Hard Work Runs in this Family

By / Photography By Brooke Allen | October 28, 2015
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Long days, simple pleasures at Greenwood Farms

2:30am start. Eager hands willing to water and feed all manner of farm animals and milk cows. Extensive travel required, and the only benefits are the smiling faces that enjoy what you do

Few are fit for the job. Sunup would be a late wake at Greenwood Farms.

Any given day on the farm begins at 4am for Gary Greenwood and his wife, Cindy. On days of the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market, Gary and Cindy load up and hit the road even earlier.

“Neither of us was raised on the volume of the type of farm that we operate now,” Cindy said.

Gary worked for the railroad for 16 years. After he was laid off, the couple decided to start milking cows and selling the milk. Now, 30 years later, Greenwood Farms has about 40 dairy cows, 60 beef cows, 150 hogs, 300 hens, 20 milk goats, 15 meat goats, a number of ducks, chickens, sheep, mules and one llama.

A typical day on the farm, according to Cindy:

“Gary milks goats and gets all the pigs and sheep and the rest of the goats and cattle water and feed.” she said. Lately it’s baling hay and in winter putting out hay and raising turkeys for fall. Just “maintenance on the farm.”

“Then there’s the chores,” she says. But not just chores around the homestead. Greenwood Farms delivers to eateries in the Tulsa metro area that embrace the “farm to table” concept. Patrons of Tulsa metro restaurants can enjoy the goods of the farm just by eating out.

Greenwood Farms transports their yield to The Tavern, Dilly Diner, Elote, The Vault and Villa Ravenna. Whether it’s fromscratch pasta at Villa Ravenna made with Greenwood Farms eggs or chicken and waffles from the Greenwood’s farm-raised organic meat, the options are out there to support local farmers.

Another opportunity to share in their harvest is at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market—the largest farmers’ market group in Oklahoma. While at the market, you’ll find Jacquelyn Grossman there working alongside the Greenwoods like she’s family. She washes eggs, makes dog treats and helps at the booth. In fact, she’s like a daughter.

“She’s my best friend’s daughter. Best friend for 30-something years.”

Resilient as a farmer, Jacquelyn has overcome some of life’s most trying challenges. Her father (Gary’s best friend) died tragically in an accident on a farm south of Big Cabin when Jacquelyn was only about 3 years old.

“That was the worst day,” recalls Cindy. “Gary and her dad were putting out hay.” Gary went one way and he went the other. The tractor turned over on him. “Gary found him.” Gary’s brother had suffered that same type of accident about six years prior. “Gotta be durable if you’re a farmer.”

We agree.

And speaking of durable, Jacquelyn has overcome cancer. Twice. Cindy drove her to chemo treatment every day. Doctors said she would never be able to have children. Now, Jacquelyn celebrates being cancer-free for five years. And that’s not the only celebration. She’s expecting a baby due in December.

When they aren’t farming, the Greenwoods are building their new house on 40 acres they bought right after they got married. Son Dallas, who operates Four State Meat Processing, lives about a quarter mile away on the family land.

“Dallas was born to be a butcher” Cindy beams. His butchery skills have become legendary and would make most chefs swoon. Four State processes beef, hogs and lamb for stalwart local farms Blakley and Koehns.

Operating the one of the few federally inspected processing plant in Green Country puts Greenwoods in a unique position to not only help local farmers but offer custom products like smoked turkeys to order and the ever elusive de-boned pig stuffed with fajita meat, sewed up and ready to blow your mind.

They sat at the kitchen table inside their 100-year-old farm house and drew up the plans.

The Greenwoods are upgrading the farm with small milk barns, about 10 cows and some sheep and goats. Walnut trees that had to be removed will be transformed into custom kitchen cabinets. The ultimate goal with the new build is to turn it in to a bed and breakfast. Cindy will cook, and guests can decide if they want to help feed the animals, garden or “pet a goat all day long if they want to.”

If you would like information about the farm, give Gary and Cindy a call. They’d love to hear from you. “Anytime anyone has a question they can call us.” If you happen to miss them at Saturday’s Cherry Street Farmers’ Market, “We also make deliveries to Tulsa each Wednesday.” As for the lifetime of 2:30am wakeups, “Take a nap. It’s well worth it.”

Greenwood Farms
Gary and Cindy Greenwood
32707 S. 4360 Rd.
Big Cabin, OK 74332

Article from Edible Tulsa at http://edibletulsa.ediblecommunities.com/shop/hard-work-runs-family
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