East Texas Small Farmers Still Doing Well - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

03/12/04 - Longview

East Texas Small Farmers Still Doing Well

     61 year old Wood county farmer J.R. Matthews grows his own food and he has for as long as he can remember.

    "My daddy always had a big garden when I was a boy and I grew up working in the garden" says Matthews. Retired now, he farms the old fashioned way, using no irrigation, waiting for the rain to come... And often using a horse to plow his fields.

    Decades of experience tell him when to plant and what to grow, and he shuns buying anything that doesn't come out of his own land. "We'll go look at the prices they charge outrageous prices for stuff... I know whats going into the ground, i know what were going to end up with ...and theres nothing like coming out in the morning and picking that nights supper" Matthews says.

    In good years past he sold his excess crop, but now he takes enjoyment in giving away his bounty to elderly people in his community. "People laugh at me and say man you gave away 1,000... 2,000... 3,000 dollars worth of vegetables, and I say well the people I gave it to enjoy it" .

   As long as the sun shines and the rains come, Matthews says he'll keep farming.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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