Eden's Organic Garden Center

Organic Today - For a Better Tomorrow! - Since 2006

Home of DFW's first All-Clean, All Farmers - Market Day!

(no GMO's - EVER)

&

Eden's Garden CSA Farm

                                REAL FOOD, GROWN with INTEGRITY!

                    4710 Pioneer Rd., Balch Springs, TX 75180

                    GARDEN SHOP / FARMERS MARKET  Open 1st, 3rd & 5th Saturdays only  April - December 6th 9am - noon

                214-348-3336

                    Just 15 mins southeast of downtown Dallas 1 block north I20 @ Seagoville Rd.

 

Not affiliated with EDEN FOODS, INC

(yes, we REALLY have to put this on here.)

 

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Eden's In the News & On-Line

Farmer Marie profiled in Green Source DFW June 29th, 2015

Growing Urban Roots -        Acres USA Dec. 2014 Issue

 

 

 

 

 

Voted Best CSA 2013!

Living Natural First Radio Interview

Featured in Edible Dallas & Forth Worth - Winter 2009

Market Day Feature Story in NeighborsGo - July 2010

D Magazine - Chefs for Farmers Launch long-table style benefit dinner at Eden's.  

Market Day - Our Humble Beginnings

"...an urban country adventure." - Kim Pierce DMN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How It All Began 

LIFE ON THE FARM - THE BLOG

NEWEST BLOG ENTRIES

 

 

 

Original Blog Entries on Blogspot.com

 



 

 

 

 

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Hell or High Water

Friday morning when I sent the weekly farm report out to my CSA members, weíd already received nearly 11 inches of rain for the month of May. By the next morning, an inch more had fallen. And today, Sunday morning, we are at 13.38Ē Ė and the rain is still steadily falling.  Erosion has washed away soil and mulch. Iím concerned about crops, old barn foundations and roofs. Extremely soggy and soft conditions, keep me from pulling the tractor out of the barn to do anything much other than a quick mowing when I can manage to get a dry enough spell to cross the creek at the pondís mouth. The weight of my small frame, sinks up to ankles, higher in some places, just going to feed chickens, horses and dogs. Spring 2015 will certainly go down in the history books.

 Yesterday, I had a rare opportunity to go downtown to the Dallas Farmerís Market. Generally on Saturdays Iím pretty tied up with my own market or CSA distributions. But our distribution was cancelled due to flooded crops, even if it wasnít a holiday weekend.

photo of Farmer Marie at the DFM  by Jennifer Kate Stuart - Grow North Texas

It was also the annual international March Against Monsanto event, with a local march held downtown in Dallas that Iíd been asked to speak later in the afternoon. So, I decided to make a day of it.

I took the DART rail downtown. Riding the train gives you a peek at parts of the city you wonít see from a car as you drive. I saw yards and fields flooded, the river, which granted, is also visible from a car if youíre driving down 175 as it nearly meets you on the freeway right now, totally overflowing its banks and the thousands of places for mosquitoes to be busily laying eggs.

Why are they not talking about dropping BTi bits of mosquito larvaecide, all over the city to prevent the potential outbreak of mosquito borne illnesses Ė NOW?

Anyway, Iím almost tired of ranting about mosquito prevention, but would feel lacking in my responsibilities had I not at least mentioned it. Please, dump, dunk and drain all standing water!

I arrived at the farmerís market, which is still undergoing itís slow, tedious and somewhat painful process (for many) of reformatting itself. On this day, you could still find watermelon and pineapples Ė totally out of season and certainly not local on the latter, Driscollís strawberries and just about anything else imported youíd like to find.

Get it while you can, because June 1st is bringing some major changes.

But I primarily visited with folks I consider my colleagues; the local farmers. You know the ones who actually GROW what they sell. To my amazement, there was one new young farmer with squash already! They were small, but they were. He said that he had several plantings of squash that he normally puts along a bank of his creek washed away by the recent record flooding, rains. He also said he had an entire acre of green beans planted, and nearly a third may be lost to the flooding.

Mr. Lemley, a long-time veteran farmer and DFM vendor, was shaking his head as well when I asked how the rain had been affecting him. He said they just re-plant, until something finally grows.

Both of these farmers grow on a much, much larger scale than the 2 acres or so that I have under production. I canít imagine putting an entire acre under green beans alone. I would need to hire a small army to come pick them all!

And of course, Mr. Lemley has been farming for more years than Iíve been alive, and has a staff and crew, as well as many hoop houses, acres and acres of land under production and the wealth of experience and wisdom to endure much of what Nature throws his way.

 

Even Paul, of Good Earth Organic, one of our Stateís first organic farmers, who also attended the rally, isnít sure what to expect, when the waters finally recede. A portion of his strawberry field was under water several weeks ago when I visited his place Ė and the rains havenít really let up since then. His sheep, needing to be moved more because of the flooding rains, escaped some fencing, and ate several rows of his crops along their way.

 

My colleague and dear friend Rita, of Farmer Jones, reported this morning that their corn was lost. And they, too, like everyone else, are faced with a sense of uncertainty as to what to expect, whenever the rains finally do end, and summer arrives.

In a way, I felt somewhat comforted to know Iím not alone in my worries and losses. I dare not take on more land to farm than I already have so that when 1/3 is lost I still have enough to sell. I tried to farm over 5 acres on my own a year ago, splitting my time between two farms, and both locations suffered as a result.

I donít farm in the same conventional way as the other land had been farmed for many decades, under constant tillage. So the weed seeds that had been churned up constantly by doing so, were only going to be manageable by some major attention that would require more time or equipment than I had access to Ė or money to hire. The trailer I bought to transport my own tractor back and forth came too late to save much of anything extra I had planted last year.

So, a small farm like this one, with only myself here full time and occasional volunteer and work-share help, has to be diversified to survive.

The CSA is the backbone of support, both financially as well as socially. They call, email and come by to check on me and the farm, especially when they see there is a critical weather situation like the one weíve been having. And there are a few who are able to bring in their next installments early and send a little extra now and then, too. A lifeline when thereís not been any external sales of produce to speak of.

We should be two weeks into our warm season harvest CSA distributions by now. But without any potatoes to dig, onions sitting in water, and now squash, cucumbers, chard and kale all looking pretty sickly; we have had to suspend our shares for at least two weeks. Much less have anything supplemental to sell at market or to restaurants. Iím still not sure what is going to go out on the tables next Saturday for our annual Pesto/Salsa Challenge. Iím praying some tomatoes will ripen by then.

Thankfully, I got as many tomato plants in as early as I did, because I have about 500 row feet of them growing with about half of them full of fruit. If only we can get enough dry, warm and sunny weather to ripen them. Saturday I saw a fellow selling green tomatoes Ė in May. Something usually reserved for that week in fall before the first predicted freeze will kill them off and you donít want them to go to waste. I think he was just looking for something, anything, to have for sales.

Farmers are pretty resilient people.

 

Aside from the CSA memberships that I limit to the 30 or so families, a number I feel confident working enough land for, I offer farm tours, rent out the yurt for yoga, (and it will soon be available for private dinners, classes and other various events), but was cancelled this week due to flooding of the creek that surrounds it, hold a boutique, organic only farmerís market here, have some sales from the original organic garden center that still operates, on a limited basis anyway, and was very fortunate to raise funds last fall to purchase a much needed piece of equipment for the farm, that has been making many jobs much less cumbersome, and is working to improve the soil at a much better rate than I was able to do with a wheelbarrow and shovel. The idea being, it would help increase yields and give me more food to sell. I want the farm to be sustainable, not in constant need of extra financial help.

I also occasionally sell ad space to chefs I encounter for the local food magazine, Edible Dallas and Fort Worth, (hoping farm to fork restaurant accounts can see the value in supporting not only the only media dedicated to local food, but also the farmer who would get the commission from their ad). Iím excited to see the first ad I helped put together from FT33 in print in the summer issue breaking next month!

But, with our quarterly installments not due until July, and an entire monthís worth of expenses to pay, without much of a harvest to have been sold and banked, really for the last 2 months, Iíve been seriously considering, for the first time in a very long time, pursuing a part time job. Iím not at all sure what it would be. So Iím hoping to make what I have stretch just a little further. The utilities and farm payment canít be made in eggs. About the only thing around here thatís not been affected by the rain. LOL

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.Ē  

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, I hear the dogs out there howling and barking at something. Thereís a bit of a break in the deluge of this morning, gratefully. I am going to pull on my big girl goulashes, trudge through the ankle deep mud and puddles, feed my sweet farm animals and gaze at the water spilling over the banks of the creek down by the bees and be grateful for that first ripe tomato that will surely, reenergize Life on the Farm.

This too, shall pass.

Eat your food, Naturally

Marie

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