The inspiration of a Texas Rancher’s Homestead
Everyone has a dream, and although we are lucky enough to have our dream come true, our homestead lifestyle required time and work to come true. It is my great honor to be invited to write for one of my favorite publications of all time, MOTHER EARTH NEWS, to share how we made our homestead dream come true.
Have a good life but want more
My husband and I had a good life (at least one version of it): we lived in Dallas and had beautiful homes, wonderful children, promising careers, and anything qualifying for good old American suburban life. We were in close proximity to entertainment and restaurants, museums and parks, cinemas and concert halls.
But after a while it felt like we were doing the same thing every day and we didn’t feel fulfilled anymore. We wanted something more.
Even as a teenager, I was very environmentally conscious. Before it was “in”, I turned down plastic bags and decided to bring my own reusable cloth bags instead. We wanted a better connection with the land and the environment. I particularly hate food waste and am constantly looking for ways to make full use of the food we have grown or bought. We built a raised bed. I make sure to use plenty of rich compost when planting to give these seedlings a healthy start.
Find homestead and buy Hereford cattle
When we found this piece of paradise in northeast Texas, we knew this was our future. As we stood by the cobbled gate and looked at the overgrown and overcrowded property, the old and broken fences, and the tattered barn from the 1880s, it was clear that we still had a lot of work to do! But with renewed hope for a new and exciting future, we made that leap and bought the property.
We decided we liked the western look of the Hereford breed of cattle, so we contacted a breeder and bought our very first registered Hereford pairs. Step by step we got closer and closer to the life we dreamed we could live.
Living where we live has taught me a new appreciation for the beauty that God has given us every day. I notice the little things more – the beauty of the first tiny spring flowers peeking out of the sleeping grass, the graceful hawk that calls on its young while teaching them to fly, and the amazing variety of colors on a butterfly’s wings. I try to be as gentle as possible as I step on this land and this life.
Cultivating an ecological self
I’ve learned how to improve our garden soil so I can produce more of what we eat and conserve rainfall for garden irrigation. I learned about the price of ready meals in terms of currency, health, and the environment, and I’ve started making many of these things myself in healthier and less expansive ways.
I have become so much more aware of my environmental self and am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make small changes that have a real effect. Step by step I realize that I have rediscovered myself.
I heard the phrase “flower where you are planted” and I am so blessed to have been planted here! There’s the joy of having a new calf and worrying about droughts and floods, of course, but also some pretty spectacular Texas sunsets and a blissful life full of things that are important to me.
I invite you to follow us through this blog in our dream. I’ll tell you about Taylor-Made Ranch’s DIY projects, gardening, water and energy conservation, some clever homestead hacks, and how to use what you already have to meet a need.
Tammy Taylor lives and works on a ranch in northeast Texas where she writes about home cooking, gardening, food preservation, and home improvement ~ Texas Homesteader ~ Blog. Connect with Tammy Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Read all of the TAMYS MOTHER EARTH NEWS Posts here.
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Originally published: 23/07/2015 7:59:00 AM