Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

It's been a great year for growing at Eden's Garden CSA Farm, minus the late freeze/foot of snow last winter, extra early shot of hot summer and an outbreak of some furry brown and very hungry caterpillars and late surge of giant grasshoppers this fall, we had a very nice variety of produce this year and plenty to go around to our CSA. Production is getting better every season, as our soil's health improves with time. I have already seen some of our CSA members not taking everything they are offered - did we ever think we'd see the day when we were allotted more food than we thought we could use and have some to put out for market? Hooray! And it will just get better! I just may actually be able to make a living doing this afterall!

A bouquet of pretty heirloom carrots Spring '10

I hope throughout this past year we have all learned to eat several new things, learned to like a few things we thought we wouldn't, tried several new recipes and become more accustomed to eating in season than we've been spoiled from doing in the past. I, for one, know that I have almost eliminated buying food from the store as I am able to make meals from the produce we grow here, and the meats, breads, dairy and now our own honey, olive oil and deserts, I am able to get through our market day producers, right here at the farm! That means less trips to the store, fewer processed items than ever before and, almost no waste - packaging is a minimum for sure!

The Selections at Market Day Continue to Grow

As an agriculturist, I've learned, and continue to learn daily, more about my land and the produce we are trying to raise as well as the rhythm of the seasons. Each year can bring adversity, and it usually does in some way or another. But, we learn that we can't always harvest everything we plant - and that we can plant and grow some things we never thought of. And, that sometimes, seeds are mislabeled - how about 200' of Miyashge Daikon Radishes!? Thankfully, through my network of farm friendly chefs, I have found a Japanese sushi restaurant in Dallas that may be interested in buying some of our overstock.

Recent Chefs for Farmers Benefit Dinner

I also learned that food and wine loving folks in DFW are very generous and that Dallas has some pretty darn cool places to eat that are run by some pretty darn cool farmer friendly chefs. The Chefs for Farmers dinner was such a hit that people are still talking about the premier dinner at Eden's - out in the middle of a horse pasture, next to the vegetable gardens, under the big Texas sky. Everything was perfect that day from the weather to the mysterious absence of very many fire ants to the spectacularly fitting sunset. Watch for more CFF events as well as the return of our own Barn Aid benefit this spring.

An important addition to our list of "friends of the farm", is a great free magazine available around town. Edible DFW has done a wonderful job getting the word out to locavores about the many excellent food choices available to them as well as uncovering some fun and entertaining food related stories, events and of course, farmer and chef profiles. Nanci and Teri, you girls rock!

I realize everyone in Dallas won't join a CSA or visit a local market every week - we'd run out of food if all of DFW jumped on the local food bandwagon at the same time! But, I do hope everyone can some day choose to eat more REAL, CLEAN, FRESH, LOCAL, FOOD because there is a surge of new farmers in the North Texas area and everywhere we turn, there will be more affordable, local food to choose from. Until then, I'll continue to work on my soil so our production increases with each season, varieties are added and our edible forest produces plentifully, so we can feed as many people as this land can produce for. (We are propagating pomegranates this winter!)

Farm Day 2010 at the Balch Springs Library

Eden's will also continue to hold classes to teach and train folks about gardening, food and nutrition, cooking/canning and organics. I'm committed to sharing the knowledge passed on to me by my mentors and experiences, which has become my way of life, because I believe together, we can indeed all make a difference! We are making a differnce! I hear from you all the time about how the kids are eating vegetables again, garden fresh never tasted so good and how much you're learning and applying to your home gardens. All of this makes every last one of those 100+ degree days well worth the sweat. I'm really very fortunate to have this opportunity to steward land and grow food for such wonderful, appreciative and beautiful people. Thank you for another great year!

Now- go git yer hands in the dirt!


Eat Your Food - Naturally!