The chance for his kids to work alongside him day in and day out was one of the things that attracted Jonathan to farm life, having worked in a corporate career prior to being trained by the Foundations for Farming organization in Zimbabwe. Elizabeth Lavin

Nature

Exploring the Hard and Beautiful Realities of Dallas-Area Farm Life

Living on the farms that surround our cities is unpredictable and difficult. It’s also beautiful, and it’s why we dedicated these pages to the families who chose it.

Planning a feature about a flower farm—or any farm, for that matter—is a tricky thing for a long-lead publication. When I first reached out to the good folks at Mars Hill after stumbling upon their Instagram page last August, we’d just missed the peak of their blooming season. We made plans to revisit the idea in early spring. Then the freeze of February threw their timelines for a loop, so we postponed another few months. Even as this issue was preparing to go to press, our photo shoot was pushed because the Ferris farm’s 51,000 gladiolus bulbs hadn’t bloomed quite on schedule. Our staff photographer, Elizabeth Lavin, captured the images you’ll see in the story—which is available to read in the August print edition and online now—the day before we closed the magazine. 

Such is life on a farm. Mother Nature doesn’t abide by expectations or deadlines. The only constant is unpredictability. Area producers have perfected the unenviable art of growing crops and breeding animals in an unforgivingly hot and arid North Texas microclimate—and then 2021 throws an Icepocalypse at them, followed by a relentlessly rainy spring. And lest we forget the financial ramifications of a pandemic that gutted restaurants, a primary revenue stream for many. Nelson Carter and Hallee Douglass, who run the egg empire at Cartermere Farms, lost 98 percent of their business in 48 hours. 

But the families behind the farms we profiled—and countless others in the DFW area—are steadfast, adaptable, and resilient. They also, it probably goes without saying, need your support more than ever. I hope you enjoy reading their stories as much as we enjoyed telling them. Read it here

  

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