At the 2016 Houston Barbecue Festival with the Feges bbq family

With so much coverage of the 2016 Houston Barbecue Festival I thought it wise to let the smoke clear before writing my thoughts.   Of course we said our much owed "thank yous" already and we can't express enough our gratitude to Patrick Feges  ( Feges BBQ and Southern Goods) for inviting us along.   He and his fiance' Erin have a heart for Houston's farm families and even though they don't have to purchase from local family farms, they make every attempt to support our work when they can.  We have enjoyed a growing relationship with Patrick and he always finds a way to elevate the products from the farm with his BBQ.   Thank you so much Patrick, it means a lot to the Smith Family. 

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It is kind of rare for a food event in Houston to be so hospitable to families.   The organizers, pitmasters, and their crews were not only cool with Seamus and Layla being there but actually took time to shake their hands and speak with my kids.   As a daddy, I can't tell you how much it means to me that people are respectful to the most important members of our team.   Someone recently described The Barry Farm as a purveyor.  While we technically are a seller of products and the term is not completely inaccurate it certainly doesn't capture our work or intent.  Grower, Rancher or Farmer is much more accurate, in that we don't source from other places but rather everything we sell comes from our farm in Needville. The Smith Family very much desires for the Houston Food Community to connect directly to the place we farm whether it is through us as people or through tasty BBQ.    When you look my daughter in the eye and shake her hand you are affirming her hard work has value and that we are on the right track as a farm family.  We typically accept few invitations that do not welcome our kids to go along with us.  Their work is so essential to making our farm go, that I feel I am acting disrespectfully to them if they aren't invited to celebrate with us.  And if the truth be told, our farm will most likely only reach it's full potential through them and their efforts as they grow into running and owning this farm.  To love my kids is to be investing with us in the future of Houston flavor.  

Farmer Geoffrey and Patrick of Feges BBQ with a whole Barry Farm Red Wattle

Farmer Geoffrey and Patrick of Feges BBQ with a whole Barry Farm Red Wattle

Patrick and Wayne Mueller on Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Tx

Patrick and Wayne Mueller on Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Tx

A long time friend of the farm Chef Ben McPherson wearing Geoffrey's hat. 

A long time friend of the farm Chef Ben McPherson wearing Geoffrey's hat. 

It doesn't make the headlines very often, but one of the aspects that I particularly like about this event is that these businesses run just like ours.  There are lots of family run BBQ teams and they rely on their closest family and friends to make this event possible.  Husband and wife teams, fiance's, best friends and parents are involved and honestly add to the beauty and uniqueness of this part of our food community .  It wasn't just all the excellent BBQ that was celebrated last weekend, but something much more worthy.   Long lasting friendships and relationship were the star of the festival.  That's what makes The Houston Barbeque Festival so special.   Keep up the great work guys and until next year here are some pictures to tide you over.   Enjoy

Geoffrey and the man himself J.R. Cohen.  Such a gracious and helpful host

Geoffrey and the man himself J.R. Cohen.  Such a gracious and helpful host

Whole hog is both ambitious in Houston and very photogenic.  Thanks for taking it on Patrick

Whole hog is both ambitious in Houston and very photogenic.  Thanks for taking it on Patrick

Geoffrey and Renee Smith of The Barry Farm.  The dream team!

Geoffrey and Renee Smith of The Barry Farm.  The dream team!

Ready for service

Ready for service

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He sure didn't have to but Patrick told 2000 guest today about The Barry Farm and our hogs.  Taking family farms along for the ride.

He sure didn't have to but Patrick told 2000 guest today about The Barry Farm and our hogs.  Taking family farms along for the ride.