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Home is where the Vintage Heart is

 
Home is where  the Vintage Heart is
The former city-dwelling Flores family Ashley, Roger, and little Emma left Converse and are now proud farmers, offering farm-fresh produce from their acreage near Sutherland Springs.

A hankering for farm-fresh eggs has led Roger and Ashley Flores from a close neighborhood in Converse to a new life as small farmers in Wilson County.

In their Converse home, Ashley started wanting to get farm-fresh eggs. She was told by the city of Converse that she could raise her own chickens, as as long as she didn’t keep roosters.

Ashley also began to make her own butter and raise her own herbs. Soon, she was giving eggs and herbs to her neighbors and even inspired one neighbor to start her own farm!

“It was very empowering to be able to grow my own food and I began to wonder what else I could grow for my family,” Ashley said.

Country life

Soon, she and her husband, Roger, began looking for land near Sutherland Springs; they found a 23-acre piece near the Cibolo and called it home, naming it “Vintage Heart Farm.” Their 4-year-old daughter, Emma, also works on the farm, feeding the animals and milking the cows.

They have been on their little farm for four years, where they grow cattle the old-fashioned way ...100 percent grass-fed. Ashley and Roger only raise the Dexter breed.

“Sure, our beef may be a little more expensive, but we know what goes into it and may save [buyers] money on doctor bills by putting better quality food into their bodies,” Ashley said.

Their colorful eggs are unique, because of the special diet the chickens eat.

“Our hens are fed a non-soy/non-GMO [genetically modified organism] feed and are free range to roam the farm,” Ashley explained. Their breeds include Ameraucanas, Rhode Island Reds, and Black Copper Marans, which provide an array of colorful eggs shell colors range from pink, light brown, and dark chocolate brown, to blue-green.

Members of the public are invited to classes in milking and butter-making.

“This inspires people to grow their own,” Ashley said. “It sparks their imagination and inspires them to wonder what else can they grow and take charge of what they eat.”

Peddling produce

The couple founded the Farmers Market in La Vernia. It began in the field next to the Busy Bear restaurant, but has relocated to the parking lot at the La Vernia Country Store on U.S. 87. The group includes 10 vendors currently; the produce and products vary widely. The Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ashley and Roger also are opening a new store in La Vernia, Vintage Heart Mercantile, on Chihuahua Street next to the La Vernia Municipal Development District office. They plan to feature a variety of products made in Texas and America, from craft items and free-range eggs to special orders for their meat products.

Some products are created at Vintage Heart Farm by Roger and Ashley, and are reminiscent of farm and country living.

“We will also carry local and American-made goods that are hand-selected for their quality craftsmanship, unique nature, and heirloom character,” Ashley said. “Everything from hand-felted farm animals to vintage inspired apparel to locally made gourmet jams and jellies,” Ashley said.

Down on the farm

Vintage Heart Farm also will host a “Farm Day” on Saturday, March 8. Ashley and Roger will offer guests a guided tour of the farm and let them interact with the farm animals.

For information on Farm Day or Vintage Heart Farm, find them on Facebook or contact Ashley at ashley@vintageheartfarm.com or 210-473-8201.

 
 
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