Growing Luffa on Four Texas Acres

| 7/8/2013 10:41:00 AM

West familyWhen Robert and Carole West left Colorado in 2009 to return to Robert’s home state of Texas, they had no plans to work the land. They simply wanted to teach their children the self-reliant country skills they cherished from their own childhoods.

Robert, a Navy veteran now in the aviation industry, and Carole, a former florist and now a homeschooling mom, lived in a broad range of environments across America as adults. Although both grew up in rural homes, their children, Felecia, then 14, and Blake, then 12, knew only city life.

“We’ve had every kind of lifestyle,” Carole told me when I called to ask about the family’s home-based luffa-sponge farm. “Our kids never had a country life. But, they dove right in and embraced it.”

The 4 acres the Wests purchased would also allow Felecia to fulfill a decade-old wish for a horse. Shortly after the family moved from Denver to tiny Greenville, Texas, however, Felecia decided owning a horse probably wasn’t such a good idea after all, even though she’d saved enough money to buy one.

“Felecia knew that one day she would be moving on,” Carole said. “We were very proud of her for making such an adult decision at 14.”

While the goal to give Felecia room for a horse didn’t pan out, other dreams came to fruition on the new homestead. Felecia pursued riding lessons, graduated early from home-high school and is now a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified therapeutic riding instructor.

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