WHO WE ARE
Farm Fresh Food & Family Fun
“Blessed is the [one] who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
We are a small family farm located in the heart of North Central Texas. At 7 Arrow Ranch, ALL of our animals--from chickens, goats, and cattle, to our livestock guardian dogs and our barn cats--get to live their best lives doing what they were created to do.
WHAT WE DO
"Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field" Proverbs 27:23-26
Adam and Eve were given dominion over Creation—not to use and abuse, but to nurture. They were commanded to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, presumably to raise up the next generation of nurturers of God’s creation. In being created in God’s own likeness and Image, they were to work alongside the Creator to provide for the needs of the whole earth—people, plants, and animals alike.
With that in mind, our role here is primarily that of soil conservation and stewardship. When we get all the way down to our roots—literally--and make sure that even the microorganisms in the soil have their nutritional needs met, the soil produces nutritious grasses and forages for both livestock and wildlife. Livestock and wildlife, in turn, fertilize soil, consume weeds, mow grasses, till and sanitize the soil, promote photosynthesis of healthy plants, and capture carbon from the air and sequester it in the soil. Rodent and bug populations are kept in check. Lastly, our livestock guardian dogs are happiest when they are with their animal charges, keeping watch over the herds while goat kids jump and play on them, and barn kittens snuggle up to them for protection and warmth. They also enjoy plenty of scratches and belly rubs from their people.
Our kids (the human kind, not the goat kind!) participate fully in all aspects of the farm—from fetching hammers and tools, to collecting eggs, to driving the truck out to deliver fresh water daily to the cows and goats. Even when sickness and death occur on the farm, the kids are involved in helping to treat and care for the animals.
WHY WE DO THIS
We believe that naturally and ethically-raised food is fundamental to a healthy body, a healthy community, and a healthy planet. Our mission is to mimic God's design for Creation through permaculture practices and regenerative agriculture. We aim to raise quality, humanely-raised, and nutritious eggs, meat, and produce. We are members of APPPA, and look forward to partnering with them and educating our customers about the amazing health and environmental benefits of pastured poultry. We also work with the Spanish Goat Association to conserve the Spanish goat breed, hoping to preserve its best qualities for future generations. We hope to engage with the community of North Central Texas by providing a family friendly environment and opportunities to learn alongside us. Most importantly, we desire to instill in our children a strong work ethic, a greater appreciation for how their food gets from pasture to plate, and to sow deep into our kids a raw and passionate love of our Lord.
Come along with us as we journey towards greater self-sufficiency, restoring the full capabilities of our land, nourishing our bodies, and providing healthy, ethically, and locally-raised food for our community, through restorative agriculture and permaculture practices.
THE BACK STORY
The roots of our family farm were planted long ago--at my birth, really! I was raised in the suburbs. I had a pet goldfish for about 5 minutes. The closest I came to country living was riding in the car on twisty and windy roads, looking wistfully at the scenery we passed by. I have ALWAYS dreamed of living on a farm, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by horses and cows, and maybe some chickens.
My husband grew up in a rural area, with chickens, dogs, cats, and a small family garden from time to time. In 2005, we met in Fort Worth--hardly a rural area! When we got married and were looking for a place to settle, we had a house built in a suburb of Fort Worth, and laid down roots. Or so we though.
Throughout our marriage, we looked off and on at houses further out in rural areas. The places we found were too far, too expensive, or too small. But we were dreaming about someday, when the kids moved away.
In 2017, when our oldest was 13 and our youngest was only 19 months old, my husband came across this one particular house. He made me promise NOT to look at the price of the house before looking at the pictures. So, I promised, and browsed the listing. The house was perfect--needed updating, which was perfect for me, with built-in shelving, wood paneling for me to paint, and a double-oven. 20 acres, y'all! Not far from town. Not completely out in the middle of nowhere (important to us at this point, because of our kids' ages, current involvement in outside activities, and our desire to continue said activities). A pole barn for livestock, and outbuildings for a wood shop and a home office (hubby works from home), a barn, already cross-fenced. I looked at the price, and cringed. He pointed all the updates that were needed. We put in an offer, did some negotiations, while he was out of the country on--literally--the other side of the world, and finally reached an agreed-on price! On December 26, 2017, we said goodbye to the home we thought we'd raise our children in, the home where our youngest 3 children were born, and began our new adventure!
Of course, within a couple months of moving, we HAD to buy chickens, the gateway "drug" of all livestock! By then, I was also looking at goats. In my mind, goats were less intimidating than cows, because they are smaller. Let's just say that, in the almost-3 years since we've been here, I have learned a LOT.
The land where 7 Arrow Ranch sits today used to be a working cattle farm. The previous owner was an FFA instructor at the local high school, and brought his pregnant cows to this farm to calve out. The grasses are improved coastal bermuda, and the land is fence and cross-fenced. As the previous owners aged, the land fell into quite a neglected state. We want to honor the legacy of this beloved family of our community, while working to repair the land and return health and vigor to the soil--and the grasses--to once again produce solid livestock and hardy crops.
We do things just a bit differently here. We use non-conventional, permaculture, sustainable, and regenerative methods here, in an effort to mimic God's design. We learn as we go, doing lots of research and reaching out to the greater holistic community for help. We use zero chemicals. That means no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. We use electric fencing to divide paddocks and keep or move livestock where we want them. We do not till the land, as we want to keep whatever topsoil we have left in place. We let the chickens till up the soil for us, and eat any grubs and grasshoppers and other bugs. Goats are clearing underbrush and weedy species. Cows are mowing down the grass. Cats and dogs are chasing the gophers away. The animals are fertilzing the soil, and returning much-needed nutrients to the land.
Our desire is for ALL species, from the wild birds and deer that came with the property, to our livestock, to the microbiota in the soil, to be cared for and provided for, in a natural way. Even hawks and coyotes have a place on our land--as long as they leave our livestock alone, with the help of some seriously hot fencing, and our fiercely protective livestock guardian dogs!