Lawrence Speak

All men dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity.
But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality
T. E. Lawrence

New Air Photo of the Homeplace Farm

A friend attending a Forestry Field Day at the farm May 30 took this photo of the farm was he left for Dallas. We hope to get more and also some of the
Rocky Branch Grass Ranch.




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Berry Patch Opening News Update distibuted June 4

The is the note sent to 1,259 registered on GreerFarm.com to receive our newsletter advising them the berry patch it opening and a little other news.

Berry Patch Opening

We are pleased to announce that the Greer Farm Pick-Your-Own  berry patch will open at 7:00 am Saturday June 6 for the 2009 season.
There will be limited quantities of blackberry initially for the first few days, so those of you not near the the farm should not come for at least a week. We expect plenty by Saturday June 11. Blueberries will be few and far between for a week of so. To give the early pickers a chance, we are not taking pre-picked order until after June 11.
Prices this year for pick-your-own are $3 per pound for blackberry and blueberry. Pre-picked flats of 12 pints will be $40 or if less than a full flat, $3.75 per pint. 
We recommend you always call for availability, especially during the first few weeks of the season. 

The berry fields of north and east Texas were dealt a hard blow by the severe freeze April 6 and many peach and berry orchards have no fruit this year.  We had some damage to our thorn blackberries, but not our thornless blackberry.  The blueberry crop is probably 25% less in number of berries, but the berries on the plants appear to be much larger at this stage than last year.  We are also using a special organic fertilizer program and have had tremendous growth of our blueberry plants this season. 

This and That

Chef Eva's June 13 cooking class is sold out, but there are a few slots left for July 11 which will focus on cooking with fresh fruit and berries (Pittsburg peaches and Greer Farm Blackberries and Blueberries).  Classes in August (Gifts of the Garden: Cooking with Summer Vegetables), September (Artisan Breads and Soups), October (German Oktoberfest Texas Style)  and November (Roasting Meats: Succulent Roasted Lamb, Beef & Pork) are filling up.  The October and November classes are great for guys and in the afternoon kick back and watch college football on HD TV in a cabin on the ESPN Gameplan. 

We have two cabins and the bunkhouse available for the three day Forth of July weekend.  It is a great time to spend a few days on the farm and attend the fireworks and festivals in nearby towns to celebrate the 4th holiday. All other weekends are booked until after July 11.  There are plents of Sunday-Thursday weekdays available.

We are updating our blogs daily so check them on a regular basis to see what is going on at the farm.  To be published this week:  The ongoing saga of Johnny Pinecone, Bocce on the Farm and How to Not Work Cattle: Tales of a Few Good Cowboys. If time permits, we will also post on the blog some photos of our spring flower gardens.

If you live in the Dallas - Fort Worth area, please check out Food Roots bus tour to our farm Saturday June 20:  The Fruits of Their Labor  Part II. This will be an outstanding event and participation is limited.  More information is available at the Food Roots website.

The Slow Food Dallas Chapter has an event planned for the farm Saturday June 27.  This will be a hands on berry jam making class and time on the farm to pick berries.  If your appreciate good natural and healthy food, consider joining Slow Food.  This non-profit group strives to educates people about how their food choices affect everybody. 

We expect to have a good berry season and look forward to your visiting our family farm.  We appreciate your support.

Eva, Sid and all of us at The Greer Farm.

The Greer Farm Featured in the Dallas Morning News

We were so pleased to be featured in several articles and a photo slide show online in The Dallas Morning News recently. Here are links to the articles and photos.

Photo slide Show: Down On the Farm

Article: Trading City Life for an East Texas Farm

Article: Greer Farm In East Texas Offers Cooking Classes, B&B and Cabins

Article: Greer Farm No-Crust Asparagus Quiche




Screen Doors and Summer: Now on the Cabins

I grew up without air conditioning in houses with screen on the windows, screen doors and an attic fan to exhaust the hot day time air replacing it with cooler evening air. I recall with fond memory my dad walking on the creaking floor in the middle of the night to turn off the attic fan because it was too cool in the house. I especially remember laying next to the window and feeling the rush of the humid cool air and capturing it under my sheet to make an air tent. That is something young kids today will never experience.

Everyone I knew has screen doors and they all had that special screen door sound when opening that you never forget. The old part of the farmhouse has screen doors and I love to hear that sound when opening them. Today it is in the mid-60's and the doors are open and fresh country air is coming in through the screens.

Most of the visitors to our log cabins will give nature a chance when they arrive and not turn on the air conditioning immediately. We normally have the windows open on arrival. Some almost break a leg to turn on the A/C to its lowest setting the moment they get into the cabin and it stays there whether they are in the cabin or off for the day on a day trip. I can understand if its 93 degrees, but when it is 75 I have to wonder.

In any case, for those that like a country break and want to hear the birds sing, we have added screen doors to each cabin. We hope you enjoy them.

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Eva's Raised Bed Herb Garden

For as long as I remember, we have taken pictures of herb gardens at various places as we traveled. One was at the Antique Rose Emporium near Washington, Texas. For Mother's Day 2009 I decided it was time Eva stopped dreaming about a raised bed herb garden and had her own. We built large 4 ft x 6 ft x 1 ft cedar boxes with quarter inch galvanized woven wire on the bottom to keep critters out. While we were out of town, Javier and Tony built the fence around the beds. There is more mulching to do and the beds need time to mature. In due course, we will up date you on what they look like. I think it looks pretty good. Just wait until she has flowering vines trailing over the fence and all sorts of thing growing in the boxes.

Our goal in Washington, Tx

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The Garden that is Eva's

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Cabin Window Boxes

I have always loved window boxes and most of the places we lived we had one form or another. A few years ago we were in Canada looking at cabins and how we might build ours and I really liked the window boxes they had. We now have our own and while the flowers in Canada might do better in their cool climate, I think we will have nice blooming flowers year round.

The Canadian window boxes

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The Greer Farm version

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The Grandson that Lives On the Farm

Javier and Jovita had a big boy last November (8 lb 7 oz) and he is a resident of the farm. While he may grow up to be a doctor, lawyer or candlestick maker, I am sure he will always be a son of the soil. He is no more special than any of our grandkids, but he does have a nice name..... "Sid".

Here he is with 93 year old grandma Mia, and with his mom & dad relaxing

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Our Ex-Farmer Son Has a Future Farmer

Karl and Amber had a wonderful daughter, Kaya Star, when they lived in Daingerfield and he was farming with me. Now off to med school, they have had an equally wonderful son; Novi George von Goscinski Greer, born June 1, 8 lb 10 oz. So Kaya is a daughter of the farm and Novi is a son of the island they live on.

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Grand Kids... You Never Can Have Enough

Timothy Walters is soon to be six months old. My daughter and her husband are doing a great job raising an all star slugger.

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His dad is a recent MBA graduate of Rice University.

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June 1 Greer Farm News Update

This is our June 1 update. the hot links will not work on this attachment.

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We know that it has been some time since we sent you a newsletter and our blog needs more attention.  We promise that we will have a newsletter out shortly and start to add some very interesting blogs that we did not have time to write.  This update is to give you the status of the berry and fruit orchard, our vegetables and share with those of you a very unique travel opportunity for those of you in the Dallas-fort Worth area.
Berry, Fruit and Vegetable Update
Mother Nature has been less than kind to us this spring.  First we had two late Spring freezes and then we had enough rain over a month to float Noah's Ark.  There was some damage to the early blooming blueberry and the thorn blackberry.  It appears that we will have a very good thorn blackberry crop despite the freeze and the thornless blackberries are really loaded this year.  The blueberry crop will be good, but the amount of berries on some bushes is less than normal.  On the good side, the berries are larger due to the lack of competition and the bushes have grown a lot since last season.  It should be a good year to pick berries at our farm. 
We are going to re-plant some vegetables that rotted in the rain, but we will not do as many different types as we had anticipated we would be harvesting now.  We do have a large onion crop of very sweet Candy and Candy Red Onions. 
The figs lost their leaves to a frost, but have come back and we will have figs later in the summer.  The rain knocked off the red leaf plums, but the green leaf ones are bearing now in limited quantities. 

Berry Orchard Opening
We anticipate opening the berry patch no later than this Saturday June 6.  Please call us in advance on availability.  We will  have a recording on our farm phone 903-645-3232 or you can call Sid's cell 903-452-9738. The thorn blackberries will be ripe first followed soon thereafter by blueberries.  The thornless blackberry need a few more weeks.  The price of u-pick berries is $3/pound. Onions (picked and pre-trimmed) are $1/pound.
Photos taken this weekend are in this
blog.
Unique Visit To The Farm
On Saturday June 20 Food Roots will offer a bus tour from Dallas to our farm.  This is a unique opportunity to get an insider's look at our farm, what we do, how we do it and what we want to do when we have 34 hour days and 9 day weeks to move to the next projects.  There will be plenty of time to pick berries, walk around the flower gardens, and Chef Eva will provide a cooking demonstration as she prepares the lunch you will be served in the farmhouse 1850's dining room.  This is an opportunity you should not miss if you want to see a "real" sustainable family farm, take home some sweet berries and have a wonderful gourmet farm lunch.
Food Roots can be reached Monday through Friday in the day at 214-455-1782 or by email
info@foodroots.com.  You can register for the tour on their website atwww.foodroots.com. Seating is limited.  Additional information is below.
The Fruits of Their Labor II
A one day tour to Greer Farm.
East Texas Berries and Cooking Demonstration
Saturday, June 20, 2009
9AM - 6PM Departing from Dallas
$130 per person.
Travel with Food Roots on Saturday, June 20 as we visit The Greer Farm in east Texas.
This and That
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Located near Daingerfield, Texas,Greer Farm is a land of lush pastures and mixed pine and hardwood forests nestled in the slow moving world of Northeast Texas. The Greers raise hay, figs, plums and berries, pine timber and full-blood red and white Maine-Anjou cattle. Their cattle eat only fresh grass and forages and hay. The large pick-your-own berry patch features rows of beautiful blueberries and blackberries.
The Greers are pioneers of Texas agritourismo. Agritourismo started in Italy in the 1980s. Farms become tourist destinations where guests can immerse themselves in local farm culture and way of life. Agritourismo is an emerging idea for Texas but an important one that allows casual visitors to experience the unique, varied and vastly rich Texas farm and ranch culture. The Greers share the fruits of their labor by opening their farm to guests. Day guests can pick berries, tour the farm and buy farmstead produce. Overnight guests can rent one of the log cabins fronting their private lake.
The farm was established in the mid 1800s and still has many original buildings. Since owning the farm, the Greers have preserved many historic features while creating a modern working farm. Through hard work, good stewardship and a clear vision the Greers have created a working farm that is a comfortable, inviting and relaxing place to visit.
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Sid and Eva Greer will welcome us to their home, a circa 1850 restored Texas Planters house. In the back you can enjoy the patio, the huge 200 year old pecan tree and the abundant rose and flower gardens designed by Eva. In the front you can sit in a rocking chair on the large wrap-around porch.
Sid will lead us on a tour and discussion of the farm and we will learn about the challenges and joys of farming in East Texas.
A working farm always means good hearty food. We will enjoy a Texas farm to table mid-day meal prepared by owner Eva Greer and have the opportunity to observe the food preparation in a casual interactive cooking demonstration. Eva is a trained culinarian and a graduate of the Art Institute in Houston. Chef Eva opens her chef's kitchen to share her culinary expertise with those that want to expand their culinary talents. Since this is a real working farm it is not difficult to get caught up in the "farm to table" spirit that prevails on this family farm. Her interesting three course seasonal menu will feature farm raised produce as well as homemade bread from a local baker and a creative dessert featuring berries directly from the patch. We will have lunch as a group in the home's historic dining room.
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After lunch you have free time to enjoy the property and natural beauty of Northeast Texas. We timed our visit for berry season. In mid-June the Texas blackberries and blueberries are at their peak, ripe and succulent. You can pick blackberries and blueberries, walk to the lake, sit on the patio or porch and enjoy the gardens or visit the many farm animals including geese, goats, chickens, and sheep. You can also purchase pre-picked berries and homemade jams.
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Space on this tour is limited. Please reserve early. Reservations are non-refundable after June 13, 2009. The tour will depart from the Mockingbird DART station at Central Expressway and Mockingbird Lane in Dallas at 9:00 AM and return at 6:00 PM. This tour includes roundtrip transportation from Dallas by chartered bus and lunch at the farm.
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Map to Farm

Greer Farm
1444 CR 1125
Daingerfield, TX 75638


Berries, Onions and Figs: an Update with Photos

These photos were taken last weekend. The blackberry bushes will soon be loaded with these 1-1/2 inch long sweet berries. If you like fresh sweet onions, we can meet your needs. Onions are $1.00/pound pre-picked and trimmed. Berries this year will be $3 pound pick-your-own.

A large sweet berry from the thorn bushes

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The thornless berries will be ready in a few weeks

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A Candy onion: sweeter than the 1015

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Candy Red sweet onions

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Young fig fruit

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