When we pulled into the driveway at Stillwaters Farm we stopped in front of a small outbuilding that had a sign on the side saying “Welcome to the Farm”. Martha soon opened the door and invited us into her well-equipped kitchen. We noticed all of her certificates and permits displayed on the wall allowing her to operate her business. She had graciously welcomed us by setting out a sample of her 5 Star Pepper Jelly, some cream cheese and crackers. I do believe this is where we lost David!
We asked Martha how she and Rick started Stillwaters Farm?
Martha said, “I have been making jams, jellies and fruit butters for years and then started giving them as gifts to family and friends. Before I knew it, they started asking me to make some for their families and friends. That’s when I decided maybe I could make a business out of it. So, that’s what I did, and it’s just grown and grown. We have several items, but one of our most popular is apple butter. I can’t keep enough of it in stock. A lot of people tell us it’s just like their grandmas used to make. We’ve noticed that the older generation seems to have more of a connection to the apple butter.”
Martha and Rick moved from Plano about 15 years ago because they wanted to get out of the city, and get some property. Their property, just west of Van Alstyne, has most everything they need to produce their products. They gave us a walking tour of the farm where we saw their peach, pear and plum trees are just starting to produce. In another area the grape vines and blackberry bushes are starting to grow, and there is also a large garden area where all the peppers were getting ready to be planted. They have beautiful wildflowers scattered along the path and towards the back of the property is where you’ll find their beehive boxes. At the moment, they only have one active box, but hope to get the other boxes up and running. Martha did let us know that she loves taking on new projects, and that may mean Rick gets to learn a new skill as well!
We were curious; we didn’t see any strawberry plants or apple trees, so how did they make those all those yummy butters and jams? Rick told us, “Any time there isn’t enough fruit being harvested from the farm, they have several other farms they purchase from. We buy from growers, not from the supermarket, everything is bought fresh.” Because they don’t grow any apples on their farm, they make several treks a year back to an orchard in northwest Arkansas, near where they both grew up, met and married. Each trip they bring home 8 bushels, close to 600 apples.
Martha and Rick laughed a little when talking about all that had to be done after an ‘apple trip’. The fact that they are