Homestead Heritage: Self-Sufficient Living in Action

An intentional community in Texas practices what it teaches, from horse farming and organic gardening to living with love for God, the land and each other.

| June/July 2013

  • Homestead Heritage community’s Brazos de Dios farm is a working homestead where the commitment to living simply and appreciating the art of labor extends to all its members.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • Horse farming is a way of life at Brazos de Dios, where draft animals are an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient power source for many farm chores.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • The community’s 510 acres are cultivated using traditional, sustainable farming and gardening methods.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • Visitors to Homestead Heritage community’s farm can observe craft demonstrations that focus on creating essential items of lasting beauty.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • Visitors to Homestead Heritage community’s farm can observe craft demonstrations that focus on creating essential items of lasting beauty.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • Community members seek to fulfill the mission of “taking the provision of our daily bread back into our own hands.”
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • The homesteading school teaches fiber crafts and a variety of other arts and skills associated with self-reliant living.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©
  • The homesteading school teaches fiber crafts and a variety of other arts and skills associated with self-reliant living.
    Photo By Ben Owen ©

When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be Amish.

I don’t know how I found out about the Amish. I lived in the New Mexican desert. I had never seen an Amish person. But at some point, I learned there were people who farmed with draft animals, grew their own food, made their own clothes, and built each other’s barns in a communal spirit of material simplicity.

I wanted my life to be like that.

Of course, I also wanted to drive race cars, play guitar in a rock band and go on an African safari. This is, after all, a distracting world.



Also, the Amish are an ethnic community, and I wasn’t born Amish. But not everyone is so easily dissuaded.

The members of the Homestead Heritage religious community, based outside of Waco, Texas, farm with draft animals, grow their own food, make their own clothes and build each other’s barns. Their Christian faith and material simplicity — even their physical appearance — are strikingly similar to those of the Amish, the Mennonites and other religious communities associated with the Anabaptist movement.

ranchocapp
7/29/2013 3:40:04 PM

Just testing the comments section.




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