Hi, all! I live in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. Growing up, many of my family members owned farms and ranches, but I was always raised in the city or the suburbs. I enjoyed my visits to my grandparents' orchard and mini-farm, and my uncles horse ranch, etc etc. but I thought the country was too uneventful for long term visits. I loved the excitement and convenience of living in the city. My first love was a third generation farmer and rancher from Abilene. One of the biggest reasons it didn't work out was because I was absolutely unwilling to even consider living anywhere but in a big city. A few years later, I ended up marrying a fifth generation farmer from a very wealthy farming and ranching family. Still not willing to live in the country, we compromised by moving to the suburbs, and hour from Houston and an hour from the family farms/ranches. We divorced years ago, and now I'm married to the love of my life, a Boston-born and -bred city slicker, who shared my inability to even consider life in a rural area. But now we have six kids. And we want them to grow up with clean air to breathe and room to run around, away from all the city ickiness. We ourselves have gotten very tired of living in the hustle and bustle of city life, surrounded by corporate America...and we are more educated now about the history of those neat little packages of food in the supermarket! I switched to mostly organic foods years ago, and I've always been "crunchy" in other ways (natural childbirth, extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, crocheting things for my babies out of natural wool from ethically raised sheep, etc) Over the past year, I've been dreaming of buying a little bit of land in the country, and my husband has gradually gotten as excited as I am. We plan to make the move within a year. The plan is to buy at least five acres, but preferably more like ten. We want a large flock of chickens, some geese and ducks and turkeys, and maybe some game birds; as well as one or two Jerseys, a couple of hogs, and some goats and sheep. We also want to plant an orchard like my grandpas (fruit and nut trees, tons of berry bushes around the perimeter) and a huge garden like my aunt's and other grandpa's...they grow *everything*, and my grandpa even has a small vineyard! My brother in law owns a construction company, and has offered to help us build a farmhouse for the cost of materials, which is so awesome of him. Despite the fact that so many of my family members have farmed on a small scale, and a couple on a large scale, and the fact that I was married into a family that owned tens of thousands of acres, maybe more....I am completely ignorant of everything I need to know. They all kind of laugh now and say, "Oh NOW you're interested..." The really crack up at the sight of me reading catalogs from hatcheries and barn-building companies. But I guess life is funny, and everything changes when you have kids. We're really excited to make this change for our family. We aren't hoping to make any money at this...just to provide a different, simpler, more self-sufficient life for our family. My husband runs a catering business in downtown Houston, and will continue to do so, Lord willing. So we will have to be close enough to the city for him to commute, which has its perks like easy access to all the museums, libraries, the zoo, etc. Sorry this was so long...I ramble when I'm excited!