Eden Creek Farm.

Early morning rose over Blooming Grove, TX, population 833. The overcast sky, much welcomed in Texas after a scorching summer, created a canopy of coziness over our entire hour drive from Dallas deeper and deeper into the country. We wound our way through the downtown center of Blooming Grove.  About 5 miles down the road, we saw a white pickup truck in the distance. It was Steve Orth, proprietor of Eden Creek Farm, ready to greet and usher us onto his property. He gave us a hearty wave and we entered the gate before him. The dirt road wound through evergreens and mesquite trees, and unsure of what would await us around the next turn, we began to feel that we were entering some kind of fairtytale land.  Finally, the road opened into a clearing where there stood not a wide-porched farmhouse, but a huge grey Adobe home – totally unexpected!

 

 

the orth's home
We were instantly greeted by the jovial married couple, Steve and Kristine Orth, who owns and runs Eden Creek Farms. They are clearly in love with each other and their work. Everything from the care of their home to the care of their fields was beautiful.

They offered us steaming cups of fine South Pacific coffee as we sat in their warm living room filled with the scent of incense.  The cozy wood stove and earthy colors were the perfect backdrop to the overcast morning.

We then began a tour of their farm so we could see all the amazing produce grown there, including the cleared land that is ready for new fall crops to be planted.  In our Crocs, boots, and tennis shoes, we began traipsing through the forest, led by Maya, the German Shepherd.  But Maya was only the first of the characters...we were soon introduced to Squeaky the pet squirrel. Kristine Orth rescued him as a baby, and he now lives in a spacious cage with his stuffed animals under a horse apple (bodark) tree.  He also enjoys belly rubs.

squeaky

We continued our walk, pausing to stoop down and pick some tart wild plums or sweet wild persimmons. A master gardener specializing in edible landscaping, Steve Orth would tear leaves off various plants, hand them to us, and say, “Here taste it! What does it taste like?” as he awaited our answer in childlike expectation. Just some of the goodies we sampled: lemon mint, edible hibiscus that tasted like fresh oranges, purple basil, gourmet cucumber, and gourmet salad greens.

wild plumAs we walked on through the forest, something amazing happened when we rounded a bend.  All of a sudden, four beautiful horses emerged gently from amidst the trees, as if from a scene out of Lord of the Rings.  They were just grazing there naturally.  Oh, how I love horses.  They are such frightening yet gentle creatures.  The horses hoped we had snacks for them, but we gave them some love instead.

 

steve orth with the horses

i'm a natural, don't you think?

Everything on their farm is grown 100% organically and never touched by chemicals


kristine orth in one of the fields

Along the tour, Steve and Kristine gathered a variety of items for us to take home and enjoy, including a squash that was so long it could wrap around your shoulder like a boa constrictor!

One of the great things about working with a local farm is the close relationship we can develop with the farmers.  Eden Creek is going to be growing some items especially for our co-op!  We can't wait to start sharing their farm-fresh bounty with our community!

gigantic zucchini, Torch of Tuscany squash, lemon cucumbers, onions, purple basil