Last Performance of Kayla in Clue–The Musical

Kayla as the Detective in Clue–The Musical

Friends, today is the last chance to see Kayla perform in “Clue–The Musical”.  Check the ticket office at Harbor Playhouse before you drive over.  Today’s performance will likely sell out.

The cast is great, some really good talent, but I hope they don’t hold it against me if I think Kayla steals the show.  She is so completely hilarious, especially her physical comedy.  She is in the performance how she always is, but on stage it is just hilarious.  There are so many funny things, I won’t give anything away–but when she takes the drink of triple Scotch, you will be rolling.  I will say will no more.

Her singing and dancing is great also, and she is completely gorgeous, even in a suit and tie.  I am probably biased, but even still, it is a good show.  I hope you can make it!

Check Out the February 2018 Issue of The Bend Magazine!

Friends, I am so excited about the February 2018 issue of The Bend Magazine!  In this issue, I was privileged to write a feature story titled “Where Legends are Real” about a modern working cattle ranch and the true cowboys of South Texas.  Michael Diamante did an amazing job on the photography.

Kayla and I joined Tim Fitch of Palo Verde Cattle Company for an old-fashioned cattle round-up and met the real-life cowboys who work the cattle just the way it was done back in the 1800’s.  These hardworking men are not pretentious in any way.  They are kind, gracious, smart, and funny.  And these guys are very serious about their work.

For me, the best part is Cash Fortenberry, a ten-year-old cowboy working the round-up next to his dad.   Cash’s father is teaching him priceless lessons in responsibility, discipline, and grit that he could learn nowhere else.  And Cash is learning a love of freedom that will propel the cattle business into the next generation.

Our Farm-to-Table recipes on page 77 are all about breakfast bowls–sweet, savory, and grainy!  The photography in this article is so completely beautiful.  Photographer Rachel Benevides is just the best.  There is also a gardening article called “The Waggle Dance” on page 62 that explains how bees use a dance on the hive to give directions to a new nectar source!

There are many great articles as well about music, culture, and more, please don’t miss this issue!


Salatin’s Visit to Four String Farm Netted $2,790 for South Texas Farmers

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm

Joel Salatin’s visit to Four String Farm raised $2,790 for Hurricane Harvey relief for South Texas farmers.  This money was raised through donations at the on-farm event, ticket sales at the dinner, and book sales from Salatin’s books.  Thank you so much to all who participated in this wonderful event!

All of the revenue raised at the event was donated to farmers in South Texas who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  Kayla and I did not keep or make any money from the event.  We were thrilled to pass this money to our Farm Share partners to offset losses from the hurricane:  Spirit Pioneering FarmWhole Earth FarmTurkey Hollow FarmPalo Verde Cattle Company, Future Focus Farm, and Groundswell Farm.

Thank you again to Joel Salatin for making this event possible!  We have been so inspired by your visit!  And thank you to sponsors Dr. Mohammad Emran of SpringCure Foundation, Oh Goodie Designs + Events, Water Street Seafood, The Bend Magazine, , and Hester’s Cafe, for creating such an amazing day!

Joel Salatin Visit an Overwhelming Success!

Joel Salatin Leading Farm Tour

Joel Salatin’s visit to South Texas last week was an overwhelming success.  I can’t think of anything that would have made this day better or more special.  We are so thankful for Joel Salatin and our wonderful sponsors for making this event possible, and for the many good folks who visited our farm and shared dinner with us.

Joel refused payment of any kind, not even an honorarium, for making the trip.  He said his spirit would not allow it.  Joel Salatin is the most well-known farmer in the world because of his ideas and his vision for the future of sustainable farming.  Now, after getting to know him, I am even more impressed by his humility, his servant’s heart, and his passion to make this world a better place.

You can find more pictures from these events on our Facebook page. We invite you to tag us in your post and add your own pictures as well.

Farm Tour and Talk at Four String Farm

We had about 150 visitors at our farm on Friday afternoon.  This would be an impressive turnout at any farm in Texas, but is particularly special in the middle of a school/work day in our little town, which is still recovering from the hurricane.  Thank you to the sponsors who made this possible (please see them listed below and visit them soon—they are great people!)

I believe most of the small-scale farmers in South/Central Texas were with us on Friday!  There were farmers from Austin, Houston, Sealy, Nixon, Cleveland (about six hours away), San Antonio, Victoria, Cuero, Beeville, Brownsville, and one very special farmer who came all the way from Louisiana.  There were many students from TAMUK, who came with their soil science professor, Dr. David Ruppert.  Most of the folks who came just wanted to support a good cause.

Originally, I had planned a farm tour with Joel Salatin to start the day.  You may laugh, but I was expecting maybe five or six really committed small-scale farmers would be there to join us.  Instead, we had 150 people surrounding Joel as we started the tour!  It was the shortest farm tour in history.  I led Joel to a high spot by the lake where he began to answer questions.  After a short time in the hot sun, we led everyone back under the tent to continue the discussion.  Joel talked and answered questions for three straight hours.  He never stopped or slowed down, it was quite impressive.  His talk was inspirational and perfect for the occasion.

Justin Introducing Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin Presenting at FARMATASTROPHE HEALING

Christy Ilfrey with Beautiful Native Plants

Sponsor’s Tables

Sold Out Dinner at Water Street Seafood

The sold-out dinner was perfect.  The decorations, the music, the ambiance, the wonderful people, everything was beautiful, and the food was amazing.  The farmers who grew this food were honored at the dinner, and there was huge applause as each of them was introduced.  Carol Koutnik gave Joel the gift of one of her paintings from the series Fantastic Garden.   Richard Lomax, Director of Operations for Water Street Seafood, announced the partnership of Water Street Seafood with the Farm Share going forward.  It was an unforgettable night.

Table Arrangements of Fresh Produce for Guests to Take Home after Dinner

Mojito with Eleanor’s Juice and Four String Farm Mint

Seed Packets for All Guests

Jo Anne Howell, Joel Salatin, Justin, and Kayla

Thank you to Joel Salatin and Our Wonderful Sponsors

Thank you Joel Salatin for visiting us in South Texas.  We hope you know how welcome, appreciated, and invited you are to return!  We hope to bring you back to view our raft gardens, hügelkulturs, and lake muck fertilizer in action!

We are so thankful for the support of SpringCure Foundation, led by our friend Dr. Mohammad Emran.  Because of the generosity and vision of Dr. Emran, the afternoon farm event was FREE and open to the public.  Dr. Emran is leading a health revolution in South Texas, we are excited to tell you more about him soon.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors Water Street Seafood, The Bend MagazineOh Goodie Designs + Events, and Hester’s Cafe for your generous support!  If you have an event of any kind, ever, from a wedding to business luncheon, please call Jo Anne Howell of Oh Goodie Designs + Events.  Jo Anne is so completely buttoned up, professional, creative, and tasteful, and she can turn any room (even the woods of our farm!) into an elegant setting.  Jo Anne donated her time and brilliance to make this event a success.  We could not have done it with her.

Of course, we must thank the farmers who made the dinner possible:  Spirit Pioneering FarmWhole Earth FarmTurkey Hollow FarmPalo Verde Cattle Company, and Groundswell Farm.  If you met any of these good folks, you know how completely blessed we are to work with such amazing people.  They lift and inspire us every day, they are truly the salt of the earth.

We are so thankful for our afternoon event sponsors:  Hollie Schaub of Fed by Bread; Kimmi of Kimmi’s Fine Foods;  Grow Local South Texas and the Bawktoberfest Urban Chicken Coop Tour; Spencer of Roastorium Coffee; Jessica Gignac of Eleanor’s Coffee Bar + Market ; Ginger Easton-Smith with Texas Agri-Life; Karey Swarthout of GLOW of Rockport ; Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds; and Premier1 Fence Supplies.

Finally, we are so thankful to our neighbors Mike and Ginette Collins for letting our guests park at their beautiful property next door.  Mike and Ginette are great people and the best of neighbors.

Please visit these wonderful sponsors and find out more about them.  We have such a great community in South Texas because of these folks, we could not be more thankful for all of them.

We have many requests to hold another event like this Joel Salatin visit, and we will!  Stay tuned, we have a great event in the works!  Thank again friends for an wonderful day!

Get Tickets Here for Farm-to-Table Dinner with Joel Salatin, Fri, Oct 20, 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Intensive Successive Companion Planting

Friends, tickets are now available for a Farm-to-Table dinner with Joel Salatin at Water Street Seafood in Corpus Christi on Friday, October 20th, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.  Click here to reserve your seats now.

Join us for evening of great conversation, live music, and locally-raised food cooked to its perfection.  Joel Salatin, the internationally-acclaimed speaker, author, and farmer, will give a fascinating presentation during the dinner.  All proceeds will benefit local farmers impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Click here to reserve your seats now!

This family-style dinner will feature the fresh produce, grass-feed beef, pastured chicken, lamb, and more from local farms impacted by Hurricane Harvey:  Spirit Pioneering Farm, Whole Earth Farm, Turkey Hollow Farm, Palo Verde Cattle Company, and Groundswell Farm.  The farmers will also be honored at the dinner.

There will be signature cocktails and a meet-and-greet with Joel Salatin, one of the most dynamic and influential speakers in America.  You can also sign up to receive an autographed copy of Joel Salatin’s groundbreaking book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal, when you reserve your tickets.

Live Music to be Performed by Ty Dietz!

Live music will be provided by our friend Ty Dietz!  We are so happy to have this local, authentic, completely original musician to perform at this dinner.  Ty is a great performer and a good friend.  I was fortunate to play bass with Ty in my early days of farming, which paid the bills until our farm could support itself.  We recorded a CD together at Willie Nelson’s studio on the Pedernales, which will be available at the dinner.

Look for a Special Announcement at this Dinner!

We will have a special announcement to reveal at the dinner!  If you love wholesome, chemical-free food, locally raised, freshly-picked by your local farmer and cooked to its perfection at your favorite restaurant, you will not want to miss this announcement!

Join Us for this Landmark Dinner!

We invite you to join us for this landmark farm-to-table dinner in South Texas.  Don’t miss this premiere event featuring amazing food, a fascinating speaker, and a great cause!

Click here to reserve your seats now!

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors Water Street Seafood, SpringCure Foundation, The Bend Magazine, Oh Goodie Designs + Events, and Hester’s Cafe for making this event possible!

About Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is considered “the most famous farmer in the world” and “the most innovative farmer in America”.  Salatin was featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma and the award-winning documentary Food Inc. He has published ten books, numerous videos, and most recently the acclaimed Polyfaces Film.  Salatin is owner of the multi-generational Polyface Farm in Virginia.  He travels the world speaking to groups as diverse as Wall Street CEO’s, rural farmers in Australia, and the Royal Family in England.

Free Event at Four String Farm, Fri, Oct 20 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm–Meet Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

Friends, join us this Friday, October 20th, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at Four String Farm in Rockport to meet Joel Salatin, the most innovative farmer in the world!

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of SpringCure Foundation, led by our friend Dr. Mohammad Emran, this event will be FREE and open to the public.  We expect a wonderful gathering of good folks interested in food and farming.  I have heard from farmers as far away as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, and many places in between, who will visit us, plus many local folks interested in good food.

We will have many great sponsors with information and products, please read below to find out more.  This will be a wonderful day with great people, please don’t miss it!

What to Wear, What to Bring

Please wear long pants and close-toed shoes to this event.  Boots and blue jeans are recommended.  Also, bring your favorite brand of mosquito spray, just in case.  Wear a hat if it is sunny and a rain coat if it is rainy!  We will hold the event rain or shine, as always on our farm, so please dress for the weather.  There will be a big tent, restrooms available, and food and beverages for sale at the Hester’s Food Truck.  There will be a valet service to park your car.  Children of all ages are welcome!

How to Get Here

Our address is 211 Spring Lane, Rockport, TX 78382.  Our farm is located approximately 30 miles north of Corpus Christi.  Please give yourself plenty of time to get here.  The roads are sometimes slow due to debris removal all over town.

Farm Tour at 2:00pm

Joel Salatin will tour our farm beginning at 2:00pm.  All farmers (and future farmers!) are welcome to join us for this tour.  Joel will offer ideas and suggestions for cultivating the land based on his vast experience with farms around the world.  Joel Salatin is THE most innovative farmer in the world, please don’t miss this tour if you are at all interested in good food!

Joel Salatin Talk and Question/Answer Session at 3:00pm

Joel Salatin will give a talk at 3:00pm followed by a question/answer session.  We have scheduled plenty of time to make sure everyone with questions can be included.  Salatin is one of the most sought-after speaker at colleges, TED Talks, by Wall Street CEO’s, the Royal Family in England, and groups around the world.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear this fascinating speaker in the open air right here in South Texas.  You can purchase a selection of Salatin’s books at this event.

Thank You to Our Wonderful Sponsors!

Kayla and I are so blessed to have such wonderful friends as these great sponsors listed below.  Please come and meet them, you will love them.  We will also host the farmers from Spirit Pioneering Farm, Whole Earth Farm, Palo Verde Cattle Company, Groundswell Farm, and Turkey Hollow Farm.  There will be many other great farmers here as well, come meet the local food network of South/Central Texas!

Thank you for joining us on this special day, it is a truly once-in-a-lifetime event for our farm, we are so thankful to share it with you!

SpringCure Foundation

Dr. Mohammad Emran

We are thrilled to have the support of SpringCure Foundation, led by our friend Dr. Mohammad Emran, which has made this event possible.  Because of the generosity and vision of Dr. Emran, this event is FREE and open to the public.  Dr. Emran is a surgeon in Corpus Christi who has authored two great books and has many programs in the works.  Dr. Emran is leading a health revolution in South Texas, I hope you have an opportunity to meet this amazing man and find out more about his organization.

Oh Goodie Designs + Events

Kayla and I could not get this event off the ground without the generous support and brilliant eventsmanship of Jo Anne Howell of Oh Goodie Designs + Events!  If you have any kind of event, especially a wedding or something that has to be perfect, you must call Jo Anne!  She is so buttoned up, so professional, and so completely good at this.  And she is so much fun to work with.  Thank you Jo Anne, you are the BEST!

Hester’s Café

Food and beverages will be provided for sale by Hester’s Café!  We are so thankful to Hester and Jason for bringing their wonderful products to our farm!  Hester and Jason have been customers of ours, and an inspiration to us, for a long time.  Enjoy some great food and drinks while you are here!

Kimmi’s Fine Foods

We are so happy to have our friend and partner Kimmi of Kimmi’s Fine Foods with us!  Kimmi has been our friend, supporter, cheerleader, coach, strategist, consultant, and pep-talker since the beginning, and she is now part of our family.  Kimmi’s Fine Foods in Rockport will be reopening shortly, ask Kimmi for details and visit her store soon!

Grow Local South Texas

The folks at Grow Local South Texas will bring a lot of great information to the event, and, even better, they will bring an adorable giant chicken!  Sat, Oct 21 is the Bawktoberfest Urban Chicken Coop Tour in Corpus Christi.  Please sign up for this tour for inspiration, ideas, and wonderful products, and connections with the local food community!  Grow Local is a wealth of knowledge of about local food, growers, legislation, and support—and they host the fantastic Downtown Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays in Corpus Christi.  This group is a leading voice in the local food movement, please ask them how you can be a part of it!

Roastorium Coffee

Spencer of Roastorium Coffee will bring some samples of his extremely high-quality delicious coffee.  Don’t miss this navy veteran who knows the business about coffee!

Eleanor’s Coffee Bar + Market

Eleanor’s Coffee Bar + Market will have some wonderful items to show and sample.  Jessica Gignac is our wonderful Farm Share partner in Corpus Christi.  We have loved visiting Eleanor’s every Friday, it is a beautiful and special place.  Eleanor’s adds elegance to everything.  If you want the perfect cup of coffee (or juice, tea, or many other fine products) visit Eleanor’s today!

Texas Agri-Life

Our friend Ginger Easton-Smith will share information about Texas Agri-Life.  Ginger is the Agricultural Extension Agent for Aransas and San Patricio counties.  She is leading many great programs in our area—but be sure to ask her about her experience in Hawaii.  Ginger has studied and worked in agriculture in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

GLOW of Rockport

Our friend Karey Swarthout of GLOW of Rockport will present a very special product at this event!  Karey has developed her own locally-made sea salt from the waters of our very own bay!  This is a very special, rare, and utterly wholesome and delicious product made by Karey, by hand.  Karey will donate the proceeds of her sea salt sales to college scholarships for kids from Rockport.  Find out how to get this lovely sea salt (while you can, it will sell out fast!) and support a great cause.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Baker Creek Hierloom Seeds is the leading provider of heirloom seeds in America.  We have planted many thousands of their seeds over the years–all those hierloom veggies of ours that you love started as seeds at Baker Creek.  Baker Creek will send information and free seed packets to this event!  Baker Creek has been a great supporter of hurricane recovery projects; we are so glad to have them.

Premier1 Fence Supplies

We will offer brochures and information about Premier1 Fence Supplies.  Even better, we will demonstrate a Premiere1 electric poultry netting fence in action!  This display will show you exactly the system for pasturing chickens.

We still have time to add sponsors!  If you would like to be part of this event, please e-mail me  You are welcome to bring a few items to showcase your business, we will be glad to help you set up.

Thank you again for joining us on this beautiful day!  We look forward to seeing you Friday!

Joel Salatin to Visit Four String Farm on Fri, Oct 20!

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

Friends, we are thrilled to announce that Joel Salatin will visit Four String Farm on Friday, October 20!  We are so unbelievably excited to host the most innovative farmer in America right here on our farm!  Please join us for this extraordinary event!

This event is called FARMATASTROPHE HEALING (aptly named by Joel).  Joel will tour Four String Farm on the afternoon of Friday, Oct 20, to be followed by a dinner later that evening (details to be announced shortly, we are finalizing now).  Joel will speak at the farm and host a question/answer session, and he will speak at the dinner as well.

About Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is considered “the most famous farmer in the world”.  He has been called “the most eclectic thinker to come out of Virginia since Thomas Jefferson” and “the most innovative farmer in America”.  Joel Salatin is THE leader of the local food movement throughout the world.  He is a true revolutionary for small-scale farmers and producers.  Joel Salatin is “America’s farmer”.

Joel was featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma and the award-winning documentary Food Inc.  Salatin owns the multi-generational Polyface Farm in Swoope, VA.  Polyface Farm services more than 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, and 10 retail outlets.  Salatin pioneered the “pastured” food movement by pasturing cattle, chickens, turkeys, and hogs on his farm and teaching the world his methods through books, videos, and public speaking.

Salatin has published ten books on farming, including YOU CAN FARM; Pastured Poultry Profits; Folks, This Ain’t Normal; and Everything I Want to Do is Illegal; plus numerous DVD’s and the recent Polyfaces Film.  He travels the world speaking to diverse groups, from small-scale farmers in rural Australia to Fortune 500 CEO’s on Wall Street.

Joel Salatin to Bring Inspiration and Expertise to South Texas

Salatin will bring inspiration and valuable expertise around farming and local food to our community following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.  Joel Salatin is my absolute farming hero–the man whose ideas we based our farming methods on–and I can’t tell you how excited and honored we are to have him visit our farm!

We will post an itinerary shortly, how to book tickets, plus all other details.  For now, please mark your calendar and don’t miss this incredible event!  Look for updates coming soon!

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