Theiss Farms Market owner on winter storm: 'I knew everything was going to die, and it did'

In addition to produce, Theiss Farms offers grass-fed beef. The family’s herd of cattle grazes in a pasture near the intersection of Spring Cypress and Stuebner Airline roads. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
In addition to produce, Theiss Farms offers grass-fed beef. The family’s herd of cattle grazes in a pasture near the intersection of Spring Cypress and Stuebner Airline roads. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

In addition to produce, Theiss Farms offers grass-fed beef. The family’s herd of cattle grazes in a pasture near the intersection of Spring Cypress and Stuebner Airline roads. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

While the livelihoods of farmers have long hinged upon nature and luck, nothing could have prepared local farmers for last week's winter storm, Theiss Farms Market co-owner Dwayne Theiss said.

One of the founding families of the Spring and Klein community, the Theiss family emigrated from Germany and settled near present-day Gleannloch Farms. As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, Theiss' father, Jerry, began farming in the 1970s near the intersection of Stuebner Airline and Louetta Roads.

Theiss and his sister, Stacey Watthuber, have carried on the family business with two seasonal markets in the Spring area. Theiss operates the market on Stuebner Airline Road, which is open from April through August, and Watthuber operates the market on Rayford Road, which is open from March through October. Both locations offer seasonal produce and grass-fed beef.

Although the markets are only open in the spring and summer months, a farmer's work is year-round, Theiss said. Because of this, Theiss said, last week's prolonged below-freezing temperatures resulted in the loss of thousands of greens he had been tending all winter.

"As far as the crops, there was no protection. I mean, 10 degrees—you can't prepare for [that] in this area. There isn't much you can do," Theiss said. "I knew that everything was going to die, and it did. It killed everything. I thought the rain or snow might protect [the crops] a little bit and kind of insulate [the crops], but it didn't. It completely just wiped out everything."


Luckily, however, Theiss said he had not yet planted any of his spring crops before last week's winter storm, which means that the farm's losses were minimal in comparison to what could have been.

"I'll start to replant. As a matter of fact, I've already planted sweet corn and potatoes and green and yellow beans, and I will plant squash, pickles and everything else, probably, in a week or so," Theiss said. "All my little plants, like tomatoes and eggplant and peppers, are all in The Valley in a hothouse, so they will be shipped to me in the middle of March, and I'll plant them, and hopefully, it'll be good."

Additionally, Theiss said the farm's herd of cattle, which grazes in a pasture near the intersection of Spring Cypress and Stuebner Airline roads, was able to withstand the week's weather with the protection of the barn.

"The cattle pretty much take care of themselves," Theiss said. "We just had to feed them and get them next to the barn."

With the greens as the only major crop lost to last week's winter storm, Theiss said the family's two markets should be relatively unaffected this year. His sister is still planning to open the Rayford Road market in just a few weeks, and he is planning to open the Stuebner Airline Road market in mid-April.
By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


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