The Story of Our Texas Homestead Journey – From City Life To Homesteader!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Many have asked how we got started in this Homesteading life. Were we born into it? Did we work our way to it later in life? Just how did we get to this Texas Homestead? And why? 

Read on, dear friends.

Many people wonder how we came to be Texas Homesteaders. Here's our story. #TexasHomesteader

No Longer Feeling Fulfilled In City Life

We had the good life alright. We lived in Dallas and had a nice home, wonderful children, promising careers and all that qualifies for the good ‘ole American life in suburbia.

Our children excelled in school and had many friends. We were in close proximity to entertainment and restaurants, museums and parks, movie theaters and concert halls.

But we found ourselves in a stagnant rushed daily pattern of get up / go to work / work all day / come home / try to live life. Traffic Jam in the city #TexasHomesteader

It seemed we were stuck on a pattern of rush – shower – sleep – REPEAT! It felt like we were doing the same thing every day and we no longer felt fulfilled. 

When our children graduated high school and went off to begin their own lives, we really began to feel even more out of place. We wanted something more.

Taking The Leap To Country Living

We began looking for a piece of property that would suffice for a weekend getaway. But when we found this piece of paradise in Northeast Texas we knew this would be where our future was to be found.

As we stood next to the cobbled-together gate and viewed the overgrown and cluttered property, the old and broken fences and the tattered 1880’s barn, it was apparent that we had LOTS of work ahead of us!

Our Homestead - Building Our New Life: See how we got our start in this beautiful location in Texas to begin our dream #TexasHomesteader

(yes, this tattered falling-down barn is the SAME BEATIFUL BARN you’ve heard me talk about after it was refurbished!)

You can take a virtual tour of this beautiful old barn HERE 

But with renewed hope for a new and exciting future we took that leap and purchased the property.

Preparing Raw Land For A Future Homestead

The first several years were a (hard) work in progress. We came from the big city on weekends to clear trash left behind by previous owners, repair the tattered old barn & remove multitudes of the dreaded Honey Locust trees.

The Honey Locust tree has a trunk filled with nasty thorns. #TexasHomesteader

We wanted to restore this property to its original beauty. Although it’s still a work in progress, several years of hard work had polished it beautifully.

But now that we’ve cleaned it up, what to do with it?

It’s really just a bit too large to become only a weekend getaway. Could it be possible we could actually make a living here? Maybe even move here ourselves in the future? Hummmm… 

Country sunrise. Our Homestead - Building Our New Life: See how we got our start in this beautiful location in NE Texas to begin our homesteading dream #TexasHomesteader

Our First Cattle – Intimidated By Auction Process

We’d never been to an auction before and were very intimidated by the entire process.

One of our first local acquaintances was a veteran cattleman who purchased our first calves for us at a livestock auction.

Then he brought them to his own corral to immunize and pour them for us, then delivered them to our own fledgling ranch.

Jersey-mix steers grazing on green grass at Texas Homestead. #TexasHomesteader

We were cattlemen! Now there was no looking back!

Choosing A Cattle Breed To Raise

After we successfully raised those first few mix-breed calves we wanted to expand and choose a specific cattle breed on which to focus.

We decided that we liked the old-time western look of the Hereford breed. So we contacted a breeder and purchased our very first registered Hereford pairs. We’ve built our experience from there!

Baby calf. Our Homestead - Building Our New Life: See how we got our start in this beautiful location in NE Texas to begin our homesteading dream #TexasHomesteader

We’ve gone from that timid inexperienced landowner to raising a herd of registered Hereford cows and calves. 

And now RancherMan is even certified to get them bred through the complicated procedure of bovine artificial insemination.

That not only allows us access to some of the greatest bull genetics available, but also eliminates the need for a bull to even be present in our herd unless we want one.

Simple Living Lessons Learned

Living where we do has taught me a new appreciation for the beauty God has blessed us with each and every day.

I notice the small things more – the beauty of the first tiny spring flowers to peek out from the sleeping grass, the graceful hawk that calls to her young as she teaches them to fly, and the array of colors present on a butterfly’s wings.

Swallowtail butterfly in Texas. #TexasHomesteader

I try to be as gentle as I can as I tread on this land and in this life. I’ve learned to improve our garden soil so that I can produce more of what we eat.

Being Gentle On Our Earth, Providing For Ourselves

Our garden is so productive there’s enough to feed us and preserve more for later by freezing, dehydrating and canning the rest for winter meals.

Healthy vegetables & produce from the garden in a wicker basket. #TexasHomesteader

We’re also able to share fresh garden goodness with friends, neighbors and community. 

I’ve learned to preserve the rainfall by capturing what flows from our roof. We have 3 Rainwater Catchment Systems we utilize now on the homestead. 

One downspout diverts rainwater into a huge 20-ft deep underground concrete cistern for garden irrigation. Two others are used for other outdoor watering needs.

Rainwater collection system - galvanized trough at downspout. #TexasHomesteader

I’ve learned about the price paid for convenience foods in currency, health and environmental terms. And I’ve begun to make many of those products myself for a healthier, cheaper alternative. 

I’ve learned to make cold-pressed soap as well as cleaning products, spice mixes, yogurt and pasta.

Homemade Pasta is easy and inexpensive to make homemade. #TexasHomesteader

As a result I’ve become so much more aware of my environmental self. And I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make small changes that have a real effect.

Everyone has a dream but we’re so blessed that our dream has finally come true. One step at a time I find that I’m rediscovering myself.

Many people wonder how we came to be Texas Homesteaders. Here's our story. #TexasHomesteader

I’ve heard the phrase “Bloom where you’re planted” and I’m so blessed to have been planted here!

~TxH~

Links Included In This Post:

Other Homesteading Posts

Old Homesteads/Past Lives

Self Sufficiency

Animals, Chickens, Cows

Gardening/Food

Precious Resources/Conservation

See All Our Homesteading Posts

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11 thoughts on “The Story of Our Texas Homestead Journey – From City Life To Homesteader!

  1. Karen Del Tatto

    I so enjoyed reading about your journey to owning a piece of the simple life. It sounds WONDERFUL!!

    What a gift the Lord has given you and given us as you share your “piece of Heaven” with us week after week.

    Blessings.

    Reply
  2. Sandi Magle

    What a great post. When we lived in northern Wisconsin in the 1970s, and there were few jobs, I threw myself into the garden, canning, making from scratch -just about everything. As retirees now and a gourmet grocery store just 2 blocks away—we are still trying to do that…though the grocery is very tempting, but fresh lake fish and garden produce can’t be beat.

    Ps Your cow looks very pleased with herself and that gorgeous calf. Happy New Year, you have a new follower! Sandi

    Reply
  3. Gentle Joy

    So nice to hear your story…….Gentle Joy

    Reply
  4. Risa

    What a great story! I love your photos!

    Reply
  5. Echo

    I adore this so much! This is what I want! It’s so awesome that the dream came true for you!

    Reply
  6. Donna

    I’ve read this story several times and I love it more each time…it gives me hope!!!

    Reply
  7. Joan @ The Chicken Mama

    Wonderful story! It’s great you were able to follow your dream 🙂

    Reply
  8. Linda

    This is a lovely story. I moved to ElPaso from rural life in Bastrop, Tx. I dream of that quieter, simpler time. You made your dream come true.

    Thanks for linking to What’d You Do This Weekend and Happy New Year!

    Linda

    Reply
  9. Michal

    I will have to follow you. I’m from Texas but stuck in Florida for now. I get so homesick. Thanks for the pictures.

    Reply
    1. Lois

      Michael – I was born in Florida and grew up outside Gainesville. Moved to Texas with family and was so homesick for Florida, I jumped at the chance to move back nearly 20 years later. After living there 2 years, I BEGGED to move back to Texas! I miss some things from FL, especially my oldest daughter who is still there raising her family, but wouldn’t move back for anything! Two sayings have stuck in my head over the years. First being “you can’t go home again”, but the second is “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could”! Now if I could just get that little farm of my own and get out of town!

      Reply
  10. Joyce @ It's Your Life

    I so know what you mean, I was born and raised in Chicago. I left 8 years ago, and never looked back, I never knew how graceful and entertaining squirrels could be. Never have I seen so many different bugs, and yes they intrigue me. Moving to the country from the city is like being reborn, of seeing the world for the first times, thanks so much for sharing again on Tuesdays With a Twist.

    Reply

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