When 2020 was in its preliminary stages and the accessibility of a necessary paper product was swiftly on its way to extinction, we were struck with the stark reality that our food supply may be compromised next.
We did what so many others have done before us, started a victory garden in a borrowed, undisclosed location. We chose a tucked away area in order to protect our precious resource in case of an apocalyptic zombie invasion.
There was no invasion, no food shortages, we had a ton of food and no real plan as to what to do with our bounty. A farm stand at our community gazebo and a few Facebook ads later, we had a tiny following! That was encouraging to say the least. Of course we could not make a living on only that income, with no actual business plan. As the harvests wound down, we returned to our blissful yet seasonal company that we have found great joy in developing for over 10 years.
Enter shameless plug… Cowboy Toffee Company. The actual reason we moved from the central valley of California to the heart of Texas. We researched a place to move for 3 years! We had a couple of specific things we were looking for. An old brick building that we could live in and grow our business in, with preferably two stories. We wanted somewhere with nearly the same growing zone as we were used to in California. That is how important growing our own food is to us. We both have a family heritage of farming and gardening. To us Ranger was a perfect fit, a diamond in the rough. With a vast history and tons of potential, yet nearly forgotten. It is the sort of place that makes you feel like when you are searching for that perfect rescue dog in a shelter. There are so many pups, all worthy of rescue, but you can really only choose one. There are a lot of amazing 100 plus year old buildings here, begging to be cared for and restored.
As we spent lots of hours making our toffee, we found ourselves continually planning our new farm adventure. You see, (our best friends, cheerleaders, chief encouragers, heroes) my parents with whom our lives and interests are completely interwoven, even though they live 1,500 miles away. Recently, rescued a 102 year old building that tugged at their heart. It is an old elementary school built in 1919 that shut its doors in the 70’s. There are still folks that live here that attended there! Not only do we have plans to turn that building into a captivating oasis BUT there are two pristine, level, non-compacted acres of earth that are crying out to be cultivated.
Mapping out our exciting new ‘choose your own’ adventure about what crops to grow, plot placement, soil fertilization, drainage etc. We were amazed at how perfectly it would work out, tackling the toffee and the farm because of the seasonality of each one.
This latest experience with the possible, and now not so probable, world collapse, has solidified to us the importance of having a healthy food source, and now we have become quite smitten with farming. From the anticipation of watching the seed going into the soil all the way through to watching folks show up early to our humble little farm stand because they like to watch the veggies beautifully placed out on the table. We are deeply enamored with results of sweaty, dirty, bug infested, hard labor, the fruit of which has created new farmers for life!!
Thank you for your support in the restoration,
Sam & Dan