Pioneering Self-reliance in Fredericksburg, Texas: Part 1


woman holding canned vegetables

Just 124 miles from the Mother Earth News Fair held in Belton, Texas, is Fredericksburg, Texas, an idyllic and bustling small town that serves as a testament to the pioneering spirit of the West and hard-scrabble determination of the German immigrants who originally settled these 2,000 square miles of Texas’ Hill Country.

“Back in 1846, a group of 120 folks first came from Germany to settle this area, buying a package that included passage to Texas and land on which to farm,” explains Ernie Loeffler, President of the Fredericksburg Convention & Visitor Bureau. “What was unique about this organized movement of people here is they had a vision to recreate a traditional German village in the middle of Texas, one in which families farmed on rural acreage and then came into town on weekends to do their shopping and attend church.”

We can draw much inspiration and learning from these early German homesteaders. Despite multiple setbacks along the journey to establishing their new lives in Texas – from the company that sold them this package not following through on expectations to dealing with sickness and adjusting to a new geography -- these persevering pioneers forged ahead, eventually creating a thriving community which you can still experience, savor and learn from today.

This is the first of a series of articles covering the back-to-the-land spirit found here and emerging food travel scene not to be missed.

cowboy in fredericksburg texas 

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