We made our first sale (a bunch of green onions, as I recall) at a farmers market in Austin, Texas in the spring of 1999. One year before that fateful event, my husband John had erected an eight-foot deer fence – a necessity in this part of the world – added countless tons of horse manure to the planting area, and started the first of two consecutive cover crops in preparation for our vegetable crops. While the cover crops were busy enriching the soil of this former ranchland, we were busy getting our new farmhouse constructed (with the help of a professional builder!).

Prior to that, John worked as the Vice-president and eventual President of a state-wide company, of which we were partial owners, for about 15 years, while I spent my working hours in the employ of attorneys. In 1995, John’s company was bought out by a larger corporation. John’s official title changed to General Manager, our income tax bracket went up a notch or two, and I quit my job to become a lady of leisure. During this time, John was an avid gardener. He learned about growing organically at the Austin Community Gardens in 1980, and beginning with the purchase of our first house in 1981, we always had at least one large garden.

After the sale of the company, John became less and less interested in continuing his role in the corporate world. The money was good, but the lack of personal fulfillment was not. We had lived in the South Texas Valley one year while his company was opening a new location, and upon seeing the farmland in the area, John secretly dreamed about farming one day himself. In 1996, he presented to me the idea – we could start a little farm of our own. Something we could do together. While my friends all fainted dead away at the prospect of me agreeing to become a farm wife, I was all for it.

We purchased our lovely fifteen acres that year. John continued working at the company during the development of the farm, while I became a full-time owner/laborer (with the emphasis on “laborer”) of Angel Valley Organic Farm. Almost every waking moment while not at his “real” job, John spent working on the farm. In the spring of 2000, he reduced his hours to part-time employee at the company, and in July quit that job altogether. That’s when our income tax bracket dropped substantially…and John’s official title changed to Farmer John.

Life on a small family farm is a good life indeed. In my blog, I attempt to share the highlights (and sometimes lowlights) of this life, always keeping in mind that a bit of humor here and there helps keep us all sane.


Thanks so much for your interest!
Jo Dwyer
Angel Valley Organic Farm

5 Responses to “About”

  1. Gina's Professions for PEACE Says:

    A terrific blog ~ thanks for sharing your adventures. I’ve just launched a new blog about living more green, and have included your blog in a blogroll list of great WordPress places to visit. Hope that’s ok with you 🙂 Cheers, Gina

    1. Gina's Professions for PEACE Says:

      Guess it would be super helpful if I remembered to include the link to check it out http://peopleexcitedaboutcoexistence.com/ That’s better 😀

      1. angelvalleywed Says:

        Thank you so much Gina! As soon as we’re finished harvesting all these tomatoes (!) I’ll look forward to checking out your blog for sure.

    1. angelvalleyfarm Says:

      Thank you! I look forward to poking around through your blog too — it looks great!

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