A Short History of Dixondale Farms
As told by Jeanie Martin Frasier
In the early 1900's, my great-grandfather, John Mabson McClendon, moved his family to Dimmit County from a small central Texas town called Pancake. He began farming an area north of town called the Dixondale addition in the Wintergarden area. All of us at Dixondale Farms still live in that section of town as neighbors. John's son, Earl, who was 15 at the time, began farming with his father, growing onion transplants and sending them by train to farmers throughout the United States. Earl married Lula Bell, who came from a large old established family here. As you see, our roots run deep in South Texas. They continued farming through the Depression and World War II. They eventually offered the farming business to my father (their son-in-law) after he got out of the Army and graduated from the University of Texas in 1948. Earl remained active in farming and ranching until his death in 1983.
My father, Wallace Martin, continued growing transplants, as well as producting other crops such as cabbage and cauliflower. In the mid-1950s, Wallace decided to add cantaloupes to his list of crops. The melons were sold in bulk by the pound and loaded straight from the field onto trucks. Most often, the trucks were open-topped and had to be covered with ice from the local ice plant.
After my husband, Bruce, got out of the Army and joined Dixondale Farms, we purchased our own packing shed and began packing and shipping under our own label, Carrizo Cantaloupes. May and June in our area is consistent with hot days and cool nights, which presents the perfect growing conditions for our fruit. As other cantaloupe growers in the state decreased or ceased production, Dixondale Farms continued to increase production to become the largest grower and shipper in Texas today.
Cantaloupe harvest is fast and furious, and we love this time of year when we can produce the best vine-ripened melons for your enjoyment.