Gardening Class at Four String Farm, Oct 1

Kayla Holding Cabbage with Bando

Kayla Holding Cabbage with Bando

Fall and winter is the best time of the year to garden in South Texas.  The weather is beautiful and cool, and you can grow the greatest amount of your favorite vegetables with minimal pest problems.

Kayla and I invite you to a fall/winter gardening class on Saturday, Oct 1, from 9:00am to 11:30am.  The class will be held at Four String Farm.

The class will focus on:  1) preparing the garden, 2) companion planting to maximize yield and variety, 3) the best way to water the plants, and 4) and how to control pests naturally.  You will learn about growing a wide range of vegetables, herbs, and flowers fit for the season without the use of any chemicals whatsoever.

There is a $20 registration fee for this class, advance registration required.  Children age five and under are welcome at no charge, but must be accompanied by parent.  Please do not bring pets.

Click here to pay $20 now to register for the class.  You will receive more details upon registration.  Registration closes the day before class.  Thank you so much!

Gardeners of all ages and skill levels are welcome.  Even if you have never planted a seed, you will go home with the knowledge to start your own successful garden!

What:  “Winter Gardening Class” with Justin and Kayla Butts

When:  Saturday, Oct 1, from 9:00am to 11:30pm.

Where:  Four String Farm

Who: Gardeners of all ages!

Kayla in Chard

Kayla in Chard

Kayla with Cabbage and Bando Checking In

Kayla with Cabbage and Bando Checking In

Kayla with Toscano Kale and The Killer

Kayla with Toscano Kale and The Killer

July Farm Share—Sign up Now!

Basket of Eggs

Friends, we now have openings in our July Farm Share!  We are thrilled to offer your family the best of our farm this summer!

The Farm Share this month is very flexible for vacationers. If you plan to be out of town for part of the month, no worries, your Farm Share will be waiting when you return!

The July Farm Share begins this week. You can pick up on Tuesdays or Fridays at Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport.  Or, if you let us know your schedule, you can can pick up multiple weeks from us on the same day!

July Farm Share is Protein Only

In July, the Farm Share will be protein only. Each week, you will receive cuts of grass-fed beef (steaks, roast, soup bones, ground beef, etc), pastured pork (chops, roast, ribs, bacon, ground pork, etc.), plus a dozen eggs. We will have a lot of wonderful fresh chicken in July as well!

Because this share is protein only, all the items will be frozen (except the fresh chicken and eggs). So, if you can’t pick up on any week due to vacation, your share will be ready for you when you get home! (We will gladly freeze your fresh chicken for you and have your eggs also.)

We are so glad to accommodate vacation schedules in these summer months, to make sure your family gets farm fresh food exactly when you are ready for it!

Cost for Share

The cost of your July Farm Share is $40 per week, or $160 for the month. Sign up this week to lock in your share.  Please pay for the month in advance of your first pick up.  I will e-mail you an invoice and further instructions upon payment.

To sign up for your July Farm Share, please click here:

(If you want to split this Farm Share with someone else, email me at and we will try to match you with a partner!)

Where to Pick Up

Please pick up your Farm Share on your designated day at Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport.  We will drop off your share at noon and Kimmi is open until 6:00pm.

Please let me know any questions! Thank you for joining the Farm Share! We look forward to taking great care of you!

Heritage Breed Porkers

Party CANCELLED Due to MORE Flooding! (Flooded Garden Kayak Tour, Sunday, June 5, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm!)

Justin Harvesting Produce with a Kayak (Photo by Mae Burke,

Justin Harvesting Produce with a Kayak (Photo by Mae Burke,

Friends, this event has been cancelled due to thunderstorms forecasted for this weekend.  There is an 80% chance of thunderstorms Sat and Sun, and more flooding expected between now and then.  We have learned to take these storm forecasts seriously.

It is bad luck to cancel a flooded garden party due to more flooding!  But, we’d rather be safe with everyone, then get caught in a storm on the lake.  For those wonderful people who already signed up, we will gladly reimburse you–I will contact you today to work out a refund.

Look for a rescheduled event later this summer.  Stay dry, friends, we hope to see you soon!  Justin and Kayla

Event Cancelled:  The recent flood destroyed more than half of our produce for the summer.  But with the help of our wonderful friends, we are turning this near-disaster into a celebration! Join us for live music, a kayak tour, Groovie Smoothies, a native plant sale, tasty food, and much more!

Advance registration and payment required so we can have everything ready for you, please see details below.

Kayak Tour of Lake and Flooded Gardens

Ryan Ford of Rockport Kayak will lead a private kayak tour of our lake and gardens. Ryan is a professional kayak tour guide and an expert in ecotourism. You don’t need a kayak, life-vest, or anything—Ryan will have everything you need. Just wear appropriate clothing for this adventure!

Since the recent flood, we have seen herons and egrets catching fish out of our gardens. This is bad for produce, but beautiful to watch. Enjoy this unique, up-close experience of the flora and fauna of our farm from a kayak view.

Live Music by Ty Dietz with Guest Appearance by Reverend Fred!

We are thrilled to host singer/songwriter Ty Dietz at this event! I can’t tell you how excited Kayla and I are to have Ty performing at our farm. Don’t miss this incredible entertainer, he is the best at what he does.

As an added bonus, our friend Reverend Fred will pick a few songs also! Only a great flood could bring such great musicians together on our farm.

Groovie Smoothie on Site!

Danya Heck will bring Groovie Smoothie to the event. You can purchase the delicious and healthy Groovie Smoothies of your choice from Danya with cash or credit card.

Native Dave Plant Sale!

Native Dave will bring a wide selection of native plants to sell. Dave’s property has so much flooding, he has little room even to store his wonderful plants. Now is great time for you to stock up on beautiful native plants while supporting a great local business.

Wonderful Food Available!

We will have some tasty treats available for you to fuel your kayak adventure. We will let you know the details soon–it will definitely be something delicious!

Register and Pay in Advance

The cost for this event is $50 per person, which includes your private kayak tour, bottled water, and some tasty treats in a beautiful setting.  The event is Sunday, June 5, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.  Come for any or all of that time.  This event has been cancelled due to weather.  I will send you details and directions upon registration.

Kayla and I are so thankful to have such wonderful friends, who are helping us turn the flood into something positive. We only need your presence to make it a party!

If we can’t get produce out of these gardens, let’s kayak over them! Join us for a great time!

Whole30 Workshop this Saturday at Four String Farm

Kayla Butts (photo by Michael Diamonte)Join Brittany Barnes and Kayla Butts at Four String Farm this Saturday, May 7, from 9:00am to noon, for a Whole30 Workshop!

Brittany is a Certified Natural Health Professional and Kayla is a registered and licensed dietitian (see more about the instructors below).

In this workshop, Brittany and Kayla will deconstruct this popular 30-day program to help you regain a healthy metabolism and decrease the amount of inflammation in your body.

The premise of the Whole30 program is “to change your life in 30 days”, and you can do it! This workshop will unlock the secrets and details of the Whole30 program and offer you insightful tips for a healthy diet.

Kayla Butts MS, RD, LD will begin the class by giving you an educational tour of the Four String Farm gardens and animal paddocks, explaining and illustrating how farming methods affect nutrition and health.

The second half of the class will take place indoors, where Brittany Barnes will lead a discussion of the Whole 30 program. She will prepare one of her favorite Whole30 dishes and answer all your questions in the process.

The class will include a meal plan as well as recipes for you to take home.

The cost for this class is $35. This will be a small class with personalized attention by Brittany and Kayla, and pre-registration and payment is required.

Please register for this class by clicking here: We are so sorry, this class is closed!  Please sign up on this site to receive updates about future classes.  Thank you so much!

What: Whole30 Workshop

Where: Four String Farm in Rockport, TX

When: May 7th, 9:00am to Noon

Cost: $35 (Pre-registration is required) We are so sorry, this class is closed!  Please sign up on this site to receive updates about future classes.  Thank you so much!

About the Instructors:

Brittany Barnes is a Level One Certified CrossFit Trainer who trains at Rockport Health & Fitness and for individuals. She completed her certification during her Senior year as a homeschool student. Whole body fitness is her passion, which led her to becoming a Certified Natural Health Professional in March 2016. She understands the balance between healthy eating and exercise which aid in a more productive lifestyle, and desires to help others achieve their goals also.

Kayla Butts is a registered, licensed dietitian, farmer, food writer, and home chef. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from The University of Texas and her Master of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. Her passion is making nutritious food accessible and practical. She loves teaching kids how to prepare their own meals, especially her three daughters.

Brittany Barnes 4-28-16

Look for Heirloom Produce at Kimmi’s Store

Pattison Strie Melange

Pattison Strie Melange

Friends, stop by Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport every day this week for beautiful heirloom produce freshly delivered from our farm.

This week, we are featuring rare heirloom squash that you won’t find anywhere else in South Texas.  We have more than 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs now ripening in our gardens.  These pictures show Kayla and Madeleine picking them for you!

We have some lovely French squash, called pattison.  You can find strie mélange, panache blanc et vert, and marbre.  You can also find the rare Italian ronde di nice.  Look for striped green cushaw, which is a very old Native American variety, along with Caserta and other unique varieties.

You will also find butternut, yellow crookneck, striped zucchini, scallopini, and many other tasty squashes.  There are freshly picked carrots, beets, collards, prima rosa chard, lettuce, Tuscan kale, nasturtium bouquets, and many other veggies.

We can’t wait for you to try these squash and let us know how you like flavor.  The techniques we employ to grow the sweetest and most flavorful produce are really beginning to tell.  Each squash has its own unique taste.  We hope you love these wonderful squashes and other veggies as much as we do!

Stop by Kimmi’s store to try this produce.  The prices are great and Kimmi will always greet you with a smile!

Caserta Squash

Caserta Squash

Patisson Panache Blanc et Vert and Lemon Squash

Patisson Panache Blanc et Vert and Lemon Squash

Ronde de Nice

Ronde de Nice

Prima Rosa Chard

Prima Rosa Chard

Super Sweet and Delicious Carrots

Super Sweet and Delicious Carrots

Patisson Golden Marbre

Patisson Golden Marbre

Nasturtium Bouquets

Nasturtium Bouquets

Luogo Blanco

Luogo Blanco

TAMUK Student Work Day

TAMUK 10 4-17-16

This Saturday, we had a workday with students from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Dr. David Ruppert is assistant professor of environmental soil science in the department of agriculture, agribusiness, and environmental science at TAMUK.  He brought his Soil Fertility students out for a day of work and learning. Dr. Ruppert has been studying and teaching about soil for more than 20 years. We are thrilled that Dr. Ruppert has taken an interest in our farm and the methods we employ to grow healthy soil.

Dr. Ruppert wanted his students to learn about small-scale farming through hands-on experience.  The students put in a full day of good work. Among the many tasks the students performed, including companion planting and adding soil amendments, they put down a lot of mulch.  To be specific, they placed about four tons of native leaf mulch on our gardens.

This raked-up, bagged leaf mulch was donated to our farm by our good friends in Rockport.  With the help of the TAMUK students, we were able to recycle these leaves and put them to good use.

The TAMUK students we met are the future farmers of South Texas. Several of them already work full-time in family farms, and most of them hope to soon find work farming. After spending a day with these students, I know that the future of agriculture is in good hands.

Thank you, Dr. Ruppert and students, for a wonderful day. You improved our farm with your presence.  You are welcome back to our place anytime.

TAMUK 2 4-17-16TAMUK pepper planting 4-17-16TAMUK JB 4-17-16TAMUK 1 4-17-16TAMUK 3 4-17-16TAMUK 4 4-17-16TAMUK 5 4-17-16TAMUK three sisters 4-17-16TAMUK 6 4-17-16TAMUK 7 4-17-16TAMUK 8 4-17-16TAMUK 9 4-17-16TAMUK 11 4-17-16TAMUK 12 4-17-16TAMUK 13 4-17-16

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