Arlington Citizen-Journal

July 7, 2014

Gnismer Farms moves to Waco area, but surprise could await DFW fans

Owner Lynn Remsing wants Arlington-area customers to know that the pick-it-yourself patch will be rising in October with a good crop of golden gourds for the fall.

Gnismer Farms, the popular Dalworthington Gardens fresh-produce patch recently closed on Bowen Road, has sprouted anew in Riesel, just southeast of Waco.

But hold onto the garden gloves — Gnismer owner Lynn Remsing wants Arlington-area customers to know that the pick-it-yourself patch will be rising along with Linus’ Great Pumpkin in October with a good crop of golden gourds for the fall.

There are plans afoot, he said, that could bring back fresh fruit and vegetables permanently to the 7-acre urban farm at 3010 S. Bowen Road. The Dalworthington Gardens property is currently for sale.

“We’ve moved down here to Waco, but I still get up there to Arlington and do various things around the farm,” Remsing said last week. “We’re actually putting pumpkins in as we’re talking, in Arlington.

The long-term details remain secret for now, said Remsing, who has a flair for showmanship as well as a green thumb.

“It looks like it could be a farm remaining there,” he said. “It’ll be a wonderful opportunity for the community. It depends on how they embrace it.”

Things haven’t always been fruitful between Remsing and Dalworthington Gardens, he said. The seeds of discord were sown beginning in 2011 when Remsing chafed at regulations.

“We kinda had fights with the city on what we had wanted done,” Remsing said.

That included building a structure to house his farm implements. City officials did not grant him a permit, saying that the farm sits in residential zoning and didn’t carry the appropriate zoning for the building.

“It’s like City Hall, you move on and fight battles you can win,” he said. Remsing also sells farm equipment online for conventional and organic gardeners under the Gnismer name.

Many of Remsing’s produce customers have followed him south, he said.

“We did strawberries down there, and people from the Metroplex thought it made a good day trip to go down there,” said Remsing.

In Dalworthington Gardens, as many as 1,500 people a day would come to pick strawberries in the early spring.

“A lot of people have expressed interest in our fruits and vegetables,” he said. “We get two to three calls a day on it from up there [Arlington].”

Still, it was an easy move to make, Remsing said.

“We had a lot of customers from here who used to come up to Arlington and pick strawberries,” he said.

The Remsings are putting up greenhouses in Riesel and are planting yellow, orange and red seedless watermelons and several lettuce varieties.

He also hopes to put in a pumpkin patch attraction which will make more of a day-trip experience for families, with pumpkin-chucking competitions and stocked fish ponds for fishing.

Remsing, who said he has other farms in Texas and other states, said above all, people appreciate fresh produce varieties they can’t get in grocery stores.

“I’m trying to keep local agriculture for the people,” he said. “The further you have to transport it, the less flavor you’re gonna have in your fruits and vegetables.”

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This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives

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