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Edible flowers dinner during COVID and snow

Jeff Bednar and his wife, Lee, founded Profound Microfarms as a hydroponic and aquaponic farm in 2014, where they grew rare culinary herbs, edible flowers, and microgreens for chefs in North Texas. A few years later, they started collaborating with other local farms, such as Cartermere Farms in Celina and Chubby Dog Farm in Crockett, to coordinate deliveries and reduce costs, and Profound Foods was born.

When COVID hit, the new distribution network was perfectly situated to shift from commercial to consumer sales. I spent much of the pandemic picking up weekly deliveries of Jubilant Farm tomatoes, Texas Fungus oyster mushrooms, Mill-King milk, Cedar Ridge Egg Farm free-range eggs, Blackland Prairie pork chops, and Our Farmlet’s heirloom eggplants from the Community Beer Co. parking lot downtown. But I’d never had the opportunity to visit the farm in person. (Profound also offers northern pick-up locations and home delivery for certain zip codes, but the downtown location often includes the added bonus of a six-pack of beer.)

“It has been an unprecedented week,” Bednar wrote in an email earlier in the day on Saturday. “It has been harder than the first week of COVID-19 shutdowns when we lost nearly all of our restaurant customers. Harder than the hail storm that damaged greenhouse roofs and walls. Harder than leaky water mains that had to be dug up several days in a row until we finally fixed the leaky spot. Harder than losing all our aquaponic fish to over-chlorinated city water. Harder than packing up the kids and dog and heading to our family’s house because of tornado threats. This has been a hard week for us, and we have fared better than many of our farmer friends.”

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