Our Roots

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Josh Plack

My family raised me to believe that nourishing  food is important.  That homegrown made all the difference.  To embrace the food from cultures around the world.  With that in mind I have taken that respect for cultural dishes, and by learning to  prepare them as authentically as possible, I have developed new styles of fusion cusisine and unique seasonings to suit my ever expanding palate. 

 In this quest for delicious food, it have also gained an appreciation for fresh food, and supported those who have the ability to produce extra tasty and obscure vegetables.

I began my path toward small farming in my teenage years, where my ex-wife and I grew together in my  parent’s vegetable garden.  We took over care of the garden and built a beautiful little space to be together.  By the time I graduated high school I knew I  wanted to be a horticulturist So, she and I went to St. Louis Community college and both studied horticulture even though it was clear that it was not what she wanted to do with her life

We continued gardening while going to school and then got the opportunity to go work on my Uncle’s farm in Hawaii.  We spent the better half of a year trying to adapt to tropical horticulture, gained a deep appreciation for sustainable agriculture and became familiar with the major changes coming to agriculture.  I became inducted into Agro-ecological thinking and learned bio-intensive practices, but could not stay in the tropics Because Sara wanted to come back, so I came with her.

So, we moved back to Missouri and finished our degrees in horticulture.  But something did not seem right with working in a field where people are putting all of those resources into a landscape for the sole purpose of aesthetics.  The landscapes we found ourselves working in were unsustainable, they required continued inputs of synthetic products with effects upon the surrounding both known and unknown.  I yearned to do more with the land, and to create landscapes that were aesthetically pleasing, as well as nourishing to both people and the surrounding ecosystems.  I also sought to grow produce and find our own way to do so. Sara saw the art in what I was doing, and wanted to move on from horticulture as well.

At the time of that realization I was working in commercial horticulture and going to school at the University of Missouri for Horticulture.  The next semester I switched majors to Sustainable Agriculture, I quit my job to plan our farm business, and we both began looking for a farm.

We found a house on a 17 acre plot of land outside Cedar Hill and moved in May of 2016, and have already proven to ourselves we have what it takes to put our knowledge into practice.  We were making great progress in our endeavor by building a poly-tunnel, a sheep pasture, fenced garden space and planted several native trees and shrubs taking our first year to trial crops such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, herbs, flowers, and melons.   Our gardens were abundant, and we were finding this kind work utilized our talents and passions towards regenerative agriculture.

And Wine Creek Farm was born!

Eventually Sara became disillusioned, she became jealous of my talents, tried to immitate and outstage me, however in the end it was not her dream.  She became resentful of me, jealous of the success that was just around the corner… jealous of my love for our Daughter Selene and the tenderness with which I taught her about food and where it comes from.  Sara began plotting against me as if to destroy me and the farm.  However, date had other plans.  We had joined up with several other farms for a workday rotation where we all helped at farm one day per week.  This made up for her lack of interest and effort.  This was the beginning of my success! 

So far 2020 had been the busiest, and most lucrative year yet!  The season is not over yet, but the sales volume, and niche value added products are bringing in enough cash flow to justify the farm as viable!  It is sad that we had to part ways after 15 years of building a life together, but she simply wanted out and I was told blind to see it until it was too late.  I couldn’t imagine this not being her dream, alas all she wants to do is crafts and art that she will never exhibit, and sit around watching slapstick comedy, reading ancient religions and scientific articles that not only does she lack the capacity to understand and they will forever be irrelevant to her life, but that she made her own understanding of them and applied those understandings in a way that showed complete detachment from reality, and disregard for any priorities besides arts and crafts and acting like Selene was the biggest burden in the world arts and crafts and saying resentful mean things because I couldn’t watch Selene so she could go make some stained glass or take a nap midday while I was busy trying to run a farm and a business all by myself. All in all … It was for the better that she leave!  For she was holding the farm back with her over-organization and fearful anxious behavior.

Now, the farm is doing better than ever!  More sales, new employees, cooperation and collaboration with like minded folk have all made the farm what I envisioned it would become. 

 

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We are a diversified Small Farm located in Cedar Hill. Newly established on April 20, 2016 we are utilizing Biodynamic practices along with Permaculture design principles to create an Agroecosystem that is abundantly biodiverse and sustainable.  Everything we produce, we do so without the use of synthetic chemicals, including fertilizer. We do everything the right way using organic amendments, and good cultural practices to prevent pest and disease issues. We enlist numerous species of beneficial insects and use strategically placed insectaries to provide them the habitat to draw more in.  

Our approach supports the native ecology by building multifunctional polycultures designed to suit human needs and create habitat for wildlife simultaneously.  It relies upon a diversity of flora and fauna to create an environment that is resilient.  It draws from patterns found in nature and the native plants already found in the area by including edible and medicinal native fruits like: Sumac, Paw Paws, Persimmons, Elderberries, Gooseberries, Blackberries, Crabapple, Black Cherry, and Aronia in our polycultures.  Also, Nut Bearing Trees (some native and some Exotic) like: Oaks, Walnuts, Pecans, Hickory, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts Filberts.  As well as understory trees for the wildlife: Serviceberry, Dogwood, Osage Orange, Hercules Club.  With multiple polyculture areas our farm will resemble a forest with gradual transitions in between, with each plant carefully placed according to its needs.

Above all, I hope to strengthen the local food system, foster creativity as well as an adventurous taste by using interesting and uncommon ingredients including; heirloom, heritage & native types of fruits and vegetables. And to create place where friends gather to: actively make positive change and rejuvenate our culture, to become connected to their food, to share ideas, and grow together! 

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