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Farm Visit Photo Essay

During the month of May, Coppell Farmers Market (CFM) staff and volunteers visited four farms in East Texas, ticking up the count to seven total farms visited since our market season began in April.  During these visits our market staff is aiming to verify that vendors are growing what they sell, and to learn more about how food is produced for our community.  All vegetable growers who sell at the Coppell Farmers Market are subject to up to three site visits annually, and farm audits whenever necessary.

Our staff and volunteers so thoroughly enjoyed the excursion to the east Texas countryside. In one day they visited Embry Family Farm and two more farms that sell a limited amount of produce at our market by way of the Emby Family Farm booth, as well as Alford Family Farm. The four farms are located in and around Emory, and each are beautiful and unique. During their return trip, our market staff and volunteers agreed that the Coppell community is fortunate to benefit from farmers who so carefully and consciously tend to their land to produce our food.

Patrick Embry, owner of Embry Family Farm, has become a staple vendor at our market and grows a wide variety of vegetables. During the visit our market representatives saw the last of the cool season crops, like kale and cabbage, and densely planted rows of well-established summer crops like tomatoes, squash, okra, eggplant, and beans. The Embry Family grows as much as they can on two acres and the whole family participates. Soon after leaving the driveway of Embry Family Farm, CFM representatives got a good look at a neighbor’s potato patch. The potatoes are sold at the CFM by the Embry Family.

Upon arrival, our market reps were greeted by Mr. & Mrs. Heatwole and their children at Fresh Pasture Farm, the second destination of the trip. The group got a tour of the garden and walked down to the pasture where the family’s laying hens are housed. Fresh Pasture Farm eggs are sold at the Coppell Farmers Market in partnership with vendor Rehoboth Ranch. The Heatwole Family also sells a limited amount of cantaloupe and watermelon at the Coppell Farmers Market by way of Embry Family Farm.

The third farm visited belongs to the Ebersole family. The Ebersole’s grow strawberries and are part of the Embry Family’s network. The strawberry patch was lush, and Mr. Ebersole was eager to share his knowledge about strawberry production.

On their fourth and final stop of the day, market staff and volunteers met Michael Alford who had been harvesting onions. For years the Alford Family has primarily resided in Coppell. Five years ago they started a full-fledged vegetable, fruit, and pecan farm out near Emory. After a drive through the veggie fields, our market representatives were invited to tour the new on-farm store and pick a few of the first blueberries of the year strait off the bush. The Alfords bring a wide variety to our market each season. Favorites include blueberries, heirloom tomatoes, muscadine grapes, and fresh ginger root.    

Embry Family Farm
Fresh Pasture Farm
Ebersole Family Farm
Alford Family Farm & U-Pick

The Coppell Farmers Market fulfills grocery needs year-round. Open Saturdays, 8am-noon. Located at 768 W. Main St. in Old Town Coppell. Visit coppellfarmersmarket.org to plan a visit.

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