Part 1 (The House) Scroll Down Further for Part 2, (The Lifestyle Switch)
Our adventure began 5 years ago, with a property listing that stated "Land, Free House"outside of Victoria, Texas.
Sounds like a deal right?
We were looking for about 15-20 acres of land with a small house; then 57 acres popped up, with a "Free House".
What a deal! A free house! Well... not quite so much. Beautiful land, abandoned/unappraised 1915 farmhouse.
So what did we do? We were a couple in our mid-twenties, naive and full of confidence; we thought, "how hard can it be to fix up an old house? Just a little paint right?"
***Okay, confession.... I (Catherine) thought this. Tanner was a little wiser than me.***
Long story short, we bought it. We spent the next three years stripping it down to the studs for a full blown remodel, restoring the farmhouse to its original roots.
We lived in the house during the entire renovation, doing all the work ourselves. We started in December, and by the end of January had a toilet, shower, and bathroom sink. No interior walls, no insulation and no heat. No AC through July. No internet. No TV. No couch to even sit and watch TV. No kitchen, just a microwave on a cardboard moving box and a fridge. Dust and dirt was everywhere from taking down walls and sanding old bead board, and our first bedroom door was a brown curtain stapled across the doorway.
Our journey was off the beaten path of the normal couple in their twenties, but taking this different route truly made us appreciate the pursuit of the end goal. Seeing each project and task come to light provided an irreplaceable amount of appreciation and fulfillment - which was the channel for our next journey - restoring the land & raising livestock.
One of our first purchases was cattle, because in Texas, if you have land you have cattle. It's just what you do. It was around that time that we became increasingly curious about our food systems: what happened in between the Livestock Sale Barn and the supermarket?
The answer is what spurred us into offering beyond organic meats (grassfed and finished beef, heritage pastured pork, pastured chicken) directly from our farm as an alternative.
I (Catherine) was in pharmaceutical sales selling diabetes medications, and Tanner was in the oil industry on the technical side of things. We do not have agriculture backgrounds, and I didn't see us ever trading in stable pay checks and slacks (or his case FR's) to start our very own unconventional farming business, in a very very conventional agriculture state nevertheless.
We didn't have an "ah ha" moment that made us want to get into the journey of raising premium & pastured beyond organic meats and shipping them directly to families doorsteps. It was mostly us just educating ourselves on where most of the meat in America comes from, and how it's raised.
Caught up in the business of everyday life, we just never thought past the trip to the grocery story to pick up a package of chicken breast.
After our research, Tanner and I decided we wanted to eat meat that was raised differently, meat that was raised in their natural environment, not ones cooped up in barns or small places and given drugs and hormones so commonly used today.
The more I read the more I thought, here I am selling (very expensive) diabetes medications, when I could be making more of an impact at the root of the disease, which is helping people live a more healthy lifestyle. We hope you join us.