Marie Tedei is a farmer and owner of Eden’s Organic Garden Center and CSA Farm. She works directly with families looking for fresh organic produce, and more recently eggs from her litter of hens. Extra vegetables raised on her farm find their way to local restaurants in the Dallas area.
Marie celebrates her lifestyle by hosting numerous events on her farm throughout the year including her annual Barn Aid that started with high winds of a tornado that blew through her property damaging her own out-buildings.
Marie sends us her holiday wishes and shares some of her favorite memories.
Tell us about your favorite holiday memory.
I have a couple, but the funniest one stands out. I used to sneak down to the tree way before everyone else got up in the morning to see what “Santa” left. My parents left some gifts to put out overnight for me, too, even though I was past the age of believing in Santa and I had a little brother who still believed so it made it more real for him.
Well, this one particular Christmas morning, after I’d made my first early bird trek to see the goodies, I went back to bed for awhile. In the meantime, apparently my little brother woke up and made his own trek to the tree. When I came back down the 2nd time, he had presents and wrapping paper strewn from one end of the living room to the next. I knew he was too little to read so he’d just opened up whatever he could reach. I went and broke the news to my parents – who spent the next hour re-wrapping our gifts after shooing us to our rooms so we wouldn’t see everything unwrapped. My brother will never live that one down – I remind him annually.
Fill us in on one of your family traditions.
My dad and I used to be in charge of picking out the tree – always a real one, and it had to be a Scotch Pine, per my mom. So the art of finding a nice full, pretty tree that wasn’t deformed as so many of the squatty little Scotch Pines were, was honed at the Boy Scout tree lot every year until I moved out of the house. I lost my dad a couple of years ago and it’s a bittersweet event now for me to pick out a Christmas tree.
What is your favorite holiday meal?
I’m not very traditional here. I love turkey – at Thanksgiving. But for Christmas, I go back to my love for Italian food. I’m half Italian and grew up with my father’s mom making traditional Sicilian food. I am not a chef by any means, but I’ve watched people eat half a pan of my lasagna before on Christmas. That is my favorite dish to make for Christmas. Sometimes it has meat sauce and other times it is a veggie version, depending on what is fresh and available from the gardens. Usually by this time, many of the green tomatoes harvested have turned red so at least some of the sauce I make is from home grown tomatoes.
What is your favorite song at Christmas?
Carol of the Bells – and not the Ding Fries are Done version.