Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good News on the Horizon

Sandy Soil Temps Soar Even Under Heavy Layers of Mulch

This summer’s extreme heat continues to take an extreme toll on farmers and ranchers all over Texas. Some farms are able to cope a little better with the use of shade houses, trucking in hay, additional and different timing on plantings, and re-planting as we’re doing here at Eden’s. But I hear many stories like ours of lost crops, excessive water use, equipment breakdowns, drying out wells and selling off of livestock before they should be; in every conversation I have with or about North Texas and Central Texas farmers. It appears it’s going to be a summer for the history books.

A Silver Lining

There have been some positive things going on here at Eden’s in spite of our current season’s hiatus. We had an anonymous donor pledge $2,000 towards the securing of compost for our gardens and one of our members pledged $250 towards the purchase of a poultry netting security fencing kit.

Compost is the basis of the soil’s life – and in our beach-sand-like soil, it is going to help us to retain moisture levels and kick some biology into gear. We add horse and chicken manure to our compost piles but can’t make it nearly fast enough to cover the number of rows we need to plant to keep our place productive. This donation is a huge help!!

After our latest round with roaming dogs, it seems that setting up electrified netting in the back yard is going to be the best way to protect our girls – and Snowball. I’ve not heard back yet from the extension office regarding help with valuing our hens’ worth, but as soon as I do, I’ll send off the request for restitution from the dogs’ owner and/or pursue further action as needed. But it’s nice to know that if, in the end, justice doesn’t seem to prevail, there are people out there who appreciate the value of the eggs/food that this farm produces enough to step up and give extra when they can. I can't tell you how appreciative I am of these pledges as well as all of the hard work of our volunteers, workshare members and kind words from supporters of my work.

It really is a nice feeling to know that there are other people out there that can see the vision I have for Eden’s. I see Eden’s as much more than just a place a farmer can scratch out a living. Small farms are more dynamic than that – or they can be anyway. Especially one that is so close to a large, dynamic city such as the DFW metroplex where educated locavores are eager to improve their diets.

School Children Touring Eden's Learn About the Importance of Honeybees in the Garden

Part of what I see Eden’s doing, is implimenting programs that will help to grow the level of awareness and education among its neighbors in the metroplex. I want to reach those who may not really understand that there is a great benefit to eating more home cooked food made from real, clean and in-season local ingredients. Not just to their taste buds, but to their health, as well. Sadly, many of the problems we develop from poor eating habits form slowly over time – and unseen until it is a serious problem.

We all know, or in some cases, have lost, someone who has heart disease, diabetes, struggles with obesity, food allergies (which are often caused by processed foods laced with too many synthetic ingredients our bodies don’t recognize.) and even more serious issues that are often the result of a suppressed immune system due to lack of proper nutrition. Mood swings, learning disabilities, depression, lack of energy and slow healing from various illnesses or injuries can also be connected to our eating habits. This quest to reach out is a personal mission of mine to help those who would reach back and benefit. I realize not everyone is going to give up their 99 cent heart attack fast foods or prepare every single meal from fresh, locally grown in season foods. I'm not expecting anyone to do that - I don't even follow that strict of a way of life, though I've been called a food snob. I just try to take notice of what I put in my body so that on those occasions when I'm out with others and there isn't as healthy an option as I'd like, my body should be well enough to manage some cheesy fries from Snuffers or a bowl of ice cream or whatever your weakness might be. No one has to be perfect, but let's be healthy! Many of the top killers are caused by food and lifestyle choices - poor choices!

Eating is the basis for just about everything else in life!

Cacuzza is a Fall Harvest Favorite at Eden's

Here at Eden’s, I’m doing what I can to secure a future for farming, teaching, learning and sharing all things food and healthy in my community. Thank you to everyone who is on board with me and welcome to those who are just joining! Summer may be beating us up this year, but fall is around the corner and another season of growing is underway! Let’s be grateful for the farmers who have found ways to grow in spite of the treacherous temps, and work to secure more local sources that can do the same thing.


Eat Your Food - Naturally!