Marigold Season at Arnosky Family Farms!Posted by Whole Earth | 10.18.2023
Marigold Season at Arnosky Family Farms!
Behold the Marigold! We see it as a companion planting with tomatoes, in small gardens planted from seed by children, and as a brilliant and dependable welcoming burst of color at front door flower beds. From mid-October into early November, our markets here in Texas are filled with pots and bouquets of golden yellow and brilliant orange Marigolds celebrating autumn and Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
Despite their names, African and French Marigolds are American natives. Like corn, tomatoes, chile peppers, and potatoes, these plants from Central and South America have spread around the globe though their origins are often forgotten. The Marigold has long been associated with celebrations honoring the dead in Mexico and with holidays and weddings in India.
Frank and Pamela Arnosky have been growing Marigolds and other flowers at their family farm for over 30 years. Through the four seasons their Arnosky Family Farms Texas Specialty Cut Flowers can be found in markets and stores across Central Texas and in the Big Blue Barn, their own market where customers can find flowers in pots, bouquets, flower, vegetable and herb seedlings to transplant, eggs, and more.
For years the Arnoskys have provided Texans with Marigolds for their Day of the Dead altars and celebrations. The Big Blue Barn has an ofrenda presided over by a magnificent Virgen of Guadalupe quilt handsewn by Pamela and includes photos of loved ones and offerings from the community. In recent years members of the Hindu faith discovered the Arnosky’s Marigolds. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrating the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance follows soon after the Day of the Dead and is also celebrated with Marigold garlands and flower petals.
These two celebrations and the demand they’ve created for Marigolds have made Arnosky Farms the Marigold capital of Texas and a joint creator of the Texas Marigold Festival. It’s a week of multi-cultural activities celebrating the glorious Marigold held in Blanco from October 23rd through October 28th. There are activities for kids, classes on dyeing with Marigolds and another on making ristras or Marigold garlands, a showing of the movie Coco, a Marigold Market, and the finale, a dance at the Big Blue Barn with Brave Combo on the 28th. You’ll find details about the festival here.
The relationship between the community and the Arnoskys can perhaps be best illustrated by the Big Blue Barn. Back in 2006, the family wanted to build a barn as a market and a gathering place but the cost of the project kept it in the realm of dreams until the community came together and revived that great American tradition of barn raising. The Big Blue Barn, a German-style Hill Country barn, was built over five days with the help of both skilled and not-so-skilled hands. Those with building skills were assigned to one of the four walls while other volunteers cooked, cleaned, and filled in the gaps where needed.
A trip to the Big Blue Barn is fun in any season. And if you're planning a day out in Hill Country in the next week or two, add the Arnosky Family Farms and the Marigold Festival to your itinerary for a colorful, memorable day trip.