Tx Highways Article on the Farm


The autumn landscape invites a closer look

26-27 daingerfield

By Melissa Gaskill
Texas Highways
November 2011

Trees abound in this northeast corner of Texas. Start in historic downtown Winnsboro with lunch at Brewbaker’s Restaurant and Pub, which serves a wide selection of salads and deli sandwiches, or try an Angus steak or barbecue dinner at Double C Steakhouse & Saloon (as I always say, save room for pie). Stop by the Chamber of Commerce on Broadway for maps of three driving routes likely to serve up good fall color, courtesy of the local Autumn Trails Committee. Or just drive out to Lake Winnsboro along Big Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River, and pick up a bucket of chicken at the Lake Store Marina Grill. Drop a line in the lake and enjoy fall color while you nibble and wait for largemouth bass and catfish to do the same.
Just west of Daingerfield, Eva and Sid Greer preserved the hardwood trees on their working guest farm and added several varieties of maples and tulip poplars, members of the magnolia family. These, Sid says, turn “the brightest yellow you ever saw in your life,” and along with the maples, red oaks, white oaks, and cottonwoods, can set up quite an impressive fall show at the farm.
By request, Chef Eva, a graduate of the Art Institute of Houston’s Culinary Arts program, serves gourmet cuisine that reflects her upbringing in Belize, European parents, and the Greers’ own world travels. Sid and Eva teach “Farm to Fork” cooking classes as well. Guests can hike one of several forest trails on the farm, or just sit and soak up the fall color from the porch of one of four log cabins overlooking a stocked lake. If you want to explore the area, nearby Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards offers tours and wine tastings, and features live jazz in the dining room on weekend nights.
Daingerfield State Park, two miles east of town on Texas 49, includes an 80-acre lake lined with colorful sweetgum, southern red oak, water oak, buckeye, hickory, and red maple set against always-green northeast Texas pines. On calm days, the lake reflects the color, making for unforgettable photographs. The park offers picnicking, camping, swimming, fishing, hiking, and boating, and rents pedal boats and canoes. Rustling Leaves Nature Trail circles two-and-one-half miles around the CCC-built lake—look for squirrel, fox, armadillo, rabbit, deer, and beaver. The CCC also constructed the five-bedroom Bass Lodge, which overlooks the water and sleeps 12.
Humans first settled in this area in prehistoric times. Then, in 1542, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s expedition passed through. Two hundred years later, the French established a trading post, and during the Civil War, the region became an iron industrial center, exporting guns and other items. Forests depleted by sawmills before World War II have recovered some of their grandeur, for which fall foliage enthusiasts can be grateful.

Early Fall on the Farm

This is anything but a normal fall. It is the mid October and they forecast 90 degrees today. Go figure! A week ago it was in the 50’s. Much of Texas had 5+ inches of rain a few days ago while we had sunshine. The drought that seems to go on forever is depressing. Day after day of seeing things die that you planted is not healthy.

This week we are setting 10 ft T-post (most of it will sink into the lake mud) in the lake at the Rocky Branch Grass Ranch and attaching cattle panels so the cattle there do not walk off the ranch. This was a 16 acre lake. At the home place, we will be moving the irrigation water intake for the berry field a bit further out into the lake. This 11 acre lake has dropped 50% and the point we are taking water is now only 5 foot deep. Thankfully our deep wells are still operating without any problem, but they can not be used for the berry patch.

Unless we get significant rain in the next 10 days, we will not be planting winter wheat and rye grass. That means that our use of hay will not diminish in the spring. Normally we can depend on winter pasture to meet over half of the nutritional needs of our cattle herd.

We have had plans for weeks to move the chickens onto pasture, but have had a problem getting electric poultry wire to work due to very dry soil. It takes a good ground to make the fence hot so it will repel animals that kill chickens. We have watered the area we will have the chickens in to try to make the ground work.

Yesterday, a 24 month old steer died for no apparent reason. The vet came and performed an autopsy. We will know in a few days what happened.

A somewhat bright spot has been cabin rentals. While not as active as last fall, we have had steady weekend bookings. We will offer until year end a 15% discount for a three night week day rental.

There are Farm to Fork Cooking Class opportunities October 22 (Cooking the Low Carb Smart Way), November 5 (Grass Fed or Free Range Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Chicken) and finally November 12 (Healthy Holiday Appetizers). The cooking classes seem to brighten our moods as everyone participates and feasts on the dishes prepared.

It seems we are working hard to just stay even, but with each day we slip back a little. I know that this will end and it will rain again some day. In the mean time, we just keep on keeping on and praying for rain.

Good Looking Heifers

We have sold down the herd in part due to the severe drought and shortage of hay. Thhis is a set of bred heifers that will be headed to a new home in a few weeks.


Farm to Fork Cooking Class: Low Carbs

October 22 is a class focused on low carb items that are easy to prepare and savory to eat.  There is no reason not to enjoy your food even if it is low carb.  This time of the year it is easy to get fresh winter squash.  This can be a staple in the cooler months that may be prepared many different ways  .Even if you  claim to not like cauliflower, be sure to try this unique recipe, it may surprise you.  It is a great replacement for potatoes.  If you have never made your own creme fraiche you will be impressed by how easy it is to prepare and how superior it is to store bought. The no noodle zucchini lasagna is so delicious that you won't miss the noodles.  Using pecans for a quiche crust is different, but pares nicely with wild mushrooms.  For that sweet bite we all crave, the fall pumpkin mousse is sure to delight you. With this menu you will enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal and still keep within your boundaries.  

 October 22, 2011

 Cooking the Low Carb Smart Weigh
 Winter salad with roasted squash and pomegranate vinaigrette
Cauliflower popcorn
Curried chicken salad with homemade crème fraiche
No noodle zucchini lasagna
Wild mushroom quiche with pecan nut pie crust
Cooking the Low Carb Smart Weigh 

Hoilday Dining at The Greer Farm

We have reached a time when it is cooler and our thoughts turn to gatherings of family and friends. Special occasions that can be enchanced by a private dinner at The Greer Farm.

Selections in each grouping have been carefully chosen to complement each other. In the event that there is an item that you would like to substitute from another grouping, please discuss with the Chef Eva.

Polenta stars with toasted red pepper chive pesto and goat cheese
Spinach salad with Moroccan spiced lemon dressing
Pork tenderloin with bourbon sauce and warmed brie cheese
Greer Farm Blueberry roasted asparagus
Creamy potato flan
Apple tart with almond filling and brandy cream
Avocado stuffed with shrimp salpicon
Cilantro cream soup
Spice Rubbed fillets mignons with Ancho mushroom sauce
Creamy polenta with Cotija cheese
Scalloped acorn squash and spinach
Chili infused chocolate chip cookies
Portabella mushroom bacon tart
Roasted delicata squash bisque with cashew cream
Grilled lamb chops with homemade mint sauce
Roasted red peppers stuffed with kale and forbidden black rice
Cornucopia of almond tuiles with chocolate mousse
Shrimp cakes with ginger sauce
Apple, pear and arugula salad with candied walnuts and gorgonzola cheese
Spicy honey glazed salmon fillets with black bean sauce and jalapeno cream
Coconut rice pilaf with red peppers and green onions
Lemon Mousse Soufflé with Greer farm Blueberry Sauce
Cornmeal crusted crawfish pie
Romaine lettuce Salad with creamy dressing
Roasted Prime Rib with garlic and thyme au jus lie
Wasabi and green onion mashed potatoes
Green bean bundles
Chocolate Mousse cake with chocolate ganache
Menu served with homemade bread or rolls, compound/flavored butter and coffee, regular tea or plantation tea
Per Person: $65.00 plus 20% gratuity, $5.00 for wine service and sales tax of 6.75%