Whatever remains after the market goes to the farmers, a local soup kitchen--or the hen house.
After watching Ping Ping the hen brood over chick-less eggs for days, the author is forced to take action.
Cool, rainy weather forces the author to bring her 79 newly purchased chicks into the house to keep them warm.
The author wonders if desperation will drive people to steal and sell the pears that grow on her farm.
The oppressive heat makes the farm's plants die early, creating a desire to see something growing again.
As the demand for exotic foods increases, the author asks if they're worth the pain of growing them.
When The Wall Street Journal comes to photograph the author's house, some tidying up is in order.
A reclusive hen surprises everyone when she disappears and is later caught incubating eggs in a secret nest.
Even after the plants drop their final sun-burnt fruits to the ground, the work on the farm isn't over.
After trying to extend salad season, the author realizes peppers, not salad greens, have it made in the shade.
Food producers go to to great lengths to keep salmonella out of eggs. The author offers simpler methods.
The sweltering summer heat wreaks havoc on the farm's system for naming fruits and vegetables.
Water is scarce in the Texas summertime, causing even the farm's toughest plants to whither.
Tomatoes are stored in the air-conditioned guest room to stay cool. But sometimes, they go bad.
Lettuce isn't just the base of a good salad. It plays a crucial role on the farm by keeping other plants healthy. The author describes the process of saving one year's lettuce seeds for use in the next growing season and explains how the plant works to support other parts of the farm as well.
Eating weeds in salad puts garden pests to good use--plus, they are packed with nutrients. The author explains how she and her husband discovered the joys of eating amranth, lambs' quarters, and purslane--and why others should follow their lead.
They taste great in sandwiches and salads, but tomatoes are hard work for the farmers who grow them. Tilling fertilizer and compost into bed after bed is no fun, especially in the Texas almost-summer humidity. But there's also a satisfaction in knowing the plants will grow into tomatoes to be enjoyed.
For farmers in Texas, the start of summer means one thing: time to harvest in the blistering heat. Farmers in other parts of the country enjoy more forgiving weather, but they miss out on the joy of being able to provide their customers with fresh produce 12 months a year.
Whether or not organic farming can work globally, it already plays a vital role in nourishing communities, bringing them together, and providing them with healthy, fresh foods. And it also provides an invaluable opportunity for the farmers themselves to connect with the world around them.
The author says more Americans are raising chickens in their own backyards and reaping the benefits of fresh, organic eggs--even if Slate says otherwise. Even if chickens can be a challenge to their owners, the benefits of having them often outweigh the negatives.