The yummiest Sunday brunch board, wines, and mimosas are just a short drive and so very worth it!! You’ll love the food, ambiance, and hospitality at Deschain Cellars, Winery & Lounge in Gainesville…open Sundays from 11:30am-5pm. Tell them we made you go!!! 🥰😎😋 North Texas Wine Country #eatdrinkshoplocal #edibledfw #drinknorthtexas #brunchboard #forestwinery ... See MoreSee Less
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How did we miss #NationalCoffeeDay? We were certainly drinking plenty of it, lol!!You could continue celebrating like we are and check out this “Cultured Coffee” story from winter 2021 by Eric Swayne! Experience a coffee-crawl through 3 awesome local shops, and download a list of 17 coffee destinations and roasters with a local flair:🤠☕️💖#eatdrinklocal #dfwcoffee #edibledfw #supportlocal #localbuzz Pax & Beneficia Coffee Black Coffee Golden Boy Coffee Co. ... See MoreSee Less
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Get ready for a Meat Fight on November 12th!! This always fun, annual BBQ competition actually started in a backyard in Lake Highlands, and has evolved into a meaty chef-competition with a very worthy cause.This year's event features 20 local chefs who will make you eat as they compete for trophies for best brisket, best sausage, etc. -- and you'll also eat samples in the Sweet Fight competition! Oh and there's a casserole competition, and beer from Community Beer Co. Yes, just saying that you'll be very full of meaty, sweetie, and beery goodness. The festivities include more than simply gorging yourself. You'll enjoy a meat-themed midway with games, and the BEST PART: this fun-lanthropy event benefits people living with Multiple Sclerosis. Tickets go on sale October 3rd at 10am. See link below to snag yours!! 21 AND UP ONLY.Meat Fight is back! November 12th, we will smoke meats and happyscream together as we fight for a cure for MS.If you’ve never been to a Meat Fight, you can expect a ton of killer barbecue, all the beers, a midway with meat-themed games, an auction with barbecue-celebrity-packed items and the most fun you’ve ever had at a charity event.100% of ticket price goes directly to helping someone living with MS. We hope you’ll join us!Bookmark the link now, and don’t be late. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, October 3rd at 10 a.m. (and in the past, they’ve gone fast: ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

Edible Dallas Fort Worth
Always appreciate being invited to the annual GO TEXAN Pavilion Preview Night at the State Fair of Texas! Lots of #localgoodness and saw plenty of friends, both old and new. When you’re at the State Fair, be sure you spend time at the GO TEXAN Pavilion and pick up lots of new local products!!!Texas Department of Agriculture #supportlocal #StateFairofTX #edibledfw #gotexan ... See MoreSee Less
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deepLarkenKen & Laura Jo Halverson

Photography by Kelly Yandell

When Ken and Laura Jo Halverson bought their farm in Waxahachie, Laura Jo thought her husband was just finishing up a landscaping project as he continued bringing in more and more peach trees. Finally, Ken casually informed his wife, “I think we are going to have an orchard.”

This initial planting of 200 trees has grown into a bustling 8,000- tree, chemical-free peach orchard boasting 35 varieties of freestone and clingstone peaches. What’s the difference? With clingstone varieties, the flesh of the peach truly “clings” to the pit, whereas a freestone peach separates freely. The flesh of peaches ranges from white to yellow and cling peaches are often used for canning purposes. But fresh from the tree, Texas peaches are something to behold, a true delicacy.

“You need to lean forward a little bit before you bite into it,” Laura Jo tells visitors. This warning is often met with a puzzled look, until the lucky guest smiles as the peach bursts with sweet juices. “They taste like a peach should taste,” she says. “White flesh peaches are just like eating candy. I absolutely love them.”

Ken, who works full-time as a general contractor, grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, an area known for its succulent peaches. The memories were his inspiration for starting Larken Farms. (The name’s a hybrid of Laura Jo and Ken—Lar-Ken.) “There is nothing like grabbing a peach right off the tree and having [the juices] run down your shirt,” says Ken. “There is nothing like making peach ice cream.”

As their peach production improved with every passing year, the couple continued to add trees. “Every time we hit the goal,” says Ken, “it goes up a little more.” And as they added trees, they worked to diversify their varieties, not only to add interest, but also to ensure that they would have both early-ripening and late-ripening varieties. The plan was to enable them to harvest peaches from April into July.

Those diversification efforts proved to be a fortunate strategy when this spring’s late freezes killed most of their early-ripening varieties. For many Texas peach farmers, the weather decimated their entire crop. Peach trees grow by “chill hours.” Varieties are signaled to grow, or “break dormancy” after they have experienced a certain number of hours at a specified low temperature. If a tree begins to produce fruit early in spring, for instance, it has a 200-300 chill hour growth pattern, and a late freeze can kill the fruit. If an entire orchard has trees with a 200-300 chill hour growth pattern, a farmer can lose the whole year’s production with a late freeze. Larken Farms has not only early blooming trees, but also trees that range up to an 800 chill hour growth pattern. While Ken and Laura Jo will not have their favorite white flesh peaches this year, they feel fortunate that their other varieties are coming along nicely, and will be ready for harvest in late June.



The Halversons have a strict policy of not importing peaches from other regions to cover their losses. They want their customers to feel confident that the peaches sold by Larken Farms are Texas grown. They have cultivated a following of discriminating peach lovers who want only the best, chemical-free produce. While they haven’t sought formal organic certification for their farm, they grow their peaches with organic methods and avoid chemical pesticides. “Because everything we do is without chemicals, we don’t bring anything else in,” says Ken. “When we are out, we are done.”

They have found that people seek them out because of their commitment to the organic approach. “They are thrilled by it,” exclaims Laura Jo. One such discriminating peach buyer is Kathy Neumuller of JJ&B Jams who uses Larken Farms peaches, as well as blackberries, for some of her jams and jellies. “Finding fruit without chemicals is important to her,” notes Laura Jo.

Other than the major risks of spring temperature drops, Ken notes that one of their big challenges comes from the local wildlife that visits the orchard to gorge. Fat raccoons will perch on low branches and eat their fill, often breaking off branches in the process. And coyotes will reach into the tree, standing on their hind legs to reach juicy peaches and break off branches, as well.

Though peaches are the crown jewels of the farm, Ken and Laura Jo have expanded their lush oasis to include several seasonal vegetable gardens. They are now up to four plots boasting cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions and zucchini.

They also have apricot, plum and pear trees growing along with the peaches, as well as honeybees that have their choice of a multitude of blossoms.

Laura Jo thinks of it as her “retirement project” should she ever actually retire from her full time work for Oncor. But, she and Ken already work non-stop welcoming guests to their farm as well as bringing their fruit and produce to several farmers markets and CSAs. The farm is open during the season for pick-your-own visits, and they have a farm stand on site.

“Initially, I had mentioned having a garden by the fruit barn,” says Laura Jo. She wanted a space where children “could see where a potato or an onion came from.” But when the adults were having as much fun as the children “we just kind of kept growing it, and each year, we add [more].”

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KELLY YANDELL is a writer and photographer based in Dallas. She has contributed to Edible Dallas & Fort Worth since 2011. Her website ( celebrates practical dishes and comfort foods, while her photography portfolio can be found at Kelly is an attorney and is the vice president of the Advisory Board of Foodways Texas, an organization founded by scholars, chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, farmers, ranchers, and other citizens of the state of Texas who have made it their mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas.

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