John grew up in Pittsburg, Texas, where his parents and eldest brother still reside. After graduating from Texas State University with a degree in business, he moved to Dallas and lived there several years before relocating to the East coast with his job. While living in New Jersey, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. He began treatments at Sloan-Kettering in Manhattan, commuting from his home in Asbury Park. Treatments lasted approximately four months, and it was during this time that he committed to incorporating more fruits and vegetables into his diet, as much of it organic as possible. He turned to his small backyard garden to provide more vegetables for him, as the prices of organic produce prevented him from buying as much as he needed. What was once a hobby garden turned into a lifesaving endeavor. During this time of uncertainty, he also made the promise to himself that if he beat cancer, he would make dramatic changes in his life—most notably, giving up on the corporate life and doing work that was more fulfilling to him.
In 2003, after passing his five-year mark with no recurrences of cancer, his doctor gave him a clean bill of health. John moved back to Dallas with his corporate job, where he worked and saved money for a year. In 2005, he left his job, bought a small piece of land in Pittsburg, and began farming.
I was born and raised in Dallas. I joined Comeback Creek Farm full-time when John and Igot married in 2012. After graduating from Southern Methodist University with a degree in English and Creative Writing, I decided instead to pursue my passionate interest in food, which was inspired by my time spent studying abroad in Paris. Daily meals shared with my French host family and then eating my way around Paris revealed to me how little I knew about food, that I was a mediocre cook (at best), and that I had to do something about it. With Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse cookbooks as my guide, I made a concentrated effort to teach myself how to cook, and took a job in 2005 as the hostess at LOCAL in Dallas. The plan was to absorb and learn as much as I could about food in general, and baking in particular. Over the five years I spent there, I worked my out of the front-of-the-house and into the kitchen, where I created and prepared all the desserts for the restaurant. From there, I moved on to work for Consilient Restaurants, where I worked for Fireside Pies, Thirteen Pies, and Hibiscus.
Needing blackberries one morning for a special dessert I was making, I met John at the Dallas Farmers Market. We developed a friendship (he had the best produce at the market, after all), and then we began dating long distance. Flash-forward three years, many long, hot, and severely dry summers, and in the beginning of 2012 I packed up and moved to the farm.
I approach farming from a cook’s perspective (with a hearty dose of idealism thrown in), whereas John’s perspective is more technical. I’m thinking of the end result, imagining weed-free fields, picking the perfect eggplant or radicchio, the beautiful and varied vegetables we can grow. He’s thinking of whether or not we can grow it, how to condition our soil, when it’s the right time for planting, and what challenges lie ahead. With both ends of the growing spectrum covered, the romantic and the practical, we make a pretty good team.
Our Philosophy & Growing Practices
Comeback Creek Farm is a 100-acre farm, with ten acres in cultivation, in Pittsburg, Texas. We steward the land with care and believe in treading lightly. While the farm is not certified organic, we hold ourselves to sustainability standards that we believe well exceed organic standards. We farm using only low impact, sustainable methods: no synthetic pesticides or herbicides and no harmful chemical fertilizers. Every transplant we put in the ground comes from seed we’ve started ourselves, purchased from seed companies with the highest reputation. We do not use genetically modified (GMO) seed. These ecologically sound practices are safe for us as growers, for you as consumers, and for the land around us. Our main means of weed control are tractor cultivation, hand weeding and hoeing, and black plastic mulch. Our main means of pest control are to just plain squish ‘em and–when absolutely necessary–pest control methods approved for organic use.
Thanks to industrial agriculture and the food distribution system, we know you can enjoy access to an abundance of fruits and vegetables from all over the world. But this system has destroyed the concept of seasonal foods by engineering the products it sells to suit its own needs: veggies are genetically altered to be able to withstand the effects of harmful herbicides, and they are grown for mechanical picking and convenient shipping, not for freshness or flavor.
Modern agriculture’s dependence on chemicals and hybrid varieties engineered for mass production and long-distance distribution causes real public health and safety issues. Serious ecological problems from the use of petro-chemical based fertilizers and pesticides, plus thousands of miles logged on fossil fuel energy to get these foods from farm to table, are additional consequences. Finally, there are political and sociological implications to the upheaval of farm-based rural populations and the gradual decline of the family farm. For all these reasons, buying locally and sustainably grown food makes for good health, good politics, and good stewardship of the land.
Be a part of the growing number of people taking matters into their own hands — cut out the middle man and buy directly from the farmer. Guarantee your share of our farm’s harvest of local and organically grown food, and join our CSA today!