Stout Creek Farms: An exciting new adventure

I am super excited. I went to Stout Creek Farms and it was amazing. First, let me explain: it was for a job interview. I know, but remember although I do dye shirts as a side business- I have a to have a day job and this is a hobby blog. So now that that is settled… I am excited to do what I love and learn more about the world. Not the world that we know with cell phones and gadgets but the world we live in with life, plants and animals.

When I started this journey I never imagined that I would be able to see so many cool things and learn so much. The people at Stout Farms are serious about regenerative agriculture. They want to put carbon back into the soil, ethically raise livestock, and just leave the world a better place. They are amazing people and this is amazing work they are doing. Being here this week, even though it wasn’t for very long (so far), has been inspirational.

Me, I’m slightly different in my approach and end game goals: I want to live in a jungle. Doing right by the planet is a perk, but I want to live in a jungle and teach people how to create their own jungles. You know so we can hide away in our own forests and listen to the world.

I want people to learn that they can create a jungle they can eat and how easy it is to be in control of the food you eat and how to be food secure in their own back yard. Imagine if people invested in putting money into growing trees and shrubs that are edible- a surplus of food can only be beneficial to the world and to people, to the community and would leave things better than they were.

They are amazing people who do amazing work, and it was very cool and I am excited about this new adventure.

A lot of information was thrown at me. I’m not going to lie, I knew a lot but I also didn’t know a lot. They are self informed individuals who love what they do and have obtained crazy amounts of research. The only animal I am personally considering on my own homestead/food forest is ducks and possibly chickens, but now that I see it I am leaning more towards ducks. Hanging out here might change my mind, but who knows what the universe has in store for me. All I know is working here for the little time I have has caused me to really think about my own habits and lifestyle.

They have a super professional website that does not do them justice- they have so much going on at their farm. They are putting it back into the soil- carbon that is- and ethically raising livestock. I helped them move cows and sheep and feed the chickens- I know I can learn so much here and I cannot wait.

I enjoy the work, it is full of adventures and there is something new every single day.

They move the sheep and cows and chickens from plot to plot in order to fertilize the ground and create fresh grazing areas for their animals. Their animals seem so happy (and vocal- they know when it is time to move and are excitedly waiting) and they have donkeys to guard their livestock and they have working dogs. I am not sure I got a picture of those but it was cool to see them in action.

I am excited that I will be going back to this farm daily. It is amazingly beautiful and I am excited.

Things that I want think would be amazing:

  • Starting a large berry patch, but first I have to figure out which ones would do best in this soil. I have to get together and start planning with the team to figure out where and how- which berries and which spots of land.
  • Starting an apple orchard, like a real one not like this patch work backyard orchard I am starting. One that has been planned to perfectly work with nature but also produce delicious organic fruit.
    • Along with this I want to experiment with multiple grafts on apple trees to see if we can get the trees to produce all season long.
    • For example: we would put one early fruiting one, one middle fruiting on another, a early summer fruit producer and a late summer fruit producer.
    • Also, I think that apples are one of the most diverse fruits. They can make flour, sauce, they go good in meals, as a snack, in pies… if you can’t tell- I’m a fan.
  • Peach trees are always a fan favorite and I think it would be really cool to do a similar grafting scheme but with 3 cultivars on each instead, at least until the trees are older.
    • Peaches do really well in East Texas and it would be amazing to really show off how amazing peaches can be.
  • Plums are a popular tree to grow in Texas as well, although I am not a fan many people love them. I know they do well but like peaches they do not self pollinated (but with all fruit trees having different kinds helps with pollination)
    • My kids love plums and there are many varieties that do well in our area and they are a primary fruit export in Texas- like peaches- which I thought was amazing.
  • Grape vines. I want to make their drive green with grapes. There are thousands of types of grapes- what if we just grew them all.
    • Let’s say we plant six of the same kind year one. Year two we are going to plant a new kind or maybe two new kind. As the years progress we can always go back to our favorites, but wouldn’t that be neat?
    • Then not only would we be producing grapes but we could also be a learning center for:
      • The 4H, viticulture enthusiasts, horticulture majors, agriculture majors… and on and on.
      • Schools could have field trips where the kids take a tour of the vineyard and find out how grapes are produced and how easy it is to plant something cool. This can apply to anything we are growing.
      • Grapes are amazingly hardy for our zone and there are hundreds of grape varieties. Not all grapes are the same and they bush out to be absolutely beautiful in the summer.
  • Vegetable garden- I want to be a master gardener now. I have got to get in contact with the local ag extension office and see who to contact. Growing a vegetable garden is going to be one of the most rewarding things. We have multiple growing seasons in Texas and we can rotate crops of pasture.
    • Working here (mind you it has only been a day and all I did was clean up half of their beds that already exist) has made me see the potential and they are doing amazing things regeneratively from the soil to compost.
      • I am going to make lots of compost and see how we can find better ways to grow vegetables in our zone and potentially encourage others to do the same thing.
      • I already started propagating plants. I am just too excited.
    • They are very interested in farm to fork and that would be amazing. Imagine making your own meals from Apple flour bread as an appetizer with a garlic goat butter glaze over top. Followed by meat that is 100% organic on the farm, grape juice made on the farm, apple cider during the winter, bond fire nights where you tell scary stories and eat berries by the fire.
    • I’m just one big run on, rambling but it would be so exciting to see people enjoy the fruits and vegetables that are growing by you.
  • The Stout Farm could use some wild flower diversity and I would love to find out the right mix that would not only benefit the soil but add additional nutrition to the animals. I am sure the information is out there. I just have to find it.
    • They have done their research but I absolutely adore Indian paintbrushes and other diverse native wildflowers. Possibly throwing out some seeds in order to encourage growth.
  • Making the ultimate plant fertilizer. They have so much poop, I know that with the right mixture I can create the perfect fertilizer for these plants.
    • I finally figured out what I am going to do with their machine. I am going to create compost with their poop and with what they already have I am going to create mounds.
    • I have to remember Drip irrigation similar to what I have because it is easy to check and replace lines if necessary and I have had none of those shenanigans in a year- but also because it is ran on a timer. And my timer has been neglected because I just leave it out in the elements. Since this is professional I’ll definitely suggest some sort of cover. We can’t all live like heathens.
  • So many projects run through my head but we have to start with some trees and we need to drive around together and find out what they want to do and where.
  • Oh and don’t let me forget: morel mushrooms. We have got to start growing those naturally in the wooded areas that aren’t being utilized. We want to encourage mushrooms to grow in order to help breakdown organic matter but also because they are delicious fried in butter and crackers and served as an appetizer.

Not going to lie… my imagination went wild when I found I had the job. I immediately thought- drip irrigation, but I should ask. So now I am looking forward to taking my current knowledge of blackberries to start a patch- that will be fun and I can’t wait.

One step at a time: current beds, garden up front, orchard and berry patch planning… I am just going crazy staying up all night looking into fun things. I cannot wait until finals are over so that I can focus more. Two more weeks and I can fully devote my time to really establishing the foundation for their own magical regenerative forest. (Also I want to take a class on Native American agricultural techniques. How do I make that happen?) So many things I want to do now and you know what? I can’t wait.

I just want to contribute to making the world a better place and yes, I do things that aren’t planet friendly sometimes- why shouldn’t we make the world a better place? This is where I think I should be. The universe is calling me to a place where I can experience all of my allergies while doing what I love.

Stay tuned because they have an amazing set up where I have access to all of the compost I could desire and there is no stopping me now. I cannot wait. This place is really something and I cannot wait to learn as much as I can from this amazing regenerative farm.

Also they have ducks. I should have mentioned them. Regardless, I am excited to embark on this journey. Please remember that every big dream has someone who is in control and this is their regenerative kingdom and I am at their mercy truly, but I think my ideas are okay and could always use improvement.

Until next time…

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