Category Archives: Agriculture

Wind Farms Empower Communities

A turbine from a wind farm near Bayview.

Willacy County has a reputation as a farming region of the state. Thousands of acres of land contain sugarcane and sorghum, cotton, corn and sesame seeds. One can drive for miles and miles and see nothing but fields covered with crops during the growing season. But in the last 10 years, one thing has drastically been changing the rural landscape in Willacy and parts of Cameron County. It is the proliferation…

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Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch

Maddie's Pumpkin Patch

Families looking for the perfect fall photo shoot backdrop this season should make plans to visit the Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch. The McAllen location offering an unforgettable experience sits on Bensten Road between Lark and Auburn Ave. It certainly is a crowd pleaser, especially during the golden hour. Melanie and Rick Vega first opened their McAllen location in 2017, and Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch has since then expanded. There is now a…

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Development Makes the RGV Prosperous

Eighty years ago, the Rio Grande Valley was a rural, agriculturally based economy with little growth happening. Fast forward to 10 years ago, and the RGV was quickly becoming a thriving metropolitan area as development intensified. Today, the region has completely transformed economically. It has become an area developed by improving and increasing commercial, retail, industrial, entertainment, medical and higher education institutions.  Education In 2013, the transformation of the RGV’s…

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TIFT Volunteers Reel In Scholarships

TIFT volunteers wait for fishing boats to arrive at the dock at the Port Isabel Marina.

The 80th Texas International Fishing Tournament is now in the books. This annual event is much more than going after shallow or deep-water fish. In fact, it’s a family event in which everyone from toddlers to grandparents in their 90s get together for a weekend of fun. Rewarding volunteers TIFT gives out tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students from throughout the Rio Grande Valley and the state as well. This…

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Shop Fresh at Tres Lagos Farmers’ Market

Pica Natural artisans spices that can be used for seasoning, dips or salsas.

The weekend is fast approaching and if you’re looking for a leisurely, family-friendly Sunday afternoon, Tres Lagos Farmers’ Market should be on your list. The Tres Lagos Farmers’ Market takes place from Sept. 1 from 2-5 p.m. at 4350 Tres Lagos Blvd. in McAllen. There’s live music playing as you walk the market, which features roughly 30 different vendors to shop from.    The market also offers a wide variety…

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Ranchers to Gather in Rio Grande City

TSCRA ranch gathering

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association will host a ranch gathering Aug. 27 at the Triple G Livestock Auction in Rio Grande City. The event will provide an opportunity for local cattle producers to learn about TSCRA’s recent activities. TSCRA will also discuss issues facing cattle raisers while attendees can connect with other cattle producers in the area. TSCRA Special Ranger Joe Aguilar will also provide an update on…

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Farmers Market Freshness

Rebecca de la Garza buys a specialty bread from April Kminiak of Frannys' Garden of Bayview at the Brownsville farmers market.

Although the Rio Grande Valley is one of the state and country’s best fertile regions to grow fruits, vegetables and livestock, consumers have not had the opportunity to get the best the land produces unless they go to a grocery store or to a fruit stand. Winter vegetables, for example, usually ship to many places in the United States. Goat cheese isn’t a supermarket staple in this part of the…

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Mangoes, Mangoes, Mangoes!

Jason Hess shows one of the many mangoes at the grove in Bayview.

Got mangoes? If not, go this Saturday to Paradise Gardens in Bayview as a fest to celebrate the ever popular tropical fruit. The gardens, previously known as River’s End Nursery, will turn into a celebration of mangoes for people of all ages from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Owners Jason and Lara Hess have one of the largest mango groves in the Rio Grande Valley. It has close to 30 varieties…

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Shrimping Season Begins With a Blessing

The Rev. Mark Watters blessing the trawler at the Brownsville Shrimp Basin

Shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico has been a way of life for thousands from the Brownsville/Port Isabel area to the Texas upper coast.  It’s also been the livelihood for hundreds of others who come from as far as Mexico and Central America. Each new shrimp season usually starts on July 15, or a month and a half after hurricane season begins. But just as the farmers of the land face…

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Natives Grow in Popularity

Mike Heep surrounds himself with hardy native plants known to attract birds and butterflies. (VBR)

Mike Heep spends his days cultivating native plants and educating people about the benefits of using indigenous vegetation in gardens and landscaping projects. Native plants are drought and freeze tolerant, and attract the birds and butterflies for which the Rio Grande Valley is famous. In 1964, Heep moved from San Antonio to the Harlingen area with his family. He operates Heep’s Nursery on the same two-acre tract where he grew…

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