Last week, we hosted a lovely event put on by the Sunday Supper Foundation. If you don't know about them, check out this Dallas Morning News article. The nonprofit was started by two friends who wanted to change the way Americans see refugees, so they started monthly dinner parties connecting local refugee families to the broader Dallas community. This month, Sakina, a single mom from Afghanistan with six children, cooked truly delicious rice, meatballs and other Afghan dishes for a group of about 60 people from all across the metroplex. As we gathered around several long tables in the barn, we heard the older girls in the family tell their story. “I feel like I’m on TV!” was said more than once. These girls love their mother so dearly, and their gratitude for her and the 60 hours a week she works to support them is evident and touching. What a privilege to meet them and help them on their journey! All of the proceeds from the dinner went home with the family.
We take excellence very seriously at Mars Hill, and one place you'll see it is in the precision of our beds. It takes a little imagination, but think of those stripes as aisles running between rows of gladiolus, ranunculas, sunflowers, cosmos, dahlias, and anemones, and you'll have a good idea of what spring will look like around here.
The perennial beds are going in toward the back of the property, as they will look pretty scraggly after they're cut, but when you come visit us in June, you'll see fields of riotous color from the annual beds next to the pavilion. We can't wait! And if you don't want to drive to Ferris, we'll deliver bouquets right to your door (certain zip codes only).
The cows left for the butcher a couple of weeks ago at 5:30 am, and the beef is now in the aging process. Apologies if that's a gruesome mental image, but we think you'll want to know that the number of stops between the farm and you is...one (NOT the case in commercial meat processing!). It will be ready in a few days, at which point it will take a ride in our refrigerated trailer to a pickup point in University Park, followed by a final stop at the farm for anyone who didn't make it to UP. If you haven't already ordered, now is the time! We are almost sold out of steaks, and the other boxes are going fast. We also have a buy-a-pound, give-a-pound option which sends fresh beef to Feed Thy Neighbor, a Dallas food bank.
We are currently in the process of hiring our first refugee farmer! We had a Syrian refugee set up to begin October 1, but at the last minute he decided to move his family to New York, so we have restarted our search with help from For the Nations Refugee Outreach. We've had interest from the Burmese community - traditionally farmers - as well as the Congolese community - traditionally shepherds - and are excited about the available candidates. We'll start with one full-time employee, and then staff up in the spring for harvesting, selling, and delivering the flowers and produce.
We also have had a couple of unexpected venue rentals - a TV commercial shoot and a party - and are looking into this as another form of revenue while we wait for our flowers to grow. Contact us if you're looking for a spectacular place for your next event!
And, don't forget about our bee removal services - Jonathan and Amos have been suiting up in all their gear to take unwanted hives from people's garages and re-home them on the farm. Keep an eye on the website for honey, coming soon!
Well, Amos taught Blake to drive the tractor last weekend, and he's totally hooked. Turns out, it's very complicated: to increase speed, you move the handle from the picture of the turtle to the picture of the rabbit. We put some of the new bales of hay on the trailer, and, voila! Hayride!
We'll be opening up for events soon, so let us know if you'd be interested in hosting a group out at the farm! Full party barn and pavilion with picnic tables available. Contact email@example.com.
We city folk have always thought "make hay while the sun shines" was just a directive to take advantage of pretty days: "Get outside!" "Enjoy nature!" But when you take possession of a farm with a field of uncut hay, you learn fast.
Turns out, hay has to be cut, dried, baled, and loaded into the barn before it rains, or else it will rot. So when rain showed up in the forecast, Jonathan looked at the field, looked at the cattle that will need something to eat all winter, and kicked it into high gear. He taught himself to use the baling equipment on the farm, and he and Amos spent all week cutting and baling in the 100+ degree Texas heat! Blake brought some teenage boy help down for the last day of haying - the loading process - and the hay made it into the barn just in the nick of time. Lots of gratitude all around for a smart, hard-working crew and RAIN to cool off this inferno!
These beauties went to decorate tables at a dinner for a Syrian refugee family whose car was hit in the parking lot of their apartment complex and totaled. The family cooked a delicious feast, and Dallas friends donated for the chance to eat salad, rice, chicken, kibbeh - including a gluten-free version! - and baklava, and hang out with the family's six kids. It's the mission of the farm to support these kinds of loving interactions, and we were pretty thrilled that our bouquets were gracing the tables where important connections were being made.
A bird's-eye view of what we get to see all the time. This coffee table never looked better!
The farm is up and running! Refugee plots are in full swing, and on any given weekend, you'll see cars parked on the side of the field and heads bobbing in knee-deep green shoots. The cattle are loving the green grass, and construction is starting on a new farmhouse.