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Down on the farm

Sometimes Facebook really comes through! In amongst the ads for face cream, vein remedies and invisible braces, I recently came across a sponsored ad that really caught my attention. Less than a mile from my house was a lady running an urban farm offering PYOF or pick your own flowers for a totally reasonable price! I couldn’t believe that she’d been operating just a stones throw from my regular cycling route and moments from my kid’s favorite pond and play area without my knowledge! Naturally, I got in touch immediately and demanded a private audience and brought my own vases! NO, seriously, I did!

Kristen of Maxwell Creek market garden is an absolute darling! She set up her French Canadian style Market Garden with her husband Bryan 3 years ago. They moved out of Dallas proper with their young daughter and set up home on a few acres in Murphy Texas. Fast forward to when I met her and they have a fabulous piece of hardworking land that is currently brimming with tomatoes, squash, okra, cucumbers, herbs and the brilliantly advertised cutting flowers – zinnias and marigolds and globe amaranth to name a few! Phew! (Their hand grown produce is sold on their website for pick up at the farm and at farmers markets in Dallas.)

It’s hot as ever on a July morning in Texas but Kristen passionately shows David and me around the lovely plot and tells us we can cut anything we like – except the orange milkweed flowers which are reserved for the Monarch butterflies! The bouquets we made are glorious and with cuttings of Basil they smell amazing too!

Naturally we get to talking about cocktails. To my joy, Kristen is very enthusiastic about the idea of ‘Cocktails at the Farm’. I hope we will be offering a cocktails and cuttings workshop very soon! I pilfered several Marigold blooms from my bouquet and made a quick Marigold syrup – it is a beautiful, very slightly spicy number that pairs beautifully with Tequila in a golden summery Margarita. Believe me, I enjoyed a couple!

I went back to Maxwell Creek – with a mini Marigold-Margarita kit – to collect a basket of Marigold blooms! So far, I have made a big batch of the syrup and we have a Marigold Liqueur on the go too! Her basil is fresh and vibrant and has been working very hard in Basil Smash cocktails & I have created a Local Treasures 75 made with muddled ground cherries, the Marigold liqueur, Lockwood Distilling Gin (made 5 miles from here) and topped with champagne!

I’ve had a blast so far, there will definitely be more to come! I can’t believe such a gem was on my doorstep without my knowledge. But I guess as they say in Texas – I’m not from here but I got here as fast as I could!