2013
2010
2009

Dallas News 6/11/2013

Food and wine calendar: Greer Farm offers blueberries and blackberries for picking as well as a cooking class focused on the berries













       
mail
 
By STAFF
food@dallasnews.com
Published: 11 June 2013 09:03 PM
Updated: 11 June 2013 09:03 PM
Berry harvest
Greer Farm offers blueberries and blackberries for picking beginning Saturday. The farm also offers a cooking class focused on the berries, with a menu that includes pickled blueberries and fresh corn salad, blackberry prosciutto crostini, mushroom and blueberry balsamic pot roast, and mixed berry coleslaw. 11 a.m. June 22; $80. Off County Road 1125 outside Daingerfield, check website for specific directions; 903-645-3232 or greerfarm.com.

Secret Farm Hideaways

From Southern Living, September 2010

Secret Farm Hideaways
Whether you want to gather eggs and harvest beans or just retreat from the noise of modern life to a quiet farmhouse porch, these seven stays tap into the romance of rural life. 


Photo: Courtesy Greer Farm , Article: Kim Cross, Diane Daniel



Greer Farm
Daingerfield, TX You-pick berries, grassfed beef, and farm-to-table cooking classes are highlights on a family farm that practices sustainable agriculture. Lake cabins come with Wi-Fi, eggs, homemade bread, and local jam. greerfarm.com

Illinois teenager makes a stop in Daingerfield

Illinois teenager makes a stop in Daingerfield



Jeff Varwig prepares to leave Greer Farm in Daingerfield to continue his bicycling mission to raise money for Angel Tree.

By Marlene J. Bohr mbohr@etcnonline.com A young man with a big heart bicycled through Daingerfield the first week of August and did not let the heat stop the mission that he began July 16. Jeff Varwig, 17, of Chicago, began his quest to raise money for the Angel Tree Christmas project in Chicago at the Canadian border in Minnesota. His overnight stop in Daingerfield was intended to be at the State Park; however, when he arrived, he discovered the park was closed for renovations. He was led to contact Sid and Eva Greer of Greer Farm in Daingerfield where he spent the night of Aug. 3, before continuing on his journey. “I have sponsors back home who are giving money for me to do this ride,” Jeff said. “I also have met people along the way who have been asking me questions. Some people have wanted to give also. I wasn’t expecting as much along the way, but people have been really generous.” He said his main objective was to get people in Chicago to support Angel Tree. “They give toys at Christmas,” he said. “It started off giving Christmas presents to children of prisoners, but they also do other things to support them. If they can’t afford to feed their families, the Angel Tree helps pay for the food for families throughout the year.” Jeff’s parents fully support his endeavor to help others by taking this bike trip. “My parents are always careful and want me to make sure that I pay attention to my safety as I go,” Jeff said “My dad has done a lot of cycling with me, so they know I am capable. They also know I have prepared well for this, so I shouldn’t have any problems too big for me to handle.” He said it was a treat for him to spend a night at Greer Farm. Mr. Greer met Jeff at 9 p.m. at Dollar General in Daingerfield and took him to the farm for the night. After breakfast, Jeff continued on his way to Galveston, hoping to be there by Aug. 7. “I have stayed in a variety of places, sometimes near the road,” he said. “I have stayed in bed and breakfasts and sometimes in motels. “It wasn’t as hot when I started, but it has been more of an issue recently. I have tried to ride in the mornings and the evenings and avoid the middle of the day. I stop fairly often to get water during the day as I sweat so much. That helps me get out of the heat every hour and a half when I go get some water.” The time has sped by for Jeff as he has been averaging 85 to 100 miles per day. “I usually try to ride 100 miles a day, but have now gotten to where the heat keeps me from riding so much,” he said. “It’s going down to 80 to 85 miles a day.” Jeff carries bags, along with clothes and supplies. “I have racks that go over each wheel of the bike,” he said. “I have four bags with things, small bags, but big enough to fit the clothes and supplies that I need.” In addition to riding for a good cause, Jeff said he has enjoyed the trip. “I have gotten to see a lot of interesting things as I’m out riding eight hours a day,” he said. “I have enjoyed the scenery and how it changed since I’ve gone across the country. It is different than when I started.” If you would like to help Jeff in his mission with donations for Angel Tree Christmas gifts for children with parents in prison, contact him at jeffvarwig@gmail.com. Jeff will return to school this fall as a high school senior.

Berry Pickers Find Fresh Experience at Area Farm

Berry pickers find fresh experience at area farm


KEVIN GREEN

Kevin Green/News-Journal Photo Sid Greer, left, shows Nathan Wells, 9, \uFEFFhow to pick blueberries Friday at the Greer Farm in Daingerfield. Greer owns the farm with his wife, Eva.
Buy this photo



Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 2:09 am
By Jimmy Alford jalford@newsjournal.com | 0 comments
DAINGERFIELD — The grass is cool under the tall trees surrounding the Greer Farm. The manicured rows are tight and neat, with only berry laden branches edging into view. Blueberries and blackberries hang heavy and ripe for passersby to pick.
The Greer Farm is nestled deep in the heart of Northeast Texas just outside the Daingerfield city limits. Small signs point the way down a shaded blacktop road that winds past a field of berries and finally past a classic white farmhouse. Sid and Eva Greer open their home and farm to visitors and berry pickers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week and say they will open earlier — if someone is really eager to start picking.
People can buy pre-picked berries, but many people believe the fun is in picking the berries. Pickers walk up the rows of blueberry and blackberry bushes looking for ripened dark berries that fall off the stems at the slightest touch.
Sid and Eva are proud of their stock and have transformed what used to be dark gnarly underbrush into park-like open spaces with plenty of green grass and scenic views.
"We've been here for 12 years, and the first thing we started was thinning timber to get some cash flow," Sid said. "Then we started raising Maine-Anjou cattle."
The Greers have about 400 acres and are involved in seven enterprises that keep them in the black. Raising cattle, selling timber and berries are packed into their busy farm life with maintaining cabin getaways and feeding their goats. People staying at the cabins are well trained to lock gates to keep away curious grass munchers.
Before getting into the farm life, Sid Greer worked for British Petroleum in London. He and Eva decided to give up corporate life. Sid went to high school in Daingerfield and decided to return to the area. Eva was born in Belize and is used to moving around. She said she loves the area and has made a lot friends.
The bell rings and let the Greers know pickers are ready to check out. A grandfather, daughter and grandson lay their picks on the scales, as Eva calculates the cost. At $3 per pound, a bucket of blueberries or blackberries costs about $15 to $18. The grandfather, Jim Tollett, has been coming to the Greers for three years, and said the crop was much bigger than this past year.
"I come over here to pick blueberries, as many as I can eat," Tollett said. "I really enjoy coming out here. We've been picking for about 40 minutes, and we got 15 pounds."
Tollett said he picked so many blackberries this past year that he hasn't been able to eat them all — yet. Another family from Dallas drove out just for the experience of picking their own berries. Mardy Sackley, Jenny Sackley, 16, Ali Sackley, 13 and Arianna Jopling, 13, were busy searching for the best and biggest blueberries.
"The drive wasn't too bad. It was long, but worth it," Sackley said. "First I Googled, then I read an article about all the places in North Texas to pick your own blueberries. I like the premier blueberries the best."
The Greer have five blueberry varieties to chose from: premier, climax, tifblue, Austin and Brightwell. They also have Chickasaw and Apache blackberry varieties. Sid helped the Sackleys pick for a moment and is glad to show anyone the proper berry picking technique. Sid said he and Eva do all of the farm work by hand and just want people to come and have a good time. Eva said they have about 1,000 pickers every season
"We're getting more and more people all the time," Eva said. "They come pick some berries, sit and have a picnic."
The berry season starts around Memorial Day and lasts for six weeks. The Greers sell some of their wares at the Historic Longview Farmer's Market. For information, go to
www.greerfarm.com.

Calling All City Slickers: Get Out To the Farm

Calling All City Slickers: Get Out to the Farm
After years of living abroad, Eva and Sid Greer settled on 400 acres in the middle of nowhere. And they’d love for you to visit.
by Laura Kostleny
Published 5.19.2010
From
D Magazine JUN 2010

COUNTRY BOY: Sid Greer retired from a high-stress job and took up farming.
photography by Dave Shafer
Sid Greer was an oil and gas executive. He traveled 300 days a year, jetting to far-flung places such as Israel, Kuwait, Oman, and the Emirates. He rubbed shoulders, closed deals, and drank hard. And then, in 1998, when he and his wife, Eva, were living in London, the company he was working for went through a merger. Sid had to make a decision: take a new job or accept a buyout package. He opted for retirement, and they left London right away—like, immediately. “We took Christmas ornaments off the tree and tossed them into suitcases on the way out the front door,” he says. It was Christmas Eve. Leaving was easy; figuring out where to go was more of a challenge. The Greers could have retired anywhere—a pied-à-terre in New York City or a beach house in Belize (where Eva is from). But aside from wanting to be near their four children, all of whom live in Texas, Sid says they were interested in finding a place where they could pursue a healthier lifestyle as well as a change of vocation. The solution: moving full-time to the family farm they had bought years before near Daingerfield, about 150 miles northeast of Dallas. The transition was easier than they imagined. “I already farmed in my mind,” Sid says, laughing.
“When I got here, I bought every animal I ever wanted,” he says. He has French guinea hens, sheep, cows, and horses. He’s on the lookout for a new potbellied pig—while mourning the loss of his last one, Hooch. He wanders his 400 acres in a golf cart, passing farm dogs Pepe and Tux, pens of roosters, and roaming French Toulouse geese. And as he chases an errant rooster into a pen, collects eggs, or hand-feeds their newest goat, Miss Fancy, it’s tough to imagine this guy ever wore a suit.

Green Acres at Greer Farm
05.09Picking berries, mingling with the farm animals, and swimming in the lake are just a few of the activities offered at Greer Farm.photography by Dave Shafer

next
1/14 Photos

Eva has made her own mark on the property. “Cooking and flowers are her passion,” Sid says. This explains the 3.5 acres of landscaped gardens with everything from 100 varieties of roses to lilacs, caladiums, and lilies. Both of the Greers are passionate about sustainable agriculture, which means farming in a continuously prosperous yet environmentally responsible way. They’ve had great success with it. Visitors flock to the farm every summer beginning in May for blueberry picking, followed by blackberries through July and figs in August. “We planted some grapes and raspberry bushes in the winter and different fruit trees,” he says. “It will take a few years to see how they grow. But the blackberry and blueberry crop looks to be really good this year.” Berries are only the beginning. Everywhere you look, there’s something edible. Take a few steps and you’ll spy asparagus, cabbage, and sauerkraut. Go in another direction and find heirloom tomatoes, basil, summer squash, and white eggplant. And then there are the fruit trees: cherry, fig, apricot, and apple. All of these fresh foods come in handy for Eva’s cooking classes. Each month, she hosts up to 10 people at a time for instruction on culinary delights featuring produce from her farm. This summer, check out classes such as “Sweet & Savory: Cooking with Greer Farm Blackberries and Blueberries” and “Mouthwatering Salsas.” Students are encouraged to get as involved as they like. “Sometimes people don’t like to be all that hands-on,” she says.  Some students kick up the participation level only when they sit down to eat the fruits of others’ labors, paired with plenty of wine. Berry picking and cooking classes are great and all, but the best part about visiting Greer Farm is the sleepover. About two years ago, the Greers built four log cabins that have air conditioning, kitchenettes, big bathrooms, flat-screen televisions with satellite, and wi-fi. (That wireless comes in handy. Cell service is iffy at best.) The cabins, complete with cedar swings, overlook the lake, which is stocked with sunfish, Florida bass, crappie, catfish, and coppernose brim. Guests can fish, kayak, rent bikes, hike or run on the numerous trails lining the farm, and “have their own little petting zoo,” as Sid puts it. Old structures—some dating back to before the Civil War—litter the grounds, including an outhouse that now houses a croquet set and a sampler that reads How To Be a Mean Mother. “Camping” takes on a different meaning at Greer Farm. Thanks to indoor plumbing, cooking lessons, CNN, and a bocce court, it’s palatable to even the girliest city slicker. And Sid says people leave inspired to look for their inner farmer. “The No. 1 thing people tell me is that I’m living their dream,” he says. “They say that when they come to the farm, they feel like they’re a part of it.”
Write to laurak@dmagazine.com .