Young gardener embraces push back in fall crops

Local News

Since it has been so warm, East Texas farmers are experiencing a delay in cold weather crops. For those who love summer harvest, they’re still enjoying the warm weather. One local gardener embraces whatever comes his way, defying the odds in more ways than one.

At just 22, Cody Carter is the youngest farming member of the Rose City Farmer’s Market. Carmen Sosa with the market said he’s now mentoring the older farmers. While the weather is something Cody battles with to keep his crops up, there is another battle he said he has already won.

“During the summer we do a whole lot of corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplant,” said Carter, who tends Neverland Gardens in Chandler.

While it’s not summer anymore, it sure feels like it, and those crops are still in full harvest.

“I don’t like it. I know a lot of people like it, but I don’t like it,” he said. “It makes me have to water a lot more.”

Sosa said it’s a catch 22 when it comes to gardening, but Cody isn’t your average farmer.

“I’ve had a lot of back surgeries and head surgeries, so a lot of jobs wouldn’t take me, so I decided I need to do something,” he said.

He was born with Spina bifida, limiting his abilities, but he continues to beat the odds.

“This one doesn’t have a muscle at all and this one is a smaller muscle,” he said pointing at his legs. “Originally they told me I wouldn’t walk but then when I started walking they were shocked at that and then they said I couldn’t ever do anything physical, so I did that too.”

Sosa said Cody gardens outside of the box, taking risks and planting unusual crops.

“I’ve got a greenhouse with micro greens in it,” he said. “Pretty much anything I can grow, I’ve tried it all.” 

While Cody is welcoming a cold snap because his lettuce is already bolting, some farmers are still enjoying the flavors of an East Texas summer garden.

The final farmer’s market of the season is this Saturday, November 19, at Juls in Tyler from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Santa will be there from 9-10 a.m. 

For more information about Cody’s Neverland Garden, visit here.

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