By Melissa Federspill at the Uvalde Leader-News, October 19, 2020
Every other Saturday morning, locals with a fondness for fresh, farm-to-table goods can make their way over to 310 Pearsall Road to visit the Cottle Farmstead market, where there’s a bounty of organic produce and fresh-baked goods on display.
Cottle Farmstead is the made-with-love project of entrepreneur Jessika Cottle, whose passion for clean food inspired her to create the market.
“One of my goals is to share foods with our customers that are healthy, nutritious, and affordable. Also to bring back the sense of community that was once common but we don’t find anymore,” Cottle said.
She sets up shop right outside her driveway, creating a farmstand complete with a canopy and decorative tablecloths. She usually sees her first customer around 8:45 a.m., and sells out within three hours.
The Cottles are Uvalde transplants, moving here in 2019 from Wimberley where they lived for five years.
Jessika and her husband, Jim, moved here with their son, Luke, because they wanted more land, to be closer to Jim’s job in the oil field of South Texas and to be close to family.
They are both originally from Carrizo Springs, and together they have five children, ages 13 to 33.
Cottle describes their new home as “sitting on nine acres of rich soil on the Leona River,” with a 5,000 square-foot garden.
“I like to describe the Farmstead garden as a culinary garden where we grow things that are hard to find,” Cottle said.
She said she’s always had a passion for cooking clean foods, but when Luke was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 7, she was determined to discover how foods could help his brain development.
“…Through lots of long nights of long reading and research, I discovered that what worked best for his brain development and cognitive abilities was to not eat refined sugars, consume artificial dyes or preservatives…” Cottle said.
Knowing that she needed to help Luke overcome his daily struggles with sensory issues, and his ability to process his thoughts, the family made the transition to eating clean, homegrown vegetables, only natural sugars, and foods without preservatives or dyes.
She said after the transition they saw improvements in their son right away, specifically in his language skills and thought processes.
“This made me a believer and it was the kick-off to my passion to help him and others who struggle by sharing information about nutrition and eventually the foods we are growing and offering today,” Cottle said.
She said they are currently growing over 13 varieties of peppers, from sweet banana to ghost peppers and cayenne; mixed salad greens, fall tomatoes, okra, zucchini, spinach, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
In the herb garden, they have five varieties of basil, lemon grass, sage, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro. They also sell artisan baked breads, made with low-glycemic agave nectar, along with whole fruit preserves, and salsas.
All of their produce is grown without pesticides and is harvested daily.
Since May of this year, they have grown almost 3,000 pounds of natural fruits and vegetables that has been shared with the community.
“Our customers are now our friends, and they come to the farmstand first thing Saturday morning knowing they might see someone they know there. It’s like a social, except you take home fresh foods…,” Cottle said.
The farmstand will be open Saturday, Oct. 24, and every other Saturday thereafter through the end of the year, weather permitting.
They also offer curbside service, and can sell produce and bread on an individual basis. A complete listing of offerings and the schedule can be found at jessikacottle.wixsite.com/cottlefarmstead.
See the original article: https://www.uvaldeleadernews.com/articles/farmstead-market-open-every-other-saturday/