On any given week, Brian and Dawn Gotreaux and the 10 children they adopted go through 20 dozen eggs, 30 gallons of milk, and nine chickens. They grow all of it at home, though, on their family run farm.
The couple wants to teach their children about food and to appreciate hard work, so the whole family pitches in. The girls milk cows and goats, and the boys feed the chickens and help on the fish farm. “It’s old school,” Dawn admits, “but when they milk the cows they know, ‘Hey, this is our morning breakfast, this is our milk.'”
Raising 10 children and managing a farm may sound like hard work, but the Gotreauxs believe it’s all worth it.
“With children, you can’t just feed them and hope they come out OK,” says Dawn. “You invest now, and you reap the fruit later when they’re adults. Kind of like the plants, you can work your soil and put the right minerals down, make sure it’s going to grow just right or you can take a chance and throw it down, then … all that time is wasted.”
This is the second story (it starts at about 7:00) in the 11th episode of The Victory Garden’s Edible Feast. Perennial Plate’s Daniel Klein explores the vibrant food scene in New Orleans and shares three other stories from the South. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find:
You’ll meet Ben Burkett, a fourth-generation farmer in rural Mississippi — one of 33 members of Indian Spring Farmers Coop. He’s been working the land for close to 40 years, and says he’ll continue to do it for the rest of his life.
In the technique section, you’ll visit urban farmers Joel Hitchcock and Jimmy Seely of Paradigm Gardens, who explain five essential tools every gardener should have, watering techniques, and how to whip up homemade insecticide.
Finally, you’ll drool at the creations of James Beard Award-winning chef Donald Link. He cooks up Creole chicken and shrimp curry with key lime and cilantro.
Check your local listings for more episodes here.