Join us at the Hoedown!

This Thursday we are participating in the Dallas Farmers Market Friends 13th Annual Hoedown. The event is this Thursday, November 1, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Food & Fiber Building at Fair Park in Dallas. We have supplied some of our frozen blackberries for the chefs to cook with. All the chef creations will be available for sampling. Mmmm... food.

This is a great opportunity to see what some of Dallas' finest chefs can create from local produce, artisan meats, and Texas wine.

Buy a ticket and look for our table at the Hoedown. We will be raffling off a free weekend in our new cabins.

In the news again

I'll try to get back to storytelling in this blog soon. But for now the articles just keep coming in. The latest is from the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune. There are a few factual errors. Don't believe everything you read.

Farm is example of sustainable lifestyle

By ASHLEY TOMPKINS - Tribune City Editor
Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:26 PM CDT

Greer’s latest venture into agritourism includes cabins, like the one above, for weekend or week stays. Guests who stay in the cabins, which overlook a lake, have free range of the farm during their visits, including culinary lessons from Eva Greer. TRIBUNE photo by Ashley Tompkins

Life rolls by at a slower pace on the Greer Farm. Nestled by soaring pine trees and hardwoods and open pastures, the farm - located near Daingerfield - is an oasis of sorts from the fast-paced urban life. Sid Greer, who calls the farm home with his wife Eva, says caring for the land is a sacred obligation.

“Farming is in the roots of our family,” Greer says.

His grandfathers farmed land in Russia, Poland and Texas and now Greer’s diversified farming operation ranges from grass-fed full blood French Maine-Anjou cattle to a fruit and berry farm to timber.

“Our philosophy is to make the land provide a good living for us versus just letting it grow up in brush and we only pay taxes on it,” Greer explains. “It is not easy and requires some good luck and a lot of hard long days.”

Greer practices what he calls sustainable agriculture techniques n a method of farming that attempts to ensure profitability from operations while preserving the environment.

He says the practice is a step away from organic farming.

“Sustainable agriculture is more a philosophy or way of life than a strict set of rules,” he says.

Greer’s life hasn’t always been set at a, country pace. He left Europe and the corporate world in 1998 and moved to Daingerfield and the home that once belonged to his parents.

Now Greer is opening his home, and sharing his 550-acre farm with the public.

His move into agritourism is one he looks forward to. The tourism branch is a unique, but growing sector.

“Our plan is to have log cabins and other accommodations on our lake and the farm to accommodate up to 20 guests by year end,” Greer says. “Sure, we’ll have people from the Dallas Metroplex come and stay, but it’s also a chance for guests from Mount Pleasant or Daingerfield who want a night or weekend away and to be surrounded by nature.”

Already, the farm features a hide-a-way loft built in a barn and most recently, Greer has added several log cabins overlooking a lake, complete with paddle boats and canoes. There’s also a bunkhouse he rents out.

He says farmstays are a way to introduce farm life to those unfamiliar, or just to offer a break from a fast-paced life. Families have their pick of relaxing, swimming, fishing, strolling down trails and bird watching.

For those wanting to be more hands on, guests can pick their own fresh blackberries and blueberries from the vine. The blackberries ripen in late May with the blueberries ready in early June.

The Greer’s began their berry operations in 2005 when their son Karl joined them on the farm. More than 3,500 blueberry and 1,000 blackberry bushes, along with fig and plum trees, were planted.

Karl, who will soon enter medical school, will leave the operation, but Greer and his wife plan to continue. They’ve already found a niche for the berries and have joined the Dallas Farmers Market.

“I’m surprised at the large number of people from Dallas who come in for the berries and who want to stay at the apartment or in a cabin,” Eva Greer says.

Greer says the success of his farmstays rely much on his wife’s culinary skills and lessons. Eva Greer, an experienced chef who opens her home now for catered parties, plans to offer culinary lessons for the old and young.

“What we offer is that we have a managed forest with walking bird trails and an Old McDonald’s farmhouse,” Greer jokes. “People come and stay the weekend, or even during the week, and see what happens on a farm.”

The farm boasts a varied species of bird, butterflies and moths, thanks mostly to the farm’s unique retail nursery operation. The couple does not stock large numbers of plant, but instead focuses on a varied selection of unique plants, many native to Texas.

Families at the farm have free roam, Greer says. The couple’s second farm, Rocky Branch, is home to the French Maine-Anjou cattle, and is open, too.

Rent for the loft apartment and cabins range from $80 a weeknight to $135 for a two-night weekend.

“When I left the corporate world and moved from Europe to Daingerfield I wrote down several things (that) are posted on my desk and I look at them every day n slow down, savor life, keep life simple, love God and our neighbor, maintain a quiet time every day and give back some of your time to your community,” Greer says. “We work hard on our farm as a family, but I think we still are appreciating a life that few can enjoy.”

Article with recipe

Here is an old article about Chef Eva from the Longview News-Journal. Enjoy!

Longview Texas News-Journal
July 26, 2006

Recipe maven finds new flavors in poultry
Culinary veteran creates recipes for Pilgrim's Pride

Eva Greer has a world of food under her belt, so to speak, and she brings a world of culinary experience on each excursion to find the perfect recipe.

Cooks around the world can benefit from the Daingerfield resident's experience in the markets of Belize, Tunisia, Madagascar and New Orleans by logging onto the Pilgrim's Pride Web site.

"My background in having traveled and lived in so many countries enables me to give a firsthand feel for different cuisines," Greer said last week, during a discussion of her life as a recipe developer. The title itself, recipe developer, puts Greer in a class of often unsung chefs responsible for fleshing out a world of food otherwise restricted to magazine pages or cookbooks.

Dan Macey, a freelance recipe designer whose clients include Sara Lee and other corporations, estimated the number of recipe designers "in the hundreds." Companies once kept a staff of recipe designers, but more and more are hiring freelancers like him and Greer.

He described his work for a group of kale growers in California.

"My job is to come up with these recipes for kale that soccer moms can make," he said. "There are also some people that may develop recipes ... for cookbooks or newspaper columns. The money, if you're a recipe designer, is the corporate work."

Major companies that hire independent recipe developers include General Mills and Pillsbury, he said. The work these people do can show up on the backs of boxes, or with food coupons in newspapers, he said.

Pilgrim's Pride Community Relations Director Ray Atkinson said Greer is one of many sources the company has for recipes. She has "some really great ideas and some really great recipes," he said.

"She does a lot of our recipe development for consumers. People love that stuff; they come to our Web site for recipes, always looking for something new and fresh. People just love it, and it personalizes our relationship with our consumers."

Greer, 52, brings a lifelong love of cooking to the chicken and turkey machinations found in Greta's Kitchen, the recipe portion of the Pilgrim's Web site named for founder Bo Pilgrim's daughter, Greta Pilgrim-Owens.

Born in Belize, the daughter of a German Holocaust survivor who became a Red Cross doctor, Greer grew up cooking for her family. The absence of post-high school educational opportunities in the Central American country prompted the young woman to move to New Orleans where she attended Tulane and Loyola universities to earn her bachelor's degree in medical technology.

While in the Crescent City, she met her future husband, a Daingerfield boy named Sidney Greer, a future oil company executive whose job took the couple to Tunisia and Madagascar where Eva scoured the markets to prepare dinners for dignitaries.

She didn't know it then, in the early 1980s, but she was training herself to become a recipe developer. Since moving to Daingerfield with her husband in 1998, she cemented her culinary skills with an associate degree from the Art Institutes of Houston's culinary program.

Soon, Greer was recruited into Bo Pilgrim's world by her friend, then-Pilgrim's Public Relations Vice President Sondra Fowler. (The Greers also run a berry farm and raise animals and organic vegetables, living in a restored 1850 planter's house outside Daingerfield).

Now, Greer could be asked to come up with recipes for, say, chicken breasts because the company wants to boost those sales. Or she might be challenged to come up with a football theme for the fall.

First, the homework:

"I first brainstorm in my head," she said. "I come up with a theme, or I'm given a theme — grilling, let's do grilling — then maybe I research lots of ideas from other people who are grilling."

Next comes the field work:

"I go next to the store to see what's available. I'll go into different areas of the grocery store, and start to combine my ideas," Greer said. "What's there that hit me? Oooh, let's try this or this ingredient that's available."

Then, it's back home:

"I buy them (the ingredients) and take it to the home and try to make a combination with whatever I've come across," she said. "I may use some standard recipes and divert (from them). All of your recipes have a basis, a standard, that they come from."

Pretty soon, she does it all over again.

"You have enough knowledge of food and your combinations, how they interact together, so you can think, 'Oh, this would really go well with that,' " she said. "I'm doing what I've always loved. If you can find your passion in life, that is the best."

On the Net:

Dan Macey:

Coco Grilled Chicken

Summertime reminds me of trips to the beach and reading a good book in the shade of coconut trees. Even if travel is not in your plans, the following recipe will hopefully help you feel like you are in a tropical paradise.

1 whole chicken

2 cans coconut milk

3 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Mix together coconut milk and seasonings in a large bowl. Reserve 1 cup for basting. Rinse the chicken well and butterfly by cutting down the middle of the back and opening it up. Place the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for at least two hours turning occasionally to marinate both sides.

Prepare grill for indirect heating using the charcoal and hardwood log or chips method. When the temperature is 325 degrees, place the chicken on the grill breast side up. Cover the grill. Using the reserved marinade baste the chicken frequently until the internal temperature measures 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.

Greer Farm in the news

In case you missed our cover story in the annual beef supplement of Country World it is reproduced below. We were quite flattered by the coverage.

Country World
Beef Supplement
September 17, 2007

Staff writer

Visitors to Greer Farm in Morris County might be confused by the site of the red and white cattle that scatter the property’s fields.

The cattle, which resemble beefed-up Shorthorns, are one of the most popular breeds in Europe: The Maine-Anjou.

While most people have grown accustomed to picturing the cattle as a black breed, owner Sid Greer, 58, notes that the fullblood Maines are red and white. In addition, as their looks would indicate, they are closely related to the Shorthorn.

Maine-Anjou cattle originated in France after English Durham cattle (also used to develop the Shorthorn breed) were crossed with French Mancelle cattle. These cattle retained their red and white characteristics. Because of their similar foundations, fullblood Maine-Anjou cattle can be registered with Shorthorn associations (but not vice versa).

Black Maine-Anjou are not fullblood, Greer noted. Instead, they are a blend of fullblood Maine-Anjou and Angus bloodlines. Still, said Greer, the success of black herds is not dependent on the Angus genetics, but on the Maine-Anjou influence.

“The most successful breeding programs of black Maines still use the fullblood influence,” he explained.

Maine-Anjou cattle are known for their muscling, their easy attitude, their maternal instincts, and their ability to gain well on grass. Greer said Maine-Anjou carcasses are usually double-muscled. Previous problems with calving (the calves were too large for some breeds) have since been addressed and now the breed makes a great F1 cross, according to Greer.

The cattle first came to the United States by way of Canada during the 1960s and ‘70s. After moving to the United States from London in 1998, Greer purchased his first Maine-Anjou as a show project for his daughter in 1999.

“We went and looked at every single breed in Texas that you could buy,” he recalled. “There was just something about the eye appeal of the red-and white fullbloods. We just kind of fell in love with the breed.”

Nearly a decade later, Greer has grown to appreciate the breed even more. His family enjoyed the showing environment so much that they continue to show, even though their daughter has since moved away. In addition, they work with other exhibitors and teams. For the last two years, they have provided show cattle to the Stephen F. Austin University Show Team. The team is loaned the cattle for the duration of the show season. During that time it is their responsibility to care for, feed, and groom the cattle. Greer also works to provide the same experience to local exhibitors.

“We’ve also furnished cattle to local kids who can’t really afford to purchase one,” he added.

The response to Greer’s red and white fullbloods has been overwhelming. In 2005 at one major show alone, he showed two grand champions, won the open championship, reserve open championship, and two championship pen-of-three awards.

His cattle have become so popular that he will be providing an exhibit heifer, representative of the breed, to this year’s State Fair of Texas. The heifer will remain on display the duration of the fair.

Greer said some people don’t want black show cattle and the unique red and white markings of the fullblood Maine-Anjou stand out. In fact, he said, at many shows, his cattle are placed in top classes against black cattle and still win. What’s better, he said, is seeing families come through the show barn and stop to take pictures with his cattle.

“I get a big kick out of that,” he said. “Our cattle stand out over and above the rest.”

While Greer has seen much success in the exhibition rings, his most recent success has come from raising and selling cattle in the grass-fed market.

Maine-Anjou are known for their natural ability to thrive when grass fed. With that in consideration, Greer, in 2005, converted his herd to grass.

“I decided grain was too expensive,” he explained. “It destroyed the economy of our cattle program.”

In addition, he noted, grass-fed Maines offer healthier meat and even, he believes, healthier cattle. Greer said he is familiar with one study that noted Maine-Anjou cattle were genetically predisposed to offer the healthiest meat on a grass-fed program.

Before making the conversion to grass, Greer said his herd was often affected by respiratory problems and bloat. Since changing to grass, the problems have remedied themselves.

“We have had zero problems since 2005,” he said. “We’ve never had any more of those problems.”

To make a grass-fed program work, Greer re-worked his grass and calving plans.

“With the drought that year, I started looked at our grass cycle,” he recalled.
He switched to a fall calving program, which he said, better matches the grass cycle of his area in Northeast Texas. “By December, when the calf starts eating, the pasture is ready,” Greer said. “It has really worked well.”

Greer grows a variety of grasses (including Bahia, Bermuda, and Common Bermuda) on his property. In addition, he also grows Crimson and Ball clover.

“We allow that clover to completely go through its life cycle in order to capture the nitrogen,” he said.

Because the grasses are so thick, especially after recent rains, Greer said he has been able to cease herbicide use because the grass roots have crowded the weed roots.

Greer credits his bountiful grass stand to the use of a mineral program from Kinsey Ag Services in Missouri. He said the group did specific soil testing to determine the amount of minerals needed on his property. Using a sulfur, potassium, and magnesium product, as well as some trace minerals, Greer said his farm was able to produce plenty of grass, even during droughts.

“Nobody else had grass and I still had grass to cut,” Greer recalled of the past years’ droughts.

Greer sells meat animals from his Daingerfield ranch. The cattle are sold live and sent away to be processed according to the purchaser’s specifications. Also, there is a niche market for show heifers and breeders wanting to start or expand a fullblood herd.

In the last decade, Greer has been able to find success with a fullblood breed most people are not familiar with. While he has enjoyed it, he admits that in some ways, it was challenging.

“It’s been a challenge because it’s not a known breed and commercial cattlemen are wary about it,” he explained. “But people that have bought from me come back and I think if commercial cattlemen start raising (Maines) they will learn to appreciate the extra weight gain and the handling ease.”

Though unfamiliar to others, Greer has grown to appreciate the fullblood Maine-Anjou cattle and has no reservations about expanding his red and white herd. He would like to have between 75 and 100 cows for his operation (that would mean nearly doubling in size).

“Bigger is not always better, I think,” said Greer. “I think the fullbloods will always be a niche breed, but there will be enough demand to make them profitable.”

Regardless of what the future holds, Greer said he has found something in the cattle that he truly enjoys.

“Because the fullblood Maine-Anjou are such a docile breed, the cows come up to me and nudge me and want me to rub their heads. They’re just like friends,” he said. “I just really like being around these cattle. They’re a pleasure to be around and look at, and, they’ve been profitable.”

More information about Maine-Anjou is available at or Greer Farm is located off Highway 11 outside of Daingerfield. The Farm is also home to a plant nursery, goat herd, and several types of fruit (blackberry and blueberry). For more about the family and farm, visit