June 2022

Texarkana Magazine

JUNE • 2022

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE June | 2022 | Volume 3 | Issue 6

50. LIFE Just the Way Life Grows 54. TXK 411 Fresh Summer Salsa

10. cover/TXK IN SEASON Farming in Arkansas and Texas 18. COMMUNITY Local Food for Local Tables




38. ENTERTAINMENT Good Evening TXK 44. LIFE The Legacy of a Simple Life

56. THE MONTHLY MIX Gardening Style 58. TXK ROOTS Brent Rodgers


26. CULTURE Voice of the Garden 34. ENTERTAINMENT The Outdoors Are Open


What is your favorite country song?

CASSY MEISENHEIMER “Paint Me a Birmingham” by Tracy Lawrence

TERRI SANDEFUR “Teri, My Texarkana Crazy Lovin’ Lady” by Mitch Snow

KARA HUMPHREY “Love Without End, Amen” by George Strait

LEAH ORR “Fishing in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

MATT CORNELIUS “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson

BRITT EARNEST “Wave on Wave” by Pat Green

ANNI BISHOP “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs

RACHAEL CHERRY “Grandpa” by The Judds

LINDSEY CLARK “Feels Just Like it Should” by Pat Green

ANGELA EVANS “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

MALI GLASS “Shake the Frost” by Tyler Childers

BAILEY GRAVITT “Space Cowboy” by Kacey Musgraves


MEGAN GRIFFIN “Bluebird” by Miranda Lambert

TIFFANY HORTON “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait

ANNEMARIE SULLIVAN “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn with Kacey Musgraves




txkmag.com letstalk@txkmag.com 903.949.1460 OFFICE 911 North Bishop Street Building C • Suite 102 Wake Village, Texas 75501 MAIL 2801 Richmond Road #38 Texarkana, Texas 75503

I ’ve always thought of myself as someone who loves to be outside with nature and animals as long as the day can still end with a hot shower, air conditioning and a comfortable bed. So, as I was pondering the importance of our local farmers, I was a little awe-struck. I think work on a farm teaches life lessons early; it teaches lessons of the unjustness of nature, the payoff of perseverance, the redemption found in faith and hard work and the value of honesty. My friend Kelli Phillips makes sure to remind me of these lessons she learned from her life growing up on a farm, and you can trust her because, as she always tells me, she’s “country as cornbread.” Farm life is definitely unique. My papaw

Publisher CARDINAL PUBLISHING Staff CASSY MEISENHEIMER cassy@txkmag.com TERRI SANDEFUR terri@txkmag.com KARA HUMPHREY kara@txkmag.com LEAH ORR leah@txkmag.com MATT CORNELIUS matt@txkmag.com BRITT EARNEST britt@txkmag.com Local Sources CLARE ANGIER JOHN LUKE ANGIER MARY CAROLINE ANGIER

grew up with fifteen siblings. (And they all came from the same parents... way to go, great-grandma and great-grandad!) I grew up hearing stories about how they had no other option but to work hard. According to Papaw, when there are many mouths to feed and things to tend to, it creates strong family bonds that are formed and solidified through the daily joys and discomforts of farm life. When I was growing up, Papaw had his own horses and land. It was not an entire farm like the ones we visited for this issue, but I loved being there. He “let” me clean out the horse stalls and the horse’s shoes. I do not know if he was really allowing me to do it for my enjoyment, or convincing me it was fun, so I would be excited to do the dirty work. (That sounds like something I would do to my kids.) Either way, I loved it and learned from it. Farm life gives a troubled heart and mind many fulfilling tasks to complete outside in God’s creation. While we were visiting the farms to create this issue, there was a sense of peace enveloping these places. Being in the presence of the animals, the beauty of the wind blowing in the pastures and experiencing the calmness of the sunshine and blue skies was good for the soul. I read something written by an Ag teacher that struck me. It said, “I love agriculture, because it maintains which parts of this world we are physically starving for, and that which most of this world is spiritually starving for. I love agriculture, because of its unique ability to combine progress and tradition—two ideals that naturally and typically clash… When the world relies on you for their daily needs, you get out of bed.” While I do not have the experience of the daily life on the farm, I have had the pleasure to witness the values of hard work and faith it instills in you. I am thankful for those lessons every day and I am very grateful for the home-grown goodness of this wonderful community.





Texarkana Magazine is a multimedia publication showcasing the Texarkana area and is designed and published by Cardinal Publishing, LLC. Articles in Texarkana Magazine should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Ideaology, products and services promoted in the publication are not necessarily endorsed by Texarkana Magazine .




“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The

farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”


—Daniel Webster

W hile it may not fit with our American ideal, it is possible to live without new shoes and clothes. While they provide convenience and entertainment, new computers and the latest technologies are not mandatory for life to persist. And while going from place to place would be more difficult, it can absolutely be accomplished without a vehicle. However, of all the trappings of our daily lives, the thing we simply cannot survive without is food, and the value of the farmer brings new meaning to the COVID-coined term “essential worker.” Today in America, we have moved far beyond the time of our not-so-distant past when daily chores for every household included milking the cow, gathering the eggs, feeding the pig and planting the crops. Those of us born in the late 20th century

simply take for granted a refrigerator and pantry stocked with healthy food and endless supplies of milk, eggs, honey and meats. But it is the farmer, gardener, rancher and beekeeper whose sweat and hard work feeds and sustains us. They fuel every success of America. Texas and Arkansas are at the top of the nation in our production of beef, cotton, rice and chicken, and in our local area, we have an amazing group of farmers who are bringing locally grown produce, honey and meat straight to the residents of the Texarkana area. This is the season for family cook outs featuring a juicy steak on the grill and sweet watermelons for dessert. Let’s be sure to remember and appreciate those who are doing the hard work to make those delicious summer days possible, providing locally grown foods for locally grown families.

cover photo by Matt Cornelius A Big THANK YOU to Mali and Dr. Mitchell Glass of Glass Farm for allowing us to photograph their animals and beautiful property.





AGRICULTURE IN ARKANSAS An overview of Arkansas’ leading agricultural products









$19.4 BILLION annually Agriculture is the largest industry, contributing more than $19.4 BILLION annually to the AR economy





Arkansas is #1 in Rice

2,780,000 ACRES OF SOYBEANS HARVESTED IN 2020 38,000 ACRES OF PEANUTS harvested, producing 182,400,000 pounds of peanuts valued over $35 MILLION


$1.3 Billion annually

70% of the corn grown in Arkansas is used in-state as poultry feed


Arkansas ranks in the TOP 25 na ti onally in the 16 TOP 25





Source: 2021 University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Agriculture Profile 2021, USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service 2021 INFOGRAPHIC PROVIDED BY THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE | Visit agriculture.arkansas.gov for more information.




AGRICULTURE IN TEXAS An overview of Texas’ leading agricultural products

Agriculture contributes $25.4 BILLION annually to the TX economy


37% of 408,506 PRODUCERS in Texas are women

7% OF TEXAS FARMLAND (176,837 acres) is dedicated to orchards

1 of every 7 WORKING TEXANS is in an agriculture-related job

Texas is ranked number one in the nation for beef cattle production $12.3 BILLION ANNUALLY

Texas leads the nation in the number of farms and ranches with 248,416 FARMS & RANCHES

Texas leads the nation in cotton production $2.6 BILLION ANNUALLY


Source: texasagriculture.gov









Have you ever wandered the produce section at the grocery store and considered where the fruits and vegetables you are buying come from? Maybe they are from another state, or it is possible they have even been flown to your local market from another country. Either way, the produce at your local grocery store is probably not fresh or locally grown. While fresh and locally grown may be ideal, it is not realistic to believe most of us will plant our own gardens and grow all the fruits and vegetables we want and need. Luckily, Texarkana residents have incredible farmers’ markets where the fresh produce options are bountiful. And because of our twin city status, we are doubly fortunate to have two farmers’ markets, one on either side of the state line. Both markets have local vendors offering vast amounts of produce, crafts, baked goods, canned goods, meat, etc. The Arkansas side farmers’ market started in 1991 when the board of directors, the Four States Farmers’ Market Association, was established. The market was originally on Front Street. On August 16, 1997, Rick Hall, John Turner and LuAnne Dean started Gateway Farmers Market, and they moved it to its current location at 602 East Jefferson. This season, Gateway Farmers Market is celebrating 25 years of business. Cindy Gladden is the current Market Manager and is serving her second year. One of Gladden’s many jobs is to inspect every farm to ensure the vegetables are grown locally by the vendor before they can be sold at the market. She also makes sure everything runs smoothly on market days. Gateway Farmers Market is open to the public every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:00 am until noon, or until everything is sold out. This year there will be 23 permanent vendors and several day vendors. The market season begins each year in May and usually lasts until September, weather permitting. There is a wide variety of tomatoes, beans, peas, cabbage, okra, carrots, radishes, lettuce, beets, zucchini, squash, peppers, greens, onions, potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, blueberries and honey. Besides the abundance of produce, many vendors sell homemade crafts, baked goods and a wide variety of jellies. You will also find canned goods such as salsa, relish and pickles and for meat lovers, there is even locally raised USDA beef and pork, ready to stock your freezers.




Gateway Farmers Market is always ready to welcome new vendors to add more variety. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, visit their website at thefarmersmarket.com to fill out an application. Because the market is privately owned, a few rules apply to guarantee vendors continue offering the freshest produce. For example, you must live within a 75-mile radius of Texarkana, Arkansas. They must inspect your farm to ensure your produce is locally grown if you are selling produce. “If you don’t grow it, you cannot sell it.” The same rules apply to crafts and baked goods. Gladden expressed what she loves most about managing the market is “getting to know the farmers who work hard to provide the community with local, fresh vegetables, fruits and much more.” She also enjoys “meeting and interacting with people who come out and support the market year after year.” Gladden’s mother, Mary

Littleton, has been a vendor at Gateway Farmers Market for 20 years. She said she thoroughly enjoys being a vendor because she “enjoys people and loves being around them.” Her booth is full of handmade crafts, homemade soaps, jelly and baked goods. If you are a Texas side resident, you can show your local farmers’ market some support on Saturdays from 7:00 am-12:00 pm at 500 North Stateline Avenue, across from the United States Federal Court House and Post Office. Their season begins in April and ends the first week of August. You will find individual tents set up side by side, with a wide variety of produce, baked goods, crafts, pottery and other local items. Something unique that Texarkana Farmers’ Market offers is a night market hosted every third Saturday from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm and includes a cultural food demonstration.




Texarkana Farmers’ Market has been open to the public for 12 years. Debbie Benning, a current vendor, has sold her products for the last six years. She sells jams, jellies, various herbal products and hanging baskets. Like many vendors, Benning loves meeting different people on market days. She and her husband have 12 acres in Maud, and six years ago, they became vendors as a way to enjoy their retirement and help pay for their farm. The Texarkana Farmers Market is operated by the City of Texarkana, Texas, and is managed by Rebecca Beckham. Managing the market “is a huge team effort,” Beckham says, and “involves other staff from the planning and community development team, the city manager’s office staff, vendors, farmer’s committee and the sponsors.” Beckham expressed her appreciation of the interaction that managing the market brings. “Getting to interact with my community on a new level makes me feel like I’m giving back to them in

the same ways they did when I was a kid.” She “loves meeting the different people who come and go, understanding the farmers who do this for a living and making lasting connections.” Beckham would “love to

see more customers come out and support the market,” she said. “Bringing more people to downtown Texarkana makes our city feel closer to each other.” Her goal is “more people reaching out to be a part of the market and local businesses getting involved and

is the friendly and welcoming demeanor of their vendors. They are all excited to share their heart about what they do and why they love it, and for some, their love for farming and crafting has

making Texarkana brighter for everyone.” Like Gateway Farmers Market, Texarkana Farmers’ Market is always looking for more vendors. You can find more information about what it takes to get involved at www.texarkanafarmersmarket.com . While both markets offer similar items, each has its own unique experience. Something refreshing shared by both

been passed down for generations. It is infectious. The sun is out on both sides of State Line, the gardens are full, and the time is right. Whether you visit the Texarkana, Texas Farmers’ Market or Gateway Farmers Market in Texarkana, Arkansas, you will not be disappointed; they are now open for business. Shop Local. Eat Local.







I t is incredible how God uses unique life experiences to direct our paths. If we pay attention, He can lead us on the very best journey. Beekeeping has been precisely that for the founders of Balm and Honey Farm, Brin and Matt Nichols. Though it is not their full-time job, the hum in the garden has become their passion. It all started when Brin, a former news reporter in the Dallas area, covered a story on bees. “I worked for CBS News in Dallas, and I was assigned a story about the decline of bees, and it was just one of those stories that had an impact on me. Within the daily grind of the news business,” she said, “you probably forget 99% of the stories you do, but that one never really left me. As I transitioned out of that career and moved back home, I started thinking about it more.” As fifth-generation residents of Cass County, Texas, farming might not come as a total surprise to those who know them best. Still, as first-generation beekeepers, they have had to work hard to learn all they know about bees. The Nichols didn’t know any beekeepers when they got started, so they had to do a lot of research in the beginning. “I bought my first hive off of eBay around




» Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination. One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depend on pollinators. Crops that depend on pollination are five times more valuable than those that do not. » Honey bees account for nearly 80% of crop pollination in the United States of America because of the ease of transporting colonies across the country. Honeybees are actively pollinating at least somewhere in North America during every month of the year! » The honeybee is one of the most scientifically

2007,” she said. “I was so nervous. It took me three years to actually get bees in it. Once I did, I was hooked for life.” What comes with a hive? Can you just order one? These are questions that might initially come to mind for a novice beekeeper. The answer is “Yes!” Hives can be ordered online because, technically, a hive is just a box. “It comes unassembled, and you put it together like you would Ikea furniture,” Brin explained. “It sat assembled in my backyard, and people would stop now and then and say, ‘Oh, you have bees!’ and I would reply, ‘Not yet.’” To raise bees, you set up the hive and can then get a swarm by removing them from an unwanted location or buying what is called a package. Unlike purchasing a hive from eBay, buying a package is a more in- depth process. “They’re sold by beekeepers in the area. I found a guy in Naples, Texas,” Brin explained, “and he sold me a package and brought the bees to me. And that is how I first started.” In her beekeeping research, which is technically called apiculture, Brin discovered a beekeeping association in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and started attending meetings, allowing her to reach out to the beekeeping community for guidance. She also met a fellow female beekeeper from Texarkana. One night, while talking, they decided to start an association in Texarkana. Brin is now one of the founding members of the Texarkana Beekeepers Association. “The association meets regularly and is growing like crazy. It evolved slowly, but there was no turning back once it did,” she said. There are several factors to consider when getting started. For example, limiting the variety of bees you raise to those found naturally in your area is important. “Especially with our heat and humidity, we have to be very careful about the varieties of bees that we bring to the area so that they can tolerate our harsh summers. We actually have two varieties [at our farm] right now,” she explained. “Our primary bee is the Southern Bred Italian bee. They are very gentle and pretty good honey producers. The other variety that we are raising is called a Saskatraz, and they are also very gentle. So gentle you could walk up to a beehive, open it, and let them crawl on you, and they don’t sting.” While Brin

studied creatures in the world after man! » Honeybees are most active between 60-100°F, although they can forage in temperatures as low as 55°F. » A hive of bees will fly over 55,000 miles to make 1 pound of honey and can create 100 pounds of honey in a year. » Only female honeybees can sting;

the males (drones) are not able to sting, but if you are stung it will probably be by a worker. Queen honeybees can sting, but they remain close to the hive, and so a sting from a honeybee queen would be very rare.

» A honeybee queen may lay as many as 2000- 3000 eggs per day as she establishes her colony. » Since 2006, the population of bees has declined considerably. Pesticides, disease, parasites and poor weather have played a major role in this worrying decline.

Source: buzzaboutbees.net




has had one experience that sent her to the emergency room, her normally docile bees can usually be trusted. As a result of their gentle temperament, Matt rarely wears a suit, even when checking hives and gathering honey. Bees learn to recognize their keepers. “Science tells us that bees can actually distinguish faces and even learn to recognize voices,” Brin explained. “The more we interact with them, the gentler they become and are now to the point where they really just ignore us,” she said. “Whenever we start pulling out frames of honey, they can get a little aggressive, but even though they aren’t thrilled, they’re still gentle. They’re totally chill if we’re just checking on them or doing general maintenance in our hives.” “We are very conscientious beekeepers,” Brin explained. When harvesting honey from their bees, the Nichols always leave plenty of honey in the hive. “We do not [chemically] treat our hives, and we only take the amount of honey that we can safely harvest in order to give them enough food stores to raise their young and get through the summer drought and then the winter,” she said. Along with gathering honey, part of beekeeping is splitting the hives. The Nichols had 19 hives, but they recently started “splitting season,” which will likely result in doubling that number. Because of the bees’ nature, worker bees build swarm cells for new queens each spring. The existing queen will quit laying eggs and lose weight to prepare for flying. She leaves the hive when she is ready, and approximately half of the colony goes with her. During

this season, the beekeepers help with splitting. They determine which hives are best for producing new bees and which hives are best for producing honey. “Bees are kind of like people in that some of them are healthier, and they’re better housekeepers than others. So, some hives we open are so clean, and the bees are really gentle, and maybe they’re not the best honey makers, but they’re so easy to work with and have a high tolerance for pests. We would generally designate those hives as the ones we want to use to raise bees,” explained Brin. “And then, every once in a while, you will open a hive, and it will be full of honey from top to bottom. You’re going to say; these are clearly my honey hives. So, there [are] some bees that are just better at making honey than others.” The Nichols truly are some busy bees like the ones in their hives. Brin works in the oil and gas industry full-time, and Matt teaches at Hughes Springs ISD. They spend mornings before work, evenings and weekends tending to their growing farm, including a plethora of vegetables and animals. They also give hive tours, teach classes on beekeeping, bottle honey, make candles, conduct bee removals, and spend Saturday mornings at local farmers’ markets. Though their days are filled with other careers, other animals and growing a variety of produce, their passion for beekeeping can be summed up in a quote by Elizabeth Lawrence found on their website, balmandhoneyfarm .com. “The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.” And at Balm and Honey Farm, what a beautiful voice indeed.







Play a round of Frisbee Golf at Spring Lake Park.

Visit three states at once. 1930 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey stone marks the spot where Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana meet. The exact location, appropriately known as Three States, is in Cass County, Texas.The marker can be found on Texas Highway 77 and Louisiana State Highway 1.

Experience the butterlfy cottage at Little Country Greenhouse in New Boston, Texas.

Camp at Lake Wright Patman.

Play a volleyball match at Bringle Lake Park sand courts.

You can also visit two states at once at the newly renovated Photographer’s Island in downtown Texarkana, USA.




Have a glass of wine or a tour at O’Farrell Country Vineyards in Atlanta, Texas.

Learn about local history at Old Washington State Park in Arkansas.

Enjoy a guided fishing tour on Millwood Lake in Arkansas.

Hike White Cliffs on the Little River in Arkansas.

Visit Caddo Lake—the largest natural lake in Texas— an East Texas treasure.






I remember exactly where I was in March, 2006, when the very first episode of Hannah Montana aired on Disney Channel. I was sitting in my Granny’s bedroom, laid out on her bed, anxiously awaiting the start of the show, to watch a then-unknown Miley Cyrus become a star right in front of the world’s eyes. Of course, I did not realize at the time just how massive an impact she (and Hannah Montana) would have. For me, nostalgia is everything. I bathe in it almost daily—meaning probably too much. It is a rush of dopamine to the brain, even now in 2022, for me to listen to the same songs I used to listen to on repeat in middle school. I feel like a child again when I watch my favorite VeggieTales movie again. Side note: I used to own every VeggieTales VHS, a proud accomplishment I will boast about until the day I die; put it on my tombstone. Also, who remembers VHS tapes, by the way?! That alone is nostalgic.

Even thinking about the McDonald’s playground that my friends and I used to LIVE on makes me yearn to go back to those simple times SO badly! Before iPhones, there was a night in fifth grade when I had my mom’s red slide-up Samsung phone, no touch screen insight, might I add (*gasp*), and I was obsessed—and I mean obsessed—with Britney Spears. I bought (without mom’s permission) a Britney Spears music video with that phone. It was a glorious night spent watching the video on repeat before she found and deleted it. Thanks, mom! That brings me to another nostalgic moment in history… MUSIC VIDEOS! They are a lost art, people! No one takes the time these days to pour into their visuals and concepts, which completely changed the way I heard the music when listening as a kid. What would Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” be without Miley swinging on an actual wrecking ball? I used to sit in front of the TV every Saturday morning when VH1 would air their Top 20 Countdown. 20 of the hottest music videos at the time, and I would EAT. THEM. UP! I

lived for every moment of it. But alas, long gone are the golden days of MTV in the 70s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s, when music videos were all the rage. When I pass my elementary school, I am eight years old all over again, walking into school every day without my mom, being loudly and proudly myself, or dramatically crying over the abandonment I felt when she went out of town with her girlfriends for the weekend. (I may have attachment issues.) When I listen to Ke$ha, I am 12 again with the radio up, leaving Texas Middle School on a Friday to go stay the night with my friends. When I see a pair of red Converse shoes, I am 16 again trying WAY too hard to be cool by wearing skinny blue jeans with a red sweater… It wasn’t cool, guys; it was CRINGE. I miss going to middle school dances in the gym and staring at my crush. At the same time, “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj played at a deafening volume behind me. I miss secretly watching Secret Life of the American Teenager (because I wasn’t allowed to watch it), then going to school and talking to my friends about what happened on








Chase Livingston Chasing Purpose by Chase Livingston

Alicia Price Harlem on Amazon Prime

Virginia Ann Prazak Smartless by Wondery and Amazon

the episode the night before. I miss walking around my neighborhood at midnight with my friends in the summer just because we could. I miss thinking that things would always be easy, and I would never have to worry about all the things adults have to worry about, like bills and car problems and living on my own. But here I am. I am successfully living on my own, with a car, bills and reheated pizza from three nights ago, just to save money, and it isn’t always easy. But every single night before bed, I turn on Disney+ and watch those Disney Channel shows I loved so much growing up. In those moments, it’s like no time has passed at all. I feel we all want to blissfully reminisce about our glory days. I am definitely not old enough to be saying “glory days,” but I

DO think we tend to overlook the simple things in our lives. I don’t mind taking on more responsibility, but I certainly wish on the hard days I could be that Converse wearing, Hannah Montana watching kid in my Granny’s bedroom. However, I know that today will be “the glory days” I miss someday. I better make sure I concentrate on the blessings of the moment and take the time to make beautiful memories.


June 1-15 Student Juried Art Exhibit at TRAHC 10 am-4 pm, Wednesday-Saturday June 2 Charity Gayle—Endless Praise Tour First Baptist Church, Texarkana, 7 pm June 2, 11, 23, 30 Gateway Farmer’s Market 800 Jefferson Avenue, 7 am-12 pm June 3-5 Texarkana Texas Farmer’s Market 305 Texas Boulevard, 7 am-12 pm June 9-12 Runnin WJ Barrel Race Four States Fairgrounds June 11 Hands on Texarkana presents the Annual Dragon Boat Festival Bringle Lake Park, 9 am-5 pm High School Rodeo Finals Four States Fairgrounds June 4, 11, 18 & 25

June 17 Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series 67 Speedway, 8 pm Denim and Diamonds Daddy Daughter Dance Crossties Event Venue, 6-8 pm Satisfaction with Chasing Rita Perot Theatre, 7:30 pm June 18 Fouke Monster Festival 2022 Fouke Community Center, 9 am-8 pm Texarkana Reptile Expo Show Me Reptile Show 3700 East 50th Street, Texarkana, Arkansas, 3:30 pm June 25 Rumble in the Park Car & Motorcycle Show & Scout-O-Rama Spring Lake Park, 8 am-3 pm

LIVE BANDS June 3 Alex & Liv Music The Hideout ,9 pm June 4 Lane Bricker The Hideout, 9 pm June 11 The LaRouxs at Hopkins 7 PM June 17 The Stand Alones Fat Jacks, 9 pm-1 am June 25 T-Town 5 67 Landing, 7:30 pm

For more events visit










The Legacy of a Simple Life


T here is something nostalgic and pure about the idea of picking blackberries, gathering eggs and enjoying birds chirping in the morning breeze from your oversized front porch. It evokes feelings of a quiet and uncomplicated life, untainted by the bustle of busy streets. It is country living at its best. Nestled in the very center of Bowie County, down a long and winding red dirt road, sits a small and unassuming bit of the good ole days. Country living is not for everyone, but for Faith and William Ellis, that long dirt road represents more than the route to their home. It is a passageway to a simpler life. Long Walk Spring Farm in New Boston, Texas, has given the Ellis family precisely what they were looking for and a few surprises they were not expecting. In 2012, after a long battle with her health, Faith was diagnosed with Lupus. A few years later, illness struck another blow with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Three different autoimmune diseases stole her health and mobility and tried to steal her life. Faith learned that reducing stress and maintaining a healthy diet was the key to managing and taking back her health as she struggled with the debilitating condition. While living in Fort Worth, Texas, William and Faith both had careers they enjoyed. William worked at the DFW Airport as a senior procurement analyst. Faith was the Congressional Outreach Director for Congressman Michael Burgess. “I loved my job,” Faith

explained, “but there was a tremendous amount of stress that triggered the autoimmune diseases.” The couple recognized that everything about living in the city added to their stress and took away from their precious time together. So, in November 2016, they made plans to move back to William’s hometown and, more importantly, back to their roots. William retired, and the couple embarked on their new journey with little hesitation. “We called our adult children and said, ‘if it’s in the attic and it’s yours, and if you want it, come and get it.’” They were out of their home within 30 days and packing themselves and their 15-year-old son into the small cabin located at their new address. William grew up in New Boston. He and his eight siblings own the small 80-acre farm along the bank of the Red River that has been in the family for more than 150 years. Faith had lived in Fort Worth her entire life. “Years ago, you could not have gotten me to move here [to New Boston] for anything in the world,” she said. “But things change when you’re looking at your health.” She soon realized, “Healthy food is so expensive.” So, she told her husband it would be better if “we could just grow the food ourselves.” The couple had both experienced farm life separately as children. Faith spent summers helping her grandparents on their farm in Karnack, Texas. William had spent his youth working with his grandfather on the farm in New Boston. Still, there was quite a




learning curve for the pair. That first year, “William just wanted to get stuff in the ground,” Faith said, “but he ended up with so much squash that he began to look for ways to sell it.” Faith initially knew nothing about methods for preserving what they grew but now considers herself a “pressure canning guru” and notes that she is proud of what she has accomplished. She has learned so much about making the most of their little family business. The Ellis family enjoys the fruits of their labor, from selling eggs, growing and drying herbs, harvesting and canning the spoils from the garden and even raising chickens to eat. They have most recently added dairy goats to their farm and are planning to sell milk, butter and gourmet cheeses in the near future. In the past several years, there has been an incredible increase in the demand for healthier foods. Organically grown whole foods are being sought after more and more, and health food has become a booming industry. Now, William and Faith Ellis are doing their part for their health, family and community to provide those healthier, organically grown options. What started as a plan to retire to a simple country life has now morphed into a full- blown business. Long Walk Spring Farm is in partnership with Prairie View A&M University. Extension Agent Brandon Hawkins helps support and guide them in their growing business. The farm yields jelly, relishes, salsa, herbs, farm fresh eggs, fresh produce and even hibiscus tea that Faith ships all over the United States.






The farm will be open to the public on Saturdays beginning this month. Customers can expect cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, watermelons, potatoes, onions and wild blackberries this year. Faith says they “are expecting a bumper crop.” They also sell at local farmers’ markets, including CEP Ark-La-Tex Cluster Farmers’ Co-op. Additionally, while they cannot sell off-farm, Texas Cottage Laws allow them to sell their free-range chickens processed for meat. Faith recalls that she thought all chicken was the same, “but these are not chickens like you get in the store. They are big and so tender, and you can taste the difference,” she said. It has been five years since William and Faith made that journey to their new home. They have since built a house and a new life here in Bowie County. They travel back to the Metroplex from time to time and recognize that familiar tension surrounding city life. Faith said, “when I cross the Sulphur River on the way home, it feels like everything melts away.” With fresh air, good food and exercise, Faith’s health has improved, and every year, they are “picking up the pieces from the damage the disease has done.”

William and Faith have been married for 23 years and have six children and thirteen grandchildren, with one more on the way! Their family was supportive of their decision to relocate and reinvent themselves. Their children even come in to help when it is harvest time. In addition to Faith’s improved health, she says that this simple life “provides a sense of stability for my family. Our kids know this farm has been here for 150 years, and they know it will still be here. Someday, they can pick up where we left off.” Faith and William recognize the importance of families staying together and weathering storms together. They encourage others who are able to “go back to living a simple life with traditional skills. We need that right now.” As they ponder the benefits of their hard work and what it will mean for future generations, this couple enjoys thinking about what they are building for their children and grandchildren. As Faith says quite simply, “It’s a legacy.” Find more information about the Ellis family and their farm- fresh products at LongWalkSpring.com or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.







8:00 AM I wake up at different times throughout the seasons, so it varies, although I’ve never been an early riser. I work till sunset or later most days, so I like my mornings slower. I usually take about an hour or more in the morning to make a solid breakfast and espresso. This time is also when I write, work on my social media, marketing, make online orders for chicks, fencing, or supplies I cannot buy locally, check emails, plan out tasks and think about projects. It is the most relaxed part of my day, but it plays an important role in my overall schedule.

10:00 AM By mid-morning, I am usually headed out to do my daily routine with the livestock. I fill water tanks, feed all 150+ mouths, check fence lines and check all the animals for healthy performance. On a perfect day, this job can take half an hour. Depending on the maintenance required, it can be multiple hours on other days.

11:00 AM Around this point in the day, the routine goes out the window. Every day is different. Some days I will have errands that require leaving the farm—picking up feed or supplies, taking a tire in for repair, meetings, delivering or picking up products for the Sullifarm Shop, etc. If I do not need to run errands, I stay on the farm—moving fences, doing tractor work, gardening, addressing the needs of the animals, loading animals for processing or repairing something. If I’m not too pressed for time, I make lunch, but I work through lunch most days. It’s a bad habit. If I have Sullifarm to Table events on the schedule, I also prepare and plan those.




There are so many moving parts to running a farm and a business that it’s hard to encompass them all. Every day is different, and every day there are trials you did not have the day before. It is challenging and evolving, and it is a beautiful and hard lifestyle. Still, I feel it should be mentioned that I maintain a level of freedom that is enviable. Once my animals are taken care of, I can go help a friend, go to the lake with my family or take a vacation in the middle of the week. Discipline and grit have led to my success, but a love and appreciation for life beyond my work keep me happy.

3:00 PM By this time on Sunday and Tuesday, I prepare the Sullifarm Shop, which is open from 4:00-6:00 pm twice a week. Washing eggs to sell, organizing dozens of meat cuts, stocking products and keeping the Sullifarm Shop up and running is an entire job by itself!

6:00 PM In the evenings, I usually catch up on things I did not get to earlier in the day and I finish up projects that need to be done before dark. I usually make something to eat in the late afternoon and then continue working outside until sunset. That means my days go longer in the summer and are shorter in the winter.










Cucumbers Red Onions Jalapeño Garlic Cilantro Lime Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS 1. Cut up vegetables. 2. Place cut vegetables in a food processor

As the gardens of Texarkana are bursting with fresh ingredients and our local farmers’ markets are making them easily accessible, now is the perfect time to make delicious homemade salsa! This simple recipe makes it easy to go from fresh ingredients to ready for snacking in about ten minutes. Serve it with salty tortilla chips or add to the top of your favorite Tex-Mex. It is the perfect healthy addition to all your summer snacking.

and blend. If using a small

food processor, blend tomatoes, cucumbers and onion first. Then add jalapeño, garlic and cilantro.

3. Squeeze in the

juice of one lime.

4. Add a dash of sea salt. 5. Mix and enjoy!



TXK 411


TXK 411

Gardening Style May showers bring June flowers! The weather is finally sunny and warm. This means it’s time to spend all the time outdoors. It is a fabulous time to work on your outdoor space and gardens. Here are the cutest essentials that will help you make your garden the talk of the neighborhood!

This canvas utility apron also has capability to store tools as you work for easy access. There is even a pocket that’s

Protect your face, neck and hands from UV rays with this trendy glove and hat set! I love the fun floral print. Bucket hats are the it style right now. These will be easy to throw in the washer and clean as needed as well! Gardening Glove & Hat Set available for $30 via Uncommon Goods

perfect for your gardening gloves and phone! This apron can be easily adjusted to the perfect, comfortable fit. Gardening Apron available for $38 via Terrain

Adorable gardening boots that

This functional garden trowel can be personalized for yourself or as a gift for another gardener in your life. Personalized Garden Trowel available for $15 via Fan Fare

will keep your feet dry, clean and comfortable for hours! Gardening Boots available for $80 via Dillard’s

This precious gardening tote

comes complete with tools. I adore the floral print

on it which is such a cute touch. Easily transport it wherever you need as you work on your florals! Gardening Tools & Tote available for $59 via Target

Remembering to keep everything watered is sometimes a struggle for me! It is very important though because if you don’t, your blooms will start to wilt. Put a fun watering can like this where you can see it daily as a reminder! Watering Can available for $10 via Dot’s Ace Hardware

Make yourself smile when heading out to the garden with some fun art pieces. Garden Art available for varying prices via Three Chicks Feed & Seed

What garden is complete without fruits and vegetables? Grab a few packets of your favorite seeds and don’t forget to water them! Seeds available for varying prices via Larry’s Southern Garden






What is your favorite Texarkana memory? My favorite memory was soccer games on Saturday at Spring Lake Park. Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana? Mr. Gatti’s on State Line What was the teen hangout when you lived here? Movies 8 Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback or Tiger? Hawk! How do you describe Texarkana to your friends? A pleasant town with great people and great teachers! Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life and why? My Friend for life, Ashley Lindsey. She is the

TXK ROOTS Brent Rodgers After earning a Master’s in Personal Finance from Texas Tech University, Texarkana native, Brent Rodgers, began his career as a stockbroker with a Fortune 500 company and was quickly climbing the ladder of success. Questioning his trajectory, he began to look for the joy and passion that seemed to be missing in his daily work. Through travel and life’s adventures that passion began to manifest. “My tastebuds were first tantalized in Peru, by a mixture of celery, carrots and beets,” Brent said. “Then with a frothing cup of fresh-blended spinach in the Middle East. From deserts to jungles, I experienced new cultures through fresh, exotic blends of local produce. I discovered a lot of things traveling around the world, but the one that struck me the most was the sense of community I felt when swapping stories over a cup of pulpy concoctions. Always fascinated by the white space that exists between creative visions and business strategy, the idea for Roots Juices was inspired by my determination to bring home an innovative approach to farm-to-table freshness that was healthy for our customers and community.” That determination paid off and Roots Market and Juicery was born and now thrives in the Dallas, Houston, Austin and Atlanta areas. Roots Market juices are fresh pressed daily and each one contains nearly three pounds of fruits and vegetables. According to rootspressedjuices.com pressed juices have 50 times as many nutrients as the juice you get fresh from local markets and can greatly improve health. Brent has made the improved health of his customers his mission and has found that elusive joy and passion from its pursuit.

most loyal friend I have had in life. What do you love about Texarkana?

I love the simplicity and the vegetation. What would you change about Texarkana? I would make the airport larger to travel to more locations. What do you think makes Texarkana famous? Kind, smart people What is your nickname for Texarkana? T-Town What do you miss about Texarkana? The plethora of people that care about you! What words do you live by? When you fall down, get back up!

TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine ’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”



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