Hello. My name is Barbara Stidham. I am the "S" in S & H GreenAcre. My husband, Rusty, and I are both native Texans but we left Texas for a few years to have adventures in Idaho and Las Vegas. We love to garden, focusing our landscape gardening on native plants wherever we lived never imagining our gardening would lead us so far. But since our gardening included growing vegetables it did develop into something special.
We love to eat great food, especially when we grow it ourselves. We started our business with herbal products that we grow ourselves. We enjoy cooking and spicing up our recipes with fresh herbs. After our herb garden was producing more than we could use ourselves, we started drying herbs. That led to making dried herb mixes to accent our favorite recipes. Later, we experimented with infusing vinegars with herbs. Then we thought “why not share,” so we started going to Farmer’s Markets and selling our dried herb mixes and gourmet infused vinegars.
Soon came the larger kitchen, the manufacturer’s license, and our business expanded. We have never been able to find a good salsa — made with fresh ingredients — in the grocery stores, so years ago, we started making our own salsa, with our fresh produce. That was another natural expansion of our business. People at the farmers’ markets love our salsa! And no wonder. It’s the best there is.
Growing peppers for salsa led to growing more peppers for hot sauce. One thing led to another, and we found ourselves spending all of our time gardening, creating great recipes, and learning how to market our products.
Here is a collection of our hot sauces from peppers grown in Hunt, TX
I haven’t always had the luxury of enough time to do what I loved most. In my life time, I have had a couple of careers. My first career was as an art teacher. I then entered the mental health field, first as a clinician, and finally as a hospital administrator.
I have a Master's degree in psychology and a MBA. I was a psychiatric hospital administrator for most of my professional career. I retired from that career in 2006. After we moved back to Texas from Las Vegas, I noticed an ad for an Executive Director of a nature center. I thought "what fun!" So, for four years I was the Executive Director of the Riverside Nature Center (RNC) in Kerrville, Texas where I enjoyed fostering appreciation of Texas native plants. Now that I have retired for good, I spend my time gardening, making our products, and eating great home cooked foods right out of the garden. I am a Hill Country Master Gardener and President of our local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
Our native plant landscape is a haven for butterflies
I am passionate about herbs, salsa and hot sauce. We do not have enough land to grow produce for the market, but we do have enough land to grow produce for ourselves and our products. So we do what we can to share our passion with other folks by marketing the most excellent dried herb mixes, salsa, herb infused vinegars, and hot sauce you have ever had!
My name is Frank Hancock III. My nickname is "Rusty" because, in the old days, I had flaming red hair. Now, it is white, so it’s hard to tell that I was once a "Rusty."
I am a sixth generation Texan. In January, 1835, at 22 years of age, my grand ancestor on my mother's side, moved from North Carolina to what is now called, Colorado County, Texas. That was one year before Texas declared independence from Mexico. On October 1, 1836 my ancestor enlisted in the Army of Texas and served until December, 1837. I don't know if that gives me "bragging rights," but I do know it doesn't give me any special insight into the history, culture, or politics of Texas. I think it just means that my family has been in Texas a long time.
As for me? I was born in Houston, Texas. My family moved around a lot until we settled in what was then called the "Golden Triangle," that is, the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange in Southeast Texas. It was called the Golden Triangle because of all the oil and chemical refineries in the area. It was not a good place to live, so I left as soon as I could.
After graduating from college and attending seminary at SMU in Dallas, I served as a minister in local churches in East Texas and Idaho for over thirty years. Along the way I earned a PhD in Religious Studies from Rice University. I also met, and married, the love of my life, Barbara (Miss B). In 2004, I left local church ministry and became a hospice chaplain until my retirement in 2010. Since then, B and I have been trying to scratch out something green on an acre of rocks and caliche in the Texas Hill Country.
What I know about the things I write about (heirloom vegetables, native and "water-wise" plants, hot sauces, salsas, and cooking with herbs) is mostly self-taught. We got interested in gardening and landscaping during the fifteen years we lived in Idaho and Las Vegas, Nevada. I don't need to tell you that Las Vegas is a desert, but people sometime forget that parts of Idaho, especially the Snake River plain where we lived, is also a desert. It is a high desert that receives less than nine inches of rain a year. In Idaho, we tried our hand at gardening, but we were not very successful. In the years we lived in Idaho we never raised a tomato to ripeness because the first frost always occurred in August while the tomatoes were still green.
When B and I moved back to Texas in 2007, we settled in the part of the Texas Hill Country known as the Edwards Plateau. The Hill Country is not a desert like Las Vegas is a desert, but it is still fairly arid. The Hill Country also presents its own special challenges for gardening and landscaping. Foremost are the whitetail deer that eat everything in sight. Plus, there is always the challenge, wherever you live, of conserving water, while also maintaining the natural beauty of the area. We have found that the best way to address these challenges is to landscape with plants indigenous to, and or adaptable to the area.
Our wildflower meadow
Along with our interest in native plants we developed a passion for growing and cooking with herbs. I bought a couple of books about herbs written by Jim Long, owner of Long Creek Herbs in Blue Eye, Missouri. We borrowed some of his herb mixes, and developed some of our own. Then we started growing peppers and making hot sauces for the farmers’ market. The ground we grow on is still a challenge. It is mostly a thin alkaline soil with rocks and caliche, so we had to build raised beds to grow our herbs, peppers, and tomatoes. We are not experts by any stretch of the imagination, but we do have some things we can share about what we do know, what has worked, and perhaps more importantly, what has not worked for us. Hopefully, the name — S&H GreenAcre — will fit someday.
I hope you enjoy this site, learn something from it, and, of course, buy some hot sauce. It’s the best there is.