The farm that keeps on growing

Lightsey farms

As summer approaches, farmers’ markets and produce are in full swing. Right now, the first round of fresh fruits and vegetables are being picked, washed, and prepped  for sale. Fresh is the best when it comes to production and these farmers’ markets can not be beaten. These farmers and an army of workers work tirelessly all year for this 4-5 month period when they can share their passion and make a living.

In Texas, there are over 48 peach orchards including Lightsey Farms. Lightsey Farms is located in Mexia, TX, and is a staple to the town. Lightsey’s does not only provide some of the best peaches in the state, but they also grow and produce a variety of vegetables and other fruits such as; pattypan squash, blackberries, green and red plums, potatoes, etc. If you think they stopped there, you would be mistaken. At their permanent market right outside of Mexia, they sell all that has been mentioned and jar goods from pickles to fruit preserves to a multitude of jellies and pickled items.

Even with the location of Lightsey Farms being “out of the way,” customers are always more than willing to go the extra mile for all of what Lightsey’s has to offer. Some customers drive as far as Dallas or Austin for guaranteed greatness every time. Their service also has that southern hospitality feel, everyone is welcome anytime. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. Customers don’t leave without all of their questions answered. They are willing to help with anything they can.

Along with Lightsey’s permanent stand, their crew travels long distances with hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for other farmers’ markets every Saturday. On these days, they spend all afternoon loading three vans and a truck; one to Austin, another to Houston, and lastly Waco. To get to these markets and set up fully, some vans pull out as early as 3 a.m. That’s just the start,  they then have to load everything back up and unload it when they get back to the farm. It takes an enormous amount of hard work and dedication to run a farm and market of this size, but it’s in the genes of the Lightsey sisters.

Lightsey Farms is a third-generation farm starting with Erie Elijah Lightsey (E.E.L.) in the early 1900s. The farm was passed down to his son Erie Ellice Lightsey Jr. and now the farm is being run by sisters Mary Lightsey- King and Lisa Lightsey- Hadden, daughters of E.E. Lightsey Jr. and granddaughters of E.E.L. The two grew up in the farming lifestyle and have been huge advocates of agriculture. 

“We always knew we would do what we could to keep the farm going,”  Mary said.

 According to The Texas Department of Agriculture, Mary and Lisa are a part of the small 37 percent of women producers in Texas. They have expanded the farm into local grocery stores and several markets.

If you have not taken the time to go to a farmer’s market, try something new. For many customers, Lightsey Farms makes it worth the trip. There’s no denying tapping into the roots of agriculture and where our food comes from is essential, but you will find the flavor and quality unbeatable. If you would like to call the farm to ask any questions you can call them at 254-562-6913. They are open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and would love to welcome you to their happy place!

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