of the summer.
Keeping Cool in Texas
is indeed an oxymoron. Everything about this class is designed to utilize the least heat in your kitchen. Chef Eva is a master at making Aqua Fresca and this time it is peach lavender. One of my summer favorites is a tomato sandwich and this one has basil pesto. Balsamic roasted beets with goat cheese is interesting along with green Gazpacho made with shrimp. Smoked salmon, avocado and sprouts in a spring roll touches the spot, but the very best is the fresh corn ice cream made with coconut milk.
All of our cooking class registrations are now online. Don't be disappointed and not get to attend the class desired. Sign-up today.
Farm Stay: Experience Farm Life
We have been featured in many publications, on television and even NPR, but each time the writer captures a different aspect of our life. Sometime we are just too busy to realize what we have created. The current edition of Country Line magazine has an article written by Elizabeth Branca,
Back to Basics at the Greer Farm.
While we can say over and over how much fun it is to visit our farm and what a unique experience it is, she makes the case better than we ever have. Perhaps that is why Southern Living magazine included our farm in a list of six places they considered to be the best "America's Secret Farm Hideaways".
Our lakeside log cabins have all the amenities of modern living, but also allow you to slow down and step back into a time different than you experience every day. The farm has become increasingly popular with groups of friends or family that rent all our facilities for private gatherings during the week and on weekends.
The lake is full for a change and swimming is fun. Boating using our canoes, paddle boats, jon boats and kayaks is a cool pass time. You can hang out on the sand beach in the shade, ride our kid and adult mountain bikes to challenge yourself on back country roads, go on walking trails, go fishing or do nothing but listen to the train pass by and the sounds of nature.
All of the information about cabin rentals is on our
including detailed price information. Since March we have been very busy and availability has been limited, but as summer ends there is still opportunity for get-a-ways before school starts. Weekends remain a two day rental period at normal rates, but to make it more affordable for those that can travel mid-week, we are offering a 10 percent discount for any three night period Sunday through Thursday nights for the period July 13 through August 28. For a four night stay, the discount is 20 percent.
Still not convinced a farm stay at Greer Farm is not for you. Read Maggie Martin's June 22 feature article in the Shreveport Times,
Pay to Herd Sheep, Collect Eggs, Feed the Pigs.
Reservations for cabins can be made by calling 903-645-3232.
Noah may have had an ark, but we come in close with our old 99' Ford truck and cattle trailer of similar vintage. A few weeks ago, on one day we had 155 of our free range chickens flutering about on their way to the packing plant. Right after a power wash of the trailer, the next day the trailer contained three market pigs, two steers and several lambs. I try not to stop too often on the road due to the curious questions I get asked. I assume they think I just crawled out from under a hay stack.
Our inventory of farm products keeps growing. Depending on availability, we now can be a one-stop shopping point for jams, jellies, leaf lard,beef tallow, sauces, chow-chow, green tomato relish, blueberries and blackberries in season, grass fed lamb and beef, pasture raised pork and chicken, free range eggs, vegetables in season and even bones to simmer into wonder broth from lamb, pigs and beef. Last but not least, if you want to slow cook an older laying hen creating some of the best chicken broth ever, we can help you there too. We try to keep an updated
on our website, but it's a challenge to stay current. You can always call or
to check on availability.
Our summer vegetables got a slow start, but we now are beginning to have a large variety of fresh vegetables. These, along with all our farm products, are available at the farm or at the Longview and Mt Pleasant farmer's markets.
In addition to individual cuts packaged, we offer our beef by the split-quarter, half or whole steer, pigs by the half or whole and lamb by the whole. Call for more information. there is a deposit and waiting list for all of these.
Everything we do on the farm and everything we raise uses sustainable agriculture practices and organic methods. We eat what we produce, so we know what we are consuming. Do you know where all your food comes from?
This and That
We try not to send newsletters too frequently nor do we want them to be so long you never get to read them. The next one might get out in September depending on "this and that".
If you have not looked at our
, we invite you to take a test drive. It still has some work on text, but it has some really nice photos, links to photos and video (berry patch, cooking class, the farm, cattle handling). In some form or another, the new site covers all we do in an easy to navigate manner. You can register for cooking classes online now. We update our home page "latest updates" as often as it merits a change.
page is also current and has our most recent photos. "Like" us and you will be aware of all the activities on the farm.
Our idea of a Plowman's Work Day has not gone away. We received a good response, but have not been able to properly organize the event. Our idea now is to pick before mid-August and work in the berry patch. Ther are weeds to pull, pruning and many other tasks necessary to prepare for next year's berries. As before, this will be an activity for older children/teens and adults. After the work period is completed, we will have an outside meal. if you have time you can take a swim before departing. If interested, Send us an
Our goal of having 5,000 friends that like Greer Farm on Face Book is moving forward. We now have over 2,000. Join us on Face Book so you know the latest news from the farm.
Farm to Fork Dinner at the Farm
Eva got to realize one of her dreams this summer. We hosted a very successful Farm to Fork tour of our farm and an outdoor dinner under the pecan tree in conjunction with the the Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce to emphasize local agriculture. Eva, together with three other local chefs, prepared a meal for 60 participants. Fresh ingredents were provided by local farms including ours. The dinner was elegantly served on a single long table with white linens. The seating was on square hay bales covered in burlap cloth. The table decorations included flowers from the garden, fresh vegetables, greens and pickles in jars made by the local college ag students. Wine was from Los Pinos Ranch vineyards in Pitttsburg, Texas. Sid was in his element telling everyone about the farm and they all had good laughs and learned a great deal about what really goes on at a working farm. Everyone had a great time and anticipate another such event in the future. .
Make Our Farm Your Farm
We continue to stress to you that you are our best marketers. The success of our family farm depends on your sharing your stories and experiences as you interact with us. We are swimming in blueberries. Spread the word that there is a special place in East Texas where you can get away and have a fun day picking berries.
Please forward this newsletter to anyone that may be interested in blueberries, our farm, a farm stay or our farm products.
We hope to see you soon and wish you a relaxed summer.
Sid, Eva and all of us on the farm
Map to Farm
1444 CR 1125
Daingerfield, TX 75638
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