About the Farm

100 Degree Harvest 6-27-12Four String Farm offers pastured pork, pastured poultry, fresh eggs, and seasonal vegetables and herbs throughout the year.  No hormones, steroids, or antibiotics are given to our animals.  We never use chemical pesticides or fertilizers on our plants.

Our products are available at Coastal Bend Health Foods, in Rockport’s Heritage District, next door to Latitude.  E-mail us at justinbutts@clearwire.net with questions or suggestions.

25 responses

  1. Hi Justin,
    Donna Pazera has been so excited by your pioneer farm. I too have lightly stepped into this in the piney woods of east Tx. Down visiting, wonder of we could stop by this a.m.?
    Andrea Hawk

  2. Hi there! Thanks for following my blog. Hope you continue to enjoy it. You’ve led an interesting life, and I appreciate what you’re doing now. I’m from Houston and graduated from UT Austin so I have many Aggie friends as well. :)

  3. Hi, my sister, Frances went to one of your seminars. She said she learned more from you than anyone in her gardening experience. Anyway, she thought you might have some suggestions for me on my cutter ant problem (I live in Port A on a sand dune…there are a ba-zillion cutters). They are truly my biggest problem (enemy) w/garden. Can you help? BTW…loved the narrative titled “Wee Wife”

    • Thank you so much Freda for your kind words! Cut ants are our biggest problem in the garden, as well. Pretty much every garden cycle, our gardens are damaged by cut ants. Sometimes, we have a lot of damage. Cut ants are reason I developed so many gardens separated by a long distance, so if I lost one garden, there would still be others in production. People can hardly believe how much damage these imported pests from South America can do, in such a short time. Cut ants are a devastating pest; they make it basically impossible to farm in our area. However, they are such a localized problem, there has not been a genuine scientific initiative to discover a reasonable treatment.

      Here is what we do: First, I check every garden every day–or even better at night with a headlamp, when the cut ants are active. As soon as I see a trail of cut ants, or signs of a mound, I immediately treat it, no matter what else is going on. You can’t leave them and come back later, or you may have no garden to come back to. We treat the mound with molasses tea. To make molasses tea, fill a five gallon bucket one-quarter full with grade molasses from the local feed store. Then fill the remainder of the bucket with water, and let it sit for a week. That is molasses tea. (You can also use turpentine tea, made the same way. But please don’t use one of the chemical poisons, because the highly toxic poison will stay in the ground for years, maybe decades, and it still will not eliminate the cut ants.)

      Find the hole where the trail of cut ants is going into the ground. Place a funnel (from an auto parts store) into the hole, then pour the five gallon bucket of molasses tea slowly into the funnel. The molasses will run down the mound and disrupt the bacteria that the cut ants in the mound are feeding on. As the water evaporates, the molasses residue will remain in the mound, and cut ants will not return for a long time.

      This treatment will not kill the cut ants; it will only move their mound. But nothing ultimately kills a cut ant mound–that is the genius of cut ants. The reason is that only one queen feeds on a given mound, but there are 20 or more “ladies in waiting” in separate compartments away from the main mound. If you poison the mound, the ladies in waiting each go and form separate mounds with new workers, and this continues indefinitely. However, if you keep your molasses on hand and treat the new mounds every time they form, you can keep the under control, because they will always be building mounds, and not eating your gardens. By the way, cut ant are most active after a rain, so check your gardens carefully after every rain.

      Good luck with the cut ants! I realize at this point that I should devote a post to this subject! Thank you so much for your kind words! Have a wonderful day!

  4. I’m doing a three sisters garden this year and so far I am having wonderful results. I found your blog just in time as well. I had already gotten pretty far into the whole thing but finding your blog put my heart as ease, to actually KNOW I am doing it right! I enjoy reading your posts often! Will send pictures soon!

  5. I’ve been following Gary Myers at RedTree Times for years, and noticed your comment about the paper wasps there recently. I’m in League City now, but used to live and work in the Victoria area, and spent years sailing the Texas coast – lots of good times in Rockport Harbor and at Key Allegro.

    I’m glad to learn about your farm and your produce. I get down that way from time to time, and will be sure to stop by the store, at minimum, when I’m there. I’m going to send a link to your site to Bill and Cherie Guerrant, who do your sort of farming at White Flint Farm in southern Virginia. They’re the ones who finally got me to start trying to find grass fed beef, organic eggs and so on.

    I’m pleased to have found your blog. I’ve subscribed and look forward to following you.

    • Thank you so much! We have also had some times down at the Rockport Harbor–we sold at the farmer’s market down there for a few years, and had customers walk off of their boats to come shop with us. We once completely stocked a boat for a trip to the Bahamas with eggs, pork, chicken, and all kinds of produce. That was something else, making everything fit, so they could eat farm fresh food all the way the Bahamas!

      If you get back to Key Allegro, try the Chartroom for dinner, it is amazing! The chef, Chris Veatch, is truly outstanding. Please do stop by the store, and let us know when you are passing through!

  6. Hi, I am very interested in getting started on a heritage garden of my own. I was wondering if it is possible to come and visit your farm to see what your garden looks like in person?

    • Hello Amy! Congratulations in advance on your new garden! Thank you so much for your interest in our place. We are going to have a farm tour and lecture at our place in April. We will pick one Saturday in April for this, and one in May. We are working out the details and the date. I will post an update with plenty of notice on the blog. If you subscribe to the blog, the updates will come to your e-mail.

      During the tour and lecture, we will show all the details of our process. I hope you can make it! Thanks so much Amy, have a wonderful day!

  7. We would love to visit your farm as well! I have two young boys that would totally enjoy it, and I know I could learn so much. Please!!!

    • Hello JD! Thank you so much for your interest! We will host a gardening class and Farm Tour on one Saturday in April, May, and June this year. We are just about to release the date for March with details. If you click on “subscribe” on this blog, you will get the updates mailed to you, and will get all the information.

      We are so excited to see you and the boys! Thank you again, I look forward to meeting you! Justin

  8. A close friend of ours recommend we buy our chick from you. We recently moved into our house here in Rockport, have my coop built and ready for chicks so we can enjoy fresh eggs as well as admire the hens. Are you currently selling chicks, and if so what varieties do you have. Thank-you
    Lil joe

    • Hello Lil Joe! We do not sell day-old chicks from our farm. You can order chicks from Ideal Poultry or from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio. These hatcheries will mail to you day-old chicks of many different varieties. You can get varieties that lay blue, green, pink, light brown, dark brown, or white eggs. You can also get broiler chickens through these hatcheries. Remember to have a good brooder ready to go when your chicks arrive. Good luck with your chicks!

  9. Hi Justin we have met a couple times at the CQ classes in Ingleside that Tyler puts on I have two 10×10 sections planted in my garden and really close are two large ant beds of the big red cut ants question is will they eat up my garden.
    I remember you talking about how to pour molasses down the main hole to get rid of them……what do you mix with the molasses to make it thinner to pour down the hole?
    Thanks
    Rick

    • Hello Rick! Cut ants definitely can and will eat the plants out of your garden. Their underground mound does not need to be close to your garden. They can chew your plants into small pieces and carry them a half-mile or more away to a mound.

      To get rid of cut ants, you can pour molasses tea down the hole where the cut ants are taking your plants. To make molasses tea, pour one to two tea spoons of liquid molasses into a gallon of water. Stir or shake the mixture well to make sure the molasses dissolves. To make it easy on yourself, you can fill a five gallon bucket with your molasses tea, and use a funnel in the ant hole to direct the flow, and slowly pour the bucket of molasses tea into the mound. If the cut ants reappear in a few days, you may have to repeat this process a few times–the ants can reappear even if you sue highly toxic poisons. Five gallons of molasses tea is very inexpensive.

      Please let me know how this works for you! With any luck, you will never have a cut ant attack, but that seems almost too much to ask in our area! Thanks Rick!

  10. I am excited to find this farm so close to Corpus Christi. Do you sell to the public from the farm as well as the store next to Latitudes restaurant in Rockport?

    • Hello Janice! We do not sell from our farm, only through Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport. We also sell our pork through Edelen Farms. Greg Edelen attends the South Side and Downtown Farmers’ Markets in Corpus Christi.

      Coastal Bend Health Foods is a wonderful store, and the owner Kimmi is an excellent resource for local and organic food in South Texas. If it is fresh, local, and good, Kimmi probably carries it! Thank you so much Janice for your interest in our farm! Justin

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