Hallie reaps her passions through growth and writing
The Pleasanton Express welcomes Hallie Bates, its newest high school intern and contributor to the paper’s Farm & Ranch section. The 16-year-old from Poteet is the daughter of Josh and Haley Bates and granddaughter of Will and Ann Bates of Poteet and Clyde and Susie Butter of Pleasanton. She lives with her family, including younger brothers Jacob and Caleb, on their 30-acre farm in Poteet.
Hallie is at the 2022 Poteet Strawberry Festival Court and her family is actively involved in the annual event. As you might expect, they sell their own variety of Poteet strawberries, but also enter competitions and help out in other ways through various organizations.
Hallie’s interest and involvement in farming goes well beyond strawberries. The combination of her love of flowers and her curiosity has led her to experiment with different types of plants.
“Last year I had these bells of Ireland. They’re really thick and they’re a great filler. I had no idea if they would actually grow or not,” she said. “In the end they grew and it was really great and there was a huge harvest.”
Look for Hallie’s story about her experience with her Irish bells in a future issue of Pleasanton Express.
“And then we also had these things called cosmos,” she added. “I had never heard of them before and I just put some in the ground and they worked great. They were huge; You were taller than me. And I thought, ‘This is wonderful.’ There were so many of them.”
Hallie says the process has taught her a lot about the climate in her little part of South Texas. She mentioned experimenting with sunflowers, marigolds, and more. “I’ve grown mine from seed and am experimenting with new stuff this year like daffodils and tulips and Oculus planted in the fall for spring.”
Hallie’s growing experiments were so successful that she caught the attention of a local community member who asked her to give a seminar to share her knowledge.
Her first thought was that she might not be as qualified as someone with more experience.
“But at the same time, I want to encourage people because there’s really so much we can do with our land,” Bates said. “So it’s really just a cool opportunity to share what we’ve made with others.”
Plans for this endeavor are still in the works, but more details may be announced at a later date.
In August 2020, Hallie launched her own company called Eunoia, a Greek plant meaning “beautiful thinking”.
“There are a lot of negative things that we could think about in life, and that takes away our joy,” Hallie said. “Instead, I wanted to inspire the idea that we can choose to think about beautiful things — God’s creation in flowers, mountains, sunsets — and the simple pleasures of everyday life.”
Part of her property is dedicated to Hallie’s flowers, which she uses for her business.
She sells most of her flowers at weekend farmers’ markets and has combined her talents with local florist Lauren Labauve to create beautiful arrangements using locally grown flowers.
Hallie is the second oldest member of the Bates family’s Five Cousins Strawberry Patch, located on the family farm where they started a homestead about a year ago. She is also President of the Poteet 4-H Club and Admissions Secretary of the County Council Club.
Hallie is homeschooled and plays softball for the Feast Patriots team in San Antonio. She also plays the guitar, reads a lot and likes to travel. She helps in a variety of ways in the community, including the annual Christmas Village.
Hallie says she “passionately loves Jesus and is so open to talking about him with anyone who is interested.” Through Crosspoint Fellowship, she eagerly accepts opportunities to serve God and others, including helping with her annual Vacation Bible School, and also leading services held at her home.
The first of Hallie’s columns, February Garden, will appear in next week’s Pleasanton Express.