Food News

This North Texas Farm Is Creating a Space for Chefs

This year's Okrapalooza Seed to Table dinner took place among okra fields at the Reeves Family Farm in Princeton.
This year's Okrapalooza Seed to Table dinner took place among okra fields at the Reeves Family Farm in Princeton. Taylor Adams
Who doesn’t appreciate a farm-to-table dinner?

Not just a “this onion came from 99 miles away and is now at your cloth-covered table in Oak Lawn,” but a “this okra came from that bush that’s 2 feet away from you on this farm.”

That’s what Stacy and Aaron Reeves are thinking about for their own farm, anyway.

click to enlarge The plan is in place, and work begins in January. - REEVES FAMILY FARM
The plan is in place, and work begins in January.
Reeves Family Farm
A new addition is coming to the Reeves Family Farm in Princeton in what the couple's calling the Farm Kitchen. Work begins in January, and they aim to be done by the end of April.


“Chefs, I think a lot of them would like to do farm-to-table dinners, but it’s very difficult because they have to mostly prepare some before, bring a bunch of equipment,” Aaron Reeves says. “The fact that we’ll have a kitchen on the farm, a big grill outside, one of these days a wood-fired pizza oven — they could do multiple things with that — I think that would be huge for a chef to be able to do everything right on the farm.”

click to enlarge Aaron Reeves, on his farm earlier this year, speaking with Promise of Peace's Elizabeth Dry. - TAYLOR ADAMS
Aaron Reeves, on his farm earlier this year, speaking with Promise of Peace's Elizabeth Dry.
Taylor Adams
They also plan to host cooking classes in that same space, in addition to pantry storage and a fermenting room.

“We want to concentrate on fermented foods and drinks; we love the probiotic side of things and how good that is for our health,” Reeves says. “We need more of that in our society. We need more people to cook instead of eating things out of a box. A lot of it’s educational.”

This is an addition to the farm store that’s already there: You can find produce in that charming area, along with canned goods, in warmer months when it’s open. And next year, some of those products will even be closer to home.

“We outsource a lot of things in our stores from other local producers. Right now we use, basically, a third-party canning company that still uses a lot of our products … We want to be completely authentic and make as much as possible.”

click to enlarge The store of the Reeves Family Farm - TAYLOR ADAMS
The store of the Reeves Family Farm
Taylor Adams
This farm, which grows a whole lot of okra — worthy enough to be the setting of this year’s Okrapalooza — is a ways from those of us in Dallas proper. Sitting in Princeton, it’s about 15 to 20 minutes east of McKinney.

“We’re basically a farmers market on our farm, and it’s a little bit of a drive for most people,” Reeves says. “But we want to make it worth the people’s drive; we want them to have more of an experience instead of just coming shopping.”

As for what it’s like to have dinner on a farm, it’s pretty. I’ve recently been to one at the Reeves’ and at Profound Microfarms, and to eat fresh food so close to where it’s grown is pretty cool.

“I really love the setting of the farm-to-table to dinner,” Reeves says, “kind of the ambiance and the fact that people can sit right in the middle of a real farm, a hard-working farm.”

Reeves Family Farm, 3597 FM 1377, Princeton
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.