Lucinda Mann, or better known by the locals as “Juicy Lucy,” has been a police officer and a saddle maker, but most proudly labels herself ‘Farmer.’
I had the chance to visit with Lucinda to learn more about her farm and recent career move: purchasing the Farmers Pantry on 4843 50th ST in Lubbock. Lucinda has been farming in the Llano Estacado region for about seven years, growing crops such as tomatoes, squash, strawberries, and most famously, garlic. She is well known for the variety of delicious root veggies, like gourmet garlic, onions and potatoes, but also offers fresh eggs from her 200 hens. She also has beautifully rare quail eggs!
Lucinda has been monumentally important in creating a local food system in Lubbock. She began selling at the Downtown Farmers Market years ago, but realized there was a demand for various locations and times, and more clarity of good, clean food. This realization led Lucinda to create a coalition of about 30 local producers: the WTGPA (West Texas Growers and Producers Association), which certifies that everything farmers sell at the markets is strictly produced locally. After assembling the group, Lucinda started the West End Farmers Market, located in front of the Nike store at the West End Center. You can catch the market on Saturday mornings from 9:30am-1pm.
After a year of serving as President of WTGPA, Lucinda and fellow members opened the Farmers Pantry, to feature local products available not only on Saturdays, but during the week. As busy farm schedules conflicted with keeping the doors open, the pantry was not thriving. Lucinda stepped in and took responsibility to keep the pantry afloat. Now, the pantry is open to the public, offering fresh product to locals every Tuesday from 4pm-8pm, Thursday and Friday from 10am-6pm, and Saturday from 10am-5pm.
So how does she do it all? When asked about her passion for growing and selling food, Lucinda says, “My favorite thing about farming is seeing the fruits of my labor. I know how I grow it. I tend to it. I know that it is chemical-free, hand-picked. It’s healthy food. As local farmers, we help each other out, and that’s what it’s all about.”
As for plans to expand? Lucinda has a bright future ahead. She has recently gotten her hands on a new piece of land: 10 acres available for farming! She hopes to farm more produce, and explore growing different fruits, such as blackberries.
Be sure to stop by the West End Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, or stop by the Farmers Pantry during the week for products from over 20 local producers.
For more information about Juicy Lucy’s Veggies, visit the Facebook Page. You can also read a cool article featuring Juicy Lucy (p. 29), recently published in the Spring Issue of Lubbock Life Styles Magazine.