Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Directions

CrossRoad Farm.

That is the name.

Sometimes you reach a point...then have to choose a direction.

That is the slogan, motto, whatever you want to call it.  You should know that I came up with that name back in 1998.  I thought so much of it, that I put it on paper, and kept up with it.  This was back in the day, when I first decided that growing things naturally or organically was important to me.  I had only been gardening for a short time when I went this direction.  It started with my first garden and ants.  Ants are bad in the garden.  I don't know if they do anything harmful to the plants, but they wreak havoc on the gardener.  I knew that they had to go, so I asked around to see what everyone else was doing.  Then I proceeded to the garden center and started reading product labels. 

Apparently my affliction of reading labels started a long time ago.

The thing that struck me as odd was that every product that was recommended to me came with serious warning labels.  Most were not to touch your skin, eyes, or be ingested.  The application processes were pretty entailed as well.  Don't breath, etc.

Why would I want to put this on my food?

It all started right there.  With that very question.  From there I bought, checked out, or borrowed every book I could get my hands on.  I joined the Texas Organic Grower's Association.  I subscribed to a newspaper called Acres, USA.  I had a mentor that was a certified Organic farmer, and I bugged the heck out of that guy.

Funny side story, I ran in to that guy at a seminar last summer.

I wanted to start an Organic Farm.  I came up with a name.  I wrote it down and other ideas that I had.  I grew my garden size and added a greenhouse.  Then the great plague of the grasshoppers hit.  I have never seen anything like it, and some of you may not remember it, but it was devastating.  They ate everything to the ground, and that was that.  There were other personal, life changing things that took place at the same time.  Then I changed jobs, and moved to the city.  I had not gardened again until I started this blog.  I ran across all of my scribbles, and remembered the name, and here we are today.

I don't live at a cross road now, and I didn't live at one then. 

Why the name? 

What does it mean? 

My whole life has been about making that decision.  Which way now?  I sort of thought that every one's life was that way, but the Man in Charge says, "Not true."  We have only discussed this topic briefly, but I have no idea what he is talking about.  Sometimes I find it is okay not to understand him, but standing at a cross road means a lot of things to me.  It describes my faith.  It describes the way I raised my children.  It describes the life that I live.  It describes the people that I allow or don't allow in it.  It describes the food that I eat, or grow.  It is endless to me, and I guess it hasn't stopped yet.  Here I am, again, deciding a direction.

I am changing the direction of this blog - slightly.  We are still about exploring small scale farming, and all that entails.  There will always be humorous stories of our never-ending adventures.  We are going to focus more on ways to enjoy what we grow and taking full advantage of what is in season.  I have come to the realization that I am too old, and too tired to grow enough volume to feed large numbers of people.  Without the volume, it is not profitable to sell at market or to try to sell wholesale.  I am dialing things back and looking at it from another angle.  Those things are always an option, but will take time to plan and make happen. 

We will continue to grow and sell the items that we have been producing for the last year.  We have a small, loyal customer base that has been with us.  Selling our extra will help to pay some of the expenses, and we can feel good about sharing a healthy bounty with neighbors and friends.  It is a win/win for all of us.  We are adding bee-keeping to our adventure, and yes, the girls are home.  I will fill you in on the big move soon.  We are going to just keep it small, and focus on preserving and putting up the bounty of each season.  There are some things that I would like to know.  Like...

How many tomatoes do you need to put up sauce for a year?

Can I make pickles?

What about Salsa?

Beans?  Frozen or canned?

Is it possible to make jelly with less sugar?

Beef Jerky?


Do I really want to try to make cheese again?

Can I grow a more digestible variety of wheat?

And, honey?

Please let there be honey?

Herbal soaps?

Can I get some pesto?

Can I grow and dry all of my own herbs for cooking?

This is not an ongoing list that I pulled out of my pocket.  These are just off the top of my head.  There are many more questions.  I think you might be getting the picture.  I think most of us want to eat healthier.  I think most of us want more control over our food and what goes in it.  I think some of us would like to lose a few pounds.  I also think it will be fun to figure all of this stuff out. 

Can we eat better, for less money, and have a little fun doing it?

Let's find out.

Follow me down a new road.

It will be fun.

This way...


  1. How exciting! A new adventure. I had a friend that only made jams/jelly with there is a way. I am interested in learning to bake with nut flour.

  2. Love to hear more on jams/jellies with honey...sounds like it would be easy enough, and I love the idea of a more natural sweetener.

    I know nothing about baking with nut flour. I did however see someone making a bread with quinoa flour? It was some health show and they were talking about post-workout diets.

    Sorry, but that's all I've got right now.

  3. Can't wait to see what you come up with. I am working the dirt trying not to be fooled by the sweet rain we had the other day. I will wait till fall and continue to pray for rain. Well the yard calls or maybe the dogs... well someone is making racket out there. Have a good one my favorite farmer. Love you T