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Tomato Time

It’s Tuesday morning, the sun is shining, and it rained last night. Boy, did it rain! Unfortunately for some in North Texas the thunderstorms brought tornadoes. Our hearts go out to those everyone who got hit yesterday. It’s something Texans know all too well every Springtime. We needed the rain desperately, but we know that Spring thunderstorms can turn quickly into devastation for so many.

The good news is that the rain helped somewhat with those battling the wildfires to our west. We ask you to pray for those that are struggling to get the fires under control. The wildfires have burned thousands of acres and destroyed homes, livestock, and the livelihoods of many of our neighbors.

Over ninety percent of Texas is in some stage of drought and our part of the state is in the severe drought stage. We’re irrigating daily so every little bit of rain helps Opal’s Farm. We’re going to continue doing the rain dance but we’re leaving out the severe part…

We had some wonderful volunteers come out Sunday to help plant the first of our tomatoes. Ridglea Presbyterian Student Ministries came out for an afternoon of fun and service. Tomatoes got planted, weeds got pulled, and trellis stakes driven in. My back says a big thank you for all your help!

The kids have got it down!
And Jameson was on duty as well!

We haven’t had a big variety at market the last couple of weeks but know that Spring is here and everything’s popping up. Look for new veggies each week as the season progresses!

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Betting on Spring

I was sitting on the porch drinking coffee and listening to the sweet songs of the mockingbird that perches on our catalpa tree every Spring. When I got to the Opal’s Farm, I saw the first robins skittering across the newly turned soil. We had what I hope is the last freeze this past Friday night. The lettuces and Tokyo Bekana that was beginning to sprout survived with flying colors. I feel ready to say that Spring has finally sprung here in North Texas. Then again, it is North Texas…

I love when the robins flock to the farm. I enjoy watching them because I know that they know where the worms are and earthworms are one indicator of healthy soil. I pulled some turnips yesterday and saw the mycelium covering their roots. My kids laugh at me about how excited I get to see such things but quite frankly, I don’t care. Healthy soils mean healthy plants. Healthy plants mean wonderful flavor and maximum nutritional value for our customers and those we serve!

This Spring promises to be a pronounced difference from last year. The historic 2021 ice storm and the uncommonly wet May caused dramatic losses to our Spring crops. Everything seems to be on track this year for a successful Spring for Opal’s Farm. Our compost pile is growing (Thank you Carpool Compost!) along with our wood chips for mulch (Thank you J Davis Tree Company!). In fact, we have wood chips available to our community if anyone needs some for their Spring gardens!

We weren’t at Cowtown Farmers Market this week, but we will be there next Saturday. It’s been hit and miss since the first of the year. We didn’t even get to go to market from the first week in January until last week. It was so good to see so many of our regular customers and share Saturday morning with our fellow vendors. We missed you all! We have some of the most awesome folks who share their Saturday mornings with us.

Our Spring Volunteer Sign Up calendar will be updated today. Stacey Harwood, our Volunteer Coordinator, tells me that weekends are beginning to fill up with large groups coming out so be sure and schedule your groups as soon as possible.

We can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are that Spring is finally here. Come and join us as we work the soil, plant Spring crops, and eagerly await the anticipated abundance Opal’s Farm gives us each year!

As always – you can donate to Opal’s Farm at http://www.unityunlimited.org or at our stall at Cowtown Farmers Market. Every dollar you donate to Opal’s Farm is goes to providing a healthy meal to our neighbors. Every dollar you spend at Cowtown Farmers Market helps those with no access to fresh, nutritious produce have a healthy meal and builds our neglected communities!

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New Date!

Good Icy Texas Morning to you all! It’s not as cold as yesterday but it looks like this front is sticking around longer than we’d like and the roads are still treacherous. We’ve rescheduled “A New Community Vision for Fort Worth” for March 9th at TCC South Campus. We want a strong showing from our community so please come. The evening features a conversation with Ms. Opal Lee well as a showcase by Ballet Folklorico Fort Worth, Inc.

Unity Unlimited, Inc. is so pleased to be hosting this event. The registration link is https://dallastrht.org/event/a-new-community-vision-for-fort-worth/

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Brrrrr…

I went to the farm this morning to work on the tiller for our Kubota Tractor (thanks to our sponsor, Zimmerer Kubota!) and was met by a coating of ice across the steel machine. It appears winter has made it’s (hopefully) last gasp. It’s brutally cold this morning and after several failed attempts to extract a broken shear bolt, I too, made my last gasp and headed home to take Margaret to the doctor. Generally, I don’t like taking time off from the farm, but I was secretly thrilled to have a reason to be out of the February cold.

Please know that if you scheduled time to volunteer today, we are closing Opal’s Farm to volunteers. Not only is it unbelievably cold but we would hate for anyone to endanger themselves on the road. Some bridges have patches of ice so please be careful out there.

The onions are in as well as most of our potatoes. Everything is watered and covered in hay to avoid the next couple of freezing nights. We hope next week brings us warmer, and wetter, weather. We are excited to get the Spring crops growing and have more selection at Cowtown Farmers Market.

We’ve been absent from the market far longer than we anticipated. Thankfully it’s not because of lack of produce, but it has been COVID-related issues. Many folks seem to think that the pandemic is over. Unfortunately, that’s not true. It’s still out there halting work and causing hardship; particularly for the unvaccinated. I’m not going to preach about common sense safety measures everyone should observe – if not for them then for their community – but please, if you’re feeling under the weather please stay home and take care of yourself. That helps us take care of ourselves as well.

That being said…

It looks like we have a couple of more weeks to go before returning to Cowtown Farmers Market. We miss you guys and hope to see everyone soon.

A final note: Unity Unlimited was scheduled to host the DTRST, A New Community Vision for Fort Worth, tonight at TCC South Campus. Due to the possibility of freezing rain and treacherous rods, this event id being reschedule in the first part of March. We are finalizing the dates and we’ll let you know. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you’ll be part of this event.