Posts By Minnie Payne
Skip Connett, 57, is co-owner of Austin’s approximately 40-acre certified organic Green Gate Farms. The operation is a realization of a vision he had to cultivate a healthy farm that feeds mind, body and soul. He and his co-owner wife, Erin Flynn, 51, established Green Gate Farms in May 2006, five acres of which are in what was once a blighted neighborhood, eight miles east of downtown Austin, Texas. Another four to six acres of a 35-acre plot located 23 miles from downtown Austin are presently being developed with cover cropping, fruit trees and vegetables.
Skip, formerly a writer for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, saw firsthand the dilemmas of poor health and that, combined with a passion for organic farming, drove him to cultivating the soil.
Paul Magedson, owner of 175-acre Good Earth Organic Farm in Hunt County, near Celeste, Texas, is hopeful that his organic farm will be profitable enough that his now 13-year-old son, Andrew, and 15-year-old son, William, will want to carry on the tradition.
“There’s so much to put into organic farming, and generally speaking, people don’t realize the important difference between eating large-scale commercially grown products and organically-certified products,” Magedson says.
Magedson, 67, who has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, bought his farm outright 30 years ago after selling several homes in Dallas and profiting from a former contracting and tropical plant maintenance businesses.
In 1992, 69-year old Carol Ann Sayle and her husband of 47 years, 65-year old Larry Butler, were fortunate enough, through owner financing, to buy five acres and a declining historic house in East Austin, TX, which, with a farm that they own in Gause farm, became Boggy Creek Farm, named after the creek/ditch across the street. Vegetables and fruit are grown on about 2.5 acres, with the remaining 2.5 acres being used for the shed/pole barn and parking space.
“Surrounded by housing subdivisions, schools, and commercial enterprises, which have been built on land once part of the farm, our Austin farm has become one of the few truly urban farms in the nation,” Carol Ann remarks.