Greer Farm July Newsletter

The Berry Patch
We are in the last week of blackberry season.  This year our older bushes and our new three year old bushes produced an abundant crop.  In the winter, we planted another 1,500 berry plants, so that in the coming years, we will have more berries for you.  I mentioned already how our blueberry crop is as good as it gets.  Many of you have already been to the farm.  We hope those of you that haven't will still have the opportunity.  It is mid-season for blueberries.  There are lots of green berries still to ripen, but many of the bushes are completely loaded now and need picking in the next week or so.  To make it more attractive to you, we are offering pick-your-own berries in quantities of 100 pounds or more per individual customer (family) at $3.00 per pound versus our normal price of $3.25 per pound.  As loaded as the bushes are, if you need a large amount of berries it will not be hard to pick them.  Those that want this quantity can borrow our special  picking buckets that make it easier to pick. Each bucket holds about 15 pounds.  Check our website for the latest news and Face Book which we update almost every day. Our most recent farm and berry patch photos are on Face Book.  Like us and you will never miss out on farm events.
We will be making a few commercial deliveries to Dallas and McKinney in the next few weeks. If you wish to order blueberries by the flat (12  pints - about 9.6 pounds please contact us. If we have enough demand for meeting you at specific locations and times, we can take orders. Once we know we can do this, orders will be pre-paid. Send us an email with your name, address, number of flats you want to order and cell number.
Farm to Fork Cooking Classes
Summer is one of our favorite times and the themes for Chef Eva's summer classes reflect this.  There are two classes in July and two in August that capture the best of summer fruit and vegetables.  Each is hands-on and you eat what you cook.
This Saturday July 12 is Cooking from the Farmer's Market.  We sell at markets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in Longview and Thursday evening in Mt. Pleasant.  We almost always find something in the market we are not growing or that is not ready to pick yet and we bring it home to our table. This cooking class combines the freshest summer vegetables in different ways to enhance your summer dining.  It will feature chicken and peach skewers, tenderloin with homemade tomato jam, black rice with stir fried vegetables, chopped market salad, grilled corn on the cob with an herb and cheese combination that will amaze you and or own farm berries in a polenta cobbler.  Check out the menu and register online. Limited availability.  Come early and pick blueberries to take home.
Saturday June 19 is focused on Jam making.  It's a hand's on class using our own blueberries and blackberries, and peaches form nearby Pittsburg.  You not only learn different techniques to home can jam, but you take home three jars of the jam you make.  Limited availability due to the nature of this class.
August 2, we get near to the heart of what we do on our farm; raising products using sustainable organic methods.  Chef Eva calls this class Free Range Chicken: The Come Back Bird.  Our chickens are free range and fed a non-soy, non GMO grain feed supplement as they mature.  In 8-10 weeks, from a day old chick to a mature market chicken is raised naturally on our farm.  We stand by the difference in these versus what you get in the grocery store produced in factory farms. You will be preparing barbecue chicken, chicken lime soup, fried chicken, smoked chicken and prosciutto wrapped chicken along with a few other items.
The August 16 class takes place during the hottest dog days of the summer.  Keeping Cool in Texas is indeed an oxymoron.  Everything about this class is designed to utilize the least heat in your kitchen. Chef Eva is a master at making Aqua Fresca and this time it is peach lavender.  One of my summer favorites is a tomato sandwich and this one has basil pesto.  Balsamic roasted beets with goat cheese is interesting along with green Gazpacho made with shrimp.  Smoked salmon, avocado and sprouts in a spring roll touches the spot, but the very best is the fresh corn ice cream made with coconut milk. 
All of our cooking class registrations are now online.  Don't be disappointed and not get to attend the class desired. Sign-up today.
Farm Stay: Experience Farm Life
We have been featured in many publications, on television and even NPR, but each time the writer captures a different aspect of our life.  Sometime we are just too busy to realize what we have created.  The current edition of Country Line magazine has an article written by Elizabeth Branca, Back to Basics at the Greer Farm.
While we can say over and over how much fun it is to visit our farm and what a unique experience it is, she makes the case better than we ever have. Perhaps that is why Southern Living magazine included our farm in a list of six places they considered to be the best "America's Secret Farm Hideaways".
Our lakeside log cabins have all the amenities of modern living, but also allow you to slow down and step back into a time different than you experience every day.  The farm has become increasingly popular with groups of friends or family that rent all our facilities for private gatherings during the week and on weekends. 
The lake is full for a change and swimming is fun. Boating using our canoes, paddle boats, jon boats and kayaks is a cool pass time. You can hang out on the sand beach in the shade, ride our kid and adult mountain bikes to challenge yourself on back country roads, go on walking trails, go fishing or do nothing but listen to the train pass by and the sounds of nature. 
All of the information about cabin rentals is on our website including detailed price information. Since March we have been very busy and availability has been limited, but as summer ends there is still opportunity for get-a-ways before school starts. Weekends remain a two day rental period at normal rates, but to make it more affordable for those that can travel mid-week, we are offering a 10 percent discount for any three night period Sunday through Thursday nights for the period July 13 through August 28.  For a four night stay, the discount is 20 percent. 
Still not convinced a farm stay at Greer Farm is not for you. Read Maggie Martin's June 22 feature article in the Shreveport Times, Pay to Herd Sheep, Collect Eggs, Feed the Pigs.
Reservations for cabins can be made by calling 903-645-3232.
Farm Products
Noah may have had an ark, but we come in close with our old 99' Ford truck and cattle trailer of similar vintage.  A few weeks ago, on one day we had 155 of our free range chickens flutering about on their way to the packing plant. Right after a power wash of the trailer, the next day the trailer contained three market pigs, two steers and several lambs.  I try not to stop too often on the road due to the curious questions I get asked. I assume they think I just crawled out from under a hay stack.
Our inventory of farm products keeps growing.  Depending on availability, we now can be a one-stop shopping point for jams, jellies, leaf lard,beef tallow, sauces, chow-chow, green tomato relish,  blueberries and blackberries in season, grass fed lamb and beef, pasture raised pork and chicken, free range eggs, vegetables in season and even bones to simmer into wonder broth from lamb, pigs and beef. Last but not least, if you want to slow cook an older laying hen creating some of the best chicken broth ever, we can help you there too.  We try to keep an updated list on our website, but it's a challenge to stay current. You can always call or email to check on availability.
Our summer vegetables got a slow start, but we now are beginning to have a large variety of fresh vegetables. These, along with all our farm products,  are available at the farm or at the Longview and Mt Pleasant farmer's markets.
In addition to individual cuts packaged, we offer our beef by the split-quarter, half or whole steer, pigs by the half or whole and lamb by the whole.  Call for more information. there is a deposit and waiting list for all of these.
Everything we do on the farm and everything we raise uses sustainable agriculture practices and organic methods.  We eat what we produce, so we know what we are consuming.  Do you know where all your food comes from?
This and That
We try not to send newsletters too frequently nor do we want them to be so long you never get to read them.  The next one might get out in September depending on "this and that".
If you have not looked at our new website, we invite you to take a test drive. It still has some work on text, but it has some really nice photos, links to photos and video (berry patch, cooking class, the farm, cattle handling).  In some form or another, the new site covers all we do in an easy to navigate manner.  You can register for cooking classes online now.  We update our home page "latest updates" as often as it merits a change.
Our Face Book page is also current and has our most recent photos. "Like" us and you will be aware of all the activities on the farm.
Our idea of a Plowman's Work Day has not gone away.  We received a good response, but have not been able to properly organize the event.  Our idea now is to pick before mid-August and work in the berry patch. Ther are weeds to pull, pruning and many other tasks necessary to prepare for next year's berries.  As before, this will be an activity for older children/teens and adults.  After the work period is completed, we will have an outside meal. if you have time you can take a swim before departing.  If interested, Send us an email.
Our goal of having 5,000 friends that like Greer Farm on Face Book is moving forward. We now have over 2,000.  Join us on Face Book so you know the latest news from the farm.
Farm to Fork Dinner at the Farm
Eva got to realize one of her dreams this summer.  We hosted a very successful Farm to Fork tour of our farm and an outdoor dinner under the pecan tree in conjunction with the the Mount Pleasant-Titus County Chamber of Commerce to emphasize local agriculture.  Eva, together with three other local chefs, prepared a meal for 60 participants. Fresh ingredents were provided by local farms including ours.  The dinner was elegantly served on a single long table with white linens. The seating was on square hay bales covered in burlap cloth.  The table decorations included flowers from the garden,  fresh vegetables, greens and pickles in jars made by the local college ag students.  Wine was from Los Pinos Ranch vineyards in Pitttsburg, Texas. Sid was in his element telling everyone about the farm and they all had good laughs and learned a great deal about what really  goes on at a working farm. Everyone had a great time and anticipate another such event in the future. . 
Make Our Farm Your Farm
We continue to stress to you that you are our best marketers. The success of our family farm depends on your sharing your stories and experiences as you interact with us.  We are swimming in blueberries. Spread the word that there is a special place in East Texas where you can get away and have a fun day picking berries.  
Please forward this newsletter to anyone that may be interested in blueberries, our farm, a farm stay or our farm products.
We hope to see you soon and wish you a relaxed summer.
Sid, Eva and all of us on the farm
Every year we hold our breath as winter ends and spring arrives, hoping to avoid a late freeze while the blueberries are blooming.  Like last year, we had a late season freeze, but it apparently did not greatly diminish the crop.  Our heavy pruning of the plants, making them shorter and trimmer, along with the freeze created an environment for the bushes to produce the largest, most abundant, berries we have ever had. Our switch to another organic fertilizer may have helped too.  In any case, it's berry season on the farm and time to harvest our wonderful blueberries to enjoy all year.

Map to Farm

Greer Farm
1444 CR 1125
Daingerfield, TX 75638

T: 903-645-3232
F: 903-645-7752

Please visit us again at our website:

Copyright (C) 2010 Greer Farm. All rights reserved.

Newsletter July 2013

This is our July Newsletter

Berry Patch Picking Nearing the End
We had a late freeze that diminished the number of blueberries and a late start due to cool weather, but the berry season has been a great success. 
For the first time in several years, we had lots of blackberries.  There are a few gallons still picked every day, but they are about finished for this year.  The older vines produced well and the ones planted two years ago are quickly coming into full production.  We will plant all the open areas in the berry patch this fall with additional blackberries.
The blueberries have been wonderful this year; large and sweet.  There are still lots of blueberries to pick and we anticipate they will last through the weekend of July 20 or later.  We will post online and on Facebook (Greer Farm) the status of picking.  Starting July 12, we will open at 6:45 AM to allow picking in the cooler part of the day.  We can stay open late if you desire and you pick in the shade after 4:30 PM. 
Post season work in the berry patch will include pruning out every blackberry branch that has a berry this year. and a major pruning of all of the blueberry plants.  If you like this sort of work, we invite volunteers to come and help a lot or a little.  For us it's a labor of love as it lays the ground for next year's harvest. 
Kick back on the Lake: Log Cabin Rentals
We will soon enter the slower time of the summer and have a lot more availability in our cabins and the barn loft.  Our price reduction special to 2012 prices continues until the end of July for a three night rental.  Regular rentals can be single nights during the week and two nights on weekends.  Many are lining up dates for the rest of the year, especially in the fall when it is cool and the forest changes into fall color.
Local Festival
The annual Naples Watermelon Festival and Rodeo is the weekend of July 26th.  It is a great family event to experience.  We have cabins and the loft available.  This is a once in a lifetime event for city folks.  Enjoy a small town parade, festive activities all day, free water melon in the afternoon and in the evening a rodeo that is as good as they get.  Check it out here.
Plan a Special Event
Special events appear to be very popular this year.  Think about creating your own event as a get-a-way with friends, family or a work retreat. There are many possibilities including renting the four cabins and the barn loft, having a private farm to fork cooking class, either a lunch or elegant dinner in the evening in the farm house, a cowboy breakfast, evening cookout around a camp fire or whatever you can imagine. The farm is an excellent place for a book club or other group to get away as a retreat site.  We can accommodate groups for events in the farm house.
Weddings on the Farm
Sometimes a photo is an easier way to illustrate an idea.  Both of our daughters were married here.  Each in a unique setting.  These photos are from our youngest daughter's wedding at the farm.  Our farm has every possible wedding venue you can imagine in a rural setting.  It's a natural place that allows you to plan your wedding around the environment we offer.  Give us a chance to discuss your ideas about a country farm wedding and see what is possible. 
Farm to Fork Cooking Classes
This month we have two farm to fork cooking classes.  Tomorrow, July 13, is focused on Salads and uses many products raised on the farm.  There is limited availability, so call now to reserve a spot.  July 20 is Cooking with Spirits.  Not the kind that go bump in the night, but the ones that come in a bottle full of different flavors when used in cooking.  Both of these classes are hands on by the participants. 
In August, Chef Eva's Farm to Fork Cooking Classes head south of the border.   Enchiladas, Moles and Tamales is August 3rd and Belizean Cooking August 24th.  Go to our website for more details on these and classes later in the year.
Now is a good time to plan a private cooking class for family or friends later in the year and make it a weekend booking the cabins and barn loft.  Contact us for the many different class menu options available. 
Greer Farm Jams and Sauces
Chef Eva is back on the farm after traveling to Colorado and Nicaragua. She has so many different kinds of fruit jams that she makes from our farm or local farmers.  Her popular fig and peach based jams and sauces will be available soon as the new crop ripens.  We have a variety of jams made with strawberries and blueberries.  Check our website occasionally for updates on what is available. 
All Natural Eggs, Pork, Beef and Chicken
A farm would not be a farm if it did not have chickens, pigs and cattle.  Ours is not any different.  All our animals are raised in as natural an environment as possible and we do not stimulate their growth with artificial substances. The cattle are 100% grass fed.  They never receive grain.  Our poultry and pigs are pasture raised free range and are supplemented with feed that is NON-SOY and NON-GMO (genetically modified). No Round-Up ready grain is fed to our animals.  We get our feed from a small mill near Waco and bring it here to the farm every few months; expensive, but we feel it is a necessity.  Our price list is dated.  We will be updating it late next week on our website when we get in a new supply of beef and pork.  This will include pork Cajun sausage, link breakfast sausage, sweet Italian sausage, summer sausage, and bratwurst.  These are all natural. We will have all cuts of beef and continue to have whole French Red Ranger chickens. 
This and That
We farm a piece of land that was first cleared in the 1840's and the farm house was built shortly thereafter.  Time moves slow here, we try to keep up with the things that matter.  This includes how we communicate with you.  At this time, our website is going through a complete revision to make it easier for you to find out what you want to know about our farm. More important, our blog will be easier to use and for once the photos will be right for each blog.  The cabin DIRECTV system was upgraded this week with a new satellite dish and system. Wi-Fi is always a challenge, but we think the system we have or wide area networking is as good as you can get out in the country. All of the cabins, barn loft, bunkhouse, shop, farmhouse and areas adjcent to them are now live.  In setting-up three DSL lines, we even were able to offer free long distance (for those with ATT, sprint or T-Mobile wireless phones - Verizon still is best, for the most part, in rural America) in the cabins.
 From Our Farm to Your Home
We want you to feel our farm is your farm.  Share our newsletter with your friends and family.  Continue to call or email us if you have any questions or need more information. Better yet, stop by and visit (call in advance if you can) and see what is happening at The Greer Farm.
Best wishes for a wonderful July,
Sid, Eva and all of us on the farm
We are approaching mid-summer quickly.  Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July are now memories.  After a very cool week the end of June, we suddenly had more traditional summer hot days with mild evenings.   Things were starting to dry out and our pastures needed rain.  Yesterday evening we received about 3 inches from a passing heat storm so the lake is again fresh and things will turn green again. On the farm, hay has been baled, vegetable garden rows turned ready for fall planting, the berry season is in the last weeks, and cabin rentals are brisk.  It was amazing to see the lake covered with all of our paddle boats, kayaks, canoes and jon boats along with personal floats last weekend.  What a great place to gather and relax in almost total privacy.  Picking berries in the early morning and spending the rest of the day on the lake fishing and swimming.  We hear so often that Greer Farm is an "oasis of splendor", "a special place", or "this is my dream and you are living it".