From Hobby Gardener to Market Farmer: Flying Y Farm

By Elvia Gallego (Local Llano Intern) Plains, TX

What started as a family garden and love of farming has now grown into a full time business for DeAnn Yates. As a generational farmer, DeAnn has a passion for agriculture that is deeply rooted in her family. She and her husband Jody farm cotton and raise cattle in Tarzan, Texas, and after years of gardening to feed her family, DeAnn decided to take her hobby garden up a notch.

Beginning in 2009, DeAnn and her daughter Samantha began growing organic, seasonal produce and participating in the Midland Downtown Farmers Market. In 2016, DeAnn began market farming full time by supplying local restaurants, hosting on-farm events, providing educational tours and participating in area markets.

DeAnn uses high tunnels to grow crops such as lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale and peppers, to name a few. She also grows onions, tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, beets, turnips, fall and summer squashes, okra, and a variety of herbs.

“West Texas wind is by far my worst enemy,” DeAnn said regarding her produce production challenges. “The high tunnels have allowed me to provide a more favorable growing environment for my greens to grow, which have become highly in demand by our customers and restaurants.”

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DeAnn and Samantha both are passionate when it comes to educating the public about agriculture and sustainable farming practices. They host school field trips and educational events such as “Kids’ Garden Parties,’ where children can plant their own seed to take home; tour the garden; eat food prepared with the farm’s produce and eggs; and dig in the dirt to find worms and learn about healthy soil and why it is needed to grow plants.

DeAnn now serves as Board President of the Midland Downtown Farmers Market and Samantha as its Market Director. The two continue to participate every Saturday morning, selling their seasonal produce and baked items.

“It is an honor to serve a leadership role to such a family friendly and community-oriented market,” DeAnn said. “Being able to teach our customers about organic, local, seasonal food and giving them the peace of mind of knowing where their food is sourced and how it is grown is incredibly rewarding.”

Flying Y Farm ( is family owned and operated, so when you purchase from us you are contributing to your own local economy and buying the freshest food available for your family. Find us at MDFM! Find us at Midland Downtown Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 8am – 12pm.

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