Heritage Farms

The last week in October the Evant Garden Club traveled on a day trip to the Heritage Farms in Waco.  They graciously invited me to tag along.

The Farms are comprised of a group of families with a religious affiliation and a common life philosophy.  They are vague about their beliefs except that family is a core value.

cafeThe man on the porch of the cafe was our tour guide.  He looked to be in his thirties and has seven children.

Most of the land is owned commonly.  The children are all home schooled.  The women and girls wear loose plain dresses.  The men and boys wear jeans and commercially made shirts.  Much of the information about the community comes from a short video shown to visitors.

candleThis lovely Candle Bush (Senna alata), also known as a Candelabra Bush, Empress Candle Plant, Ringworm Tree, or Candletree is a medicinal tree.  It is native to Mexico but can grow tall in the tropics.

heritagefarmA bed of assorted blooms including impatiens and asters.

heritagefarm3The families of the Farm believe in living off the land and creating what they need.  This pottery demonstration shows one of their skills.  Many items that are produced are sold in the gift shop.

heritagefarmbMy first impression was how neat and manicured the whole place is.  Of course, we only saw the public areas, but the homes and farm lands are probably just as immaculate.

heritagefarm5The flowerbeds were impressive.

heritagefarm7The buildings have an old world quaintness.

heritagefarm4The wood working demonstration stressed the art of handmade furniture using dovetailing rather than nails.

All the different shops provide classes for the public.

heritagefarm8So neat and trim.

heritagefarmaMexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) – I definitely want one of these.

heritagefarmcI couldn’t figure out this building, but it looks like a storage place.

gThe smithy shoes the horses and makes other needed iron products.  They also do commissioned jobs.

Community barn raisings are another source of income.  They have bought old barns in the northeastern US and reconstructed them replacing damaged parts with authentic replications.  Some projects are done for their property and some for customers.

heritagefarm9We also visited the shop where spinning, weaving and sewing is done.  My pictures didn’t turn out, but the information given was fascinating.  I learned a lot, especially about flax.

heritagefarmdThe grain mill is powered by water, show above, and electricity.

heritagefarmeThis is inside the mill.  They sell bags of mixes for breads, muffins, etc.

heritagefarmfPride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) stands out against a wall.

heritagefarm2Back to the cafe where there is another Candle Bush.  We ate lunch there.  With everything made from scratch, it’s a long, leisurely lunch time.  They were busy, even on a Tuesday, with many large groups touring.

A great day of enjoying a calm, serene atmosphere and learning about crafts not practiced by many today.

“The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.”  John F. Kennedy

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