Boggy Creek Farm

By Deborah Madison

Published on May 26, 2009

I've been to hundreds of farmers' markets, but Boggy Creek Farm, in Austin, beats them all. Actually, Boggy Creek is a farm that turns into a market twice a week. On five unlikely acres surrounded by houses and schools less than three miles from the state capitol building, rows of sunflowers and herbs beat a path from the street to a wood farmhouse. Beyond the house are fields planted with okra, squash, eggplants, sweet corn, cabbage, and all sorts of "weird little radishes", to borrow the words of Carol Ann Sayle, who started the farm with her husband, Larry Butler, 18 years ago. The house's porch is festooned with beat-up gardening gloves—totems of a hard, good life. I've sat on that porch with Larry as he leaned back in a chair with a BB gun resting across his knees, guarding against the squirrels that steal fruit from his fig trees. I've dined on a bounty of vegetables in the spartan farmhouse kitchen at a table covered with seeds. "Customers think that we are living their dream, and they want to do what we're doing," Carol Ann said to me once. I know what they mean.

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