The community of local growers and producers in the Llano Estacado is expanding! It’s exciting to find new local producers and see what each of them offer to our region. One such team of producers that we had the pleasure of meeting are Lucinda Mann and Susan Sweeden, the owners of Juicy Lucy’s Veggies.
Lucinda and Susan began their operation last year. They started out by experimenting to see how well different varieties of produce could grow in their region and sell at market. As any local producer in the Llano Estacado region will attest, they ran into several setbacks during their first year: an early freeze got many of their tomato plants, and then an unusually bad windstorm destroyed many other plants.
Because they are truly passionate about what they do, they were able to recover from their setbacks and learn from them. Last year, they used seeds from plants that survived that first season, and sold all their produce at the Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market and at the Plainview Farmers Market. Anyone who visited either market would have seen their gourmet varieties of garlic, cucumbers, okra, and carrots.
In 2014, Mann and Sweeden have decided to focus a little more on producing root vegetables: aromatics such as garlic, onions, and leeks; varieties of green beans; radishes; and strawberries. Like last year, they will continue to produce gourmet varieties of produce normally not seen at the farmers’ market (many varieties of garlic, red okra, and both purple and yellow beans).
Because of their commitment to grow all of their items organically, they also have some great ideas for using tea concoctions to keep pests away. Nothing on their farm goes to waste: droppings from their chickens, ducks, and rabbits are used for composting, and water from their fish tank is used to help fertilize their soil.
But don’t just think that this duo is only about crops–they have other offerings that will please local food enthusiasts, such as pasture-raised chicken and duck eggs, composting worms, and worm castings for fertilizer. If you can’t make it to the Downtown Farmers’ Market this summer, and you’re not able to visit Juicy Lucy’s farm, you can also find their eggs at Healthy Essentials in Lubbock.