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Making Lemonade

| 12/19/2013 12:43:00 PM

LydiaWe love living in the country! The stars seem so much brighter against the darkness, and the sunsets seem almost magical. We have dreamed of raising our own food and creating a sustainable garden for years, but we knew we couldn’t do that living in the city. We searched for months trying to find property that two people could maintain and be far enough to bring us serenity yet close enough to commute to our daily jobs. Finally, we opted for a fixer-upper property that had been vacant for a few years.

Sunset at Waterhorn Ranch
Sunset at Waterhorn Ranch

We knew from the onset that the abandoned property we bought for our homestead would be a challenge to transform. About a month after moving, we hadn’t decided if we would call it a farm or a ranch, but I think we both secretly called it a “lemon” after considering the seemingly daunting task of mowing 5 acres of tall weeds with a constantly broken tractor, fixing the leaks in the cellar, and repairing what we thought was a seamless oak floor (until we pulled the carpet and found termite damage).

Fall in Texas
Fall in Texas

The drought that has haunted Texas for several years has compelled us to feed and water only plants that we can consume. We will also be fencing the property for grazing cattle to reduce mowing and building a greenhouse with hydroponics to alleviate the pest and water problems. Both of our families thought we lost our minds when they saw the amount work that we were committing ourselves to doing, but with every checkmark we place next to our finished project, we gain strength to pursue our dreams and build our homestead.

Fresh Eggs
Fresh Eggs

12/22/2013 9:23:30 AM

Lydia, nice name. I have a daughter with that name as well. Welcome to the GRIT blogging community. Your first post has definitely piqued my interest. I will definitely be following your progress as you continue to improve you five acres. I too have purchased a derelict property from the city to raise a garden. It was a neighborhood dump site for many years. The weeds had been left to go wild forever. Brush, wild grape vines, native grasses, and every other kind of invasive noxious weeds were covering the property. Two years later the area looks much different. ***** Have a great homestead building day.

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