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Letter from the Editor

CEO AND PUBLISHER Mitchell Moorhead PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Scott O’Neill CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Erin Baxter CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER Gene Mathis EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marcy Stellfox ART DIRECTOR Tony Maples DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Meg Moorhead DIGITAL EDITOR Yehoshua Flores SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER Shelbi Jary CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS Robert C. Deming, Sally Grace Holtgrieve, Matthew Monk, Sonia Ramirez, Shannon Salas, Spring Sault, Donna Warfield Smith, Marcy Stellfox, Jason Weingart CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel Adams, Julie Bush, Carlos Cardona, Jami Carnes, Matt Church, Robert C. Deming, Kelly Sharpin Fife, Bling Johnson, Karrie King, Keith Larson, Pamela LeBlanc, Todd Leckie, Alan Linkous, Tony Maples, Marcy Stellfox, Jason Weingart

Summer is upon us here in the Texas Hill Country, and like every year at this time we Texans both love and suffer the heat. We love what the season brings--time with family and the opportunity to explore the Texas Hill Country that beckons us. But that Hill Country sun is a hot one. In this issue of Heart of Texas Magazine, dive into our 10 recommendations on how to keep cool, learn about the timeless lure of Llano, brush up on the latest in the Texas wine world, and check in on the Fredericksburg peach crops. We talk to Chef Matt Church of local lunch hotspot Hye Market and invite you to bend an ear to the edgy country grit of Cameran Nelson. Take a moment and explore the joy in the innovative and colorful art of Buchanan Dam’s Daniel Adams. And as always, we celebrate the beauty of the Texas Hill Country through vivid photos that locals seemingly capture without effort. This issue, we also introduce a new photojournalism piece by staff writer/photographer Jason Weingart that captures the different ͥDYRUVRIVXPPHU̱VWDUͤOOHGVNLHVYLFLRXVVWRUPVWKDWEULQJWKH much-needed rain, the quiet aquamarine watering holes of the Hill Country, and more. Heart of Texas Magazine aims to bring you the best of the Texas Hill Country in a vibrant and energetic way while telling the stories of the people and places that make this particular place unique. Enjoy our Summer 2017 issue. May it inspire you to spend time with your family and friends and experience all the Hill Country has to offer this summer. Thanks!

Marcy Stellfox Editor-in-Chief

SALES REPRESENTATIVES Corporate Sales Office PO Box 8343 Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657 (512) 763-0051

Heart of Texas Magazine produced by Texas Media Group

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10 WAYS TO STAY COOL THIS SUMMER BEAT THE HEAT WITH THESE FUN IDEAS

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A PEACHY PARADISE GET THE LOWDOWN ON THE HILL COUNTRY PEACH BUSINESS

TEXAS WINE UPDATE WHAT WINE LOVERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TEXAS WINES NOW

CONTENTS The Innovative Art of Daniel Adams...............10 Capturing Beauty in Moments One Painting at a Time

Banish Garden Pests the Natural Way.............16 A Guide to Organic Repellents

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PHOTOJOURNALISM

THE TEXAS SUMMER IN PHOTOS

Country Grit & Down-Home Rock ‘n Roll......46 Meet Blanco’s Cameran Nelson

New Band, New Brand: .......................................48 The Country Rock Boys of Kattl

From the Hill Country Kitchen..........................60 Lois’s Peach Cobbler and Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Peaches

Hye Market Is Cooking.........................................62 Get to Know Chef Matt Church

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LLANO A RIVER CITY WITH LASTING LURE

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by Sally Grace Holtgrieve aniel Adam’s life has revolved around art. He currently owns a studio in Buchanan Dam, 7H[DV LQ /ODQR &RXQW\ DQG̱PXFK OLNH KLV DUWZRUṈKLVMRXUQH\KDVEHHQXQLTXHDQGIXOO of color. “It’s something I’ve always known I wanted to be and do ever since I was a little kid,” Adams said of his profession. “Going through school was just marking time until I could become a professional artist. When I was seven, I would give art lessons to neighborhood kids, and I was always the artist of the family and in school.”

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After Adams graduated from high school, he left his native Florida to travel around the country on a motorcycle. He made a stop in Disneyland, California and a portrait artist he saw working there intrigued him. Adams thought that would be a great job. “Disneyworld happened to be opening in Florida that year, so I went back and applied for a job as an artist there,” he said. “I started work on opening day in 1971.” Adams said he learned a lot of skills from the other artists and developed his talent at Disney. “When you’re drawing continually for 10 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017

eight hours a day, you really hone your drawing skills,” he said. Adams also began furthering his art education and learning new techniques, something the Disney corporation encouraged him to do. “It’s all about discipline at Disney,” he said. “Everything must be perfect and the best, regardless of the cost. For example, the colors and the way the colors matched was so precise. Being there was such a good learning experience.” $GDPVVWDUWHGKHOSLQJWKHDUWLVWVGHVLJQVHWVDQGͤJXUHV and was later transferred to a new department to work as DQ̸,PDJLQHHU̹DUWLVW7KHUHKHFUHDWHGͤJXUHVVXFKDVWKH country bears in the Country Bear Show, the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion ride and the pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, along with the accompanying sets. “It was all types of work,” he said. “Sculpting, painting, carving, crafting and mold making. I was so involved in learning all the different things. Eventually, I became head of the Imagineer department in the Magic Kingdom.” Adams spent 15 years working for Disney. At one point, he won employee of the year (beating out 28,000 staff members) for his creativity and inventiveness. By 1987, $GDPVZDVSDUWLFLSDWLQJLQDERXWDUWVKRZVD\HDU̱DQG


Photos courtesy of Daniel Adams

WDNLQJ KRPH ORWV RI SUL]HV̱RQ WRS RI working full time, so he left Disney and moved to Asheville, North Carolina to be more centrally located. He acquired hundreds of awards and opened his own art gallery. Meanwhile, Adam’s parents moved to Texas to be closer to his grandparents. In 2007, Adams decided to follow suit and moved to Texas to be closer to the family. While in the Rio Grande Valley, he attended an “Arts in the Parks” event at a birding center and met his wife-to-be. Carol was a park ranger and in charge of programming, so Adams met with her to talk about doing an art show in the park. “As I was showing her my portfolio, I became more interested in her than doing a show,” Adams said with a laugh. “Six months later, we were married.” Carol now manages the business and marketing aspects of Adam’s gallery full

time, which allows him to paint and work on more projects. The couple opened a gallery in Burnet four years ago. When a much larger studio in Buchanan Dam became available two years later, they moved there. “Business has been wonderful,” Adams said. “I love the Hill Country. What’s not WR ORYH" 7KLV WLPH RI \HDU LV VR EHDXWLIXO ZLWK WKH ZLOGͥRZHUV DQG WKH ODNHV Every day looks different. Each day I wake up and look out and see a different sky or type of sunrise. I like painting what’s around me and the things that I love, and there is so much to paint here.” Adams said that for him, art is about communication and conveying an idea or emotion. “I love birds and scenery,” he said. “If I have that feeling in me while working, other people can feel it, too, when they look at the painting. I’ve had people come in who have never been to my gallery before, and there will be tears just coming down their face, tears of joy. That means I’ve done something right and really conveyed a strong emotion they can connect with. It’s not something that can necessarily be spoken, but they got the feeling, and it’s a good feeling, which is wonderful to me.” TexasHillCountry.com / 11


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ON’S ISLAND

Let the Fun Begin

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irds call to each other from feathery-leafed cypress trees lining the shoreline. The water glistens as turtle families sun themselves on partially submerged tree limbs. The sound of palm fronds rustling in the breeze begs you to nap. Are you far, far away on an island paradise? No, this is Son’s Island on Lake Placid, just a hop, skip and a jump from your Texas Hill Country backyard.

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Open air Hawaiian-style cabanas perched waterfront with private docks come decked out with wicker-style furniture, picnic tables, barbecue grill, electricity, water, and ceiling fan. Rent one daily, during evening hours, or for multiple days. Dream the night away tent glamping (glamour camping) with two queensized cots topped with therapeutic mattress pads and nightstands with circular fans.

Activities include kayaking, paddleboarding, volleyball, horseshoes and more. Plus, outdoor entertainment like live music and family-friendly movie nights add to the camp-like atmosphere. Do yourself a favor and plan a relaxing staycation at Son’s Island tropical oasis now. www.lakeplacidisland.com www.besttexastravel.com


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Banish Garden Pest Practice these tips to keep your plants, vegetables, and fruits pest free and best of all, chemical free.

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n the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it is easy to stop at the store and grab some tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, or other vegetables. But are you aware of the harmful chemicals and methods used to grow and preserve these foods so they look fresh from the vine? Do you know about the dangerous pesticides used on produce sold in grocery stores? A better, healthier way exists to grow and maintain fresh produce. If you take the time to create small raised garden beds DQG JURZ \RXU RZQ YHJHWDEOHV RU IUXLW WKH UHZDUGV RI ÍĽDYRU and nutrition are priceless. Plus, you can be sure that your vegetables are chemical free since you used only organic remedies to manage your garden pests. The greatest reward will be serving only the healthiest foods to the people you love. Below are some tips to keep your garden healthy and safe using organic pest control methods. Aphids are small, light green, oval-shaped sucking insects. They attack the plant, mainly the leaves and leave behind a “honeydewâ€? residue which attracts ants. The indications of aphid infestation are yellow speckling on leaves, curled leaves, DQGPLVVKDSHQEXGVRUÍĽRZHUV Thrips are tiny, dark insects. Signs of a thrip infestation LQFOXGHÍĽRZHUSHWDOVWKDWJHWUDJJHGDQGEURZQDQGEXGVWKDW won’t open. To determine if thrips are the reason for your sad SODQWVKROGDSLHFHRIZKLWHSDSHUXQGHUDÍĽRZHURUEXGDQG tap gently. The thrips will fall onto the paper and will be easily LGHQWLͤHG 16 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


ts the Natural Way By Donna Warfield Smith

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To annihilate aphids and thrips mix a pint of vegetable oil with 2 tablespoons of regular dishwashing soap. To use, shake it up well, then mix 2 teaspoons of the oil soap spray with a quart of water, shake the combined mixture well and VSUD\GLUHFWO\RQWKHSODQWVWKDWDUHXQGHUDWWDFNVSHFLͤFDOO\ aiming at the bugs. Don’t forget to do the undersides of the leaves, too. The object is to get the mixture onto the insects so the oil can suffocate them. Another very effective organic homemade insecticide uses neem oil, which affects insects in several different ways. It disrupts the life cycle of several different kinds of bugs and repels them from feeding on your plants. Neem oil is non-toxic and biodegradable and is also effective against powdery mildew. Most stores carry this product in the garden department. Follow the instructions on the bottle which recommend mixing 2 teaspoons of neem oil, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, and 1 quart of water. Shake the mixture well and then spray on the plants. Another option consists of a solution of half milk and half water and will stop and prevent powdery mildew when applied early in the morning. If you have ladybugs, try not to harm them. They are ZDUULRUV DJDLQVW EDG EXJV LQ WKH ͼRZHU EHGV DQG WKH garden. Also, on your tomato plants, you may run across a very small, white or cream-colored, crab-looking spider. 0RUH FRPPRQO\ NQRZQ DV WKH ͼRZHU VSLGHU RU JROGHQURG spider, these little guys are helpful. They are death to green

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tomato worms. To reduce the number of snails and slugs, grab a bag of diatomaceous earth at the garden store. This organic sedimentary rock is crumbled into an off-white powder. ,W IHHOV VLPLODU WR D YHU\ ͤQH JULW DQG LV D W\SH RI DOJDH Sprinkle the powder on the ground around your plants. The microscopic spines on the particles of powder lacerate snails and slugs, thereby killing them. Make sure to reapply the diatomaceous earth after rain. Most of the diatomaceous earth purchased today is not a threat to animals or people, but always read any warnings printed on product containers. Ants seem to show up everywhere. Not anymore. A good deterrent for your home is cinnamon oil and ground cinnamon. Mix the essential oil with some water and spray on an infested area, following up with a light sprinkle of powdered cinnamon. Mint oil is also good to use. To destroy the ant den you have to get the insecticide inside where they live. Buy a box of 20 Mule Team Borax, found in most grocery store aisles along with the laundry detergent. Mix 1 cup of borax with 3 cups of sugar, then add enough water to make it slightly soupy. Mix in 1 teaspoon of creamy peanut butter, stir well. Poke some pencil-sized holes below the rim of a plastic cream cheese or cottage cheese container which will allow the ants to enter and exit. Pour the borax mixture into the container up to about an inch from the top. Put the lid on and place at or near the ant trails or hills. This


mixture will become like syrup over time, which is ok. The ants will carry this back to the den and all who ingest it will die within a few weeks. A couple of words of caution: borax can make your pets ill if they eat too much of it, so ensure that they cannot get into your bowls of ant killer or into the borax itself. To deter larger critters, such as rabbits, groundhogs, and mice from munching on your plants, mix garlic cloves, onion, and cayenne pepper powder and puree it in your food processor. Let the mixture steep for a couple of hours. Run the mixture WKURXJK D VLHYH RU ͼRXU VLIWHU WKHQ PL[ LW ZLWK D tablespoon of liquid soap. To use the repellent pour it full strength into a spray bottle and apply to the tops and bottoms of the leaves on your plants. Store the mixture in the fridge for up to two weeks. Using hot pepper spray will detract most small animals. Moles are the most bothersome of all and are GL͌FXOW WR JHW ULG RI 7UDSSLQJ LV WKH EHVW PHWKRG but not always easy for the squeamish, and some of these traps have the potential to hurt a child or pet. The mole’s number one food source is earthworms, but you don’t want to destroy earthworms as they DUHYHU\EHQHͤFLDOIRUWKHVRLO2QHPHWKRGRIULGGLQJ the yard of moles is to dig into their tunnels and open a hole. Place used cat litter into the hole and FRYHULWEDFNXS'RWKLVDERXWHYHU\WHQRUͤIWHHQ feet until you have covered all the mole runs you FDQ ͤQG 7KH\ ZLOO VRRQ DEDQGRQ WKH WXQQHOV %H careful when using the cat litter method in gardens growing fruits and vegetables. The potential exists for transferring E. coli bacteria to the plants. While this may not be the most pleasant way of detracting these pests, it is effective. As for deer, there are many different ideas on what repels them and what doesn’t. Some people tie bars of Dial soap to small lengths of rope and hang them around the garden. Motion detection systems that turn on radios can work, also. Deer do not like garlic and onions so a spray might be your best bet. Home and garden centers have sheets of very thin, clothlike fencing that can be applied on top of a garden fence. This additional height will deter deer from jumping into garden areas. $UH ZHHGV UXLQLQJ WKH ORRNV RI \RXU ͼRZHUEHGV" Here’s a quick trick to get rid of them. Mix boiling water with a little vinegar and pour directly on the unwanted plants. It will kill them and won’t damage the soil. Practice the tips of above to keep your plants, vegetables, and fruits pest-free and best of all chemical free.

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10 Ways to Stay Cool This Summer 7KH GRJ GD\V DUH FRPLQJ 7KH NLGV DUH RXW RI VFKRRO DQG WKH +LOO &RXQWU\EHFNRQV\RXIRUDJUHDWYDFDWLRQ%XWKRZGR\RXVWD\FRRO ZKLOHWKHWHPSHUDWXUHULVHVLQWKH+LOO&RXQWU\"+HUH̵VKRZ

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The Medina River Are you in the market for a good ͥRDWRUVZLPEXWVHHNDTXLHWHUPRUH VHFOXGHG ULYHU DGYHQWXUH" 7KHQ WKH 0HGLQD5LYHUKDVHYHU\WKLQJ\RXQHHG +HDG D VWRQH̵V WKURZ VRXWK RI 6DQ $QWRQLR WR ZKHUH WKH 0HGLQD PHHWV XS ZLWK WKH 6DQ $QWRQLR 5LYHU LQ VRXWKHUQ%H[DU&RXQW\7KHUHDUHWRQV RI VZLPPLQJ KROHV DQG RSSRUWXQLWLHV IRU WXELQJ DQG ND\DNLQJ DOLNH 2U \RX FDQ KHDG ZHVW WR %DQGHUD WR WKH KHDGZDWHUV DQG H[SORUH WKH HPHUDOG JUHHQ JORU\ RI WKH ULYHU DQG WKH PDJQLͤFHQW EDQNV GRWWHG ZLWK EDOG F\SUHVVWUHHV

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Oma Gruene’s Secret Garten

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Cryotherapy

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in The Texas Hill Country! By Matthew Monk

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Longhorn Caverns

Want to enjoy the great outdoors, but escape the brutal summer sun? Then a trip to Longhorn Caverns may be right up your alley. With a state park attached, the cavern has long been used by residents and travellers as a spot to cool off, camp, and enjoy live concerts. A variety of guided tours are offered daily to suit different interests including one for geography buffs and another focused on cave photography. Enjoy the natural rock formations and the cool air. Experience the lively history in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The cave stays steady at a delicious 68 degrees during the summer months, a much needed reprieve from the sweltering weather of a Hill Country summer. Photo:Flickr @ Geoff Sloan CC BY 2.0

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Lake Travis

As a longtime staple of summertime fun, it was impossible to pick one part RI/DNH7UDYLVWRSURͤOH/DNH7UDYLVLV the second deepest lake in Texas at 210 feet. Lake Amistad near Del Rio is the only lake that is deeper. Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re close to Austin, tucked next to the city in Westlake, near the Balcones National Wildlife Preserve at Lago Vista, or further out in Marble Falls or Kingsland, Lake Travis offers a multitude of escapes and activities for anyone to beat the heat. 7XEH VNL VZLP ͤVK DQG UHOD[ /DNH Travis has it all, and several public parks and boat docks at which to partake in your favorite water activities. Check out laketravis.com for more details.

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Fredericksburg Brewing Company

Fact: this is the oldest brewpub in Texas. Fact: the Fredericksburg Brewing Company received the gold medal at The Great American Beer Festival Competition. This is the equivalent to being voted the best beer in America. While beer is the main focus at this brewpub, there is more than meets the eye at this Hill Country hideaway. The joint also has a full-scale gourmet restaurant and offers a one of a kind â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bed and Brew.â&#x20AC;? Above the restaurant and brewery, eleven rooms await thirsty and adventurous guests. Photo: Courtesy of Fredericksburg Brewing Co.

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Pedernales Falls State Park

Head out to Johnson City and get lost in this state park. With miles of gorgeous hike and bike trails, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel worlds away from everywhere. The park also offers 10 miles of horse trails for those of you who want to get your ride on. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry, if you break too much of those things, the Pedernales River the park. The river offers ample IRU WXELQJ ND\DNLQJ VZLPPLQJ Photo: Flickr @ SEWinds CC BY ND 2.0

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Blue Hole

Crystalline blue water. Pristine banks on which to sit and relax. Rope swings. Shade, hiking trails, educational opportunities. All of these are available at Blue Hole in Wimberley. The location gets its name from the delicious spring-fed water at the spot. With a multitude of shade trees covering this swimming hole, a quick dip will keep you refreshed even on the hottest summer day. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for something to do between swims, Blue Hole is also a hotspot for birding. Photo: Flickr @ Robert Thigpen CC BY ND 2.0


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Visit a Rock Gym

Are you a climber or want to get into climbing? Great! The Hill Country offers many great places to climb a wall, scamper over a boulder, and hike a nature trail, but as the summer temperatures skyrocket to the triple digits and stay there, you may be forced to head indoors. No problem. Head to a rock gym to continue your training, or take a beginnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s class. Places like Austin Rock Gym or The District in San Antonio offer climbers a great local option during the summer months. Climb, take classes, get strong and do it in air conditioning and prepare for a glorious climbing season outdoors in the fall. Photo: Courtesy of Austin Rock Gym

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Secret Beach Somewhere in Austin

Quiet! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a secret. This author will not be the betrayer of such a grand mystery. You might hear whispers during the summer. When the wind is right, and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enough rain, a perfect water hole emerges. Secluded, quiet, and in the heart of the city, it sounds too good to be true. But rest assured, Secret Beach is the real deal. :LWK QR RÍŚFLDO QDPH 6HFUHW %HDFK LV MXVW WKDW Ěą secret. Curious? Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to ask around amongst the locals to get the exact location and the best route. Secret Beach has been kept secret for a reason. $OWKRXJKVZLPPLQJÍĽRDWLQJDQGND\DNLQJKDYHEHHQ banned from Secret Beach due to the passing of a recent FLW\RUGLQDQFHVSODVKLQJDURXQGVNLSSLQJURFNVͤVKLQJ and wading are all perfectly acceptable activities. And you can bring your dog with you. The best part is, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quiet and no one will know that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re there.

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Keith Larson Mission San JosĂŠ, San Antonio TexasHillCountry.com / 27


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Daniel Adams 30 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


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KellyJacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sharpin Fife Well, Wimberley Texas TexasHillCountry.com / 33


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The Texas Hill Country: A Peach Pickin’ Paradise! by Spring Sault

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illespie County in the Texas Hill Country produces 40 percent of all the peaches grown in the Lone Star State. And here in Texas, it’s not a calendar that indicates when summer starts as much as it’s the roadside peach stands popping up, giving nod that summer is in full swing. Nothing says it’s summer in the Texas Hill Country like the fresh, honest-to-goodness, juicy, sweetness that drips down your chin from a tree-ripened peach.

The Texas Hill Country may very well be the epicenter for Texas peaches. Sharing grassroots knowledge of the product and its tenuous growing process is a delicate dance for many a farmer brave enough to give it a try. And this year’s peach crop, as it turns out, has experienced a lack of chilling hours which would normally allow orchard buds to develop properly.

In a telephone interview in April, Gary Marburger of Marburger Orchard in Fredericksburg gave some very sage advice to those that envisioned a life of peachy With a major concentration of peach peddlers along nirvana in the Texas Hill Country. He said the thing that Highway 290, a visitor to the area can stop and grab a tasty sets the area apart from others that are in the business treat from a trip to the Hill Country that will be gobbled up of producing peaches is a mixture of the climate as well in a heartbeat. Peach season normally runs from mid-May as the soils. In business now for more than 38 years, WKURXJKWKHͤUVWZHHNRI$XJXVW0DQ\ORFDOVKDYHIUHTXHQWHG Marburger Orchard has the slightly acidic soil to thank the stands as well as the pick-your-own peach orchards for the fuzzy fruit gold they produce from year to year. ever since they were young. A tradition of helpfulness, friendliness, and a good product can take a peach orchard Marburger explained that only 10 percent of Gillespie owner far in this neck of the woods. But that’s not all that’s County has acreage suitable to produce the fruit, which required, and sometimes in a bad year, even the hardest he attributes to sediment from granite outcroppings to the working orchards barely break even. As it turns out, the north of the property mixing in the earth, making a sandy sweetness of a Texas Hill Country peach comes at a price. loam soil. The improved drainage that results together with the slight acidity of the soil grows a peach which is entirely in Preparing Grandma’s peach cobbler recipe for your own a league of its own. Add to this a climate that allows for the family can bring with it a lifetime of summer memories, in perfect tree-ripening process to occur and you get a fatter, addition to time around the table enjoying the present fruits healthier, and sweeter peach unique to this area of Texas. of your labor while passing stories and traditions from one generation to the next. Make a visit to a local orchard to The difference in climate, according to Marburger, is experience and teach your child the value of hand-picking dryness. In the Texas Hill Country, the climate is dryer and WKH NH\ LQJUHGLHQW IRU WKDW YHU\ GHVVHUW̱DQ DFW ZKLFK QRW given to greater extremities of temperature in the day and only supports the transfer of knowledge but also a local night. Warmer temperatures in the day combined with a producer. considerably cooler temperature drop at night tend to build the natural sugars of a peach. 36 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


Barrett Jenschke of Jenschke Orchards, also situated in Fredericksburg, is son and hands-on operator in this family-owned business. Jenschke says via email, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The soil allows for great drainage while allowing the tree to absorb the correct amount of water. Peach trees like water, but too much water is not good for a peach tree. I have heard all kinds of theories on why Hill Country peaches are the best. For example, the old timers claimed the south wind from the Gulf hitting the higher elevation of the Hill Country and the ancient sea here with deposits of minerals all enhances the peach quality.â&#x20AC;? The ability to allow the fruit to ripen on the tree and the ability to provide it direct to a customer that makes the trip to the growerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stand or orchard has also been a factor in putting the Texas Hill Country peach on a pedestal. Travelling through the area on a summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day in a good growing season, the trees are so heavy with fat peaches you might almost be tempted to reach out along the roadside and pluck one right off the tree. The abundance in any given year isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t purely by luck, according to orchard growers. Both Marburger and Jenschke indicated that if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in it to make money, Texas isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

the place to do it. An orchard requires year-round care and plenty can go wrong. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As soon as you think you know how to grow a peach look out!â&#x20AC;? Barrett Jenschke said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each stage of growth requires a different type of attention.â&#x20AC;? Gary Marburger shared his sentiments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Be realistic enough to recognize youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have as many awful years DV JRRG \HDUV ERWK ͤQDQFLDOO\ DQG emotionally.â&#x20AC;? In fact, the 2017 growing season has proven to be a challenge in that the early crop has produced well, however the peaches that develop better later in the season will be considerably lighter in numbers. In a telephone interview with Jamey Vogel, President of the Hill Country Fruit Council, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a range for chilling hours of 600-850 for best production. Typically, our region will get over 800 hours, and this past winter, we perhaps received between 550 and 600.â&#x20AC;? Ultimately, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something the farmers have come to expect in the area. And with three good crops in a row (2014, 2015, and 2016

according to Vogel) this is not unusual. The common thread for threat to their businesses isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t competition even though in the Hill Country you could throw a peach over a hill and hit another peach farmer. The real threat is weather. Changing weather conditions from year to year isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t something a peach orchard owner can either properly plan for or mitigate in any timely fashion. Jenschke and Marburger both acknowledge spring frost as the most dubious. Marburger Orchards intentionally chose higher ground for planting purposes to reduce chance of the frost damage. The size of his operation limits the consideration of installing wind turbines to counteract the effects of freezing

TexasHillCountry.com / 37


temperatures. Jensckeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach is similar but with a focus more on the actual bloom of the blossom in comparison to anticipated frosts: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have found that there are ways to delay bloomâ&#x20AC;Ś We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t jumped into the wind turbines yet, but any way you can move the cold air on those freezing nights will help. The old-timers used to burn all kinds of things in the orchards in hopes of creating a barrier with the smoke to prevent frost, but we just spray water over and over all night in hopes of saving a few. Depending on the stage of growth and the maturity of the peach, it encapsulates the fruit in ice and some do survive.â&#x20AC;? According to both, the peach is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;one-and-doneâ&#x20AC;? type of fruit, in that if a frost takes hold of your crop, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s EDVLFDOO\ͤQLVKHGDQG\RXĚľYHORVWLWIRU that season. The number two threat for the area is hail. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a predominant byproduct of the thunderstorms and more turbulent weather in the region, and one that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t offer a feasible way for a peach orchard to protect itself. Orchard owners in the Texas Hill Country will often grow a number of peach varietals to span the summer season. Marburger Orchard features ten, while Jenschke Orchards features 25. Although peaches are Marburgerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary crop, to offset the

38 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017

seasons and times when the peach harvest is reduced, other crops such as strawberries, blackberries, and vegetables are available for picking and for sale at the produce area. The general labor required for proper management of the orchard is calculated at an hour per tree for hand-thinning and selectively removing fruit, as well as an hour per tree for pruning. Make no mistake by thinking that a farmer simply hires a couple hands, lets the trees do all the work, and voilaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;peaches in a basket that translate into dollar signs for the farm. In actuality, the entire year is spent learning new regulations, enacting all things required to comply, maintaining DQG FDULQJ IRU WKH WUHHV DQG ͤQGLQJ ways and means to market and sell. The local labor pool has also changed for orchard owners owing to more attractive employment options for adults and more training and development choices for high school and college-aged kids. Most orchards are family-owned and operated and keep a small contingent of loyal, hard-working laborers who can be counted on to weather the wet conditions of spring and the blazing hot conditions of a Texas summer. Both Marburger and Jenschke struck a common chord emotionally: both have their entire hearts submerged

in their operations. Developing a Texas Hill Country peach orchard is a 100 percent full-time process that requires bankrolling in the lean years and saving LQ WKH ÍĽXVK 7KHLU RSHUDWLRQV DUH ERWK long-term, established entities with loyal customers, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always happy to see new faces. They welcome newcomers to the sector but caution that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not for the faint of heart. They work hard to produce a peach thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worthy of picking by a local or tourist DQGͤOOLQJDEDVNHWLQDURDGVLGHVWDQG Planning a peach-themed pilgrimage to the Texas Hill Country in the summer has long been an annual pastime for many a Texan. And since peaches may be more abundant earlier in the season versus later for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crop, schedule your trip soon. Surrounded by trees abundant with fuzzy fruit while the air is pungent with their sweet aroma sort of sends you into a peachy bliss. Thousands of people make a day trip to the area each year just to purchase or pick their own tree-ripened peaches. And according to orchard owners, they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have it any other way. Sources: www.visitfredericksburgtx.com www.tourtexas.com Thanks to Gary Marburger, Barrett Jenschke, and Jamey Vogel for sharing their time and knowledge.


Pamela LeBlanc Devils River State Natural Area, Val Verde County Texas TexasHillCountry.com / 39


40 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


TexasHillCountry.com / 41


What’s in the Bottle

The Great Texas

Wine Label Debate

by Robert Deming h

C

hris Brundrett pushes the empty plate in front of him away to make room for a pint of craft beer. We are at Hye Market, a unique deli twenty miles east of Fredericksburg with an extensive curated selection of local beer and wine. “My goal is to turn wine drinkers into wine enthusiasts.” Chris, a tall, dark-haired, handsome Texas native, and Texas A&M graduate clasped his hands behind his neck and leaned EDFNLQDZRRGHQFKDLULQWKHROGSRVWRͦFHEXLOGLQJ̸:H̵UH taking the Texas wine industry in a different direction than it’s been going the last 30 years.” He explains the journey like this: “Say we’re looking at a Picasso right now and we’re all sharing a moment. Ten years 42 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017

later, you and I come back and look at the same piece of art. We will have changed, but the painting has not, it remains the same. Compare that to a wine, which is alive and changing every day. As winemakers, we try to capture the essence of where and when the wine was grown.” Say we were sharing a glass, experiencing what the 2015 vintage in the Pedernales River Valley tastes like, a moment which can never be repeated. The next week, the next month that wine will be different. It will have changed. That is why I love wine so much. It is ever evolving, and it’s so fantastic to taste what different areas and climates taste like. I sometimes think about wine like really cool adult baseball cards you can drink....”


Brundrett shifts the discussion toward the intricacies of grape production and wine development. ̸$VVXPH WKH ZLQH ZDV  PHUORW DQG WKH JUDSHV FDPH IURP D YLQH\DUG ͤIWHHQ PLQXWHV QRUWK RI Fredericksburg called Granite Hill. The grapes were crushed, fermented, and aged right across the highway at William Chris Vineyards (Brundrett is the Chris in the name). This wine owes much to the variety of grape, but also to the granite-based soil, the climate, the terrain, and how the winemaker handles it. So, to broaden his experience, our hypothetical wine enthusiast goes to another winery down the road and buys a bottle of merlot from their cellar.â&#x20AC;? The vineyard where the grapes grew is in the Pedernales River Valley, a limestone-based soil, on different terrain and even with a different climate. For example, how many times has that thunderstorm gone around you and rained on someone else? It all matters. That wine was crushed, fermented, aged, and bottled by a different winemaker.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;...As winemakers, we try to capture the essence of where and when the wine was grown.â&#x20AC;?

TexasHillCountry.com / 43


The wine label will both say they are 100% Texas grown merlot grapes, but the wine will be different, perhaps very different.” Chris put the empty glass on the table. “That is what makes wine such an interesting journey.” William Chris focuses on making wine that contains 100% Texas grown fruit. But not all Texas wineries follow this model. For example, a winery may sell wine under their own label, but the wine in the bottle may be made in Texas, or other states, or even other countries. The focus is on selling wine. The wine may be excellent, and the winery will be beautiful, but some believe it shouldn’t be called Texas wine because the grapes are not 100% Texas grown. Currently, Texas law allows all of these businesses to license as wineries even though they may sell wines made and bottled elsewhere. The discerning visitor to the Texas wine country has a choice. Lifestyle, prior experience with wine, your palate, or even your pocketbook doesn’t dictate the choice. The choice is yours to make, and there is no wrong answer. Do you want to take WKHMRXUQH\GRZQWKHSDWKWRGLVFRYHULQJWKHVXEWOHWLHVRIͤQHO\FUDIWHG7H[DV̸JURZQ̹ZLQH"2UDUH\RXZLOOLQJWRWU\ creations that contain grapes grown in other areas? Here’s how you can tell the difference. Look on the label or ask the server where the grapes are from; if you don’t get a clear answer, the wine is probably not 100% Texas grown grapes and may even be 100% from another state or country. Today, Texas law says that to be labeled Texas wine just 75% of the grapes must be grown in Texas. Most wine producing states and countries require more accurate labeling, hence the movement Real Texas Wine by Texas wine enthusiasts, winemakers, and business owners who believe accurate labeling is important to the future of the Texas wine industry. Also on the label, look for the words For Sale In Texas Only. This means that the wine is made of less than 75% Texas grown grapes. Another tricky phrase is “vinted and bottled at . . .” This wine may have little connection with the winery selling it beyond the label. Whatever your feelings about the wine label debate, it’s no secret that Texans are passionate about their wine. Great wine H[LVWVDOORYHUWKH/RQH6WDU6WDWH3ODQDYLVLWWRWKH7H[DV+LOO&RXQWU\DQGͤQG\RXUIDYRULWHYLQWDJHWKLVZHHNHQG 44 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


Jami Carnes

Julie Bush

Carlos Cardona TexasHillCountry.com / 45


Country Grit

& Down-HomeRock â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n Roll! Meet Blanco's Cameran Nelson

By Marcy Stellfox

T

he air blows breezy and uncharacteristically chilly for a late April evening at Albert Dance Hall located on a quiet country road in Albert, Texas. Inside the historic concert venue, a handsome, young man dressed in a black T-shirt and a black cowboy hat mixes easily with the crowd. His boots scuffed and well-worn no doubt have a million stories to tell.

Tonight, the dancehall buzzes with an undercurrent of anticipation, like the audience knows itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in on a well-kept VHFUHW$WRQHHQGRIWKHKDOOWKHVWDJHULVHVIURPWKHÍĽRRU and sits at the ready. The Cameran Nelson logo is emblazoned RQWKHEDVVGUXPDQGEDQQHUVDOVRVSRUWLQJWKHORJRVÍĽDQN either side of the stage.

He is practically a hometown boy living just 20 minutes down the country lane in Blanco, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not here to socialize and enjoy a good show. Tonight, Cameran Nelson and his band are the show.

Once the band takes stage, lights vie for attention with swirling two-steppers. The band rocks songs with synchronized choreographed jumps reminiscent of rock bands from the mid-â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;80s and heartfelt guitar licks. Conversation has ceased, and except for the dancers, all eyes focus on the stage.

Nelson shoulders a good amount of responsibility for a PDQRIWKLUW\WKUHH<RXQHHGRQO\WDONWRKLPIRUͤYHPLQXWHV before you discover that his wife and four children top his priority list. He also owns two businesses in town, but it GRHVQ̾WWDNHORQJWRͤJXUHRXWWKDWZKLOHKLVIDPLO\RZQVKLV heart, music lives in his soul.

Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musical style does portray a perfect marriage between country and rock. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we step on stage, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OLNH D VZLWFK ÍĽLSSHGĚš KH VD\V RI WKH HQHUJHWLF LPSXOVH WKDW takes over during live performances. Nelson says a lot of performers will alternate slower song sections with the more upbeat songs during shows. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My thingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about not bringing Since stepping onto the stage with his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s country the mood down,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want the mood up and happy and band at age 13, Nelson has let no grass grow under his feet fun.â&#x20AC;? And fun it is. when it comes to steeping himself in music. He worked for the legendary king of honky-tonk, Gary Stewart, selling The band members playfully work the stage engaging merchandise at concerts, while attentively taking notes and with each other and the audience. They evoke the feeling learning the tricks of putting on a good show. At 17, he lost a that those here for the show have stumbled into a practice best friend and fellow bandmate in a car accident that left a session. Not that the performance isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t professional, but raw wound - a wound that taught him about the pain of loss more like the band is having too much fun to be working. and the value of those close to you - at a time in his life that Away from the stage, Nelson tends to the second part should have been his most care-free. Maybe thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why he of his dual passions: his family. Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children range in seems so grounded, quietly serious, and sincere now. age from 3 months to 10 years. Calla, the eldest and his After high school, Nelson headed to college on a only daughter, sits at the long kitchen table while her father scholarship to study guitar and voice. Next, Nelson toured tells his story. Though young, she hardly seems bored by the with a rock band, but he craved his roots and turned his conversation. efforts back to country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to come back to country DQGEULQJVRPHURFNLQÍĽXHQFHVZLWKPHĚšKHH[SODLQV Calla has every intention of following in her daddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s footsteps. She already plays the mandolin and piano and has Nelson admits his inspiration comes from a host of far- even sung with Nelson on stage. Her musical ability at such ÍĽXQJ PXVLFDO DUWLVWV +H QDPHV PXVLFDO DFWV OLNH *DUWK a young age is a testament to the quality of time that she has Brooks, Clint Black, and Clay Walker in the same breath as spent with her dad and to the talent in her genetics. %RVWRQ6W\[DQG3DQWHUDDVWKRVHKHFUHGLWVDVLQÍĽXHQWLDO to his musical style. Beyond his charming good looks, his undeniable talent, his charismatic stage presence, his genuine humbleness 46 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


(like when he thanks the crowd for dancing during a song), maybe the most appealing thing about Cameran Nelson is the down-home family man that he is. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea of a perfect day? A day spent on the river with his family and his dogs. Though the show is a late one, Calla is here tonight to watch her daddy perform. She sits alone on a bench that runs the entire length of the hall, watching people years older spin around the dance ÍĽRRUWRRQHRIKHUGDGG\ĚľVVRQJV$VWKHVRQJHQGV an attractive older couple walks toward her, likely her grandparents.

What Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve Done,â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;You Can Still Wear Whiteâ&#x20AC;? and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve the SHUIHFWURPDQWLF)ULGD\QLJKWGDWHVRXQGWUDFNZLWKDFRXSOHRIIXQ tunes thrown in to keep things light.

They check in with her. Her granddaddy bends over to hear his granddaughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words. As the next song begins, a shy smile slips onto the young girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face. Her grandfather holds his hand out to her and OHDGVKHUWRWKHGDQFHÍĽRRU)RUDIHZPRPHQWVWKH two are the only couple dancing, spotlighted in the bouncing neon beams angling from the stage. More DQGPRUHFRXSOHVPRYHRQWRWKHGDQFHÍĽRRUMRLQLQJ Calla and her granddad. No matter the age of the audience, Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music resonates with them all bridging the gap between young and old.

1HOVRQĚľV KDUG DW ZRUN RQ KLV QH[W SURMHFW $QRWKHU DOEXP LQ which his songwriting, mostly left to Nashvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Thing Goinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;,â&#x20AC;? will play a larger part. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got a little bit more control of WKHUHLQVĚšKHVD\VRIKLVQHZSURMHFW̸2QWKHODVWUHFRUG,IHOWOLNH I had to play by the rules, put songs on the album the radio would OLNH)RUWKLVUHFRUG,WKUHZWKHUXOHERRNRXWWKHZLQGRZĚš

Nelson released his last album entitled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Thing Goinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? in 2015. The most popular tracks include â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shotgunâ&#x20AC;? a toe-tappinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; leg slappinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; piece of red dirt fun and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beer Leaseâ&#x20AC;? a hip, good ole boy FRXQWU\ FKDUPHU ZLWK .HYLQ )RZOHU DERXW ZKDW happens at the hunting lease when the deer arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t playing. Couple that with the success of the ballads on the album like Texas Regional Radio Report chart-topper, the sexy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Got Nothinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? and others like â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Little That Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re Livinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; On,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Look at

Nelsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision of success is simple. He wishes only for the ability to provide a comfortable living for his family. With a new album, a QHZEDE\DQGDQHZVXPPHUWRXUVRRQNLFNLQJRII1HOVRQGHͤQLWHO\ carries a full plate. His eyes sparkle accepting the challenge. He is young, passionate, talented, and has energy to spareâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all the right ingredients for the recipe for success. Should you be the betting type, go ahead and lay your money down on Nelson. This is one bright light out of Blanco, Texas youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re gonna want to keep your eye on. To learn more about Cameran Nelson and the band, go to www.camerannelson.com.

What should fans expect from the new CD? Longer songs, big solos, more authentically Cameran. He says to expect songs to UHÍĽHFWPRUHRIWKHURFNLQÍĽXHQFHRQKLVPXVLFZKLOHVWLOOVWD\LQJ true to his country roots.

TexasHillCountry.com / 47


New Band: New Brand: Meet the Country Rock Boys

of Kattl

T

o appreciate music, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always best to start with its roots. The original concept for KATTL, a new country rock band out of Bandera, Texas, was conceived back in the 1980s by the late Lore Orion an artist, songwriter, and performer ahead of his time and Grammy Award-winning artist Bobby E. Boyd aka (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bandera Bobâ&#x20AC;?). One night the two started talking about putting together a new band that looked like KISS but with cowboy hats and played what they called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heavy Leatherâ&#x20AC;? music or cowboy rock. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lore was a brilliant gag writer and artist who did album covers, worked for DC Comics and National Lampoon, and [was] just a brilliant artist â&#x20AC;Ś,â&#x20AC;? shares Boyd. KATTL didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t begin to take shape until the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s when Boyd started cutting demos in Nashville of a few of Orionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rockinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cowboy songs. Meanwhile, Orion began creating artwork for KATTL. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we put the artwork and recordings together, people in Nashville started liking what they were hearing,â&#x20AC;? says Boyd. Soon after, the band formed with Boydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s younger brother Gerald Alan Boyd in the lead vocal spot. KATTL caught the attention of Tim McGraw who wanted to produce the band and take them on tour with him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We cut four sides with Tim McGraw and the record label Columbia offered us a deal,â&#x20AC;? says Boyd. But as fate would have it, a corporate UHVKXͧ H DW WKH ODEHO XQUDYHOHG WKH GHDO 7KH GHDO ZDVQĚľW a total loss, however, as McGraw went on to cover two of Orionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s songs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tickinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Awayâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Illegalâ&#x20AC;? on his album titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dancehall Doctors.â&#x20AC;? The untimely passing of Orion in 2013 put the entire concept of KATTL on hold again. Then in June 2015, the Boyd brothers played a show at the Mayan Ranch in Bandera. Orionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nephew Wade Lowrie sat in with them to play a few songs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wow, I had been looking all over Nashville for a singer IRUWKLVEDQGDQGKHUHZDV:DGHĚąVL[IRRWͤYHORQJÍĽRZLQJ hair, a cowboy through and through,â&#x20AC;? says Bobby E. Boyd. You could say Lowrie became the driving force that inspired the Boyd brothers to start the band again. At that point, Bandera Bob started to record the songs on the current album, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Groundswell.â&#x20AC;? With Lowrieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commanding presence, sultry vocals, and the unique underlying acoustical tone of cuts like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hellbent for Mexico,â&#x20AC;? KATTL tell a beautiful story in songs that takes you down a country meets rock road of musical genius. 48 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017

To describe KATTL today is like walking into a scene IURPWKHPRYLH̸7KH0DJQLͤFHQW6HYHQĚš7KHQHZYHUVLRQD remake of the western classic, brings back the excitement of yesterday. These guys are young guns with an old Western ÍĽDLU UHPLQLVFHQW RI WKH RXWODZV RI WKH 2OG :HVW 7KHLU PDWHULDOUHÍĽHFWVDORWRI2ULRQĚľVLQSXWDQGDOOWKHLUVRQJVDUH original pieces. Their self-titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heavy Leatherâ&#x20AC;? brand of PXVLFUHÍĽHFWVWKH2OG:HVWWKDWLQVSLUHG2ULRQ̸7KH&RZER\ Songâ&#x20AC;? is a wonderful tribute of how this love shines through in Orionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music. The band whose members all hail from Bandera mostly grew up together and consist of Wade Lowrie and Kyle Allen on vocals and guitars, Nic Smith on lead guitars, Daniel Philips on bass, Jordan Wade Stephens (Suede) on drums and Bandera Bob (Boyd) on acoustics, harmony and electric. Lowrie credits the music of Black Sabbath and Metallica as artists that made music appealing to him during his early years. He says that country music made its way back into his life through perfomers like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got more into lyrics because of these artists, and it added to my love of guitar which took on a life of its own, and as a result, I began singing more,â&#x20AC;? he says. From an artist who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think he could sing Lowrieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smooth vocals invite you into each song. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bobby E. Boyd and my Uncle Lore paved the way for KATTL, and because of their artistic abilities I get to present their music to the world the best I can,â&#x20AC;? says Lowrie. Kyle Allen credits painters such as Leonardo da Vinci because of long-standing work that continues to inspire many to this day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The music is not about me but about the message we put our there for the future,â&#x20AC;? shares Allen. Fans of KATTL exist all over Nashville and with continued gigs in Texas, KATTL is hopeful theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll become a household name sooner rather than later. Boyd who co-wrote the Rascal Flatts hit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bless the Broken Road,â&#x20AC;? has had many fans tell him how the song inspired them. Boyd hopes the music of KATTL will speak to its audience in the same way and that folks will see it as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soundtrack to their life.â&#x20AC;? He also hopes the music will inspire fun. Because after all, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about the fun.â&#x20AC;?


TexasHillCountry.com / 49


Photojournalism The Texas Summer in Photos by Jason Weingart

Summer thunderstorms often produce dramatic shelf clouds, such as this one in Evant. This is caused by cold air rushing QWVYCTFUHTQOVJGUVQTOCPFOKZKPIYKVJYCTOCKTCJGCFQHKVǡ

The best meteor shower of the year, the Perseid meteor shower falls in the month of August. Of course, there aren’t too many better places to view this phenomenon than a dark Texas sky.

Wildflowers aren’t just for spring. Many can be found throughout the summer, including Indian blankets. 50 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


We also see some spectacular lightning storms during summer months. This lightning was triggered by a storm passing over these communication towers in Bruceville-Eddy.

Nothing beats a great Texas sunset, especially over the ruins in Terlingua.

Butterflies migrate through Texas in the summer months. September is the peak month to catch monarchs migrating. TexasHillCountry.com / 51


The Milky Way is best viewed in summer months, as it is high in the sky. Here it can be seen over St. Agnes Church in Terlingua.

There are a lot of places to beat the heat in Texas, but we have some extra special natural swimming holes. Hamilton Pool mesmerizes when rains cause waterfalls. 52 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


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Llano

The Life and Times of

Llano, Texas: Land of Legend and Lure

By Shannon Salas stablished under a large oak tree in 1856, Llano, Texas is the county seat of Llano County. But the history of Llano didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t begin there. As far back as twelve thousand years ago, humans have relished in the innate beauty and abundance of natural resources this area so readily provided.

The abundance of water didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hurt matters, either. The Llano River is a spring-fed tributary of the Colorado River, and no doubt quenched the thirst of many a plant, animal, and human that happened upon it. The area which is now Llano County provided the early people with everything they needed to survive, making it a prime location to set up camp and settle down.

Prehistoric people were drawn to the area vast in plant and wildlife for its KXQWLQJ RSSRUWXQLWLHV $W ͤUVW VXUYLYDO was heavily dependent on the meat that mammoths and mastodons could provide. As time went on, hunters and gathers began to see the likes of buffalo, deer, and antelope all of which helped to quell their voracious appetites.

As mankind moved forth from the prehistoric era, early Native Americans called the Llano area home, VSHFLͤFDOO\WKH7RQNDZD,QGLDQV7KH\ UHPDLQHG LQ WKH DUHD WKURXJK WKH ͤUVW Spanish expedition led by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca but were eventually replaced by the Apache. However, when the Comanche began venturing

E

56 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017

southwards, the Apache were forced to ͤQGDQHZSODFHWRFDOOKRPH It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until the mid-1800s that the area began to be settled by European immigrants. German noblemen dubbed the Adelsverein found Llano the perfect spot to start a new life. However, it was no easy feat. The Comanche made VHWWOHPHQWGLÍŚFXOWDQGEDWWOHVHQVXHG well into the 1870s making ranching, IDUPLQJDQGWUDGHGLÍŚFXOWIRUWKHQHZ settlers. Llano received its name as a result of a misunderstanding. The Llano River was formerly called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rio de los Chanas,â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;River of the Chanas,â&#x20AC;? by the Spanish. The Chanas were a band of the Tonkawa tribe and, phonetically,


Photo by: Renelibrary CC BY-SA 4.0 Photo by: DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Photo by: Roy B Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0

the word was similar to the Spanish word â&#x20AC;&#x153;Llano,â&#x20AC;? meaning â&#x20AC;&#x153;plain.â&#x20AC;? Despite the lack of plains in the area, the name stuck.

Initially, iron contributed to Llanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tremendous economic growth in the late 1800s. Iron deposits discovered at Iron Mountain offered hope and promises for the future. The population grew to The battles between the Comanche around 7,000 people by 1890, and the and the settlers eventually came to an town was incorporated in 1892. A bridge HQG DQG VHWWOHUV RI /ODQR ZHUH ͤQDOO\ was built over the river, allowing for the DEOHWRÍĽRXULVK%HIRUHWKHV/ODQR Austin and Northwestern Railroad to FRQVLVWHGRIDIHZKRPHVDSRVWRÍŚFH extend to the north side of Llano. and a handful of businesses, but in Despite its good fortune, the WKHͤUVWEDQNRSHQHG7KHV boom soon faded, brought businesses to service the economic farming and ranching industries that businesses burned to the ground, and were prevalent in the area, and the town the once hoped for improvements and built a courthouse in 1885, which was opportunities for the city suddenly GHVWUR\HG E\ D ͤUH LQ  %\  drifted out of focus. However, Llano a new courthouse was built and still was far from becoming a ghost town. Its people are tough and though the stands to this day. iron industry became a thing of the

Photo by: Roy B Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0

past, farms, ranches, and the granite LQGXVWU\ÍĽRXULVKHG Llano was a major shipping point for cattle in the 1920s, the cotton industry was strong in the 1930s, and the granite industry hit the million dollar mark in the 1950s. New buildings popped up throughout the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;60s, LQFOXGLQJDQHZKRVSLWDOSRVWRÍŚFHD community center, and schools and its opportunities for tourism drew visitors in to enjoy the area that so many before them embraced. To this day, an abundance of deer draws hunters to the Llano River in KRSHVRIWDJJLQJDWURSK\DQGͤOOLQJWKH freezer. Tourists come from all over to enjoy the scenery, wineries, shopping, TexasHillCountry.com / 57


Photo by: Roy B Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo by: Flickr @ Davis Staedtler CC BY 2.0

Photo by: Roy B Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0

and a cool, refreshing dip in the river. Visitors can enjoy a meantime. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be disappointed! JDPH RI JROI ͤVKLQJ FDPSLQJ ND\DNLQJ DQG HYHQ SDQ IRU gold. If that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough to keep guests occupied, the city Sources: organizes events that draw people from around the nation, FDXVLQJLWVSRSXODWLRQRIWRVZHOOVLJQLͤFDQWO\ The City of Llano Texas, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Historic Llano,â&#x20AC;? accessed May KWWSZZZFLW\RÍĽODQRFRP+LVWRULF/ODQR One such event is the infamous Llano Rockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;n Riverfest, which takes place this year on July 1, 2017, at Badu Park, Llano Chamber of Commerce, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Recreation,â&#x20AC;? accessed May and attendees can expect nothing less than a rockinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; good 12, 2017, http://www.llanochamber.org/llano-life/recreation time. Music, food, and vendors are commonplace at most festivals, and this one is no different in that arena. What sets Handbook of Texas Online, James B. Heckert-Greene, this event apart, however, is the much awaited Jet Ski Drag â&#x20AC;&#x153;Llano, TX,â&#x20AC;? accessed May 12, 2017, http://www.tshaonline. Races, BBQ Cook-Off, and Rat Rod Cars showcase. Be sure org/handbook/online/articles/hgl09. to visit www.llanorocknriverfest.com for more information. Fireworks will light the night sky on the evening of the event Handbook of Texas Online, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Llano River,â&#x20AC;? accessed May ZLWKDQRWKHUͤUHZRUNVGLVSOD\RQ-XO\WKVRVWLFNDURXQGD 12, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/ few days for both. Explore all that the city has to offer in the articles/rnl11. 58 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


Todd Leckie Hill Country Stonehenge TexasHillCountry.com / 59


From The

Hill Country

Bacon Wrapped Smoked Peaches

Courtesy of Chef Matt Church, Hye Market - Makes 8 servings Ingredients: • 8 peaches, seeded and cut in half • 8 bacon slices • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Chef Matt Church of the Hye Market shares one of his specialty dishes using one of the Hill Country’s hottest commodities. This tasty dish can be served as an appetizer or give it a whirl on top of a brownie with vanilla ice cream…

Heat the smoker to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium high heat, cook the bacon slices until almost done but still flexible. Wrap one bacon slice around each peach half and secure to the peach with a toothpick. Mix the sugar and the cinnamon together. Place peaches on the smoker split side down. Smoke for 15 minutes. Then flip peaches right side up and continue to smoke for another 15 minutes. Remove peaches from smoker and sprinkle the cut side tops liberally with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

60 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


Kitchen Lois’s Peach Cobbler

Courtesy of Deborah Kennedy of Pearland, Texas - Makes 6 servings Filling: • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 cups flour • 1/4 teaspoon mace 1 teaspoon salt • 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar • 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup Crisco • 4 cups sliced peaches 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • 1 tablespoon butter 3 tablespoons butter

Crust: • • • • • •

Deborah Kennedy recalls her grandmother dressed in a frilly white apron doing the thing VKHORYHGPRVW̱FRRNLQJIRUKHUIDPLO\6KH says her grandmother was the ultimate cook and that Kennedy’s favorite recipe of her grandmother’s was her peach cobbler. The secret ingredients to this recipe? Always use fresh peaches, add a dash of mace (a spice derived from the outer covering a nutmeg seed), and a whole lotta love.

Sift the flour, salt and sugar together. Cut in the Crisco until the dough represents the size of small peas. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is of the desired consistency. Roll the dough into a ball. Then roll the dough out very thin on a floured surface. Cut the dough into strips about 2 to 3 inches wide. Combine the cornstarch, mace, brown sugar, and water into a large pot. Cook and stir the mixture until thickened. Add the peaches, lemon juice, and butter. Stir the mixture until the butter is melted and peaches are hot, about five minutes. Line the sides of a 2-quart baking dish with 1/3 of the pastry. Add a layer of peaches then another layer of crust, repeat the peach layer and finish with the crust. Dot with butter. Bake the cobbler at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbly. Enjoy with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!

Photo by: Ralph Daily CC BY 2.0

TexasHillCountry.com / 61


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cooking at Hye Market?

by Marcy Stellfox

O

n a cloudy May day, Chef Matt Church sits at a window-side table at his home away from home, the Hye Market in Hye, Texas. Chef Church looks every inch of a former college football player, and though that was some time ago, Church now 30, still sports a charming boyish grin when he talks about his passion for food.

Church returned to his love of cooking to make exiting the sports world easier. He took a job at the Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course grill and began his commercial culinary career. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cooking sunk its teeth into me,â&#x20AC;? he says. Church likens his experience LQ WKH NLWFKHQ WR WKDW RI IRRWEDOOĚą KH loves the fast pace and the reliance on teamwork.

In fact, one can give credit to football for bringing Chef Church a career in the culinary world. Born in Oregon, Church moved to Fredericksburg when he was young. As the eldest of three boys, Church and his younger brother Mark pitched in to do the cooking while his mother worked. Little did he know that the creative uses of the odds and ends he put together for family dinners would launch a culinary career.

During his time at the golf course, Church took an extra job at Silver Creek Beer Garden in Fredericksburg to expand his knowledge in the kitchen. Silver Creek was a place heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d return to again and again over the next few years, working his way up from prep cook to line cook. He credits Silver Creekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chef Kristin Panzica as his culinary inspiration and the chef heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d most readily want to share a table with.

Church graduated from Fredericksburg High School and made his way to Oklahoma via a football scholarship. During his sophomore year, debilitating migraines and fears of an aneurysm brought his time in a football uniform to an abrupt end and landed Church back in Fredericksburg.

Church went on to expand his culinary chops in Colorado where he worked for a unique dining establishment that coupled dog sled trips into the EDFNFRXQWU\ ZLWK ͤQH GLQLQJ +HUH KH Streetside parking exists in front of learned to work with seafood such as the Hye Market, but most people know fresh trout and exotic game like buffalo to park behind the building and step and caribou. But when the snow quit through the wide wooden back door to

62 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017

falling and the business shuttered for the summer, Church returned to Fredericksburg. A little less than three years ago, a friend introduced Church to Jason Cook, owner of the Hye Market in the tiny town of Hye. Church was ready to branch out and express his own creativity in the food world, and Cook gave him the chance to do just that as the chef in charge at Hye Market. Hye Market got its start in 1880 when Hiram (Hye) G. Brown built a house and opened a small general store to support the growing population of settlers taking up residence near present-day Hye. In 1886, Brown opened a post RÍŚ FHDQGLQ%URZQUHORFDWHGWKH JHQHUDOVWRUHDQG SRVW RÍŚ FHWRDQHZ building across the street where the Hye Market resides today. In 2013, Cook bought the then liquor business that had moved into the historic building and began transforming the liquor store into a market, deli, and tasting room.


queue up in the line forming at the deli counter. While ogling the display case full of Chef Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regular staples like sweet potato salad and chicken salad, look for his seasonal specialties as well like his Fruit to Root Salad featuring watermelon radishes, grapefruit and orange chunks, mixed with fresh mint leaves and garnished with pea shoots. Peel your eyes away from the display case and take a gander at the chalkboard menu for Chef Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty sandwiches like the simple but satisfying customer favorite BLT. The sandwich marries thick-sliced house-cured bacon (smoked with oak and grape cane), tomato marinated in Maldon salt, rosemary, and cracked black pepper, and romaine lettuce with chipotle mayo on ciabatta bread for an H[SORVLRQRI7H[DV+LOO&RXQWU\ÍĽDYRU The marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meat and produce are locally sourced when possible. Dutchmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty grocery and butcher shop in Fredericksburg provides a lot of the marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meat and the three Hye Market gardens provide the freshest in seasonal produce. Hye Market acts as a tasting

room, too. Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ordered your sandwich, taste test local wines the staff is pouring for the day. Be sure to visit the market connected to the deli ZKLFK VWLOO IXQFWLRQV DV D SRVW RÍŚFH for the town and carries local wines, beer, and specialty grocery items like seasonings and jellies. Become a fan of the Hye Market Facebook page and keep up to date with the special events that Hye Market holds on a regular basis, such as occasional dinners. A typical evening menu from Chef Church might look something like this: roasted rack of wild boar, root vegetable sides, and salad like his spinach salad with tricolored tomatoes, Italian dressing, and Romano cheese. He loves cooking with whole proteins and produce straight from the garden. His eyes light up as he describes working with garlic scapes, WKHÍĽRZHUVWDONRIDJDUOLFSODQWRUWKH beautiful pink color of a watermelon radish. That pretty much sums up Chef Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style: large portions of protein, carved for sharing, simple sides, and fresh salads all served family style.

accommodating between 500 and 600 guests on any given Saturday, the marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s busiest day. One day, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to open his own restaurant, like an expanded version of the place where he works today. He wants people to be comfortable walking in wearing t-shirts DQGÍĽLSÍĽRSVEXWKHZDQWVWKHIRRGWR UHSUHVHQW KLV VW\OHĚąUXVWLF GLVKHV WKDW showcase the natural tastes of locallysourced ingredients without heavy VDXFHV WKDW PDVN WKH ÍĽDYRUV RI WKH original ingredient. What does Chef Church say is the best thing about his job? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am very lucky to be in Hye and a lot of the time it really doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel like a job. We are surrounded by places and people that love what they do. If I had to narrow it down, I would have to say that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being creative with the food I prepare.â&#x20AC;? We bet the customers of Hye Market would agree that Chef Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creativity makes for the magic stuff that keeps the market wildly popular and people coming back time after time.

For now, Chef Church has his hands full, serving up to 350 entrees and TexasHillCountry.com / 63


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Tony Maples State Captiol, Austin Texas 66 / Heart of Texas Magazine Summer 2017


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Texas Hill Country  

Summer 2017

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